Unique Sightings

Unique Sightings

There's just something special about these projects - rare, unique, & beyond.

Buescher 'Tipped-Bell' Soprano- 1927, #204k

Rebuilt at WWS

yep, the ultra rate Tipped Bell, in original silver plate. Ser#204k dates it to 1927-28 and it has the pearl G#. It does have a little bend in the bell lip that i will round back out AND gold plate the interior. There is no major damage to mention, only one small ding that I will smooth out too. There is normal wear and tear on the arm tips and edges, and 2-3 zones up the tube that are showing the brass. Also in the original case! Super cool!
The bell lip look bent from the case (drop...sad), but I'll smooth that out more and goldplate a wash in there.
Item#: WWS1W5.0W0.8151.3-0

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Buffet 'Model: "SA 18-20"' Soprano- 1940-50s

SUPERB Buffet soprano (rare), in silver!(RARE), keyed to high F; also with SOLDERED ON TONEHOLES! (like a King or Martin) Once you geek-out on sax specifics, some players prefer and require soldered toneholes for the sound they seek.
Original case in good shape. Pads, the owner says, were invested in not long ago. There was a high level of PC work done prior to the sax arriving, consider the pads 'playing great on older pads' . It's worth mentioning that the lyre holder is removed (post solder evidence on the backside--good thing you don't want that anyway!) Notice the modern keywork!: Articulated G#+B, palm key design (not In-line)!
I must say that the uniqueness of this sax is the huge factor to this one. I was testing several mouthpieces (along with client--Doctorate in Sax) to see if this was perhaps a sax that he was searching for. Short Conclusion: After many mouthpieces, we conclude that the original mouthpiece (not present) must be crucial for the best optimum intonation. Overall it's a playable sax, where the biggest intonation issue was over the break (C2 to D2). The sax will need a vintage mouthpiece for best performance.
I have only seen one other similar sax for sale; it wasn't silver, nor was it labeled with the main parent company names as a flag-bearer.
A cool piece of history, competing prior to the Selmer Mark VI, rarer than the VI.
Sound File (actual sax!): Conn 1924 New Wonder I, Yanagisawa (Buescher Super 400--Selmer VI copy), Buffet SA18-20#2889
Item#: WWSconsignmentTH.

Conn '6M' Alto- 1932 perma-gold, #251k

Naked Lady Transitional era: Serial #251,xxx. These have a cult following as the first of the Naked Lady run. Body is in great overall shape. other than the evidence of mess pad glue, there is no past repairs or damage to mention. What a beauty! It has the very rare original, satin/shiny gold finish at 60%...and lots of silver under-plating is visible. (I believe this is a rare perma-gold example, not gold plated). The neck is mostly silver only now. It has Rolled Tone Holes and the fine tuning neck adjuster. It arrived in the original wood case that is in good condition and functional shape--double-pack case for [metal?] clarinet. It will get a Vintage Conn Rebuild with flat metal resos on Prestini pads and natural cork throughout.
Item #: WWS07.5S0.00.531.2-0

Conn 'New Wonder II - "Chu Berry" transitional' Tenor- 1930 Art Deco - special 239k

10M Bell Guard on a Chu

This is another customers horn, that needed some TLC... a Total Restoration in Satin Silver, with gold plated bell interior, as well as a complete rebuild and re-engraving by Sherry Huntley.

So, it needs springs and lots of little adjustments, and of course a really good set of pads...

She's all back together and i had my first play test today. she started off very nice, but by the time i've done three days of playing, testing, checking for leaks and clamping the keys nightly, i'll be sure just how good she is...

I tried to keep this one looking as original as possible, but used the finest stuff on the rebuild, top of the line Prestini, No Stick pads, flat metal resos, with center rivet, Tech cork, Synth cork, Teflon and Ultrasuede.

BTW, this one turned out fabulously, both looks and sound.

