The Hohner President is also a Keilwerth, however not a Julius Keilwerth horn. The President was designed by Max Keilwerth, Julius’ brother, while he worked for Hohner Musikinstrumente, in Trossingen, Germany. Since buying my first Hohner President I have done extensive research on these saxophones, and have the most comprehensive English language site on the brand anywhere on the ‘Net.
Why did I buy a President alto sax?
I love my President tenor that I picked up in spring 2010. It impressed me so much that I really wanted a matching alto to go along with the Max Keilwerth-designed, mid-century German, closet horn I found through Vancouver craigslist. (The Vancouver craigslist has been very good to me, I must say. Over the past few years I’ve found some very stunning horns through the online source.) In August 2012 I had the chance to pick up a beautiful little President alto sax from my SOTW buddy JayePDX, who owns 2nd ending Vintage Musical Instruments.
This President alto was originally listed on eBay, which is where I saw it. I contacted JayePDX and told him I was interested in it. Because the horn was also listed in his store’s inventory, I was able to buy it through the store rather than eBay.
The horn was missing the original round thumb screw for fastening the neck, and had a minor crease on the right side of the neck. Other than that horn was in fine condition, and had had a number of its pads replaced. I got a really sweet deal on this baby, so I bought it knowing that I had a parts horn (#48XX) that I could get an original thumb screw, as well as a second neck from.
When my new Hohner President alto sax arrived I was really impressed with its condition and playability. And as it turned out, the neck was not a problem at all. I had never played a President alto sax before, so had no idea what to expect. I immediately fell in love. I had found another main alto!
When I took the President alto to David’s shop for a once-over, we immediately put the original neck fastening screw in the horn, and tried the neck from alto #48XX. Everything worked great. David made some minor adjustments on the horn, and took out the crease on the original neck. The original neck is totally smooth on the inside now, with only minor blemishes left on the outside.
I am likely the only Hohner President player in North America who owns both an alto and a tenor with two original necks for each horn.
The original case for this baby was long gone, and the case that came with it was pretty junky. I knew that upfront, so I knew I was going to be going on a case hunt. The eyebrow key guards of the Hohner President make it a bit more difficult to find it a case for. In the end I opted for the Pro Pac contoured case by Protec. It holds the horn firmly in place, and provides ample storage for both of the horn’s necks.
President Alto Sax Specs
- Made by Hohner Musikinstrumente in (West) Germany
- Designed by Max Keilwerth (Julius & Richard Keilwerth’s brother)
- Horn serial #: 114XX
- Extra neck serial #: 48XX
- Finish: Lacquer with nickel plated keys
- Year of manufacturing: 1962
- Hohner Presidents had true double socket necks
- Also has a high D/D# trill key
These are the “before pics”. I just realized I never took any photos of the horn with the its original thumb screw and its second neck. I’ll update this page just as soon as I take the new photos.