Stencil Saxophone Names & Links Resource


Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
I am in the process of compiling what will arguably be the most comprehensive, and complete online listing of of vintage stencil saxophones.

This listing is a bit different than the other lists already available, b/c unlike those, the one on my website will have as many of the stencil names as possible linked to images on either Pete's or my galleries. This will allow those looking up their saxophone's pedigree, to hopefully find other horns with the same name, and compare/contrast features.

If you have a stencil horn--or have an interest in vintage saxophones--please take a look at this page on my website when you have a chance. If you've got any stencil names that you could contribute, please let me know.

While looking at this listing, if you notice any obvious errors, please let me know as well of course. Thanks!


Going along with this listing, there will be another page showing the features of the various makers. This will allow players to compare their horns point by point to those of known manufacturers. I will undertake the work on this new page when I get the chance in the next few weeks.
Buescher stencil: Horace

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Pictures originally from about a year ago.
Thank you. I had not seen the Ernst Borucker before.
I'm not so sure about the Melody being an Akustik stencil... It is jiggling something in my memory about a very rare German horn from an obscure maker... that looks a lot like old B&S horns. Also, it bears a striking resemblance to Max Keilwerth horns.... If it truly were a Akustik stencil, it would be the first one that I could recall seeing....
I think it matches pretty well, though: G# cluster matches. Bell-to-body brace matches. Rolled tone holes. Doesn't have a fork Eb vent or G# trill key, so it could just be a little bit newer than the other Akustiks I have pics of -- or you could say that this horn is the "base" for the line and you'd have to pay for a microtuner, etc. We could talk about the lack of a brace on the neck, but I've seen that on a couple others. The horn in the eBay ad looks like it doesn't have a front altissimo F, which suggests that it's not that new.
Here's the thing, the left pinkie cluster on all the Akustiks I have come across seem to--from 16XX to 5386 that I have confirmed #'s for--match the shape of those of the Weltklangs (the model that evolved from them). So having a completely different left pinkie cluster for a stencil horn--which BTW I have thus far not come across for Akustik--wouldn't make any sense.

Another thing, Akustiks were known for their coloured glass key touches. This is confirmed in their original literature. The Melody tenor does not have those either.

What the Melody does have however, is a left pinkie cluster that looks like those on Max Keilwerth horns. Also look at the shape of the left palm keys. They are MK-shaped, not Akustik-shaped. (Although 5386 did have more of this shape, so it appears to be an evolutionary thing for the brand.)

As far as the bell to body brace is concerned, we see these in MK horns as well (you can see it in the one I linked to above), and lots of really old German horns, and even "newer" vintage ones like the Hohner President.

Doesn't have a fork Eb vent or G# trill key, so it could just be a little bit newer than the other Akustiks I have pics of...

G# trill keys were common in German horns well into the 1950s. My Toneking from 1957 has it, and the Hohner President had one until around the mid 50s as well.

I would argue that this Melody is quite a bit older than the 1950s. I suspect that it was a less expensive horn ordered by some company.

I also noticed that it is lacking a chromatic F# key, in addition to the front F.

I have many MK horns that I haven't been able to upload yet due my lack of server space, but his horns show a clear evolution in design--but I suspect also preference by the ordering company. EG: I have a number of horns only keyed to low B that have very low serial #'s. I also have horns with no front F keys. I even have a WWII-era horn with a swastika that has the left pinkie shaped like those that Akustik would later use, but has the Pure Tone Trademark stamp. All this to say, MK's horns had a huge variation.

As for it not having having MK's Pure Tone Trademark stamp, I remember having a conversation with JayePDX from SOTW about a couple of the horns in his shop's inventory, and they were similar to this. They had all the hallmarks of MK horns, but were lacking the Pure Tone Trademark stamping.

Although a great many of MK's stencil horns have this stamping, do they necessarily all have it? That's a good question, b/c we know that not all of his brother's horns have the JK Best in the World logo on his shop's stencils (although the majority do). It would not be unreasonable therefore to postulate that MK also left off his trademark logo on some of the stencil horns that left his manufacturing plant.

I'm not saying that the Melody is a MK-made horn, but I'd be more inclined to say say MK than B&S. ;) The features just don't line up enough to be a B&S for me. YMMV however....

I am curious what the little stamp above the letter "L" in Melody is all about.
Well, I suppose I could point out that the lack of a chromatic F#, front altissimo F, and G# are indicative of a "base" model horn. However, I've also run across an awful lot of folks that remove the G# trill. I've never understood that. Corking the fork Eb vent (or reversing the spring), maybe. Not soldering a piece of metal over it, though.

We'll have a lot more fun when your website's humming away on the new server.
Speaking of Max Keilwerth's horn's evolution: His somewhat signature eyebrow keyguards, were a design feature that changed in the President models he made under the Pure Tone Trade Mark logo--that is of course prior to his working for Hohner.

I hadn't really paid attention to this until this morning, when someone left a comment on my website about a MK President alto #6020 with wire keyguards.

Right Side Lower Portion.jpg ...

While on President alto #7216 we see the eyebrow keyguards already.

Right Hand & Palm Keys.JPG

Since all of his shop's records have long been destroyed, and there are no records of serial #'s, we can only speculate on the dates of manufacturing based on what we know of MK's employment history.

In 1923 Max began building up the saxophone division of Graslitz-based, musical instrument manufacturer, F.X. Hüller. Just a short while later he began his own business, which supplied Oscar Adler, as well as F.X. Hüller, with saxophones.

Max Keilwerth’s own brand of horns were called Mars.¹ He also used a stamp that read Pure Tone Trade Mark, and it had a stylized bell as a logo.We know that shortly after WWII, Max Keilwerth moved to what was then West Germany, and ended up working for Hohner in Trossingen. There he developed the Hohner President, and was responsible for the saxophone department from 1949, until his retirement in about 1967.
(from the Max Keilwerth page on my website)

Based on this confirmed info, we know that MK's horns were built sometime between 23-49. Add the war into the mix, and you've got further confusion. It is however, a safe bet that the latter horn (7216) was likely built in the mid to late 1940s, since this is the design that ended up on the Hohner Presidents.
Just a brief update to the discussion above where I mention the many Max Keilwerth horns I have collected images of over the years: I did get them uploaded this morning into the Max Keilwerth Gallery. I am just now going to begin the process of entering all the data for them, but their pics are there for the perusing.

For those with an eagle eye--Pete ;) --you will notice I did put the Melody discussed above into the MK gallery. Why? B/C as you look through the hundreds of images of Max Keilwerth horns, you will notice that the Melody shares a great deal with his horns. I am 99% convinced that it was indeed built by the man.
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