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Emperor and "Selmer"

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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An interesting thing to talk about.

First, the eBay ad.

When I saw this horn, I was reminded of another horn that looks pretty much identical, except for the engraving. It's kewl engraving, too: Selmer.

Now, when I saw that "Selmer," many years ago, I instantly said, "Buffet Dynaction." I think the Dynactions are rather distinctive, with that bell-to-body brace and G#/C#/B/Bb table. I also owned a Dynaction alto, so I was pretty sure I could identify another Dynaction. But I may have been wrong.

There were a couple of design changes in the Dynaction: the G# trill key and forked Eb fingering (with the Eb vent) were removed at some point. Additionally, the shape of the octave key (the key you press) changed a bit and the left-hand thumb rest changed from a pearl to metal to plastic throughout the years. To make things a bit muddier, that "Selmer" had the bell-key keyguard replaced at some point, easily explaining why it's a slightly different shape than a normal Dynaction.

What bothered me a bit then and now is that the Emperor and "Selmer" have the "S" logo on the octave key. The Emperor is green, the "Selmer" is red and a true Selmer is blue. Also the true Selmer logo is a different shape from the Emperor or "Selmer." The only other company I know of that also played with an "S" logo was Grassi, and that's a different shape, too.

So, bottom line is that I can't really explain the "S" logo on the necks, but I think it's still a good probability that the Emperor and "Selmer" are Buffet Dynaction stencils. If I'm right, the buyer is going to get a tremendous bargain: $347 and buy it now? I wish I had some cash!
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
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"Evette" doesn't really tell us much.

* The original "Evette" was (probably) just an import to the US from Buffet in the 1930s to 1940s.
* There's an Evette "Master Model" that came out around the same time as the SuperDynaction. IIRC, someone said that it was an SDA that had something that didn't turn out right on it. They do look awfully simular.
* There's the Evettes labeled "Made in Italy" which Buffet didn't make.
* There's a good probability that some Evettes that are labeled "Made in France" and look like Malernes ... are Malernes. Those came out around the time of the Dynaction or SuperDynaction.

Speaking of Malerne, while Malerne had a Professional model (that's the name), they sold Buffet Dyanction and SuperDynactions (depending on the year, of course) as their "top" model.

Buffet did sell Dynactions as stencils. That was the Olds Opera.

There are folks that say Buffet saxophones resemble Malernes and/or SMLs -- or some combination of those. That also means that some Buffet horns resemble some Evettes and vice-versa.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
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I had an Evette tenor at one time. I certainly hope it was not a Dynaction as I know the Dynactions were much better quality and tone.

I think I have an Olds Opera alto at home, the build is studentish, though sounds (before i took it apart, which is it's current state) fantastic. I'll have to check on that.
 
Take a look at my A Santoni stuff... That's an Evette of the SD/SDA persuasion. But has many Malerne features... And doesn't say made in anywhere...
 
A Santoni stencil

I've been going to post these for ages, finally got around to it.

Appears to be an Evette. SD/SDA hybrid. But Malerne features as well. Thumb rest is adjustable. Silver, not nickel plated.
Doesn't say 'Made in xxx' (but Parè is in Como, Italy)
S/N is 42xxx, matching no. on neck.
There are some shots on sotw of an identical one, with Couesnon stencilling, same engraving. http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?121534-Buffet-SDA-tenor-stenciled-as-Couesnon&highlight=santoni
Have also seen on ebay Germany, a couple of these stencilled with a swiss company name, in Zurich. Name escapes me.

Some pics here:

http://www.kevsgallery.com/A_Santoni
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Hmmm. Point by point comparisons over four or five threads.

I have a very reduced lunch on Saturdays, but let me take a look when I get home. You've got some interesting stuff.

I can say, off the top of my head, that the Evette-Schaeffers that look like Malernes but are stamped "Made in Italy" were supposedly made by Santoni. These horns have only a very superficial similarity to the Buffet Dynaction or SuperDynaction.

