Saxophone with short bell

Paul A. sent me a photo of his alto sax in response to my previous post on a saxophone with two octave keys. His saxophone also has two octave keys, and it has a short bell. Contemporary saxophones have a longer bell, go down to B flat, and have two large pads on the bell. Paul’s saxophone has a shorter bell, only goes down to B, and only has one pad on the bell.

Alto sax with short bell

Here’s a closeup of the octave keys.

Two octave keys

Paul says he found his instrument in an antique shop. It has no serial number or manufacturer information. If you know anything about this model, please leave a comment below.

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9 thoughts on “Saxophone with short bell

  1. I’m no expert so your mileage may vary, but this looks like a modified Mayfair-Sharpe model Coolbreeze O7 or O9

  2. Hi James, thanks for your suggestion! A quick Internet search didn’t reveal a Mayfair-Sharpe company (or combination of the name). Are they still in business or perhaps predate the Internet under a different name?

  3. Hi Mike,
    Thank you for the link. It is spot on. The sax I have has all the tell-tale signs of a contemporary Indian sax made to resemble a 1900’s version… complete with puffy red pads, spiral plastic looking springs, etc. The keys don’t close properly, which I presumed was due to a sloppy re-pad job, but it may be an inherent quality issue. Eitherway, it’s a novel item I’ll probably use as wall art until I get interested enough to attempt to have it repaired.
    Thanks for your input!

  4. I’ve owned a Grafton saxophone and loved it.
    Calling it a cheap plastic sax misrepresents the horn. It had quite a bark.
    BTW check out Bud Powels comping on all the things you are on that recording. Bud was Beautiful.

  5. One of my university colleges has a sax exactly like this, unused and hanging on a wall. I was asked to have a look at it as a sax player and member of the music society! I thought it was handmade as it’s missing a lot of the finer mechanisms normally found on an alto sax.

  6. It’s an Indian saxophone, Sai musical instruments Utter Pradesh is the company of it’s manufacturer . Good quality ,and sound and cost 7500 INR ,which means cheapest sax on india ,but good sound , i also have this one ,buyed from Amazon and it gold polished

  7. this is a so called Saxophone shaped object, it is really not a working instrument made in India (to this day) not an antique and nearly always unplayable.
    Very often found on line

  8. As some have commented, in India, there is a (thriving) local manufacturing and market for saxophones of exactly this variety. You can get it for less than $100 equivalent. This is mostly used by local marching bands and to play in marriage parties.

    I have used this for 7 years now and my observations are:
    1. It is an Eb baby sax that produces a range of around 2 octaves (playing some of the notes on the end of this range requires some trial and error tweaking of instrument and embouchure). It is definitely not a double key.
    2. Keys are hard as hell and a typical 1 hr of play/practice can leave your fingers numb (mostly because of hard springs). Leakages are almost always there and other unexplained defects.
    3. This is mostly manufactured with minimal use of machinery. Mostly using old hand shaped moulds into which brass is poured and later some of the edges and burrs polished (but not all). Chrome plating mostly.
    4. About 5-6 manufacturers make this and almost all of them seem to have the same original mould copy and hence the same defects.
    5. With a lot of tweaking and/or brute force, people have learned to play it reasonably fine (within that range)
    6. Worst of all, it is about 1/2 or 1/4 note out of tune, again not consistently.

    Until a better make (but also cheap) alternative is available, this will continue to sell. Nearest good (chinese) alternatives are about 4 times the price of this.

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