Manufacturers, models - stencils and serial numbers ' ' 1931 Vintage bronze lacquer, late model. Good player 1931, s/no 104xxx - literally the last of the C-Melody line, lovely!! I don't have a good enough camera to capture the real dark vintage lacquer colour - it's gorgeous. Modern action, gone are the quirky vintage forked Eb and G# trill keys. High palm keys all sensibly long - no more 'button' palm keys. Add to that the essential auxiliary Front-F mechanism, and you have a C-Melody and this is a delight to play. Intonation is extremely good - a solid powerful horn with well preserved Martin case and accessories.
NOT FOR SALE. ( King stencil - relatively rare) I affectionately call her ' Big Ugly'. Very much a project and a half. Quite a rare beast this one, I've only seen one other for sale. After Lyon & Healy stopped making their own C-Mels - based around Martin design/tooling - they had stencils mostly made by Buescher. This is the more elusive King stencil, with classic King domed cups, and, more importantly, the auxiliary Front-F mechanism - a rare find on stencil horns.
Re: Lyon & Healy Saxophone Serial Number The P in the serial number would indicate it is a Conn stencil similar to the Pan-American, a Conn without the rolled tone holes. It would have rivet pads with flat metal resonators from your description. Lyon and Healy DID make some of their own horns in the early 1900's, including saxophones, but they couldn. There is some speculation that the instrument pictured here, with it's low serial number, may have been a pre-production model - either made to demonstrate the factory's capabilities to the government, or because Olds was trying.
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The silver plating is almost completely worn or abraded from the body, but some remains on the keys - giving a two-tone appearance. A real workhorse. A current project, at the moment, regrettably NOT FOR SALE. Please note: Page (always) under re-structuring. June 2011.
The aim of this page is to (hopefully) help you to identify the manufacturer, and even possibly the 'build year' of your C-Melody. I know you could look on the bell and say 'Ah - Martin', but sadly that doesn't apply to stencils. So, the table on the right will have links to a pages showing a selection of C-Melody saxes, some I've owned, some I still do, and with the mechanism and design features of each manufacturer - the pictures are quite good resolution, and unprotected, so can be copied and pasted into a suitable graphics package for better viewing, e.g.
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Please feel free to do this, but if you re-use the pictures in any other context, please ask me first, and I'd also appreciate a mention of this site. Rather than put 'return' links on each page, I've either opened some in a new window, or others require the use of your browser 'back arrow' to get back to this page. It will take a while to find examples showing all the differences, and I hope to be able to make a 'truth table' as well, for quick checking and identification.
Until then, please, and check out the excellent pages by Saxpics, Dr Rick, and Cybersax, to identify which manufacturer built your stencil. Sadly, e.g., all Martin stencils don't have all the standard Martin features etc. And, some Stencil names appear on saxes from more than one manufacturer! Fun, isn't it? I'm still learning a few things myself in the process. A far from comprehensive list of Stencil names is at the end of the page - link is on the table opposite - and I'll also set up a gallery of pictures of C-Melody saxes I've owned in the past, as examples of most manufacturers art. The vast majority of the pictures were taken by (and owned by) me, but, if I've inadvertently used someone else's example, I sincerely apologise - drop me an email and I'll either credit you, or if you so wish I'll remove the picture.
Below are short lists of serial numbers for the years ( mostly up to the thirties ) that C-Melody saxes were produced 'in quantity'. I thought it would be useful to have them for all the C-Melody manufacturers together in one place (and in alphabetical order, not preference.). Links to pages with more comprehensive serial number listings, and further model info, are included with each list, as are references to the origins of the data. I'd just like to say a great big ' Thanks! ' to anyone involved in compiling and/or publishing those lists - very much appreciated!! Please note that C-Melody ' stencil' serial numbers don't usually correspond with the relevant manufacturers 'own brand name' sequences - there are some theories as to how you can work the date out, but I'm afraid the answer is usually just ' made in the 1920's. ' Also be aware that the serial numbers below weren't just for C-Melody saxes, each instrument produced was assigned a sequential unique number, so (for example) in Jan-1924, 60993 could have been a Tenor Sax, 60994 a C-Mel, 60995 a Soprano, etc.
at least that's how I understand it? Thinking about that, it's probably more logical that the numbers were assigned in 'blocks' to maybe a group C-Mel's, then alto's etc. For a certain production run. Each group of bodies could then be stamped sequentially.
