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Vito 'Transitional' Alto Saxophone

Neither Frog nor Cheesehead

Serial number 4628A. Doctor Sax stock #1028.

Sold to young aspiring local student.

All new pads, corks and felts. Regulated and adjusted.

It is my own idea to call this a Vito 'Transitional' sax. Let me explain why. This sax is not marked with its country of origin or country of manufacture. That is pretty unusual. Here is my theory. Initially the Vito line of saxes were wholly manufactured by Beaugnier in France and exported to the U.S. where they were sold as Vitos. The import duties proved too costly. So Vito imported unassembled sax components from Beaugnier and assembled them in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Eventually production was shifted so that the horns were wholly fabricated in Kenosha (except the LeBlanc System horns?). Still later, production was shifted to Japan, both Yamaha and Yanigasawa making particular horns. And finally now, the Vito saxes are made in Taiwan.

I have been putting together a serial number list for Vito branded horns. If you have any comments, corrections or additions, please let me know. The hard part is assigning year of manufacture to the horns.

This one is serial number 4628A (I had the incorrect serial number in before, but have now corrected it), no indication where it is made. Besides the serial number, the only other thing engraved on it is "Vito" on the bell.

Since this horn does not have country of origin engraved on it, yet it has many Beaugnier-style features, I have decided to call it a 'transitional' horn.

What I refer to as Beaugnier style features are, most notably to my mind, the bell brace and the G# articulation selector lever. In this particular horn I also noticed the distinctive bell rim flare having a broad, flat lip. This and the general shape of the body tube may explain what some describe as a distinctive French sound or timbre.

One foot of the Low C key guard was missing. I fabricated a new foot and soldered it on. I was not able to match the screws on the other feet, so I just used one that was available. I have provided pictures of this.

There was a couple of small dents in the neck that I pushed out. You can see a tiny 'dink' where whatever caused the dent hit the neck. I believe the inner surface of the neck is smooth. Where I did the dent work is pretty shiny, but it will only be a matter of time before it matches the rest of the horn.

There is very little lacquer on this horn and it has acquired a very nice patina which seems very stable.

The side F# (14) key had nasty looking corrosion on the outside of the key. I had to buff it to get it off. It now is very shiny, but it too will tone down to match the rest of the sax as the years go by.

This sax has all new pads, corks and felts. Well, except for the cork under the octave key touch. It was a nice round cork that was plenty thick so I just left it on. The pads are Ferees rivet pads...the pad thickness seemed about right and necessitated the least amount of key bending to get it in adjustment.

This Sax has no case. I have a brand new soft-side padded case I can sell for $50.

     

     

    Picture one...bell keys on the left

     

    Picture two.

    Picture three - You can see my dentwork in two places. Once the shininess disappears it should be almost invisible..

    Picture 4 - See the 'fingernail file' cross hatching on the G Sharp articulation selector lever?

    Picture 5 - You can see the distinctive Beaugnier bell brace. You can also see the unique and well-designed G# linkage mechanism, though it is kinda hard to know what you are looking at until you see it in the flesh.

    Picture 6 - This is the key I buffed to get the corrosion off. It is so shiny that my fingerprint shows up. It too will dull down as time passes..

    Seventh picture. Bell rim

    Picture 8 - Pictured is the keyguard foot that I fabricated and soldered on.

    Picture 9 - the bow geometry is nice.

    Picture 10 - There has been dentwork on the side of the bow, but it isn't bad.

     
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