There's a comment on the SOTW thread regarding things like "Evette Schaeffer Dynactions" and the poster references some ads for the Dynaction and E-S horns on my old website. I'm not quite sure where the idea of a "Buffet Dynaction" and an "Evette-Schaeffer Dynaction" came from.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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I just merged your thread and mine, kev. Just trying to keep it together.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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OK. I'm going to have to go back and forth on this a bit.

First, I was unable to find an Evette Master Model tenor that even sorta looked like it was made by Buffet. The only one I could actually find was this one. This horn looks like a Julius Keilwerth, but doesn't have the Keilwerth trademark, but says "Made in West Germany." Combining that, you've got one of the zillion Dörfler & Jörka stencils. That doesn't mean that there aren't any Buffet-made Evette Master Model tenors. It just means I can't find one at the moment.

Second, the Evette Schaeffers (and note that there is no dash; "Evette" is on one line and "Schaeffer" is on another) that are not stamped "Made in Italy" and are stamped "Made in France" AND look like this are made by Malerne.

Third, it's possible that more than one Italian company made the Evette-Schaeffers (note the dash). Here are the normal mentions:

* Alfonso Rampone. He's not the Rampone of "Rampone and Cazzani." Picture linkies. SOTW thread.
* Alfredo Santoni (BTW, I saw "Antonio Santoni" in a couple places, but that appears to be a mistake that just got repeated), part of the Ditta Giglio ("Lily Company") marque. If you look at the horn in this Cafe Saxophone thread, you can see how much it resembles a Malerne. Additionally, according to this, they provided horns to Malrene and Malerne had no sax production of their own. To wrap it up neatly, I know from my own research that Malerne was purchased by SML in 1975 and that little letter from Bulgheroni says that Santoni stopped providing Malerne saxophones in 1975.

OK, you want some fun? I'll give you fun.

[resize=200]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Id6GYS9bzl8/TB90Nv6gljI/AAAAAAAAA-Q/XGcmQJ6PjkU/s400/Italian+Lily_edited-1.jpg[/resize]

[resize=200]http://images04.olx.com.br/ui/18/93/81/1326548917_300069281_5-Vendo-ou-troco-sax-tenor-EVETTE-SCHAEFFER-ITALY-Compra-Venda.jpg[/resize]

Doesn't that look like two lilies? Well, at least one should :p. The saxophone was stamped "Made in Italy." Hey, I've always wondered why the 1960s - 1970s Evette Schaeffer horns had a flower instead of a "BC" stamp. (An ifafa lily looks a bit closer, but I couldn't find a big pic. You can also argue for lily-of-the-valley.)

Anyhow, that's all for this evening. I'll have more tomorrow, if I've got time. You've gotta remember that I never really bothered doing research on "intermediate quality" instruments, like the Evette Schaeffers from about 1935 on, so I've gotta look a lot of stuff over.
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
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... Continuing.

A. Santoni manufacturing some Evette Schaeffer horns would also explain the stylized "S" on the necks of the Emperor and "Selmer" I've mentioned. There are an awful lot of "howevers," though.

I've tried fairly hard to find more pics of horns that are actually engraved "Santoni," "Como" or "Pare." That's proving to be difficult. My results are posted here. I'd like it to be a lot more consistent.

I'm working on going through eBay.it. I've gotta remember that it's "sassofono."
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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OK, I think I'm fairly well done with searching.

kev, yours was the only horn engraved "Santoni" that looks "Couesnon" that's mentioned in the SOTW thread. There is definitely some resemblance between the Buffet Crampon horn and another old Santoni horn on my website, but it's only "some" and there's a lot of difference.

While my above post about why Evette Schaeffers made in the 1960s are from Santoni (if stamped "Made in Italy" and look like I mentioned above) or made by Malerne (if stamped "Made in France" and look like I mention above) makes a good deal of logical sense, I have not seen a horn that is the logical "missing link" between a Santoni that looks like this and a Santoni that looks like the Emperor, "Selmer," the Santoni you list or the "Couesnon" on that SOTW thread.

