What Do I Have?

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    Default What Do I Have?

    Hi, I think what I have is a mid 30's horn, but the horn only appears to have a 5 digit serial, 192XX. It has same side bell keys. It is a hyena spotted relaq, and the engraving is difficult to see, but it does say Handcraft, below Martin and Elkhart Ind. I got for a reasonable price and had it overhauled, along with having the low C# linked to the G# key. It does play nicely with a Florida Link copy mouthpiece. The seller referred to it as a "screamer," and it does scream with a HR berg. I looked at photos of horns from this era on The Martin Saxophone web site, but none of the engraving matched this one.

    Can anyone shed some light on what model/year it is?:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ciz0rbozf..._0825.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/h7djqvzanb..._0826.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/75r4hfxchn..._0827.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/n9yoop86se..._0828.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6v2s8xec3n..._0829.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2oa0a9stv6..._0831.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wrposo3mdd..._0832.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/3e267pcmbx..._0834.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/be29qoqr8l..._0835.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/el30yise5w..._0837.JPG?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rx1zzokiar..._0839.JPG?dl=0

    (I will work on getting the photos to link properly later today...)


    Thanks,
    Marty
    Last edited by martybarisax; 02-14-2017 at 06:13 PM. Reason: photo links not working

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    http://www.themartinstory.net/versio...what-model.php

    set up to let you figure out what model you have

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?


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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    During the late 30's Martin was experimenting with transitional models, engraving and finishes. Their Handcraft "Standard" model/s show quite a few different variations, mostly of geometric deco engraving, but some are more floral like this one. I'm guessing it started out with SIX digits (so, s/n 1192xx). The "Standard" model is known for not having the nickel keys of their non-Standard model, but I'm also guessing that this one may have left the factory without the "Standard" wording included?
    Like you say, I'm not surprised that it IS a screamer! Martin made good 'uns! Cheers...

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    It is a 1938 "standard special" model. They used the Indiana serial numbers. Pretty much an Indiana but with the Martin name.
    http://themartinstory.net/version7/

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Thanks Click, I thought it might be an Imperial, but the left hand pinky table has less rollers. Also. The site says the 5-digit serials were second tier horns, but this one is engraved "Handcraft."

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    It is a 1938 "standard special" model. They used the Indiana serial numbers. Pretty much an Indiana but with the Martin name.
    http://themartinstory.net/version7/
    Thanks Bruce, I was trying to match the engraving style to anything on the site but most of them had geometric art deco engraving. The tops of the "M" in Martin is rounded like a McDonald's golden arches "M". The "A" is also rounded on the top.
    Also, as I mentioned to Click, it is engraved "Handcraft," even though it had a 5-digit serial.
    Thanks for you help Bruce and Click!

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    For the record, the serial dates it to 1939.

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenton View Post
    During the late 30's Martin was experimenting with transitional models, engraving and finishes. Their Handcraft "Standard" model/s show quite a few different variations, mostly of geometric deco engraving, but some are more floral like this one. I'm guessing it started out with SIX digits (so, s/n 1192xx). The "Standard" model is known for not having the nickel keys of their non-Standard model, but I'm also guessing that this one may have left the factory without the "Standard" wording included?
    Like you say, I'm not surprised that it IS a screamer! Martin made good 'uns! Cheers...
    Wow, an Indiana without the Indiana.! Thanks for the info Brenton.

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Martin had a lot of different engravings and even serial numbers vary. This horn would be about the same as an Indiana of the time or a Handcraft Special which were about the same. Her is the serial number list"
    http://www.themartinstory.net/versio...ou-how-old.php

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Martin had a lot of different engravings and even serial numbers vary. This horn would be about the same as an Indiana of the time or a Handcraft Special which were about the same. Her is the serial number list"
    http://www.themartinstory.net/versio...ou-how-old.php
    Thanks Bruce, I spent some time on the Martin Story site, and Saxpics. You were correct, it is a 1938 horn.

    I took it to a big band rehearsal last night and it played great. I had to noticeably hold back on my volume. I'm Still getting used to the ergos, but it's not too bad. I used the Florida Link copy because I didn't want to stand out too much, the Berg can roar; I might try the Berg next week.

    So the Standard Specials were basically a precursor to the Indiana, which Martin started to manufacture a few years later.
    Saxpics says the body tube was more like a Handcraft Committee than an Imperial. Yes, it does not have an adjustable thumb rest right hand or a heart shaped left hand thumb rest. Besides that, does the keywork differ much from the other Martin models made at the same time?
    Marty

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    I have been here. Got a "Blessing" Bb tenor, ser. # 194xx.

