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Eye of the Tiger

Vito "LeBlanc System" Alto Saxophone

LeBlanc System Key Mechanism

One of my goals was to deliver a newly repadded, LeBlanc System Vito for under $1,000.

Here it is: $995

I was self-compelled to acquire vintage Vito/LeBlanc/Rationale saxes. Here's my first one, Ready to go.
I have another one, not as nice as this, waiting in the wings for a rebuild after this one goes out the door.

This one is serial number 1298A, no indication where it is made. I assume it is made in America, but that is a guess.
Besides the serial number, the only other thing engraved on it is "Vito" on the bell.

The "Rationale" and the "LeBlanc System" horns are not the same thing. The Rationales have I've seen have "G LeBlanc" engraved on it also had "Paris, France", but they have similarities with this "Vito" labeled alto. This Leblanc System Vito is not as complex as the Rationale, but shares some of the mechanisms. I think the body and tonehole placement may be the same, but that'll have to wait until I have a Rationale to compare.

Despite the inovations, all notes can be fingered the same as any other horn, These saxes are known for excellent intonation and even scale.

  • This sax is keyed to high F# with the high F# key located under the upper palm keys.
  • The G# key opens on the back of the sax instead of amongst the other stack keys.
  • There are two upper stack rods and two lower stack rods.
  • The low B holds the low C# closed so that you donít accidentally open the C#, something Iíve seen on Selmers, but never on an American vintage horn.

I was a little anxious about working on this horn, thinking it might be more difficult, but it wasnít really. I took all the keys off, put on all new corks (except the neck cork which was fine). The pads have flat metal resonators and were in good condition. I replaced 4 pads with new ones, reassembled the sax, adjusted and regulated it.

As far as adjusting and regulating, everything made sense, the mechanisms are well thought out, great quality construction.

The left hand thumbrest looked really cheesy, a plain brass nubbin, so I took it off. I went to a local rock shop, couldnít find anything on the shelf that would work, so I had them cut and polish a nice piece of Tiger Eye stone to specification. It looks really niceÖcheck out the pictures.

Thereís been dentwork done to the bow and and other places, but it looks pretty minor.

This sax comes with brass neckplug (pictured) and case.  Case is in good condition...small gouge on top, interior good, hardware good.

These are excellent saxophones, with great voices, intonation, and a world of new possibilities. Great quality throughout.



Picture one...bell keys on the left


Picture two...flipside

Picture three...neck, palm keys, F# key, octave. There'll be more pix later.

Picture 4...Neck, neck plug, F# key, octave.

"Vito" engraved on bell.

Here's the G# on the backside.

Seventh picture...bell keys, G#, serial number.

Picture 8 - First picture of Tiger Eye thumbrest by octave key.

Pict. 9...Too cool for a single photo.

Pict. 10...see the double lower stack rods? Some lacquer loss on bow. All keyguards screw on rather than soldered.

Picture 11...see how the low B holds the low C# closed?

Pict. 12...flipside of bow.

Picture 13...on top of case.

Picture 14...inside the case.

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