Conn 'New Wonder II/10M' Transitional Tenor- 1934, #260k

 Lady Engraving, Original Lacquer, on a Chu Tenor

please ignore the few raindrops that made it on camera. 🙂 Serial #260,xxx. If ever a sax should get relacquered, it should look like this one! Although up for discussion, This could be a Professional job that could have happened in the late 1940s or 50s. It's a true beauty and I can't tell how many people ask us about a Pretty "chu" in lacquer. {{{could it be original?! I THINK IT IS ORIGINAL LACQUER! timeline dates it to the beginning of lacquered saxes...Hmmm }}} ...one reason to help support this is because i was able to get the story of the this sax from the original owners' son. 🙂 So the true "cool factor" is that this tranny era Conn has the Chu keywork and the Naked Lady engravings -- all still highly visible from the pro lacquer work. It also features the distinct Rolled Tone Holes of the era and the big, early Chu sound. The sax is in overall good shape aside from the relacquer, neck looks good -- minor dings to mention (see photos) and perhaps the only major damage in its lifetime happened to the high E area where the damage only shows the repair.
Sound File: Selmer VI vs Conn Chu tranny vs Buescher 400 TopHat&Cane

Conn 'New Wonder I/ "Chu Berry" Transitional' Tenor- 1925 #m166,xxx

This sax lands in our memory pages for a few reasons: 1) it's a transitional New Wonder I + II. I don't see this much (most the II+ 6M blend). The second memorable reason may be a past repair to the pip. I don't know how it got there, but the concept is something I highly respect for the attempt to help with that dreaded A-hiss that tenors are known for. And 3) by memory, it had the most decorated by an owner case I've ever seen.

Ser.# m166,xxx. Another Wonder II (aka a "Chu") with nailfile G#, rolled tone holes, everything we love. Original Silver plate model, in good shape with about 80% remaining, no major body damage to mention either, Goldwash bell shows some heavy wear. Consider having us replate that as part of the process. This is a transitional Chu, one of the first off the line, because it has some Wonder I parts (high Eb). But it has the nailfile G# so you can be certain you get that Chu sound. Great story with this one: one owner horn! He played around the world via the cruise ships. he put stickers on the original case, which is in good shape by the way, at all the stops he had--Beijing, Hong Kong, Seattle, ...etc. This thing is covered. Too cool! Now, if you've never played a Chu, they are stunningly powerful tenors...big fat sound top to bottom. Ergos are not that great, but i know a lot of players that play them in spite of the 20's design and would never switch to a Selmer. It will get a full repad, with a Conn-style, standard repad (aka, our vintage rebuild).

Sound File:Buescher Top Hat & Cane vs. Conn Chu vs. Olds "Super" (by martin)
Sound File: Selmer Mark VI vs. SML Gold Medal vs. Conn (nickel) Chu


Keilwerth 'SX90' Alto- Straight

One of three projects for Randall Pennington. It came to us in lacquer and retuned to Randall in Japan, as one of our finest works. Silver and gold plating, custom engraving, with Sherry Huntly's Artistic Engravings virtually everywhere, and a premium repad. Best sounding alto I can recall and so beautiful it is like a piece of art.

King 'Zephyr' Tenor- 1957, #358k

Stunning Original Lacquer

Another great Zephyr in my favorite serial number range. GORGEOUS at that! Great story: we had the pleasure of buying this from the original owner. She got it went she was 10yrs old and played many shows (winning, of course!). All I can say is "wow". She loved this horn to keep it so nice. ...not many boys keep a sax this nice for +55yrs! 🙂 These sound just about identical to a super twenty, from the same year. The serial number is in the 358,xxx range and the original lacquer is 99% intact. Most wear is on the palm keys, minor chair dings (as a kid) on the bottom bow. We'll burnish those out. I put in a few replacement screws need returned to originals too; Included is the neck, the brass neck tenon cap and a King woodshell case in excellent condition as well. It's the purple two-tone version with the alligator top. = sweet vintage case! It is a very special story so I look forward to my friend, who I sold it to, enjoying it for a while before it returns for a rebuild later in the year. 🙂 Item#:WWS8.5W0.00.9151.1-0