Going around again, I found a couple dozen references to Evette Schaeffer horns being made by Grassi. I did not see anyone back that up with any research or comparisons, but a Grassi looks a lot more like a Buffet than the Santonis I have seen do. And they have that stylized "S" on the neck.

What I do want to do is try to make a point-by-point comparison of a "Made in Italy" Evette Schaeffer and a Buffet SDA. I'd want to do the same with the Emperor and "Selmer" with a Buffet Dynaction. Then we've got the Evette Schaeffer Master model and whatever I think those look closest too. I'll try to rope Malerne in someplace.

(And I have to wonder about saxophones like this one that Milandro, the resident SOTW and Cafe Sax Italian saxophone expert, says is Rampone and Cazzani-made.)

Personally, if I looked at just this Santoni bari and never saw any other Italian horns, I'd say it looks a lot like the Orsi stencils that Helen's got on her website.

IMO, at this point, I'm thinking that it might have been that some Evette Schaeffers were built by random Italian companies using their own design, some were built by Malerne according to their design, some were built by Dorfler & Jurka according to their design (note: I've seen a post by Burce Bailey, I think, who said he worked for Buffet around that time and said that the horns were made by Schreiber. That might just be because the D&J marque went away, tho), and I think it's more than possible that Buffet said to some stencil-makers, "We want you to build them LIKE THIS" and the stencil makers used a Buffet design.

Dunno. This is a lot more complex than I originally thought it would be.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Here's an interesting Master Model. I'm not going to comment more, just post it :).

I also found an Evette that was identical to the Conn Nogales junk horns. Looks like everyone made Evette horns at one time or another.
 
Pete, thanks for the super research. You've achieved in a few days what I've failed to do in a few years.

I'm away from home at the moment, limited acess. Sorry for the delay.

The Master model is very Keilwerh to me - the guards are identical to one myy tutor has and to some on Helen's page here: http://bassic-sax.ca/version5/vintage-saxes/european-made-saxes/julius-keilwerth/jk-nauheim the rh table is worrying me. For some reason I think Amati. Probably my brain playing tricks on me as usual.

Milandro commented recently that if it wasn't for the engraving, he'd have said my horn was a Buffet Evette. Seems to fit with your comments.

I'm surprised to hear that Santoni were biggish makers, even more surprised that Malerne didn't make any saxes. However if Santoni were biggish sax makers, it's born out by the 4xxxx s/n of my horn (& the 'Couesnon' on sotw).
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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I'm surprised to hear that Santoni were biggish makers, even more surprised that Malerne didn't make any saxes.
Ah. That's a step too far, IMO.

The exact quote from SOTW is,"Concerning the Malerne Paris, the ditta Giglio has supplied the instruments to them." (That's probably translated from Italian to German to English, too, thus adding to the word salad.) It sounds more like, "Santoni provided some instruments to Malerne." That doesn't really mean much, though: Beaugnier made some saxophones for SML, as did Antoine Curtois, Orsi, Dorfler & Jorka and others. However, the vast majority of SML saxophones were made by SML.

According to that SOTW post, Bulgheroni, "At the end of 60 years Luigi left the Ditta Giglio to begin his own business in the wooden instruments, follow some years later from his sons Giacomo and Sergio." According to Bulgheroni's website, Luigi set up shop in 1947 and his sons took over in 1974. So, Luigi was, say, 80 in 1947 and didn't die until almost 30 years later? Pretty old guy! I also know that JW York started getting stencils from Malerne about 1938, so there's a big question on the accuracy of that SOTW post -- or, at least, the legibility of it. I also have some concerns about a horn actually stamped "Made in France" when it was really made in Italy. You can engrave the horn something like "SML Paris," but it's extremely rare to see a "made in" stamp that's false.

