Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 03:57 PM
The new MusicMedic.com Sax ProShop website is finally up! Of course, we'll be adding a lot of information to the site but already there are some things to see. To check out our prices, modifications we can do, how we do what we do, or just learn about who we are, come visit SaxProShop.MusicMedic.com
I hope you'll take a moment to check it out! Please feel free to send any feedback, compliments and rave reviews about the new site to our New Email Address just for the Sax ProShop to:
Sunday, April 10, 2011, 02:57 PM
I promised in an earlier post that I would tell you about this amazing horn I picked up in Basel while I was traveling from Paris, France to Frankfurt, Germany. I'm writing this post from a hotel in Frankfurt, and the Messe just ended. I'll tell you more about the Messe later, but in an effort to remain chronological (and because this horn is way more exciting than anything else), I'll tell you about this instrument. But first a story....
Note: I have a lot of research to do before I get into working on this horn, and the story I'm about to tell you is just hearsay. Although I do not doubt the validity of the stories I've been told, I do not yet have any documentation. Remember, I'm writing this from my hotel room and I only got this instrument a few days ago. The instrument is here with me in the hotel. OK, no more caveats. Here is the story as I know it...
Ferdinand August “Gus” Buescher, took a trip to Europe and played some instruments while he was there. In doing so, he found an instrument, an Adolphe Sax saxophone, that he particularly liked. He acquired this instrument and brought it back to the United States to the Conn Factory, where he was employed. He showed the instrument to Conn and discussed the possibility of making saxophones modeled after this particular instrument, Adolphe Sax #36. Conn did not care for this idea and would not allow Gus to do it.
Later, Gus Buescher left Conn and started his own company under his name. Gus Buescher used the saxophone #36 as a prototype for his own saxophones and started producing some of the finest saxophones in the world based on this Adolphe Sax instrument.
Now, fast forward. Sigurd Rascher began to play a Buescher instrument and was, in some ways, an endorser for the Buescher company. The relationship between Mr. Rascher and the Buescher Band Instrument company was well know. Buescher was proud to have Mr. Rascher play Buescher saxophones and used his name and photos in promotions. This included the well known Buescher commercial with both Sigurd Rascher and his daughter Carina Rascher, both of whom played Buescher Saxophones.
The fact that Mr. Rascher asked for (and received, as far as I know) no monetary compensation for his strong endorsement of Buescher Saxophones only made the relationship between the Buescher company and Mr. Rascher stronger. So strong in fact, that Mr. Rascher was presented with the saxophone from which all Buescher Saxophones were based - the famous prototype, #36, brought back from Europe by Gus Buescher himself.
Of course, Mr. Rascher cherished the instrument, as can be seen in many promotional photos of Mr. Rascher, and he kept it his whole life. When he passed away, the saxophone was left to Carina Rascher, daughter to Sigurd and Soprano player in the famous Rascher Saxophone Quartet for many years.
So, I have had the extreme honor to work on Mr. Rascher's Buescher Alto Saxophone (only cleaning it and preserving it) as well as the honor of completely overhauling Ms. Carina Rascher's Buescher Soprano Saxophone (with RooPads, of course!). Carina Rascher seemed to be please with the work done on her Soprano Saxophone and has trusted me, and the MusicMedic.com Sax ProShop, with restoring the Adolphe Sax saxophone, #36.
This is, of course, the instrument that I picked up in Basel. Tomorrow I will begin my journey home with #36 much like Gus Buescher did so long ago. I will take the instrument to my shop in Wilmington, North Carolina and store it safely.
Before any work is done on this instrument, I will do my research. As I know that not all history is written, I invite you to share your thoughts with me as we document the restoration of this precious saxophone. I have far more questions about how to approach this restoration than I do answers, and I am more than open to your thoughts and ideas. If you know anything about this saxophone or have general information to share about Adolphe Sax Instruments, please write me.
The photos I used in this blog I was given while visiting with Carina Rascher in Basel and one I stole from the net. Later, I will take time to properly scan the photos I have and take pictures of the horn, but for now, you have to settle for iPhone pictures taken in my hotel room. As you can see, #36 is in the photos with Mr. Rascher.
All the best,
Sunday, April 3, 2011, 03:29 PMEvery year, we head off to the Messe in Frankfurt and follow the hard working week with a short vacation somewhere in Europe. I always look forward to the trip and it's always a lot of fun! This year is a little different in that the vacation is preceding the trip to the Messe. So, I'm writing this from 'vacation' to tell you about my adventures so far...
