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 Post subject: East German Saxophones
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:24 am 
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A reader writes:

I have been given an alto sax Made in GDR (German Democratic Republic? ) called an "APOLLO " #47724. I can not find any info on this horn. It plays well and is in fair condition. Would you be able to help me find out about it?

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for getting in touch.
According to this page : http://thesax.info/makesandmodels/
The sax may have been made in East Germany by "B&S" (VEB Blechblas und Signalinstrumentenfabrik)
B&S apparently made some pretty bad horns under the brand name Weltklang (and possible others) back in the day but reputedly made some better horns later on. Apollo seems to be a model name, not a brand name.
The http://www.b-and-s.com/en/ B&S web site implies that they're part of the Buffet Crampon company now, who also owns Keilwerth, a decent sax brand that has migrated its manufacturing to Asia. So chances are B&S saxes haven't been made in Europe for decades.
I could be wrong about all of this, of course, but it may be a place to start. Consider comparing your horn to Buffet and other non-Selmer European manufacturers to see if you can detect resemblances.
Please let me know if you find anything,
Best of luck - Paul


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:06 pm 
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A reader writes:

I have a Jubilee tenor sax - obviously stenciled by
Weltklang as this horn is identical to a Weltklang Soloist except
for engraving Paul

------------------------------------------
Cool, do you suppose it was made in Europe? Many are made in China now.
- Paul


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:06 pm 
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The reader replies:

I had this Jubilee (sold it to a mate for his son yesterday) shoulder
to shoulder with a Weltklang Soilist I bought for the daughter of
close friends (both tenors) and the only difference apart from the
engraving (more elaborate on the Jubilee) was the eyelet for the neck
strap hook, round on the Weltklang and Square on the Jubilee -
otherwise identical in every respect. Both marked GDR so I'm guessing
mid to late 80s. I chased the serial number down for the solist and it
was made 1986 - four years before the wall came down.

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

Not many East German saxes made it into the west. I've never had my
hands on one. Drawn or soldered holes? And how did it play?

Don't suppose you have any photos? - Paul


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:22 pm 
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The reader replied: Paul

tone holes drawn - both played fine, sax mad jazz mate (Selmer / King player) from the UK borrowed when he was here earlier in the year and reckoned he could have sold it "back home" for 800 pounds. He praised it for what it was "that's a great horn" and was more than happy to have it. Obviously this didn't compare to his regular horns but normally he'd hire a Yamaha from a local music store.

I paid $400 AUD for the Jubilee which I why I bought it - too good a deal me thought. The Soloist (I bought from Germany) I paid over $700 AUD

The only reason I sold the Jubilee yesterday (I was going to loan this to my mate's son for six months) was because I have just ordered a Keilwerth MKX alto (sax #9)

I have 5 altos, two unplayable - a Beuscher high-pitched and a Gerber Monnig "Exquisito" circa 1930 which is at my technicians) Playable vintage Conn 'Shooting Star' in fabulous condition, a fully restored 1927 Buescher True Tone, a Stienbach (Mk6 copy) cheap entry level instrument which I don't mind carrying about. A gorgeous 1920-ish L.Pirrett soprano and a mid 60s Kohlert Regent tenor in great condition. The Kohlert was a real surprise considering the companies history, I mean they went bankrupt the year later!!!

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

I'm not surprised that your Kohlert plays very well; they had a reputation for good engineering and attention to detail. Not such a good reputation for good marketing, I'm afraid.

Would still like to see photos of your GDR horns if you have them. Most people assume GDR horns were all crap (some of them were); it would be nice to set the record straight.

Have a great day - Paul


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:28 pm 
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The reader replied:

Kohlert's financial issues began in 1960 so it here that they began cutting back on things to save costs. They finished up in 1966 to to have a great horn from 1965 is amazing. It has obviously been looked after and probably fine-tuned I'd imagine. My technician was impressed

NOTE: the squarish hook loop of this Weltklang - my error when I said it was the Jubilee with this square block.

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