Anybody out there know how it really was? So anyway, you should also be able to use these lists to date some of the vintage saxes of that period. Please note: Page (always) under re-structuring. June 2011. A C-Sax may be available for purchase - Please note - the following links are to pictures of, and information about, C-Melody Saxophones that either I've owned/sold, or as supplied by other owners/sellers.
Some of the text may not now be relevant - I am slowly editing the pages as I find corrections are needed - the information is provided here just for reference. Please enjoy!
Buescher (below) Conn (below) Martin (below) ( straight/alto style neck) ( curved/tenor style neck) another - Martin stencil and a. King (below) (needs cleaning.). Year Model Serial Number 1922 Model 22 750-1400 1923 1401-2350 1924 2351-3350 1925 3351-4450 1926 Model 26 4451-5600 1927 5601-7850 1928 7851-9700 1929 9701- 'Cigar Cutter'/'Super Sax' 0 1931 0 1932 0 1933 0 The list continues right up to 1992, so is well worth a visit - link below ( courtesy of - ).
York Serial Numbers Comments 0 - 8497 Made prior to 1903 8500 - 57,000 Made between 1903 and 1913 57,000 - 112,000 Made between 1913-1938. Please note: Page (always) under re-structuring. June 2011 A few Stencil names - ( I'm sure there are loads more out there. American Professional - Lyon & Healy A Buescher stencil, and earlier their 'own' Martin hybrid - see 'Note 1' below Beaumont American, Chicago Bettoney my 'spares' C-Mel, definitely Martin, also made by Conn (thanks to Richard Brown) Bruno Seen as a Conn stencil, with 'mercedes' low C guard - curved neck. Carl Fischer Importer, Buescher Stencil, also 'badged ' Evette & Schaeffer ( Buffet Crampon ) Champion Seen as a Conn stencil, with 'mercedes' low C guard - curved neck. Concertone Couturier - Lyon & Healy This was, I think, one of Lyon & Healy's earlier 'own' horns C R Peronze Agents for York Ditson ( Oliver) Musical Instrument dealer/supplier Elkhart Buescher and/or Martin - the name was used later for 50's Buescher saxes Elkhorn - Holton Not really a stencil, Holton's C-Melody, but I've seen them listed as such. Gretsch The one I've got is a Buescher stencil Jenkins / Kankas Seen as a Buescher stencil Harwood Professional Seen as a Buescher stencil Horace / Landay Bros.
NY I had one - a Martin Stencil Inspiration - Lyon & Healy also engraved Lyon & Healy, their own? - see 'Note 1' below Kalashen / J Kalashen Seen as a Buescher stencil Lyon & Healy Made some of their own - see 'Note 1' below Masterbilt I've fleetingly had one, made by Conn Pan American Conn's own stencil, great sax! Curved (tenor style) neck Perfection / Bruno also seen as Perfakten / Perfacktone, on other saxes as well Selmer American - New York Conn stencil, has 'mercedes' low C guard Silva-Lae / Naujoks McLaughlin - who also made a great 'silver-lay' C-Melody mouthpiece Winterroth Conn stencil, curved (tenor style) neck Wurlitzer Seen as Buescher, Conn, and Martin stencils. Note 1 - Lyon & Healy either made, designed, or commissioned their 'own' C-Melody saxes at the start of the era, from parts seemingly supplied by the major manufacturers. Typically those 'own' models have a strange mix of the Martin body (with bevelled tone-holes), but with the Conn 'mercedes' low C guard, and either a Martin style neck (straight brace) or a Conn style neck (curved brace). (but) I've also seen one 'Gretsch' stencil with the same mix.
Later Lyon & Healy C-Melody's were pure Buescher or Martin stencils. King also produced a limited number of stencils engraved Lyon & Healy Inspiration, usefully with the aux-Front-F key, but without the 'double-G' cup. I own one of those - it's my backup C-Mel, check out, also featured at the top of this page.