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Evette & Schaeffer Bari

Evette & Schaeffer Bari

antique baritone sax, silver plated, red cloth, Evette & Schaeffer,


In September of 2010 I had the opportunity to purchase a very unique local horn. This Buffet-Crampon bari, that was made after Evette & Schaeffer purchased the company, is a high pitch (HP) baritone which had been owned by the same person since approximately 1945. The owner resided on Vancouver Island, and even before he purchased it, this sax appears to have been a local horn—if the shipping labels on the case are any indication.

How the previous owner came to own this Evette & Schaeffer bari

This bari has a very interesting history. It has been in the ownership of one person since approximately 1945. At the time Paul was playing alto in a small dance combo, and the drummer in the band found this bari for him. The drummer thought it would be interesting to change up the sound occasionally, if Paul could switch to baritone.

Unfortunately what the drummer didn’t know—and what Paul soon found out—was that this instrument didn’t play nice with the rest of the band. After a few trips to different music stores, it was determined that the reason was that it was a high pitch horn.

This bari, when played with the Conn mouthpiece that came with it, was consistently approximately a ½ tone sharp. Paul tried all kinds of tricks, including playing everything up a ½ step. However, it never did sound quite right. Eventually Paul gave up on playing bari.

Paul had kept the horn all these years though, and it was in September 2010, that he and his wife decided to find out more about it—which is how it hit my radar screen.

This old-timer is in amazing condition, which is one of the reasons I became interested in it.

How I became aware of this old-timer

In September 2010, I received an email from a woman about this Evette & Schaeffer, Buffet-Crampon & Co., high pitch baritone, serial #75XX. She was wondering if I could give her any information about the sax, and an estimate of its approximate worth.

Based on the serial number search I had done, and from the photos provided, I had realized immediately that what I was seeing was a horn circa 1886. Because I’ve really started to specialize more in obscure, vintage German saxes, I asked my friend Pete Hales to step in and offer up his expertise.

Long story short, the couple who owned the horn lived on Vancouver Island. After Pete chimed in with his input, I asked the wife what her husband planned to do with the sax. She informed me that he wanted to sell it.

From the photos one could see that it was in amazing condition. Paul had owned the sax since 1945, but now that he and Emma were getting on in years, they had decided to sell some of the things that they no longer needed.

Despite it being a high pitch horn—and it having no practical applications in today’s musical settings—the condition of this Evette & Schaeffer bari won me over, as did its connection to local history. I believed that it would be an interesting teaching aid. 

Deets about HP bari #75XX by Evette & Schaeffer

It is baritone number 75XX, which according to Mike Duchstein’s serial number chart cited on Saxpics, makes this horn circa 1886.

This is an exceptionally well preserved example of a horn that is more than a century old.

Horn Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Buffet-Crampon (Evette & Schaeffer)
  • Model: Buffet didn’t have model names for their early saxophones. Pete Hales simply calls these horns “Early Buffet-Crampon Models”
  • High Pitch
  • Serial #: 75XX
  • Finish: Silver plated
  • Features (or lack thereof in this case): Keyed from low B to high Eb; no rollers; no pearls; no automatic octave key; no water key; fixed neck.

This saxophone came with a vintage Conn mouthpiece, which a first glance, looks almost identical to my vintage Geo Bundy bass saxophone mouthpiece. When you look through these photos, the Bundy mouthpiece is always the one on top.

Randy Emerick noticed a tiny roll over baffle behind the tip rail of the Geo Bundy mouthpiece. He therefore believed it would be a tad brighter perhaps, but thought that both would work on this baritone. In case some of you don’t know Randy by name, he is a professional player, vintage sax collector, repair tech, and owner of an Adolphe Sax bari that is approximately 20 years older than this horn.

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