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French Vito Baritone Sax

Made in France by Beaugnier.
Serial Number 185xx

Boy, I'm not used to taking pictures of such large instruments. You may notice that there aren't any overall pictures of the sax...not sure if that bugs you or not.

The only Vito Baritone Saxes I have seen are the early ones made by the Beaugnier factory in France.
Later, LeBlanc had the Vito baris made by Yanagisawa in Japan.
These Beaugnier baris are reknowned for the dark tone, rivaling other French-made saxes.

You can own this Baritone Sax for $xxxx.

June, 2007 - Sold.

One unique feature of this bari is that the left-hand pinkie plateau configuration is quite small.
If you are used to playing a Bundy or Buescher or Martin bari, this will take some getting used to, but the keys are well-placed and once the player is familiar with the layout, it helps with finger speed on the low end. You really don't want to call on your pinkie to do more work than it need do, do you?

The bell cants off to the player's right. This is the way it was designed. I have seen this on Vito Beaugnier tenors as well.

Another unique feature about this bari has to do with the low C#
On almost every other sax, the low C# keypad is closed when at rest, but not so on this bari, oh no.
The low C# doesn't close until the lower stack D is closed at which time the C# also closes.
At that point the C# can be opened with the left-hand pinkie as is normal.
This puzzled me until I asked an acquaintance who had this to say:

"I may have your answer. I remember seeing years ago on saxpics website an SML patent where SML had the idea of opening the C# automatically to improve intonation on middle D when the octave key was depressed ---plus on baris in particular, it is often a "problem note" because suddenly (between C and D) the length of the air column varies enormously. I have tried it on several saxes and it is true that this corrective fingering improves intonation.
...[there are] a number of corrective fingerings on almost every note of the sax....
I dunno for what sax SML had this in mind, if I recall the drawings [it] looked like altos, but the rationale in the patent was intonation.... and I don't believe it went past the prototype stage. Apparently Beaugnier "copied" the idea (or was it reverse?) and put it in practice on the bari! well done!...."

I'm going to be brutally honest about this horn. Bari's are too expensive to ship to accept returns.
This may make it seem worse than it is, but....

- The lacquer on the neck (or more accurately, the lack of lacquer) hints that this neck may not be original to the body. It fits fine and there is no other reason to believe that it isn't original. And it's probably not as critical with this horn, because the octave vent is not on the removable neck.

- Neckstrap ring has been replaced. The replacement is a very nice job. This isn't a negative thing really.

- Crack at the neck screw. I took a couple pictures of this. This isn't unusual for bari's to develop cracks here. These cracks can be stable for years. I've had good luck soldering a small brass patch over the crack. It's less radical than trying to silver solder the crack and seems to hold just as well.

- Dentwork - This horn is pretty darn straight with less dents than many if not most bari's. I think there was a good amount of dentwork done on this horn in order to achieve that state. The neck loop is remarkably free of dents. The neck loop brace has been reworked, probably at the time the dentwork was done. To do the dentwork, the neck loop was unsoldered to get at the various parts and then soldered back together. The neck loop is plenty solid and not very noticeable.

The lacquer is original, with a good amount of playwear.

On the other hand...the pads are in good condition and seal well....the bell is fairly dent free.

I can play this horn top to bottom, but I don't have the lung power to do the low end justice. I had a local bari player come in and testplay it. He found everything in good working order. He especially liked the tone or timbre of the horn. His only complaint was that the lefthand pinkie plateau keys were so different from his Conn and Martin that he was having trouble adjusting.

French Vito Baritone Sax

 

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