Repair Rates Instruments for
& Piccolos Mouthpieces
Noblet "Standard" (Vito) Tenor Sax
Serial Number 16264
Here's what the new owner had to say about mouthpieces on this Noblet Tenor:
on the mouthpiece: I tried several and the Link HR 7* was the best, but still a bit much for me to play every day. particularly trying to play low notes
as low volume was quite, well ... impossible. I found a music shop in philly that has a good selection of mp's with good prices (like 20-30% below WWBW)
that ships them on a trial basis w/no restocking fee for returned pieces. I tried four. Two Vandoren V15, one medium-short and one medium tip opening.
Neither played any easier than the link and the intonation was not as good and I really had to jam the mp way down on the cork. I also tried a Selmer S-90
(not a typo, it was not an S-80) and it is a really long ("long shank"?) mp and it was a disaster on the horn. Very difficult to play and it swallowed the entire
cork just to get close to in tune. (The Vandorens are longer mp's as well.) Then I tried a Meyer 5m and *voila" it played easily, sounded great, and played
in tune up and down the range of the horn only with probably still a third or more of the cork exposed. So between this and, probably a bit later after getting
in shape, the link 7*, I think I am probably in good shape. I also tried a JD Hite Premier from WWBW ($25) which is marketed as a budget "step-up" mp.
Like most oxy-morons, the spin was too good to be true. Everything from low C# down is terribly unstable. Warbly. That could very well be due to
something in my playing, but still, since the Link and the Meyer don't, it does I guess prove that some mps work considerably better on some horns than others.
Two Sound Samples:
Can't Get Started -
Round Midnight -
This a LeBlanc Noblet (D.N. "Denis Noblet?") Vito Tenor Sax.
Made in France in the Beaugnier Workshop.
It is different from the Vito Kenosha horns, different even from the horns assembled in Kenosha out of French Beaugnier parts.
You can tell that the "VITO" engraved on the horn was done by a different hand than the "Noblet" name and "Standard"
and the engraved floral decoration. An educated guess would be that everything was done in France except the "VITO" engraving
which was added in Kenosha. But I don't have any proof of that.
LeBlanc was trying like the dickens to offer a product to compete with Selmer and this is one of their attempts.
I think the engraved word "Standard" means something more like "Standard of Excellence". Not sure...ask someone who
It IS stamped "Made In France". I may not have gotten a picture of it, but it is there, right by the low B keyguard.
So...you want a 'professional' tenor and you want to keep it under $1,000.
You want a horn that plays like a Mark VI or Super 20 or Top Hat and Cane.
You'd like it with new pads and you'd like the key action to be fast, yet tight...no slop.
You'd like it to have a 'dark', 'rich' sound.
You'd like a top-of-the-line Yanagisawa or Yamaha, maybe.
But you're on a budget though and you just can't get above $999.
Well, if you can find a pro horn in good playing condition for that amount of money,
I would like to hire you as a horn-buyer. Please.
This horn has great tone or timbre. This horn can take you places.
The more you put into this horn, the more you will get out of it.
This horn does have the switchable G# articulation. Ask your sax instructor or repair technician what that means.
This horn has been through the mill. The case, which I think is original, is marked with a typical school stencil.
Some repair technician used a pretty heavy hand with the torch on this in a couple of places.
Worst off was the neck. It had the pernicious pull-down syndrome. Also the octave key saddle had been dented into the
neck pretty good. And the octave key saddle had a big gob of solder under it...I guess the solder was there
to build the octave key back up to where it
should be, above the dent. I hate it when necks are compromised. I've been spending more and more time lately restoring
necks, getting better tools, better skill-set.
I got the pull-down pretty well remedied.
The neck in
cross-section is pretty close to round now, instead of the oval cross-section it presented when I got it. I took
the neck key and saddle off, got rid of all the extra solder, raised the dent under the saddle (and a couple others for
good measure) and put the saddle back on. And as long as I am being discursive about it, I'll tell you, I put the saddle
on in the wrong splace....just a little too far from the octave pip...%&&%$%$@!...so I took it back off and got it just
where I wanted it. It's good now. Oh yeah, and the neck octave key was pretty well mangled and it was a real struggle
to get it back
to some semblance of original.
I also rounded out the tenon and expanded it just a touch so it fits very snugly.
Whew. The neck is pretty darn good now.
The pant guard (or clothing guard) is missing. Which is a pity because these horns have a pretty cool pant guard.
I might be able to dig up a spare from a parts horn, but it would cost you.
I cleaned off the burnt lacquer from around the bottom post of the low C#. I got the keys to seal and regulated the action.
It's not as slick as if I had done a full repad or refurb, but....
Some of the keys have some end play.
It's a little clicky/clanky. Right now I have the F#_G# adjustment arm and I am working on that. When I put it back on, I am
going to add $25 to the selling price to cover my time. I'll keep doing that until I get distracted by the latest crisis.
You can sink a couple hundred dollars more into this horn and it will get incrementally better.
But it plays as is. And you can get to work on playing without saving up $5,000 or $6,000 or whatever for that Mark VI.