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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:51 pm 
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A reader writes:

I had a Penzel Mueller alto sax which I bought on EBay a couple of years ago. It is a Buescher stencil, 20A. I have not seen another Penzel Mueller sax anywhere of any size, although I've seen alto, tenor, and bari mouthpieces listed on EBay. It is the same as the Elkhart sax's of the '50's that my friends had. (I had a 1959 Bundy alto.). Anyway, it is probably prewar as it has the double bow protector that you described in your article, True Tone style low C# cork, articulated G#, half circle G# key without roller. It's a nice playing horn, but I now have a Big B and a New Aristocrat that I love dearly. I don't have the Penzel Mueller any more, but have pictures that I used when I listed it on EBay earlier this year. It didn't sell, so I donated it to a local high school this month. If you want to know more, contact me, and I will tell you what I know.

-----------------------------------

Thanks for getting in touch. My tenor is a first-gen Selmer Signet, which is actually a relabeled Aristocrat. I have had three other Buescher-manufactured saxes over the years, and am quite the fan. When someone tells me they prefer post-1970 saxes because of the easier fingering, I just look at them funny. :-)

I would like very much to see the photos of your Penzel Mueller.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:53 pm 
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The reader sent photos - not all of them came through for some reason. But enough to see what he had.

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---------Our Response--------------

Thanks - this is definitely earlier than my Elkhart tenor, based, as you said on the G# key, but having both low pads on the same side of the bell is almost always a post-war feature for student horns. How did she play?

I'm guessing her engineering was more TruTone than Aristocrat. Which still makes her better than 99% of the under-$1200 list horns coming out of China today. :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:59 pm 
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The reader responded:

The horn played well, but not as well as Buescher's top of the line. I played it on a gig, and it was very good. It has good tone, but not quite the richness or even scale of the top of the line. I liked the Rascher mouthpiece a little better than the Penzel Mueller mouthpiece, but the PM mouthpiece is quite good I was hoping the horn would be a Big B stencil, but it wasn't. I later learned that the top of the line horns weren't stenciled. Based on the case and name, "Artist", I think PM marketed it as an intermediate or low end professional horn. I haven't found out anything about it, so I can only speculate.

------------Our Response--------------------

Did you say it had the "knee buster" bow protector? I can't really tell from the photos I got so far. That's something that they discarded around WWII if not before. I've never seen one on a horn with both low pads on the left side.

The bore was probably 100% TruTone, which WAS professional back in 1921. :-)

Typically, TrueTone-based horns don't have quite the volume or "edge" of the Aristocrat. That includes the First-gen Selmer Bundy horns. That said, I can get quite a bit of sound out of a First-gen Bundy tenor if it's set up right and I use a good mouthpiece. Wouldn't mind having one as a "second horn" I could leave at church and not worry about. :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:02 pm 
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The reader replied:

The second email has a closeup of the "knee buster" and the low C# cork. This might be running into a capacity issue on one our email servers. I'll try again later.

I now have two altos, a 1931 New aristocrat and a 1947 Aristocrat Big B.

My tenor is a Bundy II. It must be an early one, as the neck has the Buescher curve rather than a Selmer curve. It gets a great sound with a Hite Premier mouthpiece.


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