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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:31 pm 
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A reader from Holland writes:

Thanks for your interesting info on stencil saxophones.
I am considering to buy a silver-plated tenor saxophone marked with "American Triumph - Harry Pedler & sonc Inc. - Elkhart - Ind.", serial no. 21465. According to the seller this is a Buescher stencil, and I think it does look similar to a Buescher Aristocrat indeed. Horns marked with "Harry Pedler & sons" were supposedly made between 1935 and 1958, but I would like to get a more precise dating. Do you know of any serial number lists for these American Triumph saxophones made by Pedler & sons?
Any info would be much appreciated!

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

Thanks for getting in touch. As far as I can determine, Harry Pedler & Sons made their own instruments, including designs by Gus Buescher, who no longer worked for his namesake company. Pedler had long specialized in making woodwinds, including metal clarinets. Buescher had long specialized in making brass instruments. So how much engineering of your saxophone came from Pedler or Buescher is hard to say.

If it is silverplate, it is probably pre-war, as very few silverplate saxophones were built post-war. I could possibly tell you more if you could send me photographs.

This may not be important, but after the Buescher company started moving toward the designs that eventually resulted in the Aristocrat, they kept their "Tru-Tone" line going, selling student horns with brands like "Elkhart." By the late 1950s, that line was lacquered and included the left-hand pinky key setup of the Aristocrats. You can usually tell at a glance because BOTH the low B and Bb keys are on the left side of the bell, from the player's perspective.

So depending on whether Buescher was designing saxophones for Harry Pedler & Sons, or whether the Pedler company was buying "stencils" from the Buescher company, you may be looking at either:

- a unique design from one of the masters of saxophone design, who had been involved in the early experiments that led to the Aristocrat, or
- a relabeled True-Tone with some Aristocrat-inspired fingering upgrades.

Remember, even the True-Tone was a professional horn when it was first designed, so even that option would have some potential, as long as you used a good mouthpiece on the thing.

Hope this helps. I can tell you more if you can give me links to photos of the thing.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:27 pm 
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After several more interactions, the reader sent this e-mail.

Update: I bought the instrument today!

I have extensively compared the instrument with some other old Americans: Conn 10M (1952), Buescher 400, Buescher True Tone, Martin comm. II. In my humble opinion (I must admit I'm not very experienced) it was most close to the 10M. I had both the American Triumph and the 10M at home for a couple of days and did blindfolded tests with two friends of mine who play professionally. The verdict was unanimously in favour of the American Triumph.

In the meantime, I have been trying to find more information. I found out that there is another Dutch guy who has the alto-version of this instrument:

https://forum.audiofreaks.nl/index.php?topic=39229.0

He writes that he discussed the instrument with a Dutch and an American professional (don't know who) and came to the conclusion that it seems to fit in somewhere between a True Tone and an Aristocrat, and that it was probably built between 1926 and 1932. This would contradict the fact that the name Harry Pedler & sons was used only between 1937 and 1958, but he argues that the engraving may have been done years later. Seems possible, but I don't know.

Anyhow, I thought you might be interested to hear about this. I'm very happy with the thing. I started playing saxophone only one and a half year ago, and so far I have been playing on a rented instrument (Aurora Classic, probably Chinese), so this is a big step forward!


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