Saxophone Forum


by JackofAllTrades
(1 post)
2 years ago

What Does Low Pitch Mean?

I have a hobby in buying and reselling saxophones that I find underpriced and I recently found a C melody tenor from 1914 at my local Goodwill for $110.  This was a nice surprise and I figured I could resell it for a bit more as I already have my own C melody.  I like to learn about the history behind instruments whenever I buy antique and vintage ones, and I’ve noticed that a couple of the vintage horns I’ve had have been stamped as “Low Pitch,”  including this C tenor.  At first I assumed this was because the C melody is a relativley low instrument, being only one whole step above a regular tenor, but I remember having the same stamp on an alto I once flipped.  Then I figured it might be a model name, but the alto and the C sax were different brands so I don‘t think that’s the right answer.  I’m hoping that one of you might be able to help me out with this.

If it isn’t too much to ask, I’d also like to know which of the C saxes I have is better.  The C melody I just got is a Carl Fischer brand horn, made in 1914, I’m unsure of the model.  Serial number is 60118 and is in relatively good condition minus issues with the octave key which I’m going to have to get fixed.  It also has a curved neck.  The horn I’ve had is a Conn sax from 1921, also unsure of the model, serial number 100750. It has a C above the serial number and an L below it, which the older horn doesn’t have, however it doesn’t say low pitch anywhere on the horn.  This one has a straight neck.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this.  I’m used to avoid older horns so I’m not very experienced with them now, but I’m very interested in learning more about them.   

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  1. by JonHuff
    (99 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: What Does Low Pitch Mean?

    The Conn is the more valuable by a long shot, and the L on it does stand for Low Pitch. Low Pitch is our current, modern tuning system where A=440. Horns from this era were often stamped high or low pitch. You want to steer clear of high pitch horns (and often they are not stamped, especially early 20th Century examples). The tuning is so high on them that you will never be able to lower it enough to sit in a group setting.

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  2. by GFC
    (794 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: What Does Low Pitch Mean?

    Carl Fischer imported Evette-Schaeffer horns during that era.  They are not highly regarded.

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