Re: 1914 chuck berry ultra sax
I think you mean a Chu Berry. The sax was made by Conn in the 1920's, and was actually called the New Wonder, but became known as the Chu Berry by association with the great tenor player of that era, who played with Benny Carter and other notable big bands of the day. The horn has a big sound, and I have a friend here in New York, who plays regular gigs at local jazz and blues bars, who plays nothing but Chu Berry altos. He owns two of them. The Chu Berry alto and tenor saxes have a beautiful, full sound. Keep in mind that the mechanism is not like the modern standard, but if you get used to it, you will have a rich sounding horn that is capable of playing in just about any musical situation. Lots of players complain about the intonation of old horns, but that is mostly due to the fact that modern players using old horns often make the mistake of using mouthpieces that are not made for old horns, and sax repairmen often make the mistake of putting pads with modern resonators, which also affects the intonation negatively. Let's face it, did Lester Young, Johnny Hodges or Charlie Parker ever play out of tune? They used old horns. Pads with flat resonators are the answer. Also, visit a music store or online store, where you can fit an old horn with a mouthpiece more suited to it. I refer you to
If you get the horn you have properly overhauled and tweeked, you will have a great playing and sounding horn. You will need a mouthpiece with a chamber that is more suited to the bore of old saxes. The right pads are also very important. This way, there will not be any intonation problems, and the horn will sing.
I hope this helps