Oscar Adler Triumph Alto Saxophone

There is currently an alto for sale on eBay that were it a tenor, I would not be writing about it, but rather bidding on it. The horn I’m referring to is a Oscar Adler Triumph alto saxophone, and from what you can see in the pictures, it is in quite remarkable condition. It even comes with some of its original accessories.

Oscar Adler Triumph alto saxophone, silver saxophone, vintage saxophone

Source: space-art-2005 on eBay.de

Oscar Adler was based in Markneukirchen, and is recognized as being the first company to build a saxophone in the German-speaking region. Their first horn was built in 1901, and marked the beginning of Oscar Adler’s reign as Germany’s king of all things sax. This reign would last for 20 years: until Julius Keilwerth left Oscar Adler and began manufacturing saxes under his own name, and Kohlert became a significant player as well.

In time Oscar Adler designed and sold a great many models of saxophones—all at the same time. A 1932 catalogue outlines the 11 different models that were offered by the company, of which the Triumph was the top of line.

Prior to the 1930s, the Triumph was available in Bb soprano, Bb curved soprano, Eb alto, C melody, Bb tenor, Eb baritone, C bass, as well as Bb bass. Afterwards, the Triumph was only available in alto, C melody, and tenor versions.

What makes some Oscar Adler models so unusual, among other things, is that they have duplicate low Bb, B, and C# keys—which were operated by the middle finger of the right hand.

Oscar Adler Triumph alto saxophone, silver saxophone, vintage saxophone, saxophone keys

Source: space-art-2005 on eBay.de

Oscar Adler Triumph alto saxophone, silver saxophone, vintage saxophone, saxophone keys

Source: space-art-2005 on eBay.de

This duplicate key system was shared by the Eterna, Sonora, as well as the Triumph models. Other features shared by these pro models included:

  • Mother of pearl rollers.
  • Micro tuner on alto & tenor models.
  • Split or right-sided bell keys could be ordered from the factory.

However, what made the Triumph stand out as the top of the line horn, was its range. The Triumph was the only saxophone keyed from low Bb to high G!

Oscar Adler Triumph alto saxophone, silver saxophone, vintage saxophone, saxophone keys

Source: space-art-2005 on eBay.de

The seller of this little gem is not a saxophone player, and knows very little about Oscar Adler saxophones. This is what he writes:

Absolute Rarität für Saxophonliebhaber und Sammler alter Instrumente !!!

Biete ein sehr seltenes, altes Alto Es Saxophon der Firma “Oscar Adler” zum Verkauf an. Oscar Adler war der erste Deutsche, der Saxophone in Deutschland herstellte. Bekannt wurde er durch die Herstellung seiner Klarinetten.
Er produzierte mehrere Saxophon Modelle, wobei das hier angebotene Modell “Triumph” das beste und das teuerste Modell seiner Produktionsreihe war.

Die sehr niedrige Seriennummer 5081 läßt nach meinen Recherchen die Herstellung dieses Saxophones auf die dreißiger Jahre schließen. Auf einem anderen Teil ist “D.R.G.M. 1053337” gestempelt.

Zu der Funktionalität kann ich als Laie leider nichts sagen. Leider spiele ich gar kein Instrument.
Ich habe es zu Begutachtung zu einer Musikschule gegeben und der Leiter war sehr angetan von dem Saxophon.
Er hat es ca. eine Stunde gespielt und es ist seiner Aussage nach funktionsfähig und gut spielbar. Alle Klappen funktionieren.
Jedoch sagte er mir, daß die Dichtungen wohl noch original wären und diese ausgetauscht werden sollten.
Dann hätte man ein sehr gutes Saxophon.

Optisch ist das Saxophon in einem für sein Alter entsprechend sehr guten Zustand. Es ist versilbert, hat Perlmuttknöpfe. An manchen Stellen ist durch Abrieb die Versilberung weg.
Innen ist das Saxophon vergoldet. Fehlteile, Beulen oder Risse sind mit nicht aufgefallen.
Mit dabei ist der Originalkoffer (mit einer Art blauen Samt ausgeschlagen). Aussen schwarz. Dieser hat aber stärkere Gebrauchs- und Altersspuren. Schließt aber gut.
Ebenso sind diverse Einzelteile mit in dem Koffer. Zwei Mundstücke, ein Zwischenrohr (?), eine Bürste zum Säubern und ein Tragegurt, sowie einige Holzplättchen.

