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Hess

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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In East German times, there were many VEBs, and Weltklang were made by the 'VEB Blechblas- und Signal-Instrumenten-Fabrik', later to be known as B&S, while the Akustiks were made by a post war VEB, 'VEB Sächsische Musikinstrumentenfabrik Klingenthal' that was the successor to the Ernst Hess (Heß) instrument makers. This, along with other VEBs became merged into the 'VEB Blechblas- und Signal-Instrumenten-Fabrik'.
I thought I had mentioned this horn before, but I guess I didn't.

Here's an interesting Hess tenor. Except it's not made by Hess. It's an FX Hüller.

I've checked it two ways: first, you've got that interesting bell-to-body brace, which is identical to the one on the horns on Helen's website. Second, you've got the 1938 copyright date, which is on other Hüllers on Helen's website.

In one sense this is good: Helen's mentioned that it's difficult to come across FX Hüller saxophones. One stencil name generally means more stencil names, thus more horns. Additionally, these are rather nice looking horns. The more the better!
 
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Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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BTW, the owner of that sax has contacted me. He collects FX Hüller saxophones. He has a stash of them.

I wondered about the neck originally when I saw it. When he first emailed me, I asked him if it was perhaps a C melody. When he received the sax, he confirmed that it was indeed a tenor. Odd, perhaps it was just the camera angle like you suggest Kev.

Speaking of which, I owe the man an email. Do you have any questions you would like me to ask him about the horn?
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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I think it'd look a little more normal if the other part of the microtuner was intact. It does loot a bit stubby, tho. I wonder if the horn is high pitch.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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Hess Saxophones Post WWII Had Eyebrows

On the topic of Hess... Yesterday I published an article on my blog about the Hess saxophones post WWII. Yes, the company still existed. Like Kohlert and Keilwerth, the Sudeten German owners were driven out of their homeland by the government of the day. Also like Kohlert and Keilwerth, Hess rose from ashes and rebuilt from the ground up. The company developed its own factory settlement in Munich-Puchheim.

What's interesting is that the alto saxophone that they show in their 1950 catalogue has eyebrow key guards. I have only seen a couple of Klingenthal-made Hess horns, and neither had this feature. Although as Pete pointed out above, it's also possible that these horns were made by F.X. Hüller. The photos that I have don't show the entire horn, and I haven't compared the pics I have side by side to see if the mechanisms are the same.

That said, the history that I present in the article from yesterday is interesting. We know that the original Ernst Hess Nachf company was the first company expropriated, when in 1946 the Communist government created the VEB Sächsische Musikinstrumentenfabrik, and that the saxophones that the newly-created VEB produced were branded Akustik. What many people likely didn't know, is that Hess was reborn in West Germany. And yes Virginia, they did make saxophones, but in home-based shops.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Administrator

SOTSDO

Old King Log
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CE/Moderator
Unique...

...has a cache all its own. There will be someone who will want to own the unusual, no matter what the condition.

And, to be fair, there are plenty of technicians, skilled and otherwise, who are willing to accommodate them.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
One of the more frustrating things about collecting sax pics is that there are so many makes and models out there that you may only get to see one of. It's hard to make feature comparisons. However, in this particular case, it was very nice to actually see, "Made by (Manufacturer)," right on the bell. That actually happened to me twice, today. I found this horn, as well. "Made by Maurice Boiste for Paul Beuscher."

I remember that Groovekiller made some comments about having that "unique" factor when he added a Vibratosax to his gigs. Hey, I bought one of those clear Buffet clarinets because it played well and looked really cool.
 

Helen

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Great find Pete! Thanks!

I think I found the horn in that ad on your website, but with more "standard" keyguards. Here's a Hess stencil made for Otto Riedl. And here's the eBay ad. Bidding is actually rather brisk, especially for a horn that needs a lot of work.
When I wrote the article I was hoping to see a pre-Munich horn. This appears to be one. I'm curious about the Hess horns with eyebrow key guards. I have yet to see one.