===========

The Buffet Master Model I posted in my last ... um ... post is superficially very close to a SuperDynaction. I haven't done any comparisons, etc. The one I posted a few posts ago looks Keilwerth-esque because Dorfler & Jorka horns look Keilwerth-esque -- and Keilwerth sued 'em for it. As I mentioned in that post, when I see a horn that looks like a Keilwerth, but doesn't have the Keilwerth logo, and is stamped "Made in Western Germany," I think Dorfler. Helen mentioned that D&J didn't make baritones, so that's an exception. I don't know about sopranos. It's hard enough just cataloging all the folks that "made" saxophones in Germany, Czech. and surrounding areas.

It's going to be awhile to be definitive on these Evette-Schaeffer horns.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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I told you I'd get back to this.

More research:

Francesco Carreras via Milandro @ SOTW said:
... The Afredo Santoni company of Parè, Como, was founded around 1948-9. In the beginning they started with 3 workers only and developed to be a company in 1970 with a workforce of 70 workers and a production of 1200 musical instruments per month. They produced saxophones, flutes and clarinets.

They were among the first musical instruments factories to have machines operated automatically to make complex and precise operations. The instruments were marked Giglio or A.Santoni. Most of the production was for companies which commissioned instruments under their own private label such as Mogar, Evette, Boos[ey] & Hawkes and many others. The company closed, due to increasing financial difficulties which ended up in receivership, in 1976 ....
The SOTW thread goes on to say something I kinda mentioned: its doubtful that Santoni made horns for Malrene and Malerne then turned around and sold them to Buffet as the Evette-Schaeffer horns.

The reference is to this website, but Milandro mentions that the website hasn't been updated with it. Here's the current quote from that website, in Italian:

Alfredo Santoni lavorò dal 1950 circa per la ditta Giglio di Parè, da lui fondata con altri. La Giglio era una "Ditta costituita dagli artigiani Bulgheroni (ancora oggi famoso per la produzione di oboi), Santoni e Somaini. Iniziarono ad adottare attrezzature dell’industria meccanica per la produzione in serie di strumenti di livello bandistico. Non trovando consensi nel mercato sciolsero la società proseguendo autonomamente la loro attività” [da E.Raganato].

Dopo la chiusura nel 1975 della Giglio, Santoni fu attivo a Pare’ (CO) per la costruzione di ance, semplici e doppie, e di flauti marcati raramente Giglio, piu’ spesso Santoni ed anche Mogar, Buffet e altro. I nomi erano incisi a bulino da un certo Tasso, operante per oltre 20 anni fino dopo il 1976, che lavorava anche per Orsi, Corso etc. [notizie da Somaini Pare’ 24/7/2001] . Portò avanti anche una produzione propria di saxofoni destinati soprattutto al mercato bandistico tedesco.
Note that all the dates mentioned in the above and my last post are a tad different.

================

Here's what that Italian website has to say about Alfonso Rampone, which was also mentioned in connection with all these horns:

Cugino dei più noti Rampone, rilevò l’attività della SAIIIM. Artigiano abilissimo produsse saxofoni di eccellente fattura, forse i migliori mai prodotti in Italia. Vari artisti suonarono strumenti A.Rampone, fra i quali Rudy Wiedoft e Raymond McCollister. Chiuse l’attività nel 1979 per mancanza di eredi.” [da E.Raganato]

[CIA95-1941NO- RamponeAlfonso] Denuncia di esercizio di Rampone Alfonso alla Camera di Commercio di Novara dal 9/4/1941 per “laboratorio istrumenti musicali” . La ditta cessa il 30/9/1979
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Here's a Mogar.

I'm going to have to leave in just a bit, but I do want to mention that there's an awful lot of simular between this and the Malerne, but not identical. In other words, I could see that someone could glance at one of these really fast and say, "Malerne," leading to the statement, "Santoni made Mogars. Mogars look like Malernes. Therefore, Santoni made Malernes." However, I do think it's possible that Santoni could have made a few Malernes, here and there. I reference my comments about SML-labeled horns not made by SML.
 

pete

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pete

Brassica Oleracea
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BTB, Take a look. I'll be back later.
The main reason why I mention this particular horn is because I've been trying to find a Santoni horn that I knew, positively, was made by Santoni AND happened to look even a little like an Evette-Schaeffer. That's what this horn is.

