Nova Wooden Saxophones

Last October I wrote a post titled, Acrylic, Polymer, & Wood Oh My!, which explored a variety of unconventional materials used in saxophone construction. One of the saxophones I mentioned in that article, was a wooden alto that actually sounded quite good in the YouTube clip provided on the Thaitradder.com website, through which the sax was being sold. See what you think…

When I wrote the original article, there was no information available about this sax, other than what was on the Thaitradder.com sales page. It seemed to have no brand name attached to it.

Quite by chance, a few months ago, I happened to come across this website for the Nova Wodden [sic] Saxophone. :scratch:  (Obviously they meant “Wooden”.)

According to their home page:

More Than……………………………………….Art

More Than……………………………….Classical

More Than……………………………Saxophone

More Than…………………….Explain by word

Touch it! by your heart and your hand

Wooden Saxophone

These handmade Nova Wooden Saxophones come in soprano, alto, and tenor versions.

Soprano

    Source: saxwood.com

Alto In Stand

    Source: saxwood.com

In Stand

    Source: saxwood.com

When you spend some time poking around the website, you find out all kinds of things. Apparently these saxophones are made of a wood called “Mai Ching Chan” or “Dalbergia Oliveri”.

Dalbergia Oliveri is a tree in rosewood family which grows 15-30 meters in height. The fruit is a green pod containing one to two seed which turns brown to black when ripe. It is most found in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The wood of Dalbergia Oliveri is beautiful. Moreover, the heartwood [hardwood?] is very hard thus, it is valuable for ornamental work including wooden parts of a building and furniture.

Source: saxwood.com

The photos the company provide, show incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Lower Stack

    Source: saxwood.com

Low C Guard

     Source: saxwood.com

Take a listen to the sound samples in the sound gallery, and see what you think. There are also some links to other YouTube videos in the video gallery

If nothing else, these horns are an interesting piece of saxophonic art… I’m just not so sure about their actual usefulness as full-fledged musical instruments.

…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!

© 2009, Helen. All rights reserved.

Helen

Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.

7 Comments:

  1. Hi

    I am a first year student woodtechnology from Belgium and i have 2 passions, wood and the saxophone.
    Thats why I am gathering info about these saxophones so i can try to make one my self.
    if somone know’s how they are made or a factory who makes these plx contact me. (willem.vancamelbeke@hotmail.com)

    Thx
    Willem

  2. Hi Guys
    My name is CV i’m owner of thaitradder.com that you are talked about our product wooden saxophone. We still have alto and tenor in our stock but the price is changed. i’m glad to see the community of saxophone here. I hope i will be serve my product to you guys.

    Thanks
    CV

    • Hi CV.

      Welcome to my site.

      Thank you for providing a link to your site, and updating us on this. I was wondering if these were still available, since the company’s website has vanished.

      Are they still making any? Or are you selling the remaining stock you have on hand?

      Thanks for stopping by CV.

      Regards,

      Helen

  3. How do I get one of these?!?!? PLEASE E-mail me!!!

    • Sorry, I don’t have any more information than what’s on my website. I don’t even know if the company still exists. Their website has been gone for quite some time. Good luck in your quest.

  4. Thanks for the clarification Mal. That shows you what I know about trees… Not much. 8O

    Yes, maintenance on these horns would definitely be a tech’s worst nightmare I would think. I can think of a number of guys I know who would be doing a lot of this… :mad: when working on this baby.

    If my former tech in Halifax who restored my Pierret thought that that was a difficult horn to work on, he’s seen nothing yet! :lol:

  5. It’s “heartwood”. Trees have three basic layers — the bark, the sapwood (the part that is still living and growing and carries all the fluids), and the heartwood (which has mineral deposits for strength, but is dead).

    These instruments look beautiful, and from the video you posted they sound just fine. I just don’t know if this is economically viable, or it would have been done a long time ago. I mean it’s not exactly a new idea to make woodwind instruments out of WOOD. :scratch: :idea:

    Also, how the heck are you supposed to level the pads? 8O

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