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Vito Model 35
Alto Saxophone

LeBlanc Rationale style keywork

Serial Number 680A

SOLD - Nov. 2008

I've got to say this right up front...yes, this is a Vito Model 35, with the LeBlanc Rationale style keywork, BUT....
DON'T FREAK OUT! You can play this with the same fingerings as any other sax (except for the high F#), it just has additional alternative fingerings. It's not like you have to learn how to play all over again.

Okay, now that I have THAT out of the way....

This refurbished alto has all new pads. I used MusicMedic 'Precision' pads and I hand selected and installed oversized flat metal resonators. This better approximates the original, French-style pads with which the horn originally came from the factory.

This horn has several interesting features, not all of them all that innovative or unusual by any means.

You might notice when you finger middle A and drop down to G, instead of just one tonehole being closed by a pad, two are closed. This is for better intonation.
This in turn leaves no space for the G# tonehole and key to be in line with the other stack keys, so it is around in the back of the horn.
This isn't all that unusual. I seem to recall seeing this on the H.N. White/King Voll-True and/or Voll-True II.
The Model 35 also has the forked Eb at the bottom of the RH lower stack, a feature that was on many vintage horns.

The easiest thing to notice as uniquely LeBlanc is the high F#, instead of being down on the lower right, it is on the upper left, just below the left-hand palm keys.
The octave mechanism is perhaps the thing that varies the most from one manufacturer's horn and another's, and the Model 35 is no exception. It has one of the most unusual octave mechanisms ever made.
The whole Rationale alternative fingerings thing, at least in the Model 35 has to do with every other key (alternating keys) being articulated with the lower stack. That is a lot more difficult to say than it is to see or do.

The main difference between the Vito Model 35 and the LeBlanc Rationale (or more precisely, Semi-Rationale) is that the Rationale has adjustment screws while the Model 35 has corked adjustment arms.

The intonation is great on these horns. I used the large reso's to increase the speaking voice of this horn, to allow it to stand as a solo instrument as well as an ensemble player.

To compensate for the plain engraving, a friend of mine has fashioned a left-hand thumbrest from Italian Onyx. It is in the same, classic Vito oval shape, but adds a little flare.

The Model 35 is a strong, ruggedly-built horn. It is not hard to regulate and keep in adjustment. Your tech might do a double-take if they have never seen one before, but it is not complicated and, actually, quite easy to work on.
I am guessing these horns are made of French brass and piece-parts and assembled in Kenosha, WI.

Looking at the two bottom-most pictures, one shows the Boehm-like layout of the toneholes and the other picture shows the resonators.

Vito Model 35 Alto


 

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