For my next trick, I wanted to compare the Buffet Dynaction (DA) to the "Selmer" and Emperor saxophones. I did, however, want to mention this SOTW thread again -- and then forget about it for awhile. Note that the folks in that thread end up trying to compare an Evette-Schaeffer Master Model to a Buffet SuperDynaction (SDA). That's not a bad idea, but I've demonstrated that several folks built horns stamped "Master Model." In other words, considering that no one knows definitely what's being compared to an SDA, the conclusion that the Master Model isn't an SDA in any way is kinda lame. So, let me do a more in-depth look at the Emperor, "Selmer" and DA.

1. Bell-to-body brace. Here's the Emperor, here's the "Selmer" and here's the DA. It's the same shape. The pattern that's stamped or engraved is a little different.

2. Keyguards. Here's the Emperor and here's the DA. As mentioned before, the keyguards on the "Selmer" were replaced, so I can't compare that. Anyhow, the Emperor and DA look original to me and they're a different shape. Very similar, but still different.

The DA and Emperor have identical shape keyguards for the left-hand rods, but the "feet" that secure the keyguard to the body are very different.

3. G#/C#/B/Bb cluster. Here's the Emperor and here's the DA. No pic available for the "Selmer." It's the same shape. The rollers, themselves, are different shapes, but I'm not going to worry about something that's so easily replaceable.

4. D/Eb/F altissimo keywork. Here's the Emperorand here's the DA. No pic available for the "Selmer." They're very close, but I think the Emperor might be a little "chunkier" and "stubbier."

5. Necks. Here's the Emperor, here's the "Selmer" and here's the DA. The Emperor and "Selmer" look fairly similar, but note that the stylized "S" is a tad different. I'm not really worried about that much as how the shape of the key, itself, compares to the DA. They're markedly different.

6. Bow. This one's a bit difficult. The SOTW thread mentioned wanting to measure the bow lengths. I obviously can't do that without the horns. However, I can say something like, "The body-to-bow clamp is about parallel to the middle of the C# key and the bow-to-bell clamp is immediately parallel to the body-to-bow clamp." Or some such. Easier: the Emperor and DA are significantly different. The DA's got a shorter bow and different clamps.

7. C/Eb keys. They're both positioned differently -- the DA's C is a bit "lower" than the Eb, while the Emperor and "Selmer" are sitting at the same height. Additionally, the DA has one post for the assembly on the body and one on the bow. It looks like the Emperor has two on the body and probably one on the bow.

At this point, I'm starting to get bored. Remember: 5 second attention span.

OK, so, if you look at another Dynaction tenor, you'll see that all the stuff I listed is about the same: all the horns look VERY close, but there are differences (one fairly obvious difference on the two DAs would be the shape of the front altissimo F key). My opinion is that the Emperor and "Selmer" are almost definitely Santoni-made and not Buffet made. I think that's fairly obvious. I also think it's pretty obvious that the Santoni horns were either made with a license from Buffet (there's some precedent for this arrangement with other manufacturers) or Buffet said, "Hey, I wonder if Santoni can make a good copy of the DA that's cheaper. Let's ask! If we can get it REALLY cheap, we'll sell it as a step-down model."

The final point is, "Do these Santonis play as good as the Buffet Dynactions that they are copies of?" I don't know. That Emperor tenor is still only $351. Even if it's a real POS, that's an exceedingly good price for ANY sax, not to mention one that looks to be in pretty decent shape. I'd also think you could flip it for $500, if it doesn't work out. Remember: my DA alto was a VI killer, according to a guy that owned a lot of VIs.

=============

Later this week -- probably not tomorrow -- I'll take a look at Kev's horn and compare it with an SDA. That'll be interesting.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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I was actually looking forward to this one, a bit: the comparision of the horns that look like Buffet SuperDynactions (SDA, for short). The three horns I'm going to look at are kevgermany's A. Santoni, soybean from SOTW's "Couesnon" and a couple of the big SDA pics at GetASax.com. To avoid confusion, I'm going to name the horns soybean, kevgermany and SDA. I'm also going to use "DA" for "Dynaction."

