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Dolnet II alto saxophone # 42561

I purchased this Dolnet saxophone from my instructor back in 1968. He used to live in France befor the war. When the war broke, out he left France and he took several Dolnet saxophones, which he had in his possession, with him. He told me that he used to sell Dolnet Instruments on the side. He was a world renown symphony clarinetist. He passed away in the 1980s at about 80 years of age. I am trying to find out information on the saxophone. I found the serial number #42561 Dow by the D key. On the Bell it says Dolnet II made Paris France made. The horn plays a little bit flat. Not sure I can fix that at all. Just trying to find out information about it. It is like brand new condition. I bought sax in 1968, I was going to be a music instructor but military called and 1970 and stay they till 1978. Lost interest and never played again, that is till now. I started playing again now that I am retired and got curious about the origins of the saxophone. My instructor told me the factory was destroyed some years later.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
* My really bad Dolnet serial number chart is here. If it's accurate to any degree, I think 1953 would be a good enough date. However, I'd really like to see pics.
* My very old write-up on Dolnet is here. It's 14 years old. It's got links to a bunch of pics.
* Helen's and my new pic gallery is here. It's got nicer pics.
* Check out http://luthiervents.blogspot.com. It's got a couple Dolnet pages. It's in French, but Google Translate is pretty good.
* Finally, check out https://rp-archivesmusiquefacteurs.blogspot.com/search?q=dolnet. It's even got a Dolnet ad. Also in French.

Dolnet horns were available in high pitch up until 1970 and Dolnet didn't mark this on their horns. It's impossible to play a high pitch sax in tune with modern instruments. If you got the horn from your instructor and it plays a bit flat, chances are almost 100% that it's not high pitch. That's very good!
Here are a couple of pics


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I know what you mean about not playing in tune, unfortunately I did not discover this till sometime later, after I had audition for the UnitEd States Air Force band. They liked my technique but question the fact I was playing out of tune. It cost me the audition and pretty much was the end of my playing days. I always thought it was just me. That is until I started playing my dads alto which he has had since before the war started. Not sure what name is on his sax as it is off being re-padded. Will not get that back for several weeks.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Ah. Either you're confusing an engraved "T" for "II" or you're mis-identifying the horn from other websites or my own. If it's my website, that's my fault. I try to group horns with the same name by their feature set. The ones I now call "Artist Series II" have the glass "beads" in their keyguards (I've only seen red, BTW). As you have the mother-of-pearl touches and a much higher serial number, you might as well call it an "Artist Series IV."

I apparently have some work to do on my gallery ...

Anyhow, your Dolnet playing a bit flat could because of mechanical problems (i.e. it looks like it's in perfect shape but might be leaking all over the place), because of the mouthpiece you're using (a lot of people subscribe to the theory that mouthpiece A works better on horn B), or it's just you (if you subscribe to the idea that certain horns suit certain players). It could also be a combination of any or all of the above.

A high pitch horn plays sharp. It's about 1/4 step sharp, so your Eb alto would play almost like an E alto. To be more specific, the modern intonation standard is concert A=440hz or A=442hz. A high pitch saxophone is A=457hz.

I'd be interested to find out what your dad's horn is.
i agree about the T, the engraving is a little tough to distinguish especially since eyes are starting to get a little old. When I get my dads horn back I will let you know what name is on it. I did post some pictures on this thread of the Dolnet. It has hardly been used. If you look the D has an extra line in front of it, same with L, also the N, also the E, and also the T which is why it looked like II. It’s just not a real clear engraving. Maybe they were trying to give engraving the appearance of having depth. Strange
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I pick up my dad saxophone today, it is engraved with Pitt American on the bell. I believe it was sold by Volkwein Brothers of Pittsburgh, Pa. I am not sure who actually manufactured the horn for Volkwein. Enclosed several pictures. My Dads dad, bought him this when he was in grade school, so about 1935 ish.


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