Das meiste hier beschriebene habe ich mangels Wissen “googlen” müssen, da ich absoluter Laie auf diesem Gebiet bin. Sollten Sie weitergehende Fragen haben, werde ich so gut wie möglich versuchen, diese zu beantworten.
Gerne bin ich auch bereit für Sie wichtige Fotos des Instrumentes zu schicken.

Bitte sehen Sie sich die zahlreichen Bilder genau an.
Bilder sind Teil der Artikelbeschreibung.

Helen translate says…

Absolute rarity for saxophone lovers and collectors of vintage instruments!!!

For sale is a very rare, Eb alto saxophone made by Oscar Adler. Oscar Adler was the first German to manufacture a saxophone in Germany. Known for his clarinets, he produced many models of saxophones. The Triumph was the best, and most expensive production model available.

According to my calculations, the very low serial number 5081 indicates this horn is from the 1930s. On another piece there is a D.R.G.M. 1053337 stamp.

Regarding its playability, sadly I can’t comment. Unfortunately I don’t play any instruments. For an assessment I gave it to the head of a music school. He was very impressed with this saxophone. He played it for about an hour. He states that it functions well, and is in good playing condition. All keys work. He did tell me that the pads are possibly still the original ones, and that these should be replaced. After that one would have a very good saxophone.

Given its age, this saxophone is visually in very good condition. It is silver-plated, with mother of pearl buttons. The silver is worn off is some places. Inside [the bell] the saxophone is gold-plated. No missing pieces, dents, or tears were noted. With it comes the original case (with a blue velvet lining). Outside is black. The case shows heavy signs of wear, but closes well. There are diverse accessories in the case. Two mouthpieces, an adapter pipe (?) [I think he means the neck], a cleaning brush, a neck strap, as well as a number of reeds.

The majority of what is described here is Googled, since I know absolutely nothing in this area. Should you have further questions, I will try my best to answer them. I will be happy to send you any important photos of the instrument.

Please take a careful look at the plentiful pictures. They provide a part of the article’s description.

Here are the rest of the pics of this Oscar Adler Triumph alto saxophone…

Unlike many sellers from Germany, this one will actually ship worldwide. So if you’ve always coveted an Oscar Adler Triumph alto saxophone, here is your chance to own one, without having to have friends or relatives in Germany take delivery for you.

If you would like to read more about Oscar Adler saxophones, take a look at the page about the company that I have on my website. I also have an extensive Oscar Adler gallery in Bassic Sax Pix.

The other thing I should mention is the D.R.G.M. stamping that this horn has. This copyright mark is quite commonly found on saxophones of this era, and is explained fully here.

If you are interested in making this little Oscar Adler Triumph alto saxophone part of your saxophone family, you have until July 31 to get your bids in. Bids are to start at €550.00, which xe.com estimates to be $603.63 US at the time of writing. So far there are no bids on this baby, but I suspect that is going to change before the auction ends.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

The Wizard Of Oz Meets Steampunk

I am just a few days away from all hell breaking loose, as the latest musical I’m playing in is about to kick into overdrive. This summer Chilliwack’s Secondary Characters Musical Theatre is presenting The Wizard Of Oz.

If you live in the Fraser Valley/Metro Vancouver region and would like to see the production, you can purchase your tickets online. The shows are Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

The Wizard Of Oz, musical, Secondary Characters Musical Theatre, Chilliwack BC,

I haven’t seen any of the rehearsals or elements of the set yet, but I have heard that this production is full of steampunk and Art Nouveau elements. I haven’t met the cast in person either, but going by their pics its easy to tell that they are incredibly youthful. As a matter of fact, if you look around the orchestra, that’s the only place you’ll see any old folks. ;)

The pit orchestra is very large for this production—so large in fact, that we don’t fit into the pit. We will be on stage behind a curtain during the show. At some point the curtain opens (mmm… Doesn’t that sound familiar? Pay no attention to the band behind the curtain… :mrgreen: )  and the orchestra members will be seen by the audience. In effect, we become part of the cast—or it’s perhaps part of the setting.

The Wizard Of Oz, Reed 3 book, musical,

For The Wizard Of Oz I am playing the Reed 3 book, sans flute. Flute is the about the only wind instrument that I have never touched.

