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Thread: Oxford Alto Sax?

  1. #1

    Default Oxford Alto Sax?

    My school has an old Oxford alto sax. It has OXFORD DISTRIBUTED BY BOOSEY & HAWKES CANADA on the bell + more stuff that I cannot remember. It's the first horn I played that has a lot of lacquer loss (50%-ish). My hands smelt weird after I played it. But that's not my point. My point is to find out what the horn is, to identify it. I can give a few descriptions: Nickel plated keys, bell brace similar to one of a SBA or Mark VI, not much engraving, no high F# LH spats look like that of an SBA, I dunno how to describe it much... Who has any ideas on this thing?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    I seem to recall that these are Pierret stencils, but I'm not 100% certain.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the Holton geauxsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by stitch View Post
    I seem to recall that these are Pierret stencils, but I'm not 100% certain.

    I think stich is right. I just read a Pierret thread, and I believe that someone mentioned Oxfords as being their stencils.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    Does anybody have pics? I've never seen a Pierret that looked like my school's Oxford...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    Dear Yamaha,

    In the 1960's I bought an Oxford Alto just as you described. I kept it until this September when I donated to a local High School for their band.

    At the time I purchased it, the Oxford was considered a quality intermediate saxophone. I spent quite some time trying to trace its origin but never found anything definite.

    By its weight and feel I thought it was made in Germany or by Amati in the Czechoslovakia. I eliminated Amati as they were producing stencils under the Corton name for the British market and it was not likely B&H would use the same company that made a competitor's stencil.

    That lead me to believe that either B&S in East Germany or Keilwerth in West Germany made these horns. Keilwerth was bought by B&H in 1989 and had previously made stencils for B&H.

    B&S could be the supplier as they did a lot of stencil work for a lot of distributors.

    Assuming I am right ( a big assumption in itself ) You have a German made horn.

    In my experience the horn was solid, rugged and very consistent and for me easy to play. Sound and intonation (with the exception of open C#) seemed to be spot on, and I never had a problem in any sort of band or ensemble I played in.

    However I find my Amati AAS62 a much superior horn, as 40 years of technology should and does make a difference.

    Dennis

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    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    One other thing,

    My Oxford Alto came with a Kelltone Mouthpiece. Reg Kell was the greatest British clarinetist of his time, Benny Goodman took lessons from him. I found this to be an excellent mouthpiece, and I have kept it.

    Dennis

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    The Oxfords made by Pierret on SaxPics has LH bell keys. My school's Oxford has RH bell keys.

    EDIT: Thanks DTGAZ, where were the bell keys?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by DTGAZ View Post
    By its weight and feel I thought it was made in Germany or by Amati in the Czechoslovakia. I eliminated Amati as they were producing stencils under the Corton name for the British market and it was not likely B&H would use the same company that made a competitor's stencil.

    That lead me to believe that either B&S in East Germany or Keilwerth in West Germany made these horns. Keilwerth was bought by B&H in 1989 and had previously made stencils for B&H.

    B&S could be the supplier as they did a lot of stencil work for a lot of distributors.

    Assuming I am right ( a big assumption in itself ) You have a German made horn.
    Your reasoning seems pretty sound to me, but I would throw in one more name: Kohlert. I'm pretty sure they made instruments for Boosey and Hawkes.

  9. #9
    DTGAZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    Yamaha,

    My Oxford had RH bell keys,

    sax-only,

    Of course Kohlert and several other smaller German firms are a possibility.

    Dennis

  10. #10

    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    Could it be a R&C??? Some similar features of the Oxford found on this Rampone & Cazzani stencil: http://cgi.ebay.com/Rampone-Cazzani-...1%7C240%3A1318

  11. #11

    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    That thumbhook... those keyguards... that neck... those RH spats... that fork F# key... they all resemble the one on my school's Oxford.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?



    hum, LH lower keys

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oxford Alto Sax?

    there is a definite possibility that we are talking of an Italian made stencil.

    As far as I know Yamaha made stencils only for Vito although there were recent allegations that they had something to do with some other “ martin” stencil (which in my opinion was a Leblanc made saxophone a company in which Vito had more than a passing interest). You have to remember that saxophone production started rather late for Yamaha (the first Yamaha comes off the production line in 1967 so it is impossible that they had made a saxophone in 1960) and as I note of interest, they went to Jupiter ( which already produced saxophones since the ’30 ) on Taiwan (a former Japanese colony) to learn to make their first saxophones ( first research started in ’64).

    Italian made horns (by Orsi, Rampone & Cazzani, Alfonso Rampone,Borgani, Desidera, Santoni Parè...........Grassi too came very late in the market in the ’60, but they have been responsible for some stencilling too) were for a long time the equivalent of the Taiwanese companies today and there are literally countless stencils.

    Some Italian stencils are also so similar to Malerne saxophones that there has been speculation that they were actually closely co-operating with Malerne . I have never found any evidence for that and conversation with people from Quarna (where Rampone& Cazzani, Grassi and Alfonso Rampone were) didn’t reveal any such thing.

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