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Serial Number and Model Listing

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#1
I've created a very comprehensive chart with a lot of info at http://thesax.info/serials.htm.

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Added July 9, 2014:

I wanted to add this because I keep forgetting to mention this and I get a lot of e-mails about it.

Serial number charts are a really bad way of determining what model horn you have. As an easy example, if you look at a serial number chart and it says the serial number is correct for a Selmer Mark VI, but the horn is stamped something completely different, like, "Selmer New York," then you don't have a Mark VI. This can be confusing when the maker doesn't bother giving a name to the model horn you have, like SML. In the case of SML, if you have a horn that has, "Gold Medal" stamped on the bell and the serial number chart I wrote says it's a "Rev. D," the chart is wrong.

Also note that sometimes manufacturers release one pitch of a certain horn earlier than other pitches. As an example, I'm doing some Yanagisawa saxophone research. Sometimes Yanagisawa released the alto model first, sometimes a tenor or a soprano. If the serial number chart says that the T-4 was introduced in 1965 (making it up) and you have a horn stamped "T-4" that has a 1963 serial number, it's still a T-4.

Finally, some manufacturers released a few "prototype" models before the model became standardized. This was often the case with Selmer saxophones, for example. So, if you have a horn that's labeled, "Mark VII," and looks like it's a Mark VII, it's probably a Mark VII, regardless of what the serial number is.

(Before I get overly flamed, I know people will argue that, say, their Mark VII is really a Mark VI, even though it's stamped "Mark VII," but it has a Mark VI serial number. You can go ahead and argue that point. You could be right.)

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-> Note that Yamaha serial numbers don't seem to correspond to anything, in particular.
-> American-made stencils do not have extant serial number charts. There are some theories about Pan American serial numbers in comparison to Conn pro horns, but the theories don't always work.
-> European stencils generally use the same charts as the horns they were stenciled from.
-> I can kinda-sorta figure serial number charts for Dolnet and Hohner, as the former had an M70 model introduced in 1970 and the latter had an anniversary model stamped with the date.

If any of the links "die", I'd recommend checking the Internet Wayback Machine at http://www.archive.org.

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06-13-2011: I'm slowly fixing some of the dead links, but I've got the SML and HN White serial number charts back up.
12-18-2011: Found some information on F. Besson. Looks like they had a single serial number system for all instruments.
05-21-2012: I was looking through some of my old stuff and found a "handlist" for Boosey, Distin and Hawkes instruments. It's the attached PDF. If you're enterprising, you could make a serial number chart.
08-12-2012: Weltklang serial number chart (Excel format).
09-10-2012: Some Ida Maria Grassi serial numberage.
06-06-2012: I created a provisional Dolnet serial number chart several years ago and then lost it. It's been found:

Années Numéros de série

1935 ...............Series I..................1
1940 ...............Series II..............1200
1950 ...............Bel Air ...............34000
1952 ..............< Imperial >.........40000
1953 ...............Bel Air ..............45000
1970 => 1980....M70 ...............80000 =>100000
1980 => 1984 ...Universal............?????

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2015-04-28: I've attached a couple more Boosey and Hawkes documents. These also have serial numbers for a fairly large variety of makes and models.
 

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pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#3
Not a problem.

The vast majority of the above is from MusicTrader.com and Steve's Clarinet Perfection website. I've got some of my own serial charts I made, as well as links to saxpics.com. I've got several other good charts in my archived bookmarks, too.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#4
Wanted: more serials for the above list.

One addition:

COUESNON: Saxophones and others. Before 1937 (or so), there is a "grenade fruit" engraved/stamped on the bell with a number. The number is the date of manufacture.

I just played around with Google. If you want Muramatsu or Gemeinhardt serials, you have to call them. Which sucketh. Both sets of numbers HAVE been available online, at some point, so if anyone's got the list, send links my way.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#5
I'm about halfway finished turning this into a snazzy HTML file. I'll post a link when it's finished.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#6
Updated! Link added to original post.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#8
Sounds great, Steve.

The only thing that I know, definitively about Malerne is that they were bought out by SML in the 1970's. They definitely made at least two different models of saxophone, themselves, but used Buffet as their top-pro line. There are some rumblings that Robert Malerne worked for Noblet or Leblanc prior to founding his own company, but I can't actually confirm that.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#9
Update to the chart posted. About a half-dozen more manufacturers. I changed some of the formatting, too.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#11
FYI, since that list was put together I changed my website.
Now all the clarinet SN# are on different pages
there's still a master page but out of date and no pics
Luser.

:D

I'll update my list sometime. I wanted to add Wayback Machine links, just in case a webpage went *poof*, anyway.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#14
Do you have a list of Pan American saxophone serial numbers?
Pan American and Conn Stencil saxophone serial number charts have been attempted by a couple folks, but they never seem to be completed. I've advocated the, "Well, if your P-A is serial #12,345 and has single-side bell keys, add 67,890 to it and then look at the pro Conn chart." I stopped advocating this because it works about as well as me saying that a single-side bell key P-A was made in the 1940's.

If you know of a *posted* complete or even partially complete chart, I'd be more than happy to link to it!
 
#15
Sounds great, Steve.

The only thing that I know, definitively about Malerne is that they were bought out by SML in the 1970's. They definitely made at least two different models of saxophone, themselves, but used Buffet as their top-pro line. There are some rumblings that Robert Malerne worked for Noblet or Leblanc prior to founding his own company, but I can't actually confirm that.
For Malerne information contact Gary Ray at Wichita Band Inst. Co. He has a blurb about Noblet and Vito history currently appearing in the used woodwind section on their site. There is also some history information at these two posts about Malerne, one by Mr. Ray.

http://www.lynsgarden.co.uk/Gary.html

http://www.lynsgarden.co.uk/Clarinets.html
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#16
Gary Ray said:
In the meantime, rest assured that your alto clarinet was made in France by Robert Malerne, right before Buffet-Crampon took 'em over.
Unfortunately, as mentioned, I have other source material that says that Malerne was purchased by SML, not by Buffet. My information ... came from SML :).

I try not to get into a shouting match with other people and their histories. Primarily because I'd be willing to be that Mr. Ray can whip out a bunch of references where he got his info and so can I. And, y'know, it really doesn't matter. The only time it does matter is if I say that, say, your Jean Cartier saxophone was made by Rampone (or something) and it's obviously a Dolnet. Black or white: I'm either wrong or right.

If I ever post a "complete" history of Malerne, I'll contact Mr. Ray and get his input, but considering they don't seem to have ever produced their own professional saxophones (clarinets, etc. are a different story), I'm not as interested in Malerne as other manufacturers.

Serial numbers, definitely :).
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#18
I'm going to have to play with those docs a bit, Chis. They're pretty interesting. Thanks for the post!
 
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