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Martin Old Imperial Alto Sax

Made in Elkhart. It is more than likely serial number 107116.
Why do I say 'more than likely'? The serial number has been x-ed out on the back under the thumbhook.
It is possible that it was stolen at one point...the sax is 70 years old, so it is hard to say for sure.
The neck is marked 107116 and the serial number also appears under at least one of the keys.
Don't ask me which key. If you don't know, you don't need to know. Leave it to the experts, that is, unless you intend to buy this horn.

Built between the two World Wars...seventy years ago...when horses still delivered ice to homes.

While 107xxx is generally acknowledged to be the beginning of the Imperials, documented instances of 106xxx Imperials have show up. When the Imperial line was started up, it may have run parallel to the predecessor.

This horn plays really well.
Plays in tune with a very powerful tone. Like I said elsewhere, the tone of "The Martin" Committees have nothing on these old Imperials from the 30's. Great tone, great bottom end, great key action."

I repadded this horn using thin kid pads with flat metal resonators.
Gives the horn more projection, but it's still quite dark.
If you want that, you'd have to slap a Dukoff Super Power Chamber piece on it.
That'd raise up the dead.

I removed what remained of the old lacquer on the body using scalding hot tap water (I am glad I don't pay the utilities here at my shop). It must have been the old cellulose base lacquer. After the lacquer was off, I polished it by hand. No harsh chemicals or mechanical buffing was used.
Here's an interesting item in regards to the keys...the keypans are lacquered brass and the rest of the key is nickel-plated. How often do you see that? The lacquer on a couple of the keypans is darkened, perhaps from prior pad replacement?

Newly repadded July 2007, I sold it to a local fellow who wanted to learn how to play sax. I tried to suggest that he might be better off with a Yamaha, but he fell in love with the look of this horn.
Despite the best of intentions, life intervened and he never got around to learning how to play.
This horn has had less than 5 hours of playtime since the repad, so it has essentially new, 1-year-old pads.
He is now leaving town and wants to sell the horn.
The pictures you see below I took new today, June 30, 2008.
The bare brass is very stable and has mellowed nicely.

SOLD - Summer '08 to a fellow in Germany

For about what you would pay for a shiny cheap Asian import, you can have this enduring Martin classic horn, dating to between the wars.
JunkDude has an Imperial alto for sale at $1350

I'm not real good at describing the tone. It is dark and smoky, with romantic overtones and a finish of bitter cherry.
No, wait, that is wine.
It IS a powerful, well balanced tone. I really like it.

The horn comes with a very nice, authentic vintage Martin case.

The fellow also bought a Selmer S80 C* mouthpiece, a vintage Conn mouthpiece, two boxes of reeds (only one reed from each box used), Neotech neckstrap, silk swab, reed holder, etc. Which the potential buyer can purchase for $100.

Martin Imperial Alto

 

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