I've finally finished overhauling my personal c.1949 Dolnet tenor sax! There were a couple small dents to remove, tone-holes to level, rods to true... I stripped the really worn and ugly lacquer from the body, guards and neck, steel-wooled it to a satin finish, polished for hours, and gave it a coat of wax.
The key's finish, however, looked much better than the body's, with a great oxidized/iridescent patina...so I washed them and left them alone. I think the contrast is interesting and emphasizes the age, but in an understated way. I finished it off with MusicMedic soft feel tan pads with flat metal resonators and it plays great from top to bottom! Considering I bought it for $500, I'm really happy with my 1st sax overhaul project and am looking forward to seeing how the finish is going to age over time...
Dolnet was a French company, maker of saxophones and clarinets, in business from approximately WWI to the late 1970's/early 80's. They weren't heavily imported to this country, but were popular with some Jazz musicians that went to France. Quality of build is good, especially the older examples, and the tenors have a big, gutsy tone like a Conn 10m, the altos more sweet and refined...but for about 1/8th the price of a comparable French Selmer! In fact, I've heard them referred to as "the poor man's Mark6" !
I can't attest to the veracity of that claim, but I own (or have owned) a silver soprano, a Low A baritone and numerous altos and tenors. They're lovely horns and I'd like to see them become more popular as more famous brands continue to skyrocket out of the price range of any but collectors...
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The Licorice Shtick Blog is the creation of the Vintage Clarinet Doctor, a Winston Salem, NC based woodwind instrument repair shop specializing in vintage and antique clarinets, saxophones, and the occasional flute.