Extended range alto sarrusophones


Double Reed CE
Staff member
I heard from Benedikt Eppelsheim that he has an order to build an Eb alto sarrusophone, with range extended to low (written) G, with a possible second copy to follow. Not for general production, these will be strictly built-to-order, as there is not sufficient market for mass production. An Eb baritone sarrusophone (with range to low G -- the legendary "combat bassoon") may be made later.
I think I saw that on Helen's blog site. No pics yet of course. She sez:

"Yes, that’s correct; I said brand new. The German manufacturer, Benedikt Eppelsheim Wind Instruments—known for their revolutionary redesigns of the bass and contrabass saxophones, and for inventions such as the Soprillo and Tubax—has decided to design, and build to order, some new types of sarrusophones."

Orsi has and does make a variety of instruments on request, including Sarrusophones. Looks like they currently make an Eb contrabass, too.
They don't mention anything on their site, so I would presume Orsi is still making their sarrusophones the old fashioned way. I wonder? I guess if one were seriously in the market, an email to them would confirm that one way or the other.

I rather like the updated sax fingering system idea that Eppelsheim used for their contra. Also, the extended range might appeal to some. I am curious if the Eppi sarrus would use a double reed, or a single reed m/p. Grant, do you happen to know what Benedikt did with the CC contra he designed?
I mention in another thread that Orsi can be very, very expensive: I've seen prices for their Eb contrabass sax over $84,000 US (which is about 3.5x the price of Eppelsheim's). So, even if Orsi can custom-build you a Sarrusophone, it might be hideously expensive.

The blurb on Orsi's website essentially just lists the pitches available. You do have to e-mail them for more info.

My recollection is that the Orsi contra sax was priced around US$24K, and was marketed in the US by L.A. Sax (along with their Bb bass and curved Eb sopranino). They may have stopped production after Eppelsheim started producing them.

All of the Orsi instruments are made by hand, at least they were when I visited the factory a few years ago. They have models of every instrument they make, up on high shelves. When someone orders something out of the ordinary, they take one down and copy it. They are not cheap, but not outrageously expensive: I think the larger sarrusophones were in the under US$20K range (again, as of the time I visited).

The Eppelsheim CC contra sarrusophone was made to use a double reed (it was made, after all, for a contrabassoonist). However, there are single reed mpcs that one can use or adapt.

BTW, the Eppelsheim extended range alto sarrusophone has now been delivered, and I hear that the buyer is very pleased with it :)
My recollection is that the Orsi contra sax was priced around US$24K
Hey! It's Grant! Hi, Grant!

56,000 Euros. Source. It's $70,000 in US $.

Well, it's on sale from 67,000 Euros ($84,000 US), so you're getting a bargain!
I'm no sarrusophone player, but I was browsing Eppelsheim's new website (because their instruments are oh so interesting and I'm always excited to see new photos of them) and I found this eye candy of the aforementioned alto and baritone sarrusophones:

Custom made Wind Instruments

And there are a couple of other oddities too... full-sized subcontrabass saxophone, narrow bore bass sax (uses an alto mouthpiece). If only there were sound clips.
Even more expanded range, now:

* Alto Sarrusophone in Eb.
* Baritone Sarrusophone in Eb.
* Contrabass Sarrusophone in C.

* Bass saxophone in C.
* Contrabass saxophone in Eb, based on the 1920s Evette-Schaeffer horns.
* Subcontrabass saxophone in Bb.

Really, really pretty horns.

What I'd like to see -- and sound clips would be great, too; I don't want to discount that idea! -- is a listing on how much each weighs. One of the ideas behind having a Sarrusophone, particularly a bass or lower, is that it's lighter than the equivalent pitch saxophone.

Side note: I wonder if anyone still makes single-reed mouthpieces for the Sarrusophone.
I modify sop sax mouthpieces into reed trumpet mouthpieces. I could probably pull off a Sarrusaphone mouthpiece job. Just need a reference on chamber volume and fit on the neck. A working bassoon style reed could be a starting point.

i recently read the patent assigned to Eddie Harris for the reed trumpet mouthpiece. It also claimes the patent is for single reed oboe and bassoon mouthpieces.
So, who can name this instrument? :)

Baritone sarrusophone in E♭.jpg
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