King 'Super 20' Alto- 1947, #285k Full Pearls

This one was a WWS stock sax but was so nice that it deserves a spot here in Our Finest. Serial #285,xxx makes this near the beginning of the Super 20 line (started approx #272xxx). Serial Number indicates about 1947 manufacture in Cleveland, Ohio (not Eastlake). Brass bell, Sterling Silver neck, with nickel keys / rods and brass key cups. These magnificent horns are well known for the huge sound and power that they bring to an ensemble, and the horns from this vintage are regarded by most as the finest saxes ever made. Lacquer is definitely original, and darkened beautifully!!! with age and about 90% present, looks very nice, vintage. The early ser# carries that better low C keyguard trait with three feet for screws too. This Full Pearls model is the deluxe version and their prices now rival most Selmers. Chadd almost kept this one for his personal stash but decided to let her go in the world after a Rebuild with some favorite upgrade options: Premium Step Up, Black Saxgourmet Roo pads, Resos: Seamless, flat, nickel plated... & Oversized to to give this sax even more swagger and kick! Plays like nothing else! We even added vintage King lock-washers to all the keyguard screws. This early model didn't originally have them. SOLD to NY, so long baby.

LeBlanc 'Rationale' Tenor- 1960s

This is an amazing and rare 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. At WWS website.

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.

Chadd comments: wacky, cool, weird, unique...If a person made this THEIR sax, I think they might be unstoppable.

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Martin 'The Martin Tenor' Tenor- 1946, #152k

Rare Engraving

RARE ENGRAVING: look at the thin vine near the script! custom satin body: (Consignment - plays well, needs minor adjustments) Serial number 152,xxx, numbers match on the neck and body. The older "The Martin" the deeper and fuller the tone and any "15xk" serial numbers are hard to see for sale, especially in original condition. This one is in +35% original lacquer (keys only) and will be considered a great player's horn with a unique finish. That extra part of the engraving is not on my
SARGE DID THIS REBUILD in 2006. It hasn't had much play and the pads are still holding adjustments from Sarge's work! awesome. I am not sure if he created the unique finish: the body tubes have been made SATIN via sand blasting and the keys were left original lacquer with some outlined areas on the bell (likely to protect the engraving). It is original finish, no heavy buffing if any. It has a non-original, Mt Vernon brand, molded, hard case in good condition but the outer pocket zippers are difficult/lame. It has tan prestini pads and flat metal resos true to a WWS Vintage Standard rebuild. Although the satin is not an original Martin option, I am very attracted to this saxes finish. Have a look!
SOLD Item #:WWSconsignmentSitz

Martin 'Official Music Man Model' Tenor- 1963, #218k

Sarge's words: "I was lucky enough to get this one with the original rivet pads still in it, in completely unaltered condition. Its serial # is 218,xxx, one of the very first Music Man Model's made in 1963. I gave up my 158k all original {The Martin Tenor} for this one. so i guess that answers all the questions as to whether the newer ones play/sound as nice as the forties models. i will regret selling this one, (it is one of my all time favorites)...Sorry, no trades (and NO, the mouthpiece does not come with it). you can listen to me play this Martin Tenor, from (my band) the Phantoms Blues Band's latest C.D, by clicking here" SOLD in 2010

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Martin 'Handcraft' Soprano- 1925 Gold Plated #64,23x

1925-26, low pitch # 64,23x. Keyed to hi F. Original Gold over Silver Plating is Very good condition, just took one or two dings up by the palm keys, - one by the bell that i straightened ...It has all the usual things of that era, like huge soldered on martin Tone Holes. My opinion, is that these are the richest, deepest sounding sopranos of any model made, ever. It was filthy, so it was dip-cleaned and then hand polished and finally, I did a "Vintage Standard" rebuild, prestini tan, waterproof lambskin pads and classic flat metal resos's with rivet. It had no case, so I invested in a nice Walt Johnson case too! SOLD in 2010, this was a fun one to fix up. and beautiful gold too! Mmmm


Selmer 'Mark VI' Tenor- 1960, #86,295, Gold

Here is a superb sax. It is a Gold Restoration with silver underneath. It is a #86,xxx and that alone comes with its own resume. Gary, the owner featured on the Sound File, picked this up in Paris while traveling as professional musician. Gary's expertise on the matter can be supported by his lifetime of playing professionally (1000+ shows with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rod Stuart...etc). Gary's blessing in life: this was his Backup Horn. !haha! Our blessing: it hasn't been out of the case much since. The sax plays excellent. It was rebuilt/restored by Jay Sleigh of the San Diego, CA area about 10yrs ago and not played much since. There is some minor pitting under the gold that I tried to capture in the worse possible view in some photos (back tube, thumb rest). But the sax is still overall absolutely gorgeous! There is no major damage to mention. Did you know that gold plating (just the dipping!) costs about $4,000 at cost today?! factor that in your value.
...SOLD with original case in great shape too.

