Boosey & Hawkes ’32’ alto (1932)

The Story

I acquired this alto from a charity shop in Reading via an eBay advert. It’s a simply brilliant horn.

The Instrument

It was named after the year it was made, 1932.

Continue reading

Pierret Oxford Alto (1948)

The Story

I have been intrigued with French saxophone manufacturers for many years, so it’s great to be able to review another one on this site. From the example of this sax, Pierret seems just as good as most other French makers, of which only Selmer is still in business. I came across Pierret as a saxophone brand when discussing the maker of an unusal instrument some time ago and so was excited to see one on ebay, which I snapped up. Pierret was in business from 1906-1972, although it’s possible that it was selling previously manufactured stock for its last few years. Continue reading

Condor Alto (1980)

condor 03 condor 05 condor 16 condor 01 condor 02 condor 06 condor 07 condor 08 condor 09 condor 10 condor 11 condor 13 condor 14 condor 17 condor 04 condor 15condor 07
condor 20

The Story

We’re keen browsers at car boot and jumble sales. The Island Donkey Sanctuary regularly runs events locally from which we typically buy clocks and other retro things. I bought this from a car boot sale there about 10 years ago. The saxophone had been used as a school instruments. I can only presume that whoever bought it originally did so from New Zealand, Australia, or perhaps Brazil. Continue reading

Amati AAS 22 Alto (1980)

amati 01amati 02amati 03amati 03amati 06amati 08amati 09amati 10amati 11amati 12amati 13amati 14amati 15amati 07

amati 15

The Story

I spend a lot of time in Dorset and Devon and enjoy visiting Exeter, where there a number of good secondhand shops – especially if you’re looking for good quality guitars. On a recent trip we decided to go a bit further out to N. E. Tingz, a shop packed with interesting stock. Continue reading

Selmer Pennsylvania Special Baritone (1937)

The Story

This is Geoff Sansome’s story and a tribute to sax player Beechey…

‘I bought the sax, case and stand in an Oxfam shop yesterday. There was a notice in the door advertising it. Turns out it is a “Pennsylvania Special, made in Czechoslovakia, serial number 255352. When I got it home I found a repair ticket from 1988 for it with the owner’s name and address, Mr Beechey (Albert). Not only did I know him, but played in a jazz band with him and this sax 20 years ago!

We started messing about as a Dixieland band in 1992 and we asked Albert to come along. He was about 80 then and I was 30. He had a range of saxes and had done a lot of dance band work in the second world war in and around Worcestershire and Droitwich. He occasionally got his baritone out and thundered away (We called it the scud missile). Albert didn’t improvise (he needed “the dots”) so as we developed we got a different reed player. Albert died in about 2000 and I have no idea where this sax has been since then until it surfaced in the Oxfam shop. It in its original case, with a heavy duty homemade stand and numerous mouthpieces and a very old Selmer pad repair kit.’ Continue reading

Buescher New Aristocrat Alto (1934)

The Story

This splendid American saxophone came to me from my fixer-upper, which I bought from in 2006. I haven’t played it much, but intend to, especially as its big brother is currently my favourite tenor. Continue reading

Selmer Pennsylvania Special Baritone (1935)

The Story

Boz the Sax of Maestro Music commented on our review of the Selmer Pennsylvania Special alto, questioning the date of his instrument. As always we are very happy to include new reviews here and, although we have already covered a similar instrument from Kate, there are enough differences to make this interesting.
In this case he reports ‘It came into my music shop in 2 parts – the body, then most of the pads, which had fallen out in the sellers loft!’ So it’s a tribute to his fixing skills that it looks so good in the photos. Continue reading

Conn 16M (1963)

The Story

I was originally just an alto player, but always been interested in tenors. Once I had enough money I bought a Conn 16M – but not this one. Eventually I traded it in for the Keilwerth SX90R reviewed on this site. Suffering from a long-term buyer regret, I saw this in a pawn broker shop in San Jose in 2001. I was escaped from a Sun analyst conference for an hour with my friend Peter. This was on a high shelf behind the counter, long forgotten I would imagine. Having asked the store-keeper to wash the dirty reed under water I played the instrument, which had a loud, clear tone. Having bought it, I got a real compliment, ‘I’ve often heard buyers play the saxophone, you’re the first one who proved it’. Continue reading

Weltklang Commodore Tenor (1962)

The Story

We often go to the open market in Bridport, Dorset on a Saturday morning. In September 2011 we discovered a seller who had this instrument for sale. The lady was selling it for her son, who was not a player himself. There was no workable reed in the case, but it looked in good condition. It had no maker’s name on the horn, but looked playable and was relatively cheap for a tenor. Continue reading

Yamaha YS62 (1974)

The Story

Lizzie was a keen clarinettist, playing a Conn metal instrument and a fine Buffet. She decided to take up the saxophone and I was keen she used something modern and good. We bought this from allegro in Oxford. It was already some 20 years old, but had not been played much and still looks shiny and pristine. Continue reading