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Thread: Parisian & Parisian Ambassador differences?

  1. #21
    Distinguished SOTW Member goodsax's Avatar
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    Me too. After finding out it is the F# "trill" key guard, I found the s/n, 38122. I couldn't figure out what an F# key guard was. Learn something every day.
    SOP: Antigua Winds SS4290RC; ALTO:Couesnon Monopole Conservatorie; TENOR: Yamaha YTS-61;
    BARI: Vito-Yanagisawa Low A; CLARINET: Noblet Paris; FLUTE: Amadeus by Haynes

  2. #22
    Distinguished SOTW Member xax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluejeans
    Eureka! I found the serial # on the back of the keyguard as suggested. It's 36214.
    Now, how do I find out when and by which maker this horn was made? I've seen other postings asking about lower numbers, but gathered no info from them.
    I'm fairly certain that if the serial number is on the F# keyguard, then it's a Pierret made horn. Go to the Pierret forum for more info.
    "There's not enough kindness in the world...".Dale Turner; "Round Midnight"

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Parisian & Parisian Ambassador differences?

    OK folks, time to answer my own question!

    Having now played, owned or test played a few Parisians and Parisian Ambassadors (ATB, they made no sops... I mean Pierret did manufacture sops but not for Olds), here are my observations:

    Besides the model (“Parisian” and “The Parisian Ambassador”), the bell engraving, simpler in earlier models (P), is much more circumvoluted in the latter models (PA), but I have seen a P with the same elaborate engraving as a PA (call it a "transitional" model if you wish!).

    Mechanically, the main differences are:
    - stopper feet on the low C and Eb key rods on the P models, therefore no felts are needed on the keyguards. The low B& Bb levers are thicker on the P and there again, no felts are needed; the PAs have felts on these keyguards like most brands;
    - a single metal piece that works as a combined low post for the Bis, hi E and C trill keys on the P, whereas the Bis key has its own lower post on the PA;
    - a single forged key arm & stopper foot for the hi E key on the P, whereas the foot is separate and placed lower on the rod on the PA.

    Minor differences are: MOP buttons on the earlier models (but I’ve seen them on several PA too) as opposed to whitish plastic ones on the latter models – MOPs being sculpted, either convex or concave while the plastic ones are flat --; a LH thumbrest with a pearl on P and some PA, and black plastic on latter PA; slightly different bow braces; a squarish post/guide for the hi F key and neck octave key on P whereas they are rounded like on most saxes on PA, and a few more.
    The brass sheet used for early P I've seen seems thicker than on latter PA, for instance, the bell diameter varies by a few mm, the lyre holder position differs…

    We did a blind test with a (pro) friend on 2 altos, a P (28xxx) and a PA (38xxx), both with equally good intonation, the P had been more played in than the PA but had had less repairs than the newer horn.
    The P's body had been chemically delacquered, whereas the PA was original lacquer. The listener couldn’t tell them apart and to the player they felt pretty much the same in terms of power and action (although one had steel springs and the other piano type springs).
    Admittedly, we got two good numbers...
    S: Buffet -- Nicolas Tréfeil refaced unmarked Babbitt; A: Couesnon, Dolnet -- NT refaced Riffault & Meyer 5 replica; T: D&J -- NT modified Riffault; B: Weltklang -- NT refaced Chinese metal mpc

  4. #24
    Distinguished SOTW Member goodsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Parisian & Parisian Ambassador differences?

    I didn't check my most recent PA tenor.
    SOP: Antigua Winds SS4290RC; ALTO:Couesnon Monopole Conservatorie; TENOR: Yamaha YTS-61;
    BARI: Vito-Yanagisawa Low A; CLARINET: Noblet Paris; FLUTE: Amadeus by Haynes

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Parisian & Parisian Ambassador differences?

    Ask the buyer what the S/N is.
    From your pics in your FS thread it has several characteristics of an earlier (or "transitional") horn....
    S: Buffet -- Nicolas Tréfeil refaced unmarked Babbitt; A: Couesnon, Dolnet -- NT refaced Riffault & Meyer 5 replica; T: D&J -- NT modified Riffault; B: Weltklang -- NT refaced Chinese metal mpc

  6. #26

    Default Re: Parisian & Parisian Ambassador differences?

