Saxophone Forum


by Dave Dix
(421 posts)
10 years ago

Martin committee tenor enquiry?

Hi,just bought a 1937 committee.Wonderful player with great intonation but i cant work out the engraving theme? Is it anything to do with Orson Wells radio show with the searchlights and a comet crashing to the ground and the bald eagle staring to the sky ? OR JUST A VIVID IMAGINATION ON MY PART!!!! Also the laquer is nearly all there(especially as martins were known for bad laquer)but seems a bit cloudy nickely coloured or would that be just age. Dave

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by saxismyaxe
    (574 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Martin committee tenor enquiry?

    Hi Dave, You are half right about the engraving. First of all, what you have is a HANDCRAFT Committee as opposed to the post 1945 THE MARTIN COMMITTEE. Both have their fan base and are Excellent horns. The Searchlight engraving, as it is known, is mean to be a pun on the name Martin, I.E. Martian. Martin instruments played with this theme throughout the 30's and early 40's with their engraving designs. By the way, Teddy Edwards and Tex Beneke both played your model Martin throughout their careers. Regarding the lacquer, Martin applied lacquer will either darken to a deep honey color, or at times, I have seen the worn spots thin to slightly yellow/nickel color like you have described. Kings from the 20's have this trait quite often too. I have a 1946 The Martin Committee Tenor which has it's original finish, and other than honest wear on the obvious spots, The lacquer is about 98% perfect. It was used professionally when purchased, so given (as you've mentioned) the fact that Martin did indeed have a reputation for bad lacquer, it is something of a marvel. You'll love your new Martin, I guarantee! Cheers.

    Reply To Post


    1. by saxismyaxe
      (574 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Martin committee tenor enquiry?

      Oops, meant to say Kings from the 30's, no lacquer used by them in the 20's of course.

      Reply To Post


      1. by Dave Dix
        (421 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Martin committee tenor enquiry?

        I also have a The martin tenor from 1955,typewriter(master) tenor and a standard special alto with near perfect honey coloured lacquer but we have left out the committee 2 from 1938-45(serial no 125k-150k) All 4 martins have different colour lacquer but my h/c committee just looks a bit smokey,perhaps it got damp underneath and just clouded a bit but who cares cos it roars. Its a tough choice between The martin and the h/c committee ,ego's are better on the martin but tone seems better on the h/c comm.I think after i've gigged it a bit i will make up my mind but i could not sell any of them. Dave

        Reply To Post


        1. by saxismyaxe
          (574 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Martin committee tenor enquiry?

          Well of course, if we want to list them all we can't forget the Troubador, Imperial, Centennial, and Magna. I was discussing the Martian theme of the "Searchlight" engraving found on the Handcraft Committee models etc. The finish piculiarity that I was speaking of is less of a lacquer "Silvering" , and more of a gunmetal or nickel like metalic color showing through, although the horns in question were not plated underneath the lacquer. I've seen a lot of this on both Martins and KIngs, as I mentioned above. If anyone has a clue what causes this, I'd be interested. I'm an illustrator, and well versed in paints and paint applications of all sorts, and still find the condition foreign to me.. I have a Handcraft Committee Tenor, a Martin Committee Tenor and Baritone, a Music Man Committee Tenor, and a Magna Tenor, and will admit that the Handcraft has the warmest tone, and perhaps slightly better intonation. I am willing to sacrifice that slight edged for the much slicker and quicker keywork of the Martin Committee and Musicman models. All horns exhibit a big, warm, and bold sound as you know. Let us know what conclusion you come up with, Dave. Cheers.

          Reply To Post


        2. by Dave Dix
          (421 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Martin committee tenor enquiry?

          You're correct about the lacquer mine does look more of a nickel colouring showing thru,perhaps they coloured the lacquer a bit to blend in the nickel keywork? My other martins dont have this but they are all brass keys. Anyone else have a h/c committee to compare? Dave

          Reply To Post