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Thread: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
    1. The saxophon was made by Couesnon
    That's interesting. There was a Holton/Couesnon connection! Please tell us more. I have a Couesnon alto that i like very much. There was also a Couesnon/Yamaha connection that i can discuss, but it's off topic here.
    Life is too short for long tones

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Both of those non-Rudy altos were the standard opposing bell key models.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Both of those non-Rudy altos were the standard opposing bell key models.
    The 'standard opposing bell key model' is the Revelation (Ref.: Ads from the mid twenties), which was the main professional series, later (thirties) with bell keys on the left side. Collegiate series (I: LaPorte made with opposite bell keys, II: Elkhorn made, bell keys left side, completely different saxophones) were second line, imo high quality horns, too.

    I've added a SN 34507 (tenor) to the Wiedoeft list.

    Felix

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
    The 'standard opposing bell key model' is the Revelation (Ref.: Ads from the mid twenties), which was the main professional series, later (thirties) with bell keys on the left side. Collegiate series (I: LaPorte made with opposite bell keys, II: Elkhorn made, bell keys left side, completely different saxophones) were second line, imo high quality horns, too.

    I've added a SN 34507 (tenor) to the Wiedoeft list.

    Felix
    Check out some of the saxes on holtonloyalist.com:

    http://www.holtonloyalist.com/saxophones.htm

    Of note, the bottom two tenors: The middle one (sn 21XXX) has the spatula front high F. It also has the "extra keys".

    The bottom one (no front high F), sn 31XXX is very similar (but not identical) to my horn. Note also, that is is a Collegiate with split bell keys-also claiming to be the earliest that the site has seen--I don't doubt that. Additionally, check out the different shapes in the RH pinky key cluster--they are always different between front F horns and non Front F. (The LH pinky cluster has been modified--it must have had the pearl G too). Lastly, the plam keys are different: Long and flat for non-front F, but further out from the body and rounder finger pads on front F models. I also believe the octave keys were different too--teardrop on front F models, but shaped around the thumb button on non-F models.

    Bottom line: even if they weren't marking them as such, Holton was making two different models during the 20XXX-39XXX range. Is that Collegiate in fact a LaPorte horn? It isn't marked as such--it says Elkhorn like all the rest (post-Chicago of course).

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by geauxsax View Post
    Note also, that is is a Collegiate with split bell keys...
    Is that Collegiate in fact a LaPorte horn? It isn't marked as such--it says Elkhorn like all the rest (post-Chicago of course).
    Yes, it is. The Collegiate I (split bell keys, made in LaPorte) tells the location of the residence of the Frank Holton Company, not the location of the factory. This is usual practice, the corresponding Lyon&Healy saxophones, which came from the LaPorte factory too, are marked 'Chicago', cause this was the residence of Lyon&Healy. "Made by * Couturier * LaPorte * IND" is engraved on the saxophones of the original founder: Ernst Albert Couturier. The E.A. Couturier Band Instrument Company (residence and factory in LaPorte!) began building saxophones in August 1922. Oct.4, 1923 the company went into receivership. Lyon&Healy purchased the company 1924. The factory was taken over by Frank Holton April 1928.

    The saxophones built by Couturier, later by Lyon&Healy and at last by Frank Holton (Collegiate I) are essentially the same, but different from all Elkhorn made ones as they have different bore, different conical form, thick bevelled toneholes etc. and different tone, nothing compares!. The only difference within the LaPorte made saxophones is the application (keywork), which was changed by L&H 1925 and slightly 1926 and a patented modification of the octave key introduced 1927.

    SN# 31802 is indeed "the earliest reference" I've seen on a Collegiate I saxophone* made by Frank Holton. The year of production is (spring) 1928, not 1918 as supposed by the author. This SN is valuable information for our SN# reconstruction. It corresponds very well with our understanding of the Rudy Wiedoeft model. The earliest SN in the list above (R.W. except c-melody) is 32938!

    See also my posting #84.

    Thank you for the info!

