Condor Alto (1980)

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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

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Amati AAS 22 Alto (1980)

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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

Kohlert Modell 1927 (1927)

The Story

We’re very pleased to bring you a review of this excellent, unusual German saxophone written by Peter Chadwick – a keen player based in the West country…

I bought this instrument from eBay out of curiosity (it wasn’t expensive!). I have become a fan of European saxophones after dumping my Martin to buy a Selmer Pennsylvania Special (see an earlier article by Saxuimus Maximus). I have been unable to discover much about pre-war Kohlert instruments although there is a lot of company history to read if you are that way inclined. I understand that during the late 1920’s Kohlert used the year of manufacture as the model name. I have seen pictures of a “Modell 1926” and a “Modell 1928” – mine is a “Modell 1927” and doesn’t look much like the others. Continue reading

Keilwerth Crestone Toneking (1957)

The Story

This was made by Julius Keilwerth in Germany in 1957. I bought this from Tony at Maggini Supplies around 2001. It was at the beginning of my quest to acquire all historic and unusually saxophones. As usual I made a trip to our local reservoir on a Sunday morning to pick the instrument up from the ack of Tony’s car. Continue reading

Selmer Pennsylvania Special Alto (1938)

The Story

I bought this horn from Tony at Maggini Supplies in 2005. At the time I was building my collection and very keen on Selmer, which made the best saxophones of all – especially the Mark VI, which beat all comers from the late 1950s onwards. Continue reading

Martin ‘The Martin’ Alto (1944)

The Story

My friend Tony H brough this round the other day. He’s owned the horn for about 3 months. Unlike me he’s a transient collector, preferring to own just one tenor and one alto at any particular time.
He associates Martin horns with Art Pepper – a player he remembers from the 1950s. He had a melodic and light innovative sound – very different from Charlie Parker and his many imitators who were all the rage at the time. I definitely agree, having many Art Pepper albums. The poor man’s personal life was unfortunately in stark contrast to his beautiful horn playing. He also noted that a number of British dance band players used Martins in the post war years. Continue reading

Conn Prototype Pan American 58M Alto (1953)

The Story

Neville Bonner is a professional saxophonist working around Sussex on the South Coast of England. I’m really grateful to him for allowing his horn ‘Connie’ to be reviewed here at Saximus Maximus.

He decided to respond to an advert from Ron, an American eBay seller, some years ago for ‘brand new 1953 Conn altos’. Ron owned around 2,000 prototype saxophones from all eras he had retrieved from the Conn factory in Elkhart, Indiana in 1977 – a collection he described as ‘his pension’.

Neville believes his horn is a prototype, probably a Pan American ‘stencil’ for a student line. It is possible that the acquisition of Conn by the Best Manufacturing Company of Nogales in 1960 (according to Sax Gourmet) and subsequent shift in student horn production to Arizona put paid to the potential production of this earlier design. Continue reading