1960's Leblanc System, aka: Rationale Tenor
a rare classic from Sarge's Collection (his description):
- Year: early 1960s?- <1963 (~1962)
- Make: Leblanc
- Model: Rationale
- Status: Sold!
- Finish: Original Lacquer
- Serial Number: 513
One of the coolest saxophones ever made! - Made to solve most all of the "saxophone issues" such as stuffy notes, trouble intonation areas and note passages. Data would suggest that there were less than 750 (alto and tenor) ever made. The design with intonation and evenness with tonehole venting was also so engineered that it has mass amounts of screw adjusters. I have seen multiple variations on this model as they may have made changes along the design (different neck emblems, octave keys..., most notable) At the time of this last edit(6/2019), my data tracks these to Serial numbers #122-790 for altos and tenors)
-gold plated springs
-LH high F#/trill key!
-screw + locking nut adjusters; ALL there!
-post construction (some are brazed directly on the body!)
Confession: Serial number dating information on these is a bit low; considering how cool these are, I wish we sax-community members would build this one up along with all the variations that I've seen. Some will say 1950s, some 1960s. It's pretty safe to say that its era is in the range of 1960-1976 on this model. With extensive research, there have been original receipts of a #549 purchased in 1963 and others out of order with new purchases, thus, my era guess on this one is ~1960-63, or ~1962.
Research: With combined research from S. Meier, at the time of this post, we have traced about 185 LeBlanc/Vito/Beaugnier saxes from serial numbers #100-1400. Of the 186 we have documented, only 30 are these "Model 120" tenors (64 were altos "Model 100"). Some sax forum rumors discuss that there were less than 1500 of these made(alto and tenor). I would conclude that the dating of LeBlancs was inconsistent! These are far more rare than "1,500" out there. I suggest that: 94/186 is about a 50% sample rate. Apply that to Serial #100-1400, = 1300 total, and you have 750 as an adjusted, estimated quantity ever made... now apply the alto-to-tenor ratio of 31%, that means:
Only 200-400 "Model 120" tenors exist.
In Sarge's Own words:
This is an amazing and rare Leblanc Tenor saxophone, a pro horn with the unique Leblanc mechanism, where the G# tone hole is at the rear and all the front pads remain open - the fingerings possible on a Leblanc are far more versatile than a conventional sax allowing for easier transitions in what are usually difficult passages - as well as multiple false fingerings and a greater range of altissimo fingerings. The Leblanc has a strong individual voice and speaks extremely well, one of the great advantages of the system is that normally stuffy notes like middle D and E speak with a clear open voice - the uniformity throughout the range is simply unachievable in any other horn. This one has at least 95% original lacquer and is in top notch condition. I haven't had to do too much to it, except a minor tune up. It even has the original green print case in great shape! Serial #513.
That's a classic "Goldbeck and Co" mouthpiece on her, that i opened up myself and made a custom ligature for. These have a very, very vintage sound, that's fun to play around with. (not included with sale)
Amazing French sax with large bell tone!
Sound File (actual sax!): TENORs Featuring this LeBlanc:
Chadd comments: wacky, cool, weird, unique...If a person made this THEIR sax, I think they might be unstoppable. I need to make a SOUND FILE. VERY POWERFUL, CLEAR TONE! Study the neck!: it has much less [hump] compared with other tenors. It was Rebuilt my me (chadd) and has sat basically unplayed since. There are a few of the locking nuts missing from age, but all the adjustment screws are present. You think the over did it? Actually during my rebuilding of it, I found 1-2 spots that would have allowed me even better precision for adjustments!