    Felix

    *Forgotten to tell: The Elkhorn made Collegiate's (Collegiate II) have partly lower serial numbers (my CollegiateII is in the 19xxx range). But these follow an own set of numbers, until 1931. Since then all Holton serial numbers had one set of numbers, woodwind and brass!
    Last edited by LaPorte; 09-13-2008 at 07:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    I've edited my last posting to make it more precise.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
    ... until 1931. Since then all Holton serial numbers had one set of numbers, woodwind and brass!
    As far as I know this point is not yet discussed.

    Felix

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ayphotohosting
    SN#34384, added to the R.W.-list.

    Felix

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by soybean View Post
    That's interesting. There was a Holton/Couesnon connection! Please tell us more.
    Probably Holton did not ever sell stencils. "We build no instruments of this kind as every horn made here (Elkhorn) is engraved 'Made by Frank Holton&Co' "...from "A trip through The Holton Factory", page 23. This seems to be true as I couldn't find any Holton stencil until now. Ca. two years ago I found a Bb soprano without any engraving, obviously made by Holton. The "Beaufort American" (ca. 1930) was made by Holton, but that was no stencil either as B.A. was a trademark Holton used together with C.G. Conn, based in Chicago.
    Vice versa we have two references, that Holton put his Name (without 'made by')on saxophones, that are built by another company:

    1. The "Beaufort" model, ca 1916/17. This one has nothing to do with the 'Beaufort American'!
    this was obviously made in France. Further researches showed close similiaritys to the Couesnon saxes of that time.

    2. "The special" made probably in the beginning forties. Made by Couesnon.

    What could be the reason for the Holton company to sell these stencils?
    This only makes sense, when demand is higher then supply. In case of Holton this could be reckoned for the time 1916/17 (Beaufort model) before he had completed tooling to produce own saxophones, then beginning year 1918, when he transferred his company from Chicago to Elkhorn WIS and at last when he changed production using new machines at the beginning forties, so "The Special" might have filled the gap.

    Why does "The Special" say 'Chicago' instead of Elkhorn?
    I feel that my language is rather limited and my dictionary poor to say correctly what I mean. I try it later.

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    What about those curved sopranos made in Austria that appear on ebay at times?

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Do you mean curved sopranos with the Holton logo put on them?

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  11. #131
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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    There were some that said Holton and maybe "European" or "Imported" on them . No pearls and pretty basic. I do remember Austria though.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Soybean, here are the photos of the C Soprano you requested. Sorry about the quality as I was getting some altos done and hurried these along:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1215755...ltoncsop/show/
    Pretty nice horn even though the pads are old but sealing well. Great sound, a little flat on Bb2 up to C#2 but no worse than any vintage sax of the time. So far it is the best C soprano I have owned but I have only had 5 over the years.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Sorry about the quality
    Bruce, those photos look great! No problem with quality at all. I love the small size of the C soprano. Everything is cute on it without being tiny like a sopranino. Holton had some pretty great craftsmen to build something like that.
    Last edited by soybean; 09-20-2008 at 10:15 PM.
    Life is too short for long tones

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    NEW REVELATION added to the model list #80, page 4.

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbug1 View Post
    I just bought a Holton Tenor (a rare Wiedoeft tenor) off Ebay.
    To confirm my researches, please tell me the exact outside diameter of the neck tenon from the WIEDOEFT tenor. @GEAUXSAX: please tell me the corresponding diameter of your Holton Tenor (NEW REVELATION), too.

    Thank you.

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Sorry for the delay, but I had trouble finding a suitable measuring tool (just moved in and everythng is in boxes.) Roughly though, it is approximately 30.5 to 31 mm.

    Update: Just got something accurate to measure with--the tenon is right at 31mm for the outside diameter.
    Last edited by geauxsax; 09-28-2008 at 09:10 PM. Reason: update

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Thank you, geauxsax!

