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Hammerschmidt Interestingness ...

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
One thing that I really like about Hammerschmidt saxophones is that they used interesting plastic keyguards. Why I'm mentioning the plastic keyguards is because of this horn on eBay.de ATM. It makes me wonder if more Germanic horns that have the "eyebrow" keyguards aren't just missing a bit of plastic.

In any event, it's a pretty horn.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Yeah, I noticed that horn on the German eBay site. It's too bad that Hammerschmidt had that little neck issue on its later horns. I was quite smitten with them until I ended up with one of their duds. Now, I'm not inclined to get either of my full-pearl models rebuilt, for fear that what I'll end up with is another dud.

Hammerschmidt's design features were all over the place. This particular model is the first I've seen like this. It's too bad that the seller doesn't have a better shot of the bell keys & guard.

As for other horns (like the WERO) missing plastic bits, I rather doubt it. I have copies of their original pamphlet, and there is no plastic to be seen on the horn. And we know the Hohner had none. (Again I have a very early, but this time original, pamphlet, that shows that.)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Awww. You're no fun.

FWIW, the plastic keyguard is very difficult to spot on the above Hammerschmidt. Depending on the angle, you'll miss it.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
There was something very good that came out of that little neck issue of my Hammerschmidt however. When my tech couldn't figure out why the horn wouldn't play in tune, I emailed a fellow who had sent me an email a few years earlier. That fellow was a tech from Germany who had written to me to tell me what kind of saxophone I had. (At the time I didn't know what my Hüttl (Hammerschmidt stencil) was, and had asked if anyone knew, to please write and tell me.) That tech was Uwe Ladwig.

Since then Uwe and I have stayed in touch, and have worked together on a number of projects. I have supplied him photos and information, and he supplies me with information and his raw research.

Uwe is a well respected player, tech, writer, and saxophone historian in Germany. And although I would have liked my Klingsor to be able to play nicely, since it can't, at least it wasn't a total loss. I've been able to develop a really good working relationship with a really nice, knowledgeable guy, who also happens to be a very busy bass sax player. So all in all, it was far from a total loss.
 
Helen, what's the neck issue with these Hammerschmidts? Must admit to a hankering for one... But if it won't play, it's pointless.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Hey Kev.

Well I wouldn't say it's pointless, but I'd say don't buy one without being able to play-test it first. Here's the problem...

I have a nickel plated tenor, [HASHTAG]#043XX[/HASHTAG], with sheet metal key guards, that I took to my tech for what I thought would be a minor adjustment after the horn arrived from Europe. When David couldn't get it adjusted properly to play in tune, I emailed Uwe. He has not only restored a number of Klingsors, but also researched the brand. I'l just quote myself here, from my own site:

According to Uwe, most likely the underlying reason for the Hammerschmidt’s—both alto and tenor—intonation problems, is that the company copied an old version of a neck. This neck had been made of soldered brass. The new Hammerschmidt neck however, was made with brass pipe material that was blown as one piece. Therefore, while the external dimensions were correct, the internal ones weren’t. On the end closest to the mouthpiece, the brass was too thick. While on the horn end of the neck, the material was too thin.
There are lots of Hammerschmidts floating around out there. Despite there only being 5,000 of these horns made, they seem to pop up regularly on eBay and the likes. I know of a fellow from Sweden who is selling a nice tenor with acrylic guards if you're interested. His plays fine he says. (Note too, the early serial #.) He's been around my site for years. I don't know what other sites he participates in, but he appears to be on the up and up. If I was wanting to buy another, I wouldn't hesitate to buy from him.

Like I wrote, not all the horns are effected, therefore unless you can play-test the sax first, or trust the player you're buy from (or have the power to get even--like I do :emoji_rage:) I wouldn't touch another Hammerschmidt with a 10' pole. The problem arises with horns, like the 2 other ones that I have, that need rebuilds. I won't know until I soak money into them, if their tuning is off or not. That's why I've opted to spend my money instead, on sure bets, like the 2 JK Tonekings I picked up. At least I know when I restore them what I will have. Same with the Hohner President. No surprises. The Klingsors... To paraphrase my favourite Forrest Gump quote: Hammerschmidt saxes are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. :tongue: :emoji_smile:
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I still consider that Josef Hammerschmidt horn to be one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. If I could get one of those cheap, I'd go for it. If I ever find another one: in the couple years since Helen and I found it, I've seen only one other Josef Hammerschmidt horn and that was a clarinet.
 
Helen, thanks for the info. I'm not in a position to buy at the moment, but will remember for the future. I agree with Pete, they're lovely saxes. Even if I still prefer the curly guards on the Sax saxes. :tongue:

I took a look at your site again last night, there's an incredible amount of stuff there, but the software you're using makes it difficult to find things. And I never got to the Hammerschmidts (never saw them to be honest).

