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Thread: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

  1. #1

    Default Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    A while back I bought a Comm3 ""The Martin" tenor, sn 178xxx. It came with the wrong neck and key guard (since corrected) and had obviously been rebuilt. lt seemed to be in great shape, and I have since set it up and repadded it. Plays great.
    The horn has nickel (or nickel plated) keys. Looks fine, but I am told that this could not be original, that all Comm 3's had brass-only keywork. Looking further, I found a few photos on vintage horn websites showing Comm 3's with nickel keys, and some Magnas with nickel keywork. Sooo, can anyone tell me if Martin ever made Comm 3's with nickel or plated keys? Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    Bruce............

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    I guess anything is possible and they were doing some of the Indiana types with nickel then.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    Yes, my first tenor was an Indiana with nickel keywork. Nice horn. But I've had a few items plated in the past, it was very expensive so it seems unlikely that someone would spend that amount of money to "pretty up" the keys when rebuilding a horn. I'd just like to know if my horn is "correct" (not that I'd ever sell it). Just curious.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    For what it is worth, I had a 1925 King alto that had been relacquered and the keys nickel plated, definitely not original equipment from the 20's.

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    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    Yes, they do exist (although they are obviously quite rare). I had one once and sold it to a guy in Texas. Probably a transitional horn. You can find a discussion of the horn here:

    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...artin-Tenor?s=

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    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    I have had an early Comm III tenor with nickel-silver keys. It isn't too surprising since The Magna Model, which was based on the Comm III, had nickel-silver keys as did the predecessors to the Comm III (Handcraft Comm II and Centennial).
    Jorns Bergenson - Raised in the great nation of Texas. Folks call me "JB".

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    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    Here's an interesting question for you, Fred.

    Are your keys nickel plated over brass ? Or are they nickel keys ?

    I ask because...I have a Comm II which has nickel keys. Not plated. My tech literally buffed the hell out of a few trying to find the brass beneath...and we never got to any brass beneath..
    Go for the Old-Skool, homies. www.2ndending.com

  9. #9

    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    I know at last 2 of the keys are brass with nickel plating, so I assume that they all are. Not sure what that means, did all of the Martins with nickel-finish keys use solid nickel? Mine seems to be a good job, rather than a refinish which I assume people do to correct a pitted surface. By the way, from the photos on The Martin Story site, it seems that the earlier Handcrafts used nickel (plated?) keywork.
    I have restored some vintage cars and maybe that explains my interest in what "original" features. But I love my horn whether it is truly "correct" or not.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Comm3 with Nickel Keys?

    On my 52 CommIII you can see where the plating has worn off in quite a few spots in the key work. This video has pictures throughout showing what Im talking about.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqnFaphDFZM

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