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Thread: How about Martin sopranos?

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    Default How about Martin sopranos?

    Why so few posts about Martin sopranos? Which models were produced? Do they have the same Martin tone as their siblings? Are they good horns? What about ergos and especially their intonation?

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    I had the chance many years ago to play a Martin Handcraft soprano for a few days. Hands down the most beautiful soprano tone I've achieved on any horn, before or since - sweet, round, mellow tone with presence to spare. If honey had a sound, it would sound like that Martin. Ergos & action were primitive compared to modern horns, but workable enough. I seem to recall intonation being surprisingly good, better than the student horn I was playing at the time (Vito? Armstrong? Evette?...can't remember). It was also the most beautiful horn I've ever held - satin silver plate w/gold wash bell, gorgeous engraving.

    Check out The Martin Story website - they have a fairly comprehensive history of all the models of soprano the company produced.

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Great horns. They really only had about 2 models, the series one with the thinner tone holes and the series two with the fat holes. There wouldn't have been a series three as they all had the high C# adjuster and no front F. Maybe a few typewriter models but pretty rare.

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Thanks for the replies which to some extent confirm that Martin sopranos were more scarce than the other saxes. Even at The Martin story website, there are only a couple of pics.

    Once I saw a statistics (I think for Selmer) that for every alto built, there were only 5 tenors, 1 bari and 1 soprano.
    Add to that the distance an I guess I have little chance of finding a Martin soprano here in Chile.

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Years ago I had silver plate Handcraft. Wonderful horn. But idiot that I was I traded it for some now long forgotten horn. Wish I still had it.

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Felipe...I think your comparison for Selmer is off...One alto to five tenors?

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    i had the pleasure of playing a beautiful handcraft curved soprano, i think it was from about 1926" year..agreed this sop" had one of the most lovely tones i,ve ever heard, i would love to have one one day!!..great horns!
    bs gunning

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Only drawback is that the curvies only go up to Eb.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felipe53 View Post
    Why so few posts about Martin sopranos? Which models were produced? Do they have the same Martin tone as their siblings? Are they good horns? What about ergos and especially their intonation?
    Well as you can se I have the honor of owning one of these beauties

    I rebuilt the left hand palm keys to a more ergonomic hight and rebuilt the pinky plate to fit a modern hand.

    Man.... the sound is unlike any other soprano out there in my book. It can whisper like the morning breeze and play fine and mellow - and blow you away with a raw force of pure sound. Intonation is perfect, perfect in tune. The keywork action is light and uniform and the weight only 90 grams more that a Selmer Mrk. VI soprano....

    If you ever get the chance to own one - buy it no matter the price!!!

    My horn is a private label Hans J. Bach witch is a Martin Handcraft from 1925, number 33 of 35 ever made for Hans J. Bach. It has lager engravings than Martins own Handcraft models and no support bars for the left hand palm keys. It also has no large thumb hook ring like the original Martins - but the rest is the same.

    Why Martin stopped making sopranos around 1930 is a bit of a mystery.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Quote Originally Posted by nuendosan View Post
    Why Martin stopped making sopranos around 1930 is a bit of a mystery.
    You mean, it's a mystery why Martin did when nearly all the mainstream sax makers also did at the same time?

    BTW, that's a beautiful horn, and I really love that the palm keys arched so high. I had to have risers put on my Buescher in order to not wiggle around like a fish on a hook. Looks like that Martin doesn't need them.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1938 Buescher Aristocrat "Custom Built" Gold Plated Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1939 Buescher Aristocrat Silver Plated Series I Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7, TW Durga 8
    1947 Buescher 400 B-11 "Top Hat & Cane" Bare Brass Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Lacquer Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat Gold Plated "Big B" Tenor -- TW Durga 8



    Nothing works so well in gathering information as a display of ignorance. I've been learning a lot lately.


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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    The soprano, C melody and Bass all disappeared during the early thirties due to the great depression. People didn't have money for food muchless horns so the makers just concentrated on the ones that sold, alto, tenor and bari. Buescher, Conn and Martin did build a few after that but they are the same as the 20s models with newer engraving.

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Quote Originally Posted by nuendosan View Post
    Well as you can se I have the honor of owning one of these beauties

    I rebuilt the left hand palm keys to a more ergonomic hight and rebuilt the pinky plate to fit a modern hand.

