Saxophone Forum


by dantheguitargod
(3 posts)
2 years ago

Supertone history & identification

This is my first sax. It appears to be intact and functional. Stamping reads: PATD DEC 1914 P16661 L . The sound holes have no radius, and the pads are leather. Does the stamped data indicate the date manufactured? Thanks for your time and any info you can provide.

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  1. by GFC
    (332 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: Supertone history & identification

    Supertone was a stencil brand of a marketer that sold horns made by Conn and Martin in the 1920s. Stencil horns were modified versions of the horns that the manufacturers sold under their own names. The modifications were usually to meet the cost criteria of the marketer. They are the equivalent of student/intermediate horns, but are often good players that sound very close to the manufacturer-branded horns they are based on. The patent date is not the date of manufacture. The patent in question was for the process of drawing the tonehole chimneys out of the body as opposed to soldering them on. Martin used soldered toneholes. Your horn was in all likelihood made by Conn. The "P16661" is the serial number. The "L" stands for "low pitch." Prior to World War II, saxophones were sold in low pitch and high pitch models. The low pitch horns were tuned to A=440 Hz, which is the standard used today. A horn marked "H" is a high pitch model. High pitch horns cannot be used to play to modern tuning standards. What exactly do you mean by the toneholes having "no radius?"

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    1. by dantheguitargod
      (3 posts)

      2 years ago

      Re: Supertone history & identification

      Thank's for the reply. The top of the chimneys are machined flat, and are not "rolled over" or have any kind of rounded edges where the pads land on the top of the chimney. I had assumed that this was a method of manufacture from another post I had read. Is it possible to tell a soldred tone hole from an unsoldred one? Thanks, I was wondering what pitch it was tuned to, and haven't had a chance to check it yet, as I'm just making goose sounds at this point. I'm such a noobie, but still having fun.

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      1. by GFC
        (332 posts)

        2 years ago

        Re: Supertone history & identification

        Unsoldered toneholes are made from the same piece of metal as the body of the horn. They are approximately the same thickness as the body. Martin's soldered toneholes are thick rings of brass that are beveled towards the pad seats. Conn made rolled toneholes on the top line horns they sold under their own name, but not on their second-line models. Enjoy your piece of quirky saxophone history and remember......... Long tones, long tones, long tones. They're the foundation for everything you do.

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        1. by dantheguitargod
          (3 posts)

          2 years ago

          Re: Supertone history & identification

          Thanks specially for that last line of information. Any other hints you can offer to a beginner? Reed selection? Links to reading or vids that might help me? I have had some difficulty getting the higher notes to sound clean and sustain. I appreciate you help and knowlege immensely. Dan

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        2. by GFC
          (332 posts)

          2 years ago

          Re: Supertone history & identification

          Here's a good place to start for the basics. www.bestsaxophonewebsiteever.com/a-guide-to-free-online-saxophone-lessons There's lots of other information and tips for developing players on the same site. The guy who runs it is very enthusiastic and helpful.

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