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Vintage Olds Opera Alto Sax

Serial Number 3968

The pictures are below

 

A mid 1950’s Buffet Dynaction alto stenciled as an Olds Opera. 

This Buffet-built sax was Olds’ top of the line model!  

I understand this to be the model BEFORE the Super Dynaction, called the S.A. or the Dynaction, depending on the source. Over the years, Olds has had their saxophones made by Pierret, Beaugnier and Buffet in France and by Martin in the US and possibly other manufacturers. The F.E. Olds & Son engraving was later applied or 'stenciled' onto the horn. According to the charts, it was manufactured in the mid 50’s.

ADAPTABLE - These Buffets are very adaptable horns; good for jazz, classical, R&B, whatever...depending on the mouthpiece you use. It has seen plenty of play, but has been well taken care of. Overall a solid, well-built horn. 

LACQUER - This is an original lacquer horn. The etching is sharp visually and sharp to the touch. There is lacquer loss at the typical places, but this Opera is a very handsome horn. You aren't going to have to make apologies to anyone. 

CONDITION - The key action was good and fairly quiet when I got it. I’ve gone over the horn, removed the keys, cleaned it, replaced most of the corks to get it in adjustment and a couple of the pads. The keys were amazingly tight for a horn of this vintage. By that I mean there was little side-to-side or endplay to the keys. I did minimal swedging of the keys. The springs are in very good shape. There is no evidence of solder repairs to the horn.

PADS - The pads have the metal screw-in resonators. They are domed, or maybe it is more like a nipple, in the center of the resonator. I would not call them flat resonators. I like them better than the Buescher snap-in pads. The pearls are very pretty on this horn. In addition to pearl key touches, there are matching pearls on the keyguards.

DENTS - The neck is in excellent condition and the cork is new. The neck has not been bent and there are no dents. There is a minimal ding on the back of the horn, an inch or two below the thumbhook. And there has been some dent work to the bow. The brace on the bottom of the bow looks to be untouched, indicating that the original geometry of the bow is intact. There is an extremely shallow crease barely 1/4" long near the Opera House engraving. You might not notice it had I not told you....check out the pictures.

CASE - The case looks to be the original. While I wouldn’t use it for everyday transporting of the horn, it is certainly good enough to ship the horn. The main handle is ragged. The handle on the end of the case is missing and the springs on the latches no longer work. The latches latch securely, they just don't spring up automatically when unlatched. Inside the case, the piece where the neck of the sax goes, was broken. I’ve fashioned a new, replacement piece and am currently looking for velvet type cloth in a matching cinnamon brown with which to cover the new piece. If it is sold before I find the right colored cloth, I will send this piece, but I will not fix it in place until the right fabric is found. The outside of the case has a nifty devil decal which is provided free of charge.

QUALITY - This is at least an intermediate quality instrument that would be wonderful for an advancing student. If your student has made it through the first months or years using a rental instrument, they have proven themselves worthy of something that should last them on into college and possibly beyond. While this is a good looking horn, it is for a student who has matured enough to no longer waste time trying to impress his peers by how pretty the lacquer looks on their horn, but is now focused on PLAYING. 

 

Picture One.

 

Picture two

Picture Three...Full Frontal.

Picture Four.

Picture Five.

Picture Six.

Picture Seven - Good picture of Bell Engraving. Slight dent/crease below 'P' and above left side of opera building. I call it superficial.

Picture Eight.

Picture Nine.

Picture Ten - Closeup of octave.

 
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