How To Find The Age Of A Saxophone? (Solved)

How To Find The Age Of A Saxophone
Written by Corey Morgan

It is possible that you are thinking about purchasing a new saxophone, but there is a problem: you have no idea how long the saxophone has been around, and it is also possible that one of your parents or grandparents gave you their old saxophone. In either case, you are in a precarious position. You, on the other hand, do not know how old that saxophone is. In this post, we are going to provide you with all of the steps necessary to find the age of your saxophone as well as how one can determine other information that is related to this topic.

What’s There To Know?

Knowing how to read the serial number on a saxophone might help you choose between a high-quality instrument and one that you should steer clear of and most importantly, the year it was produced and its model.

Serial numbers are the one-of-a-kind numbers that are found on the back of saxophones, often inscribed under the thumb holding on the right side. They are helpful in determining the specific model and manufacturing year of the instrument.

How To Find The Age Of A Saxophone

We will walk you through the various serial numbers that are employed by five (5) of the most well-known saxophone manufacturers. This is to help you pick the best models of your choice from these brands with the knowledge of their serial numbers.

If you know the instrument’s serial number, you can determine whether you are looking at a likely great instrument or something that is designed for players with less experience.

Companies like Buescher, Conn, Martin, and King produce the majority of their instruments today in the form of stencil and/or student models. Here are some reputable saxophone brands that we’ll focus on;

  1. Martin
  2. Selmer
  3. Keilwerth
  4. King
  5. Buescher

These 5 brands were selected by us for a variety of different reasons.

To begin, they are among the saxophone makers in the world who have the most amount of available documentation. There is also a significant gap in quality between the different models they offer; therefore, being familiar with the best serial numbers will help you avoid purchasing a horn that is of low-grade.

It is possible that you are curious about the reason we did not include brands like Yamaha and Yanagisawa on this list.

The explanation for this is that modern saxophone manufacturers such as these still don’t have a history that is sufficient to evaluate the horns’ quality based on their serial numbers.

Therefore, let us get right down to business and begin with one of the most ancient companies on this list: Buescher.

1. Buescher

How to find the age of a buescher saxophone

The Buescher 400 ‘Top Hat & Cane’ / ‘Super 400’, which includes both alto and tenor models and was made between 1941 and 1963, is the most well-known and, some would argue, the best model that this saxophone manufacturer has ever created.

Because all of the previous expertise and experience with the Buescher Aristocrat series was applied to the creation of these instruments, they feature significant advancements in terms of design, materials, and comfort. As a result, they are the very best that Buescher has to offer.

The range of serial numbers is from 296000 to 360000.

2. Keilwerth

How to find the age of a keilwerh saxophone

Keilwerth is going to be our next manufacturer, and we are going to travel all the way over to Europe to check out their saxophones.

In Czechoslovakia, Julius Keilwerth began his training as an apprentice in the exquisite skill of playing wind instruments. Before travelling to Germany, he became an expert in all of the trade secrets guarded by the Czech masters. At the beginning of World War II, his company had more than 150 employees, making it one of the largest saxophone manufacturers in the world.

This did not happen by chance; rather, Keilwerth became the company of choice for experts all over the world as a result of years of effort, talented employees, and an uncanny, unrelenting commitment to the highest standards of excellence in their work. If you have not tried one yet, you should because you are in for a pleasant surprise.

Julius Keilwerth is credited with having established the corporation. Prior to 1986, when Keilwerth employed jazz saxophonist Peter Ponzol to assist in the development of more professional models, the company’s primary focus was on making stencils for other German businesses.

Ponzol’s efforts culminated in the creation of the SX90R, which has been in production from around 1992 till the current day and has a serial number that begins with 97251.

3. King Saxophones

Saxophones made by King come next, and their Zephyr and Super 20 versions are among their most well-known instruments.

  • Zephyr

The Zephyr was manufactured for a considerable amount of time; but, in our opinion, the models with serial numbers ranging from 180000 to 340000 are the best ones to look for.

It is also important to note that there is a crossover with the Voll-True II model, which was produced earlier than the Zephyr. This was done before the Zephyr. This indicates that the first generation of Zephyrs is equivalent to the Voll-True II.

Serial numbers from 1935 to 1975 ranged from 180000 to 511000.

There is an improved model of the Zephyr available, and it is referred to as the Zephyr Special. These had a neck made entirely of solid silver, a bore that was unique, and engraving on various essential works.

Serial numbers from 1937 to 1945 range from 209000 to 271999

  • Super 20

After the end of World War II, King introduced the illustrious Super 20.

When opposed to the Zephyr, the Super 20 featured an improved neck design, improved key layout, and improved intonation. Additionally, the Super 20 had better intonation.

The ones with serial numbers ranging from 275000 to 425999 are considered to be the greatest. After that, the location of the manufacturing was changed to Eastlake, which is located in Ohio. In general, the quality of these horns is inferior, and as a result, their value is lower.

Serial numbers ranged from 275000 to 800000 from 1945 to 1998.

4. Martin Saxophones

On this list of saxophone manufacturers from Elkhart, Indiana, Martin is the third one, and it is possible that it is the least well-known. However, this does not in any way indicate that the Buescher or Conn horns are more impressive than the Martin horns!

The Handcraft Committee (manufactured between 1935 and 1938 with serial numbers ranging from 114000 to 125000) are one of the popular brands out there.

5. Selmer Saxophone Serial Numbers

Now that we have finished with the American horns, let us take a vacation to France to investigate the Henri Selmer firm, which is widely regarded as being among the finest manufacturers of saxophones in history.

Mark VI was produced from 1954 through 1975, with serial numbers ranging from 55201 to 233900.

These are without a doubt the most well-known and highly regarded saxophones in the entire world.

First and foremost, Selmer raised the bar by introducing the groundbreaking Balanced Action (bell keys on the right side, bell turned by 14 degrees, and new design neck),