    Man.... the sound is unlike any other soprano out there in my book. It can whisper like the morning breeze and play fine and mellow - and blow you away with a raw force of pure sound. Intonation is perfect, perfect in tune. The keywork action is light and uniform and the weight only 90 grams more that a Selmer Mrk. VI soprano....

    If you ever get the chance to own one - buy it no matter the price!!!

    My horn is a private label Hans J. Bach witch is a Martin Handcraft from 1925, number 33 of 35 ever made for Hans J. Bach. It has lager engravings than Martins own Handcraft models and no support bars for the left hand palm keys. It also has no large thumb hook ring like the original Martins - but the rest is the same.

    Why Martin stopped making sopranos around 1930 is a bit of a mystery.
    thats beautiful work!
    Have you thought of selling those mechanisms?

    I also have a Martin sop- a Vega stencil- and nothing comes near it.
    I put an Oleg fitting on the RH high E, which helped a lot.
    A don't understand raising the palm keys though, I found them perfect and a nearly 6'5 I don't have small hands.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member jazzcat58's Avatar
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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Only drawback is that the curvies only go up to Eb.
    high enough i feel though!..especially on an old classic!..the core sound is soooo!! sweet.
    bs gunning

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    The best soprano I have ever played! But I don't own a Martin sop. I'm terrible on soprano. I own five including one C soprano!!

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Hornlip's Avatar
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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Quote Originally Posted by nuendosan View Post
    [...]
    I rebuilt the left hand palm keys to a more ergonomic hight and rebuilt the pinky plate to fit a modern hand. [...]
    So are our modern hands an evolution, or did we de-volve?



    That's a beautiful horn, and nicely done mods. Wouldn't know they weren't original.

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    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hornlip View Post
    So are our modern hands an evolution, or did we de-volve?



    That's a beautiful horn, and nicely done mods. Wouldn't know they weren't original.
    I am ape like, so perhaps we're devolving.

    I just realized from this post, that that those weren't the original key heights. I swear I couldn't tell. Who did that? You?
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1938 Buescher Aristocrat "Custom Built" Gold Plated Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1939 Buescher Aristocrat Silver Plated Series I Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7, TW Durga 8
    1947 Buescher 400 B-11 "Top Hat & Cane" Bare Brass Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Lacquer Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat Gold Plated "Big B" Tenor -- TW Durga 8



    Nothing works so well in gathering information as a display of ignorance. I've been learning a lot lately.


  17. #17

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Felipe...I think your comparison for Selmer is off...One alto to five tenors?
    You are absolutely right. I meant for every 10 altos built, there were only 5 tenors, 1 bari and 1 soprano

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Another vote for Martin Handcraft soprano saxophones here. They are great horns, with a warm lush sound that is hard to find anywhere else. Its a soprano you can play in a small room and not have people leave or dogs howl. Well-built, intonation is pretty good for a vintage soprano, and set up well the ergonomics are not all that bad. Palm keys are a little low, side keys are a little small, horn gets heavy on the thumb. I have played and repaired many of these, and owned a few. When I get a soprano again, one of these is what I plan on getting.
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    All of this is just like, my opinion, man.

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    Default Re: How about Martin sopranos?

    Quote Originally Posted by abadcliche View Post
    Another vote for Martin Handcraft soprano saxophones here. They are great horns, with a warm lush sound that is hard to find anywhere else. Its a soprano you can play in a small room and not have people leave or dogs howl. Well-built, intonation is pretty good for a vintage soprano, and set up well the ergonomics are not all that bad. Palm keys are a little low, side keys are a little small, horn gets heavy on the thumb. I have played and repaired many of these, and owned a few. When I get a soprano again, one of these is what I plan on getting.
    I purchased a gold plated one from Matt a few years ago.
    It was a truly great soprano, and Matt did an outstanding job restoring it to its full glory.
    Sop: SA80II - Barone Vintage 7
    Alto: MKVI 56k - Barone NY5M
    Tenor: MKVI 127k - Barone Jazz 7*
    Bari: 12M Tranny 259k - Barone-modified HR Link 0.110" / Morgan Double-Chamber 8

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