Sound File 10-2013 (actual sax!):
Gary's input and review comes with 60+yrs on his Selmer and others'.
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Selmer 'Balanced Action' Alto- "Cabin"

Selmer Balanced Action: Here's another one I played for a good while before I would let it go. I think this one is in England now... not sure... but it is one of the more rare engraving scenes of a Cabin by a stream and I really like this sax.

Selmer 'Model 22' Soprano- 1923 Silver

It currently does play all the way down. ser #1,8xx, original SILVER in great condition. Comes in nice wood case, "selmer". These are really rare. They have that true vintage tone that is a bit 'woody' like bueschers. I have priced this accordingly and would definitely be worth restoring for your enjoyment!
Item #: WWSconsignmentRank

Selmer 'Super New Largebore' Tenor- 1930 Gold Plated 13k

Named: "Goldie" for her exquisite shine. Here is another beautiful sax I am the second owner (outside of the family). It is 99% original Gold Plate and in excellent condition. Serial #13k dates it to about 1930. Whatever the closest step is to 'MINT', this sax is it. The only silver I see showing through is on the octave thumb button. This is a special sax with a backstory: bought new and gigged with in the Ozzie Nelson Band of Rutger's University while the player used gig money to pay his way through school (too bad we can't do that anymore!).
This is very unique era for Selmer because the "SSS" for the Super lineage was not on most of the early saxes, and actually mostly only on altos vs the tenors. See: Saxpics.com for more reading pleasure. Goodson's reviews will put these as the first saxes to start sounding like the Selmers we think of today. Check the Sound File. You will hear the spread power of the early Selmer. The popular VI Sound is very warm, subtle and smoother.
It arrived with the original wood case in rough shape. I recommend keeping it with the sax but using another main one. On arrival the pads are tan with large, light-domed, metal resos (like 1940s-50s selmer) that may be original! I will fully rebuild this sax with my French Standard Rebuild but substitute in metal resos like it originally had; shine it up by hand, and sell it for the next loving home.

Sound File (actual sax!): TENOR x2 & MPCs x3:
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SML 'Gold Medal II' Baritone- 1977 #25k

SML Strasser Mariguax Lemaire Baritone: This beauty got the full restoration treatment. It had old brownish lacquer, so we got it mist stripped and silverplated at Anderson plating, re-engraved with Sherry Huntly's Artistic Engravings, then did our premium repad. This is one of my finest works. What a big, strong sound! Huge tone production...enough to get you thrown out of most orchestras!

Vito 'Model 35S' Alto- 1969-72, #27xx

From Chadd's Collection

This was the first sax in a long time that upon my first notes, my eyes lit up like a young sax player all over again. This is not to be confused with the Vito-Yamaha that most people know after the buyout.

Here's a super rare sax. Probably about 2000 ever made, and to that, perhaps even fewer in the "S" model--SILVER PLATED ENGRAVINGS! WOWZA! Highly engraved on the body tubes: body, bell, U-joint, and neck...with a Butterfly, and 3x Bees.

I acquired this one from a good, local fellow who had it in his collection for 18yrs(hidden in his storage unit)! Only needs a full repad and bell brace resoldered to the body. It has a very heavy build, some rib construction, some silver brazed posts on the body too--unique! This also has the later adaptations of the Vito Leblanc Rationale System keywork (funky keys, precise tuning, High F#, superb bass clarinet Rocker Octave system). Perhaps, a system so genius that it couldn't catch on.

The tone is amazing! It instantly took me back to my former '86 Selmer Super Action 80 Series II, that I played for 10 yrs, but this one had more body and depth like a Keilwerth/Couf.... (french) Selmer crossed with JK? = AMAZING!!!