LeBlanc 1960 ‘Rationale System’ Bb Tenor, w/ F#, #494

G. LeBlanc System Rationale Tenor Saxophone

Price: SOLD

Price includes small adjustments, please inquire as needed.

  • Year:  ~1960 (see below)
  • Make:  LeBlanc
  • Model: LeBlanc System Rationale - Model 120
  • Status: SOLD
  • Finish: Lacquer 90%+
  • Serial Number: 494

(On Consignment - Inquire about included adjustments(near G key needed))

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 tone hole venting was also so engineered that it has mass amounts of screw adjusters (Add $300+ to a rebuild price for such; more pads, more adjustments like a Conn 26M/30M...). I have seen multiple variations on this model as they may have made changes along the design (different neck emblems, octave keys..., most notable -- You can compare it to Sarge's Collection LeBlanc too; at #513 it had a different neck altogether! I won't list all of those.) Other notables:
-gold plated springs
-LH high F#/trill key!
-backside G#
-heavy construction
-screw + locking nut adjusters; ALL there!
-two-tone model
-post construction (some are brazed directly on the body!)
-jump keys(trills)

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 1955-1962. With extensive research, there have been original receipts of a #549 purchased in 1963, thus, my labelled era on this one is ~1960.
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 185, only 29 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: 93/185 is 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.

SPECS: The sax is in great shape overall but does have a few bumps to mention from age: The neck shows signs of pull-down that is mostly repaired already and I can repair the rest during a rebuild. I see a few dings/pings from the backside and bow (or evidence of removal, see C# guard post too), there is a resolder on the bell-to-body brace and a slight indent inside the bell, sadly. I don't see any functionality issues from this to worry about. There is only one missing screw (backside pants guard) to mention, ALL NUTS ARE PRESENT!--wow.
***Remember, I promote honest sales and inspections. So when I list my critiques on cosmetics, consider that I see more than most people do or will. 

SOUND: Big, resonant, loud but centered core, controllable power, focus yet depth....
Chadd Comment: "They remind me of a SML Rev D/GM crossed with a Buffet S1!"

PADS: the setup is currently in original setup! (I love that) with old pads and screw in resonators (must be reused). ***It may be missing the F3 reso. It does play and would currently get a "Plays Rough, on old pads" evaluation; however, I'm able to help with minor repairs to be included in the lower "as is/tuned up" price that is listed (now $2999).

CASE: Original LeBlanc case in vintage condition. It arrived with a lightly 'old' smell so I'll treat that with some of my special cleaners. Ask me how this ends up.

For other fun research, I have also enjoyed Goodson's post on this sax here: LeBlanc Rationale Saxophone Literature.

Sound Files on Leblancs:
  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    TENORs 4x: 1973 Selmer #216k, 1964 LeBlanc Rationale #790, 1955 Conn 10M #566k, 1955 Buescher AristoIV-157 #356k on MPC: Noblet N2 0.090", Sound File 11-2019

See Track 2 above to hear these 4 saxes in a Sound File:

Item #:CON-DG.10-2S68S0.00.10041.7-F60