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Evette & Schaeffer Buffet-Crampon HP Bari

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
I had the chance to pick up a truly fine example of an antique baritone recently. It's a baritone that seems to have spent most, if not all of its life, on Vancouver Island. It was made by the Buffet-Crampon company after it was sold to Evette & Schaeffer. It's serial # is 75XX. It is silver plated, with very little few ding or dents... Perhaps because it is a high pitch horn, and it spent many years safely tucked away in its customized plywood box, that passed as a case.

I've put up some photos on my site if anyone is interested. It has all the non-features of what you would expect from a horn circa 1886.

  • Double octave keys
  • Keyed range from low B to high Eb;
  • No pearl or rollers;
  • Fixed neck;
  • No water key;

I'm wondering about mouthpieces for this sax, because I'm not sure what came with it. The piece that came with it is marked Conn, and has an eagle on it. Now I haven't yet tried it on my bass, but it appears to be externally the same length as my Geo Bundy bass mouthpiece that I got with my Buescher bass. I do have some photos of this Conn mouthpiece, and have taken some side by side with the Bundy to compare the 2 including the facing, and don't see any noticeable differences. I haven't had a chance to optimize the photos yet, but will try to do so later today. When I've got them done, I'll post some in an album here.

I remember reading something quite some time ago (don't remember where), I think it might have been by Groovekiller, that very old bari mouthpieces and bass mouthpieces are hard to distinguish from each other. Heh Groove, you there? Does this sound familiar? I know you have an Adolphe Sax that is similar to this horn. Is yours HP? What do you use as a mouthpiece? Would a HP and LP horn use different mouthpieces all other things being equal?

Oh, and while I'm working on my learning curve, can anyone enlighten me as to exactly how these 2 octave levers work? Unfortunately the bari is leaking quite badly right now, so it's a bit tough to make head or tails out of what's a leak, and what's a wrong octave key application.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Both the Conn and the Bundy mouthpiece should work well. After the horn is put into good playing condition, try every old fashioned, large chamber baritone mouthpiece you can find. None of them will make a high pitch baritone play well at A=440, but some will make the horn more in tune with itself.

Adolphe sax baritones from the 19th century tend to play a little bit high early on (1850-1867 or so), perhaps A=440 to 445 or so, but that is pretty much modern pitch. There are no hard and fast rules.

As the new pitch standard of 1859 (A=435) SLOWLY took effect, pitch got lower to about A=435 around 1876. Again, there are not enough horns left in existence to document any real rules. Your high pitch baritone is probably well above A=450.

On my 1861 baritone, I use a large chamber wood mouthpiece perhaps 100 years old I have seen older wooden mouthpieces with almost unbelievably large chambers

I saw the pictures of your baritone, and it is in unusually good condition. If I were you, I would oil it immediately, wherever there are pivot screws, hinge rods, or springs. oiling cannot possibly do any harm, and it might make any restoration somewhat easier.

When you start playing the instrument, there are modern electronic devices that change the pitch of recordings without changing tempo or anything else. With the help of these, you can raise the pitch of Hal Leonard, Jamey Aebersold, or any other play-along CD to the pitch that suits your horn best.

There is also Patrick Mann, who produces play along CDs from sheet music. He prefers classical pieces, but he has made some 1920s Rudy Wiedoeft style CDs for me. He also produced a play along CD for me pitched at A=435 for my 1876 Adolphe Sax alto. Patrick's CDs are world-class piano accompaniments, and his prices are more than reasonable. Most Cds are only $10. Contact him at:

saxmannpj@gmail.com
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Conn Eagle mouthpiece. I remember someone once referring to them as "pickle barrel" mouthpieces. I've not seen any pickle barrels, but I get the drift :).

Helen and I e-mailed with the original owner of the horn and I've heard a bit about it and have seen the pics. Not the oldest E&S bari I've seen, but pretty old.

Helen, I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I do have a picture of a wooden E&S bari mouthpiece from a 1925 horn. It's here. That was one of the rare eBay horns where I sent a question to the seller to ask if the mouthpiece was original or not. However -- and I've also mentioned this before -- my Sigurd Rascher bari 'piece was bigger than the Conn New Wonder bass 'piece. (Speaking of, I'll send you an e-mail.)

Now, if I remember correctly, the Couesnon bari that I had with the double-octave key was :Space3: (fingered xxx|xxx C, of course) to :Space5: with the lower key and anything higher with the other key. However, this was about 15 years ago!

Sorry. Forgot. Regarding the pitch, I think I've mentioned that I've gotten the most e-mails about, "I have an E/F baritone/alto!" from people that have 19th century E&S instruments. That *might* mean that if you play with some false fingerings and such, you might be able to get it closer to an E baritone. YMMV.

Sorry. Another edit. I dunno if you cleaned up the horn any, but your pics look very nice. I did tell you that E&S had some brilliant silver plating!
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Helen, I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I do have a picture of a wooden E&S bari mouthpiece from a 1925 horn. It's here. That was one of the rare eBay horns where I sent a question to the seller to ask if the mouthpiece was original or not. However -- and I've also mentioned this before -- my Sigurd Rascher bari 'piece was bigger than the Conn New Wonder bass 'piece. (Speaking of, I'll send you an e-mail.)
Great picture. Looks like my 100 year old wooden baritone mouthpiece. The overwhelming majority of vintage wooden sax mouthpieces I've seen are marked Buffet or Evette & Schaeffer, or nothing at all. A museum curator once sent me a wooden baritone sax mouthpiece for evaluation and comments. It was old, old, old, certainly more than 100 years old, very warped and used a lot, judging from the tooth marks. The chamber was enormous, bigger than any bass sax mouthpiece I have seen. It now resides on the oldest baritone sax that once lived at the Fiske museum in California that sold its stuff to the new museum in Arizona. However the curator at the Fiske, Mr Rice, told me that the Fiske baritone sax is now in private hands.

P.S. What's the thing on the right in that photo of the wooden bari mouthpiece?
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Thanks guys for your input. I really appreciate it. Pete, I did get your email and I have to check what I've got in my mouthpiece storage drawer.

I've put up an album of a few photos of the bari's mouthpiece and compared it to the Geo Bundy bass piece I have. I don't see a difference. Do you see a difference?

I didn't polish it Pete, Paul's wife Emma had done that a while ago. Buffet certainly had a real knack for silver didn't they!

I'm going to take it to my tech and get him to get the leaks fixed, and get the worst of the pads replaced. One of the octave keys is nearly closing metal on metal because the pad is worn so thin.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
P.S. What's the thing on the right in that photo of the wooden bari mouthpiece?
I don't remember. It does look as old as the cap. I wonder if it's supposed to go inside the mouthpiece's barrel. Might be an end cap, tho: that bari doesn't have a fixed neck.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
You still need a G mezzo soprano sax, too.

:D
 
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