Saxophone/Elkhart alto sax

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Question
Hi there Charles, I've been given an alto sax in part payment for some work I did on a guitar for somebody.

It is an Elkhart, looks pretty old, in a thin wood or compressed board case, with blue plush lining, on the horn is Elkhart, "Distributed by Vincent Bach International Ltd" on the back a number (SN?) 57610 and Made in in GDR. It is in pretty good condition, with a few mouthpieces, and I obviously will sell it on.

Can you tell me anything of it's nature, ie student, semi pro, pro etc?

Regards

Seán in UK

Answer
Sean,

It's my understanding the Elkhart line of instruments is distributed in Europe by Vincent Bach Ltd as a student / intermediate line of instruments. However in this case I'm not sure if what you have would be considered good for either of those without getting my hands on it and taking a close look.

The problem is it was manufactured in the GDR, also known as East Germany. Musical instruments that came from East Germany run the gambit of being sub par to pretty good. Records from this time period are also impossible to come by so I cant date it with the serial number, but I can say it was made prior to 1990. The problem is the communist controlled economy would not always allow the best materials to go to anything but the military so the factories had to work with what they got. The results were a lot of hits and misses. Some days they were making a good instrument other not so good.

My advice to you would be to find a tech in your area that can look it over and make a better determination of exactly what you have. However as you have some mouthpieces in the cases you could have something in the mouthpieces. I recently had a question on this site where a mouthpiece was found that was worth more than the saxophone they found it with.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help as the info on these is very limited.

Charles Harris

Saxophone

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Charles Harris

Expertise

questions regarding equipment, performance, repairs, lessons, etc. Almost all saxophone related questions.

Experience

I am a professional member of N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instruments Repair Technicians). I have been repairing saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and brass instruments since 1993. I perform in several professional groups covering genres form classical, jazz, and rock.

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N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians

Education/Credentials
St. Petersburg Junior College (AA) University of South Florida.

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