Pete's is a little better, but saxpics is by far the best so far, despite it's habit of dropping menus down when you don't want it to.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
One of the things that makes my site more confusing, is that there are 3 components to it: the blog that I write a regular article in, the more static portion, and finally, the gallery. I agree that my site is ridiculously complicated to navigate, and that is because it has grown the way it has. Each section is actually OK by itself, but at the present time there is no over-arching search feature that allows for full site searchability. I've been looking high and low for such a feature actually.

Pete and I have exchanged emails about the "if I only knew then what I know now" issue around websites. Sadly, hindsight is always 20/20 in your rearview mirror. Now I just need to figure out how to fix the crazy-big, already-search engine indexed site I have.

As far as Hammerschmidt pics goes, or for that matter any brand of sax I have in my Gallery, if you go to the main page of Bassic Sax Pix, then you will see all the brands.

In this case, you're looking for Hammerschmidt, so once you've clicked on it, you'll see all kind of further divisions like cage wire key guards, Josef Hammerschmidt und Söhne (the one Pete like so much), Klingsor, Lafleur, Split Bell Keys, & Stencils. Each one of them then breaks down further. Hope that helps a bit.

It took me a while to figure out 4Images Gallery software. Now that I am used to it, it makes complete sense. That said, I agree it is not as user friendly as the Gallery 3 software Pete is using. I actually have set up a test site to see if I want to switch to it, but haven't had a lot of time to do much with it since doing that last week.

Oh, I should mention, if you're looking for info on the Hammerschmidt company, you can find it here, on the main portion of my site.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Pete's is a little better, but saxpics is by far the best so far, despite it's habit of dropping menus down when you don't want it to.
I actually don't mind the picture browser on my old website, especially considering that they had someone custom-code it. It incorporates a nice database-y back end, just like Gallery 3 and 4Images. However, the saxpics.com solution is not searchable: great as a browser, not great as a research tool.

There are a couple things I don't like about Gallery 3, the number one thing is I'd like to have a better place for my comments on the galleries. I had a problem with the fact that you couldn't upload movies, but there's now a plugin for that. The recent update that came out this week also makes the picture uploader more stable -- in Internet Explorer 9, at least.

ATM, my current website is approximately 2gb. While I have "unlimited" space/bandwidth, I wonder what I'll do if the host starts to complain. I'm probably close to the complaining level.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Now that you mention it Pete, I had noticed a Gallery3 update yesterday while I was updating all my sites through the server. I didn't bother, because I didn't know enough about what between the changes in the versions were. I also need to figure out how to update the software safely.

That is the one nice thing about 4Images, it allows for all of these file types right out of the box: jpg,gif,png,aif,au,avi,mid,mov,mp3,mpg,swf,wav,ra,rm,zip,pdf
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
How'd you like an FX Huller-made Klingsor? Here ya go. As with my other posts today, it's fairly verifiable as FX Huller because of that copyright date and the bell-to-body brace.

Very interesting horn!
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
There's lots interesting about this horn, beginning with the fact that it is engraved Karl Hammerschmidt. Other than this very early one someone sent me a link to a few years ago, this is only the 2nd horn engraved with with the name "Karl Hammerschmidt" that I have seen.

Another thing that's interesting, is that it is not a Klingsor. It is a Klingson. You can actually see the "n" at the end of the engraving in the photo, which means that the owner didn't just make a typo. This is important, because currently the Hammerschmidt company is currently selling cheap, Asian import horns under the name Klingson. In the past, I have heard of vintage Klingson horns, but have thought perhaps the person made a typo. This photo verifies the company sold them.

I wonder if Hammerschmidt had 2 names for the horns: Klingsor, for the saxes that they made themselves. And Klingson, for the saxes that they had stencilled by others. That theory might hold up, except for the fact that they had J.K. make their sopranos and baris for them, and they did call them Klingsors. As evidenced by this soprano currently for sale.
 
Helen, you probably know better than I do, but somewhere I read that all the Hammerschmidt output was originally branded Klingson. Later they changed the name on saxes only to Klingsor.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
No Kev, I haven't come across that anywhere in the research on the brand. I wonder if it's true, or if it's just an Internet-based myth? Very early ones (like the split bell key one I linked to) didn't have a model name at all.

The model names of the Hammerschmidts, appears to be as much of a mystery as the wild variety of key guards.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
We need to come up with more Internet myths. That benefit us, of course :).
 
Hello Helen,
sorry that I wake up this old thread - but I have a have a klingsor alto sax here, that a friend likes to sell and asked me for opinion. First of all I think it's a very well made sax with a beautiful sound and lovely features. I think the intonation is ok - but I didn't check exactly with a tuner, yet.
Do you remember about the intonation issues your hammerschmidt had? Which tones, which regions were off due to the neck?
Do you know which pads they used? This Klingsor has pads with brown plastic resonators in it ( one palm key an the neck vent white pads) that look and feel and seal very good. Do you think they could be original? And when could this beauty be made? It has the serial 04629.
Thank you for your help and ideas.
 
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