Saxophone/MasterArt USA Saxophone
I'm emailing in regards to information about saxophones. I googled masterart saxophones and your site came up. I have an old one and just wondering if you know where I can maybe get some more information about the brand, serial numbers, etc...
Master Art was a stencil saxophone made by Conn. I've answered many similar questions regarding this issue in the past and if you review some of my previous post you should find quite a bit of information. You can also do a Google search for stencil saxophones for more info on the topic.
Basically a stencil is when one company outsources their production to another factory as they usually don't have be ability to do the work themselves. Often the parent company, in the case of the Master Art it's Conn, will base the horn on a previous model and/or they will omit features found on their standard models. This practice is still very common today and virtually all horns being produced in Asia are in essence stencil's. So if you wanted to go into the saxophone manufacturing business, all you would need to to is contact a factory, give them your specs based on what they are able to do, and then order a few 100 horns. Once your check clears they will start production.
I found a photo on Ebay of a Master Art saxophone that appeared to have an adjustable tuning mechanism on the neck. If the horn you have has this feature than then horn you have would be based on the Conn 6M also known as The Artist Model. The Artist Model was Charlie Parkers horn of choice as well as many of the jazz legends from the 1930 up to the 50's. Without seeing photos I can only guess what you have but as it was made by Conn, it's going to be a great playing horn and should serve you very well. Unfortunately the serial numbers on these horns only serve to identify a particular horn from another. Rarely would records be kept and any attempt to date the horn based on the serial numbers would be futile. More than likely the sax you have was made in the 1920's or 30's but beyond that it's going to be near impossible to be more exact without looking at the horn in person.
If you need to have the sax looked at by a tech, you should be able to find someone in your area through NAPBIRT (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians) www.napbirt.org
Do a tech search for someone in your area. The info you gave me said you were in California but didn't say what part. If your lucky enough to be in the San Francisco Bay area than look up Lee's Sax Worx. He has a great reputation and should be able to tell you exactly what you have. If not just find someone in your area and then call to verify they have experience with older horns from the 1920's and 30's as these horns often have a few odd features not found on modern instruments and often have hidden issues that will need to be addressed by an experienced technician.
I hope this helps and if there is anything more I can do, let me know.