I also like the Paul Beuscher soprano. We know that Boiste stencilled for Beuscher, but to date I had only seen altos and a couple of tenors. I wonder if he also made baris.

I hardly ever check the French eBay site, but I know I really should. Not being able to read the language is quite intimidating to me, and having to rely on translation programs is a real pain.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Then there's me, the guy that has a background in Latin. From almost 30 years ago. Oh, well. That means I have a chance at understanding Romantic languages, at least :D.

I'd have to look into Boiste more to give you anything definitive on the bari side. I haven't seen enough of them to tell you. The Luthier Vents blog, which is my favorite reference on French-made saxophones, has that article I linked to, but I'd need to parse it a bit. For example, if you scroll down the page, there's a picture of a "Type Essor" sax. "Essor" is a model name from Raymond DuBois. There's also a horn identified as "Gaillard et Loiselet" that looks a lot like a J Gras to me. I know that the French sax world was a little difficult to look into because you might find that company X is actually a subsidiary of company Y -- or that company Y is a collection of several manufacturers, like, say, Couesnon or La Grande Lutherie du Centre. The blogger may be making that note. Too much French for me to grasp all at once!

FWIW, German is harder.

Oh. I should mention that the Hess flyer on your website mentions a "Modell I" and "Modell II." You didn't translate the descriptions of each. Do the descriptions mention anything about keyguards? I'd also assume that the sax drawing would be of the Modell II.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
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FWIW, German is harder.

That's because ve Chermans are anything but romantic...

T. Stibal, product of a bizarre combination of South German happiness (Bavarian, actually) and North German severity (Prussian), initiated when the children of two war refugee families from World War I met in Saint Louis in the 1930s...
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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FWIW, German is harder.
That's all a matter of perspective, isn't it. ;) It was after all, my first language. :emoji_rage:

Oh. I should mention that the Hess flyer on your website mentions a "Modell I" and "Modell II." You didn't translate the descriptions of each. Do the descriptions mention anything about keyguards? I'd also assume that the sax drawing would be of the Modell II.
Let's see... What does it say about the differences...

Modell II has the following improvements over Modell I:

  • Light & comfortable fingering system through improved key layout
  • Special high F key
  • This one specifies 7 rollers and 12 MOP key touches

That's it. That's all. The only thing they mention about the bell keys is that both models have right-sided bell keys, but do not mention of what kind of key guards they have.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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I think it's most probable that the reason why the horn I found doesn't have them is because it's a stencil. It might be as probable that the guy that drew the pic was using a prototype as a model or just made something up :). I'd then say that it's possible that the Modell I and II have different keyguards.

OK, "German is harder because I'm not a native speaker and because it's not Romantic." :p
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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Lookie here... I found this while digging through the old catalogue pages someone sent me years ago...

This is from the late 1930s, when Hess was still in Klingenthal.

14.jpg
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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You can definitely see a resemblance between that and the Riedl stencil.

Are you sure that ad is from the late 1930s? The pictured horn doesn't have a front altissimo F. I think the ad copy just says it has an altissimo F and you can see the LH key in the ad.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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Yup, as a matter of fact, it's likely from 1940. Here's a page that talks about their increased yearly sales, and despite the war, in 1939 their sales went up.

I'll need to compare the descriptions a bit more, but I have to run now. I'll do that a bit later today.

LieberMusikfreund.jpg
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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....The pictured horn doesn't have a front altissimo F. I think the ad copy just says it has an altissimo F and you can see the LH key in the ad.
OK, so you inspired me to do up a major update of the Hess stuff on my website... Just sayin; ;)

Here's the scoop... The instrument pictured is the intermediate model of what they had in 1940--or what Hess refers to as "Das vollkommene Modell". I am in the process of developing a chart that shows all the features of both these old horns, and the newer ones when they were in West Germany, but I haven't finished it yet. I'll link to it here when I'm finally done.

The upshot of my translation to date however, is that No. 80 shown, does not have a Front F key. That feature was only found on their top-of-the-line "Solisten Modell". Hope this helps.
 
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