    Felix
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
    Here is a list of Holton-models from 1916 to 1940:

    BEAUFORT **(stencil, made by Couesnon; ca. 1916/1917; rare): split bell, keygards with forged ends (looks like duck feet)

    REVELATION-model, series I (Chicago 1917/18; rare): split bell, soldered toneholes, front F key, additional trill keys.

    REVELATION-model, series I (Elkhorn, spring 1918 - ca. 1930):
    Production continued in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, front F key from ca. 1926, early ones without front F key.

    RUDY WIEDOEFT model (ca.1928-1930..) B and Bb left side, special tenon for the mouthpiece, round g#-key with mother of pearl-inlay, additional low C vent-key. From the beginning thirties without the "Rudy Wiedoeft model"- engraving.

    COLLEGIATE-series I* (1928/29, rare) split bell, solid and bevelled (type: LaPorte, not Martin-style) soldered-on tone chimneys , L-shaped C#-G#-key
    Partly the production was sold under the tradename "Beaufort American" Production ended 1929/1930. Some "Beaufort American's" were built by Conn!

    NEW REVELATION, professional series, (ca. 1930, very rare) split bell, engraving like Revelation I, new application, spatula keys like RUDY WIEDOEFT model, no front F, made in Elkhorn.

    COLLEGIATE series II* (from beginning thirties..): B and Bb left side, Corpus like Revelation, keys only the 'needed', no front F

    RESO-TONE (1937; rare) Text of the original ad:

    "This is a new Holton Reso-Tone Alto Saxophone, built upon new proportions and with new tonal quality, new mouthpipe, new octave key, new keygards and new thumb rest. A completely new instrument that will set new standard in saxophone construction and tone."

    THE SPECIAL** (beginning forties; stencil made by Couesnon, France; rare)

    I have compiled this list in german and translated it for SOTW. Please let me know, if you have additional model-info or find mistakes (including bad english?)

    * means: the serial numbers partly follow a different line of numbers
    ** means: the serial numbers follow a completely different line of numbers


    Felix
    Felix,
    This is a great list. Any idea how the (fairly well received, given that a silver 241 sold for $1200 a few months back) 240 series tenors/230 series altos, etc (can't remember the bari number series--270???, or sopranos fit in, with regard to changes? Were they all new saxophones, or just progressive updates on the older models?

    Also, what about the later Collegiates? I believe the tenors were marked as model 566. Not sure about the altos, etc. Were these made at the same time as the 240 series horns and intended to be student models? I know there are folks out there quite happy with their Collegiates, and their body and keywork looks fairly similar to older Holtons--maybe they were updated Revelations, in the same way that Buescher basically used modified True Tones as lesser models while making the 400 T&C as well as Aristocrats (I'm just speculating though--any thoughts?)

    Update: Sorry--you answered some of my questions earlier I guess--I just missed/forgot some earlier posts. Anway, I was struck by something you mentioned: Did you say that Holton changed from soldered to drawn tone holes? If so, approximately when, and what models? I had never noticed (but then, I don't own any later Holtons either).
    Last edited by geauxsax; 09-29-2008 at 07:50 PM. Reason: oops--some of my questions were already answered!

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Sorry-- Missed your post on the tenon for the Rudy tenor. Will answer tomorrow. I bought on EBay ($300) a burnished gold C melody. It has engraving all over the bell and even INSIDE the bell. I saw an alto once like this. It also has that rare combination of the front F and bar G# keys. It just arrived and I have never seen such a pristine horn. It even has the gold-plated cap and ligature with the original metal/resin Holton mouthpiece. There is not a scratch or dent on the horn. Let me guess... "A wealthy doctor in Chicago bought this for little junior's 16th birthday. Junior ran off to California with a flapper and was never seen again. The family saved the horn, but alas, junior never returned. so...." I had planned to rebuild and sell this on EBay, as why would I want a Rudy gold and silver model and a gold C Melody with deluxe engraving?... H-m-m.

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    Default Re: Holton Saxophone; Serial number registry

    Jazzbug,
    That C mel sounds like Bruce's alto (since sold to Connie)---Gold with extra engraving, Bar G#, and front F. We've got to see some pics!

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