What a great trip it has been! Aside from the regular tourist things, which alone are very cool, such as Notre Dame, Coffee, The Louve, more coffee, The Eiffel Tower, Coffee etc.. etc... I had some really great Saxophone experiences so far.
First, we visited the Selmer Factory and what a great place it was! Florent Milhaud took us around the factory and explained every step of the process that Selmer implements when making their saxophones. Watching keys being made, bells stamped and some still hammered, tone holes cut, ohh my. What a truly wonderful experience.
One really interesting thing was the cleanliness of the factory. It was truly spotless. Also, the people working at each area were exceptionally kind and thoughtful. They stopped what they were doing to show us and explain. If there was something that was not being done that day, for example neck making, the workers stopped what they were doing, set up that machine and ran a couple parts, when possible, just so that we could see the process. Florent, your kindness and that of the people in the factory was overwhelming. Thank you!
Understandably, we were asked not to take any pictures, so you will have to go there and see it for yourself. Get on a plane, then a train, then walk 5 minutes, and just past the Buffet factory is Selmer is on the Left. Tell Florent I said hello!
While at the factory, I saw Jerome Selmer, whom I had met previously, and he invited me to stop at the Paris headquarters and talk with him about the work we do on Saxophones at the Sax ProShop. So, the next morning I took the Train to Rue de Fontaine and went to the Selmer headquarters. After a truly wonderful factory visit, I expected a lot from this stop. What I found was even better. I was greeted by a very kind receptionist and enjoyed another good coffee and conversation with Florent until Jerome was able to join us.
Jerome pushed me to tell him about myself, which I love to do anyway, and we talked about my Sax ProShop in Wilmington. We compared the station set-up at the MusicMedic.com Sax ProShop to the final assembly at the Selmer Factory. It was confirmed that we spend more time overhauling a saxophone than the factory spends building one (twice as much time actually!).
We talked about the differences between our shops and how we do things. Soon, the conversation advanced to set-up. I explained to Jerome some of my techniques like the "Balanced Venting Method" and the way I "Balance" a saxophone. The really great part of the visit was Jerome's openness and desire to learn what I know. He listened intently and came back at me with very good input. Of course, not all of my observations about the Selmer saxophones were positive; some were critical and these are the comments that Jerome seemed to enjoy hearing the most. Clearly, he is someone with an open mind and tons of humility. It was wonderful to talk to such a passionate and hard working person.
Finally, we discussed the possibility of having the Sax ProShop set up a new Selmer in our unique way and send it back to them for evaluation. I really hope that happens. I believe I would take as much from the feedback I would receive from Selmer's evaluation as they would take from seeing and hearing my work.
Now, we're headed to see Carina Rascher in Basel where I will be picking up an original Adolphe Sax Alto with the most amazing history you could imagine. I'll take some photos of this horn when I have it and tell you all about it. You're not going to believe this....
Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 08:28 AM
Hey Everyone, The new issue of "Bench Notes," MusicMedic.com's exciting and informative news letter, is out. Read Bench Notes8 by clicking the banner above or read any of the previous issues by clicking over there ----->
I hope that you find something in there that will help you with your repairs. I'm particularly excited about the New Nova Light, the many new products and the article on Balancing a Saxophone.
All the best!
Friday, March 4, 2011, 07:43 AM
I've got a great week of travel and clinics planned but there's still time in my schedule for a visit or two. If you're around call me, text me, facebook me, just get in touch and we'll get together.
If you would like to come to a clinic, I'll be talking about saxophone tuning and toning. As far as I know, all three clinics I'm giving in Texas are free and open to the public.
I'm heading to UTA in Arlington on Monday, March 7. I'll be talking with Professor Tim Ishii's saxophone studio. This will be a smaller group of students. And, I think a shorter clinic. I'm looking forward meeting everyone in the studio!
On Wednesday, I'll be at TCU in Forth Worth. The School of Music at TCU is under renovation, so the professors are working out of an alternate location. So this clinic may be harder to find, you might want to show up early to be sure you find it. Professor Joe Eckert's saxophone studio will be there and I hope a good time will be had by all!
The final and largest clinic is at UNT in Denton, come one come all! It's Friday at 12pm in room MUS262. My good friend and former student, Mark, is now in the program at UNT, and he helped to bring me out to Texas to give the clinic. Thanks Mark! You Rock! From what I've heard, the UNT sax studio might contain the most RooPads per capita in Texas!
After I spend the week meeting many friends and saxophonists, I'm off to Tyler, TX, to visit my sister (and maybe a repair shop or two).
I'll head back home on Sunday after a whirlwind trip.
Can't wait to get there, I look forward to seeing you at the clinics!