In high school and university I played around on almost all the woodwinds (including the oboe and bassoon), as well as most of the brass winds. How flute got past me is a bit of mystery. I suspect that it being an instrument you don’t blow directly into had something to do with it.

Not playing the flute gives me a few minutes of breaks in the music, but not many. Most of the work is bari sax and clarinet.

Before I did Guys and Dolls earlier this year, I hadn’t touched a clarinet seriously in 30 years. I had forgotten so much in fact, that I figured I might as well learn a new fingering system—Albert—since my Boehm knowledge was pretty much non-existent at that point. However, I persevered; muscle memory kicked in; and I managed to play my way through the Reed 3 book of Guys and Dolls. Truth be told, I did cheat a bit and use my Mark VI soprano here and there in the sections where my clarinet chops were just not up to the snuff.

For The Wizard Of Oz I am again doing some soprano sax stuff here and there on the super technical clarinet parts that are years beyond my skill set. As my I just finished telling my 1st chair clarinet-playing friend: “There aren’t enough years left for me to learn to play the clarinet sections of Jitterbug.” And I have to tell you, even on soprano sax, Jitterbug is a pinkie buster.

After tonight’s sitzprobe I have a couple of days to myself, but as of Sunday, I will be flat-out playing my ass off. When it’s all said and done, my neuro problem will let me know in no uncertain terms that it is unhappy with the situation. I will most likely be out of commission for at least a week when the production wraps on August 7.

Until then however, I am going to have a good time, and play my ass off.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

Saxophone Brochures On eBay: WTF?

Although I write about horns on eBay a lot, I have never actually bought one through the online auction site. True be told, since joining as a member in 1998, I have bought a grand total of five, yup count ’em, 5 items through this gigantic auction site. And while the things that I have bought have ranged from a rubber duck to a flask, the only saxophone-related paraphernalia that I have bought are two vintage saxophone brochures.

Last weekend I was hoping to increase my total eBay purchase total to six, with yet more saxophone brochures, but alas, it was not meant to be. I was outbid by a stupid-ass amount, and the circa 1990s brochures sold for north of $100 US.

Now at this point you’re probably thinking I was bidding on a Selmer, Limited Edition, Bird-Series brochure outlining the various Reference horns with their lovely engraving variants that were produced to commemorate Charlie Parker. Good guess, but that would be wrong. As a matter of fact, these brochures I bid on weren’t even Selmer brochures.

Have I got you stumped? What brand of saxophone’s brochures from the 1990s would fetch over $100 at auction?

Would you believe me if I told you it was a bunch of Dave Guardala stuff featuring horns made by B&S, as well as some mouthpiece and reed pages?

Dave Guardala saxophone brochures for more than $100? Tell me is isn’t so…

Well it’s true. Not only did someone pay $103.50 US for a bunch of old Dave Guardala paperwork, but there was even a bidding war on this material. That’s pretty messed up. Think about it for a minute… You could buy some decent reeds for your horn for that amount of money…

Ever since I wrote the Dave Guardala page, it has become one of the most popular pages on my website. Therefore, it only made sense that when I saw these Dave Guardala saxophone brochures on eBay, I would bid on them in hopes I could fill in any information blanks that I have on the brand. In the past I have had no problem winning auctions like this, since no one bid on the obscure stuff I bid on.

However, this was different. Apparently another eBay member felt so strongly about this material that he/she placed automatic bids to make sure that they won this stuff—even if it cost them more than a hundred bucks.

The question that I have is why? Let’s take a look at what the winner got, to see if this makes any sense…

nice collectable stuff for the Guardala enthusiast, late 80’s or early 90’s, when Dave was doing it big time, before Nadir and Pete took it over, accurate reference material from the source, price lists too, there are a few more sheets not shown

Now if you can answer the question why this material—and any missing pages not shown here—are so valuable, you’re wiser than I am. Personally, I have better things to spend my money on.

What do you think? Would you spend that much money on some paper from the 1990s—even if it was for a brand of horn you have?

Maybe if my name was on the brochure, and I didn’t have a copy, then I might drop that kind of coin on it. Hey Dave, did you buy this stuff? If you did, and you find this article, I’m looking for some more info on the Dave Guardala baris. Could you drop me a line? Thanks!

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!