1. Bell-to-body-brace:
*** soybean
*** kevgermany
*** SDA

The soybean and kevgermany horns are identical. The SDA is different, with the "BC" ("Buffet-Crampon") logo, however you can see the similarities: the dots in the oval and the parallel lines. It's just a nice touch.

2. Keyguards:
*** soybean
*** kevgermany
*** SDA

Again, the soybean and kevgermany horns are identical. The SDA is different. However, if you look closely -- and here's a better shot of the SDA for this -- you can see that the "feet" of the keyguard -- i.e. the things that connect the keyguard to the bell -- are identically styled, EXCEPT for the "middle" foot, which is markedly different on the SDA -- and the foot on both soybean's and kevgermany's horn look like the one on the Emperor (see above post). Also note that the SDA's guard is like the one that was on the Dynaction.

Note that the SDA has a "pants guard" for the left side of the horn and neither soybean's or kevgermany's horn has one. However, I'm not 100% sure that there weren't SDAs without them. I, personally, have never done a comparison this "deep."

3. G#/C#/B/Bb cluster:
*** soybean
*** kevgermany
*** SDA

These all look pretty much the same. You can note that the SDA looks like it has mother-of-pearl on the G#. I've seen SDAs with the black "pearl" or nothing at all. Actually, when I was looking at the DA for the previous comparison, I was unaware that Dynactions had a G# with the black "pearl." My DA alto had a plain brass key.

4. D/Eb/F altissimo keywork.
*** soybean (sorry; it's the best pic that shows these keys)
*** kevgermany
*** SDA

I'd call that fairly identical.

5. Necks
*** soybean
*** kevgermany
*** SDA

The SDA is completely different and kevgermany's and soybean's horns match.

5a. Lyre holder. (Something I noticed when looking at the necks.)
*** soybean
*** kevgermany
*** SDA

The SDA is completely different and in a different place. Kevgermany's and soybean's horns match.

6. Bow.
*** soybean
*** kevgermany
*** SDA

This is the amusing one. In the above post where I look at the bow on the DA as compared to the Emperor, I mentioned the DA looks like it has a longer bow than the Emperor. Here, it looks like SDA has a longer bow than soybean's or kevgermany's horns. Also note that the clamps are all a bit different.

7. C/Eb keys.
*** soybean
*** kevgermany
*** SDA

They all look about the same.

If you look in my above post about the DA and the Emperor, etc., I mention that the Emperor has a couple posts on the body of the horn. In this case, you see that the three horns here are identical.

=================

OK. In the last comparison post, I mentioned that I have a short attention span and stopped comparing at this point, but I have a bit more of an attention span after daughter #2 goes to sleep, so:

My conclusion on the "DA-like" horns is going be the same for these: there's an awful lot that looks like stock Buffet, but there's enough difference to confidently say that they're not the same horns. I think that the most telling part is the bow. I could also go on to talk about how the octave key mechanissm on kevgermany's horn and the SDA are a tad different (the one on kevgermany's horn is actually more complex) and other things, but I think you get the point.

Opinions:
1. Kevgermany's and soybean's horns look like extremely good copies of the SDA. However, they're still copies and probably not built by Buffet.
2. I'm virtually positive that kevgermany's and soybean's horns were built by Santoni.

Combining the two, I think that kevgermany's and soybean's horns demonstrate the evolution of a Santoni design or just a better copy of the SDA than they did of the DA -- and that wasn't a bad copy. While I think it's possible that Santoni was given SDA plans from Buffet, I do think it was a case of Buffet saying, "Make us a horn that looks like an SDA that's x% cheaper than an SDA."

Again, I do think it's very possible and probable that there are some Evette Schaeffer horns out there that were made by Buffet. It's possible and probable that some of those were "blemished" SDAs sold under the "Master Model" name. However, I don't have good pics of a Master Model that looks sufficiently like an SDA to compare.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Yo, kev! I think you got your money's worth in this thread!
 
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