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Holton Alto Sax

S/N 29690 (Doctor Sax stock #1000)


The gold-plating and elaborate engraving speak to a high-end musical instrument.

The pictures are below

Vintage Holton Alto Saxophone –

  Superb Engraving, Corkless Neck Mouthpiece

  Alternate High D key, Soldered Toneholes

  Original Documentation

  Wnat an amazing piece of American craftsmanship. And you can play music with it too!
Everytime I look at this horn, I am knocked over by the beauty of the engraving.

A treat for eyes as well as the ears. Exquisite and elaborate engraving with butterflies and flowers, both on outside of the bell as well as inside the bell rim.

Made in Elkhorn, WI…not Elkhart, IN!

Serial number is #29690. Many, if not all, the keys have last 3 digits of serial number on them.

Where was I? Oh yeah...
One sax player told me:
"That -other extra key- is a right-hand alternate high D key. Once you've used it and learned its secrets, you'll be ruined for any other horn. Blows away the left hand palm D key -- I never use mine anymore..."

Soldered-in or brazed-in toneholes! They don’t have the beveled top edge like Martins though, more of a curve. To the best of my ability to tell, the toneholes have never been filed.

Neck tenon has some wrinkles/scratches. The tenon has a silver metal look to it, rather than brassy look. It is however non-magnetic. I had to expand the tenon slightly for a snug, leak-free fit. There are some numbers on the tenon, the only number I can really make out is a “5”. (The implication is, if you haven’t been following closely, that the neck has a number that doesn’t match the horn serial number. For more on this subject see the next part where I talk about the corkless neck).

The sax came to me with a special Holton mouthpiece that goes directly onto the uncorked neck. The mouthpiece is part brass and part hard rubber. It has a screw that cinches it onto the neck, much like the body cinches onto the neck tenon. The hard rubber part was pretty chewn up…I didn’t think anyone would want to use it, but I can include it. But wait, I am not done. Where the neck is normally corked, the brass is especially thick, as though purpose made to accommodate the screw down mouthpiece. I went ahead and corked this neck and a regular mouthpiece will fit, but the cork is thinner than usual. This brings me back to the “5” on the neck tenon that doesn’t jive with the body s/n. Since the mouthpiece is a specialty patented Holton, I am led to surmise that all this corkless neck business was factory custom work, maybe even a prototype. That might jive with the especially nice engraving? I sent a picture of neck and mouthpiece to Jimmy Scimonetti (of the Scimonetti corkless neck) and he said, “That's so cool! I've probably repaired my millionth sax by now, and NEVER saw anything like this. “

Comes with nice brass neck plug…I assume it is original to the horn.

Oddly, some of the screw rods were a little too long…the threaded part sticking through the posts on some. A couple of them I cut off some of the excess. Did the factory need a little more quality control on the screw rod production? As a repair technician I appreciate having them a bit too long vs. too short!

I took all the keys off the horn, cleaned it up, recorked a lot of the keys, put on a couple of pads, reassembled it, regulated and adjusted it.

Comes in original case…pretty good shape. Nice Elkhorn badge/medallion with an Elk on it. Moderately nice interior with pretty blue padding. Case handle is a little raggedy, but solid.

Comes with original letter accompanying horn from factory, as well as neck plug, corkless neck mouthpiece and ligature, and original case.


Picture one...Whoever did the engraving was more than a craftsman...


Picture two...he was an artist. See the butterfly? Was it engraved in springtime?

Picture three...How long did it take him do you suppose?

Picture 4...There's even engraving on the inside rim of the bell!.

Picture five - Here's the bow. Do you see how the screw rod is too long on the bottom stack?

Check out the extra key levers.

Seventh picture...nicely sculpted keys.

Picture 8 - Paperwork, mouthpiece, ligature. Picture is a little dark to get the paperwork to show up. Can you see the pollution spewing out the smokestack?

Pict. 9...Case, horn, neck, mpce., cap...plug is in the top of horn here.

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