Saxophone Forum

by bonsai87
(2 posts)
5 years ago

HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??


I am a passionate saxophoniste and now I inherited a Tenor Saxophone.

It looks very very old, the box it came with is also quite vintage and all the pads etc. appear aged.

The wording on the Saxophone says

"Ludwig Standard"

"St. Louis MO"

The serial number is "R6571"

Now I dont know if this saxophone is of great value or not because some of the keys are not airtight anymore and the reconditioning would be quite extensive I guess. Even though, it has a fantastic full warm deep sound.


I usually play a Selmer Saxophone which I am totally happy with. I consider selling the Ludwig Tenorsax and have no idea whether that is a good thing to do or not.


Any advise or help is highly appreciated! Thank you!


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  1. by bonsai87
    (2 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

    any further information also appreciated beind sent to


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    1. by Saxquest
      (398 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

      This is actually a very cool saxophone from a local historical perspective. But sadly, its not worth a whole lot. Its most likely a Conn or Buescher stencil from the 1920's.

      Let me start by giving you a bit of history about Ludwig in St. Louis. Since I'm from St. Louis and I'm a saxophone historian, I can speak with a bit of authority on the subject. Established in 1876 by Alex Ludwig, Ludwig Music House started out slowly, but became a huge deal in St. Louis for band & orchestra instruments after the turn of the century. They were located in north St. Louis city at 514 Walnut just west and south of the famous Eads Bridge (the first bridge to span the Mississippi River).

      By the 1910's they were the place to go in St. Louis. All of the Vaudeville musicians knew of the place and it began to obtain a national presence. Alex and his wife, both great musicians in their own right, retired shortly after the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 and the business was sold to Charles Grohe, who was a business partner with Alex. This turned out to be a very good move for the company as Grohe was extremely well respected in the St. Louis musical scene and was one of those kind of guys who "everyone liked". The business blossomed under his leadership and road the wave of the "jazz age" into the early 1920's. At this time they were stencilling saxophones from both Conn and Buescher. This continued thru the 1940's at which time the J. F. Hunleth Music Store (established in 1901)  located in downtown St. Louis began to compete in a big way for the local band and orchestral musician.

      Your saxophone was most likely produced in the 1920's or 1930' when Ludwig was at its height for saxophone and other band instrument distribution. The word "standard", in reference to band instruments, at that time, generally meant a lower price option. For example the Martin Standard was introduced as a lower price point saxophone to the Martin Imperial in 1934. Ludwig used the word standard to imply that this was a company instrument targeted for the amateur player or the musician on a budget. They also carried Conn and Buescher so this instrument would have filled a slightly lower price point gap for them. If you could post a few photos here that would be most interesting.

      In 1939 Ludwig Music House began to introduce pianos which its existing company (Ludwig Aeolian Piano Superstore) is now known for exclusively. The intorduction of pianos was probably a long over-due venture initiated as a way of diversifying in response to Hunleth Music Store taking over as the hub for band & orchestral instruments in St. Louis at that time. The introduction of piano sales was accopanied by the opening of a second store at Grand and Gravois, which is actually located about about a mile south of my house and on they way between my house and my shop (Saxquest - about a mile east on Cherokee Street). In the 1940's Grand and Gravois was a high traffic location and the largest bus and transfer point in St. Louis. It would have been an exciting time to live in the city of St. Louis!!!

      In 1970, Ludwig Music House absorbed the Aeolian Company of Missouri and changed its name to Ludwig Aeolian. They moved to their current location in Earth City Missouri in 1989 and again changed names to the Ludwig Aeolian Piano Superstore in 2006. You would never know of the early history if you walked into the store today. The store is a mega piano store with colored pianos displayed in glass windows visible from Interstate 70 as you drive by. Today, the store looks as modern as ever and has nothing to do with band instruments. But, none-the-less, this is the history of your saxophone. ENJOY!!!


           Mark Overton




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      1. by badenia
        (7 posts)

        11 months ago

        Re: HELP: Know the brand "Ludwig Standard" ??

        While a few years late, I though I would add a possible update to this as I have been studying the Windsor line for some time now:

        Pictures would have been very helpful on this one.

        The R serial number and the potential timing of the sax would indicate that it is a Windsor stencil. Windsor was a line of the Elkhart Band Instrument Co, subsidiary of Buescher introduced in 1937. The trademark is registered with the USPTO.

        The R serials represents the older models and so far the highest I have recorded are in the high 25000's. So far it is looking like the Windsor serials may have integrated into the main Buescher line in the 370,000's or about 1960/61. Therefore this sax was likely produced between 1937 and 1960.

        To try to narrow a bit further, It looks like the R serials were used for about 18 years, This assumes Windsor was shut down during WWII (1942-1945) and not affected by the Korean War. It also assumes a restart in 1948 with the Elkhart BIC restart.

        Thus a straight line production estimate is about 1400 instruments per year. That would put this sax in the 4th or 5th year or 1940/41.


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