Saxophone Forum


by merseymale
(6 posts)
2 years ago

Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

I have been given a Hawkes & Son C Melody saxophone which seems very very old and has been difficult to research

 

I was given it because I already have a Cmel -a Conn NW2-  and the original owner claimed that the one he was giving me/getting rid of was high pitch and therefore useless and kindly thought it would be fun for me to learn how to repair saxophones with safely (!) As it didn’t matter if I damaged it! (Sacrilege!)

 

 I have got five notes working so far,  just to get an idea of the sound and whether it’s worth overhauling etc and four of them seem in pitch  and the one that doesn’t (bear in mind this is hardly regulated or anything…) Is blowing at a lower pitch NOT high?!

 

The neck, though curved, seems to have the same volume/dimensions as the straightneck on my Conn but the body, though the toneholes seem to be in the same places, IS a bit shorter on the Hawkes than my Conn when compared side-by-side...

 

 Do you think that they are both lower pitch and its just that some manufacturers make shorter sized horns than others without affecting pitch too much..? 

 

 The bore does seem to be similar although, maybe, the Hawkes IS millimetres wider..?

 

 Any help or advice you can offer is much appreciated!

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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (512 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

     I am not at all familiar with French C melodys, but very familiar with Conn.

    I would expect the chances of it being high pitch are pretty good. High pitch was a european thing mostly. But, if you can play it to a tuner, that should tell you.

    The cost to have a good tech completely refurbish it and do a good job would outweigh its value, wether it is high or low pitch.  The value would only be to the owner. The person enjoying it.

    If somebody was actually looking for a C melody, it is usually a Conn straight neck, Buescher with a front F, or a Martin. In that order.

    I myself love Conn C melodies. I do refurbishing of vintage saxes. If it was mine, I would refurbish it. but my only investment woould be a set of pads and my time.

    I dont think this helps you much but some input.

    Good Luck

     

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    1. by merseymale
      (6 posts)

      2 years ago

      Re: Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

       

      hey, nope! Thanks for replying :-)

       

      I’m pretty sure it’s English and not French (?)

      I do have a conn straightneck that I use tenor mouthpieces on but my alto and my tenor are much later hawks and sons so I am Kind of used to them…

       I cannot justify having TWO Cmelodies (!)so my plan was to sell one and keep the other and I imagine the Conn would bring more cash to which I could spend fixing up the Hawks but my hesitation is due to the fact that it’s a smaller horn than the Conn and I’m hoping someone will say something like “oh yes, Conn Cmels ARE longer than usual/they need to be“ &/or “Hawkes&Son make Fine Cmelodys!“

       As it stands, now, what I am sure of is that some of the notes are in tune on the Hawkes; one or two are not and the rest are currently unplayable and need refurbishing anyway.

       One other thing I’ve noticed the toneholes of the Hawkes are soldered on so is this a recipe for more problems later on down the line?

      (I’ve only ever previously owned saxophones with drawn toneholes)  

       

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      1. by historicsaxwhisperer
        (512 posts)

        2 years ago

        Re: Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

        Hawkes....Dah

        Boosey and Hawkes in later years. Yeah sorry, that is an English company

        But, I still think its French Made. In any event, High Pitch was a European thing, and Yes probably more English than French.

        I still would not recommend any money being put into it, unless you just want to for yourself. You would have a hard time getting it back out be reselling it.

        If you want me to say what you are looking for I can, but it would be a lie.

        The Conn is a cadillac.

        The Hawkes is a AMC Pacer.

        Party on Wayne. Party on Garth.

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        1. by merseymale
          (6 posts)

          2 years ago

          Re: Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

          Thanks 
          You probably are right

          Some people need a wake up call...
           Thanks for telling me straight  

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        2. by cap
          (1 post)

          2 months ago

          Re: Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

          Think about what is being said here. The C-melody is pitched in C and F. The whole point of the C-melody is that it is a non transposing instrument. Hawkes & Son was along with Grafton- yes the famous plastic(acrylic)saxophone that Charlie Parker made famous- where the only British saxophone makers. They merged ith Boosey & Co. in 1930 to form Boosey & Hawkes. Do a search for Hawkes & Son Saxophone Review- or just go to SH-Woodwind repairs (Stephen Howard) and you will get the full scoop. Apparently Hawkes & Son Saxophones are rare. I hope you follow up even though i'm a little late coming on.

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        3. by merseymale
          (6 posts)

          2 months ago

          Re: Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

          Thank you for your reply :-)

          late IS fine as I still have both Saxes but this Lockdown has made me want to decide/sort thru a LOT of things so itll be eBay for one of these this week!

          it is definitely NOT in F -neither of them are & none of them have notes that are too high it's just that the Hawkes has some which are currently too low (bear in mind 'Low Pitch' horns are today's 'Standatd Pitch, as it were) but after the Cadillac/Pacer observation, above, I stopped working on the Hawkes;-)

           

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      2. by historicsaxwhisperer
        (512 posts)

        2 months ago

        Re: Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

        The engraving clearly states London.

        High pitch was a European tuning system so I would assume it is a high pitch.

        It is a very primitive horn with little to no value.

         

        This is a 2 year old post BTW

         

        A good candidate for you to screw up while  learning repair on.

        I did my "screw ups" on a bundy and a conn stars and stripes.

        Go ahead and drop it, then try and fix it!!

        Good Luck.

        Reply To Post


        1. by merseymale
          (6 posts)

          2 months ago

          Re: Hawkes&Son mystery C Melody?

          Ha Ha!
          those were the days!!

          actually I am experienced enough to overhaul saxophoneS already it's just not something I do for work or anything and I'm someone Who would only want one of any particular type of saxophone and if I get two of the same type(sop,bari, etc) then ones gotta go!

          the reason for my original post was that Hawkes double centuries are most definitely THE ideal saxophone for me but this particular Cmelody was a "grey area" because, whilSt being a hawkes, it wasn't a double century -though certainly more like my double centuries(alto, tenor) than my current cmel which, as I say, is a Conn

          thanks :-) 

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