    I've posted this before, so if you've searched you know this. My folks bought me a new parisian ambassador in 1963 and the serial number was 38,9xx. At that time the serial number was on the back of the horn in the normal place. I think earlier horns had the serial number on a guard or something and later horns added a "0" in front of the serial number. My horn played great and I never had any of the problems folks mention, such as bad solder joints or bent keys. Mine had mother of pearl, not plastic. I played it for many years before giving it to my daughter in the early 90's to play in the school band on old pads. Had it repadded when she entered highschool about 94 and it's playing great today. I do find the keywork to be a little sloppy, but it never affected the playability. Intonation was great, tone was very smooth and rather fat but not honky, selmerish I suppose. Much less resistance than the Bundy my son had or an old Dorfler Jerka that I currently have. If I thought the older Pierriets played as well and had better keywork, I'd go out and buy me one.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Parisian & Parisian Ambassador differences?

    One more thing I thought of after hitting submit. The key heights on my horn were a little high and a tech told me that these horns require that. This wasn't much of an issue on my alto, but I later bought a used tenor and didn't like this horn nearly as much. Seems the keys felt even sloppier on the bigger horn and the key heights were a little much. I'm now playing a Conn 10m and the sound is bigger, plus the keys are tight.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Parisian & Parisian Ambassador differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by AhCheung View Post
    OK folks, time to answer my own question!
    AhCheung, thanks for doing this valuable research. You point out the differences in keywork between the two models, but do you prefer either type?

    Here is some information about the Olds Parisian from the Doctor Sax site.


    Quote from Doctor Sax:
    This sax was manufactured by Pierret after their flagship model "Competition" of the early 1950s. As far as one can tell, only the keyguard feet differ from the Competition besides the (improved!) left hand pinkie cluster.

    This solidly built model, with very good intonation and power throughout, attracted the attention of Santy Runyon who had Pierret stencil a few hundred altos and tenors with his name. The major differences between the Santy Runyon horn and the Parisian lie only in the LH pinkie plateau and the fact the bell keys are on the opposite side of the horn. Until recently, these horns have been mistaken -- probably due to their solidity and tone qualities -- with SMLs, another famous French manufacturer who stenciled for several brands including King.

    [This particular] Parisian… appears to belong to an early lot marketed by Olds, whereas its sequel, the Parisian Ambassador was somewhat simplified, (e.g. lighter gauge brass was used for the body, posts instead of strong brackets in places, plastic buttons instead of mother of pearl) with the exception of the engraving which became more elaborate. Compared to the later 'Ambassador' horns, this earlier 'Parisian' is a sturdier, professional model.
    Life is too short for long tones

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Parisian & Parisian Ambassador differences?

    Soy
    sorry for the late reply.... don't hesitate to PM me next time!
    The differences in keywork are just in terms of construction, they don't impact on the feel of the horn or its action as far as I can tell. True, the feet on the lower C/Eb key rods on the Parisian don't allow for easy adjustment of key openings like keyguard felts do on the PA but intonation is spot on there.

    As mentioned above, between the two altos, Parisian and Parisian Ambass, I didn't feel any significant difference from a player's viewpoint (actually have played another early Parisian as well) when it comes to intonation, evenness of tone, power, and ergos. What differs is the quality of materials (and workmanship maybe, since I've read accounts that for instance PA key buttons fall off etc) and the fact that the PA has a few simplifications in its construction. Still, IMO the PA remains a solidly built horn (cf. posts & key brackets!) with decent intonation, workable ergos and an evenness of tone hard to beat in that price category (wrongly classified as a student horn).

    BTW if you want to see an Olds Parisian/Parisian Ambass ATB family.... go order the Pete Hales 2009 sax calendar from lulu.com!! (Pierret did not stencil sops for Olds)
    S: Buffet -- Nicolas Tréfeil refaced unmarked Babbitt; A: Couesnon, Dolnet -- NT refaced Riffault & Meyer 5 replica; T: D&J -- NT modified Riffault; B: Weltklang -- NT refaced Chinese metal mpc

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