    No heart, no adjustable thumbs.

    pinky key table matches this one

    http://www.themartinstory.net/versio...00-tenor-2.jpg

    left side bell key guard matches this one, most closely

    http://www.themartinstory.net/versio...46-tenor-4.jpg

    b'sept the y connection near the keys is a simple junction.

    Really fun horn.

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by martybarisax View Post
    Thanks Bruce, I spent some time on the Martin Story site, and Saxpics. You were correct, it is a 1938 horn.

    I took it to a big band rehearsal last night and it played great. I had to noticeably hold back on my volume. I'm Still getting used to the ergos, but it's not too bad. I used the Florida Link copy because I didn't want to stand out too much, the Berg can roar; I might try the Berg next week.

    So the Standard Specials were basically a precursor to the Indiana, which Martin started to manufacture a few years later.
    Saxpics says the body tube was more like a Handcraft Committee than an Imperial. Yes, it does not have an adjustable thumb rest right hand or a heart shaped left hand thumb rest. Besides that, does the keywork differ much from the other Martin models made at the same time?
    Marty
    There were Indianas for quite a while and on that serial number list, the right side is for them. The "specials" differed from the "Handcraft" with the alt.Eb which was on teh front similar to the HC Imperials. Keywaork on these was often like the older horns.

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by click View Post
    I have been here. Got a "Blessing" Bb tenor, ser. # 194xx.

    No heart, no adjustable thumbs.

    pinky key table matches this one

    http://www.themartinstory.net/versio...00-tenor-2.jpg

    left side bell key guard matches this one, most closely

    http://www.themartinstory.net/versio...46-tenor-4.jpg

    b'sept the y connection near the keys is a simple junction.

    Really fun horn.
    Cool Click, your serial numer is not that far from mine.

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Bruce, thanks again for sharing your vast Martin knowledge...

    I know that the horn is basically an Indiana, but I like to think of it as the first sentence in Saxpics description, as an extremely rare model:http://saxpics.com/?v=mod&modID=83

    Yes I know, rare, but not particularly valuable. It does play nicely for an almost 80 year old horn.
    Marty

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Is it just me that thinks that there is a big defference between a Martin Committe saxes and the other Martin models. When I play my HC Imperial alto and compared it to a Comm I and II alto I feel and hear a difference. I would say they are complete different horns. The same goes for my HC Special/Indiana compared to a Comm I tenor. All Martin saxes are nice!

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Martin had a lot of different engravings and even serial numbers vary. This horn would be about the same as an Indiana of the time or a Handcraft Special which were about the same. Her is the serial number list"
    http://www.themartinstory.net/versio...ou-how-old.php
    Other sites, like sax pics, show the Indiana starting in 1942 which is the last year of the Handcraft. The neck, however, is definitely of an earlier series. Don't all Indianas have the modern Balanced Action like neck key?

    I have a HSS tenor from 1942 which I believe is the loudest tenor I've ever played.
    Robert Steinberg
    Piano, Saxophone, MidiOpera.com

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartSax View Post
    Other sites, like sax pics, show the Indiana starting in 1942 which is the last year of the Handcraft. The neck, however, is definitely of an earlier series. Don't all Indianas have the modern Balanced Action like neck key?

    I have a HSS tenor from 1942 which I believe is the loudest tenor I've ever played.
    I do find it interesting that my horn was manufactured like a Standard Special, but not engraved Standard Special, just Handcraft. Also, it had a second tier serial number. Does your tenor have a regular Martin serial number, or the 5 digit number? Is it engraved Standard Special and Handcraft?

    I have also wondered, for any of the classic American horn manufacturers, and only people working there at the time would probably know, who made the decisions to make variations on a horn model on the manufacturing floor?
    Marty
    Last edited by martybarisax; 02-17-2017 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Fixed punctuation.

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Here's an album of the 42 Handcraft as it looked when I got it, fully relacquered:
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/StuartSa...98761270221306

    And mixed in a group photo, there are some good looks at the engraving after stripping the bell.
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/StuartSa...96617560435676

    It does have a 6 number serial. It reads Handcraft Standard.

    As to the all encompassing question of Martin production decision making that turned out anomalies, it is a puzzlement.
    Robert Steinberg
    Piano, Saxophone, MidiOpera.com

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    Default Re: What Do I Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartSax View Post
    Here's an album of the 42 Handcraft as it looked when I got it, fully relacquered:
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/StuartSa...98761270221306

    And mixed in a group photo, there are some good looks at the engraving after stripping the bell.
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/StuartSa...96617560435676As to the all encompassing question of Martin production decision making that turned out anomalies, it is a puzzlement.
    Hmmm, maybe they had "No Rules Fridays."

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