4 years ago#1
johnnie3
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Hello to all!

I have recently come across an old Olds Sax and I am trying to find a value for it. The serial number is 67x. It looks to be from the 20's. It has the OLDS inscription on it as well as around the sound hole that says it is made in the USA California Los Angeles CA. This company has an interesting history to them. Either way it is a really cool piece and I would like to get it reworked just wanted to make sure it was worth it first!
Thanks for any help you can give!
John

Here is a link to some pics!
http://s218.photobucket.com/albums/cc285/ Lunchboxlizard2/Olds%20Saxophone/

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4 years ago#2
wingchung89
Bronze Member
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Hello there!

I'm sure you're excited as we we are. However ... I need to point out to you something. I am unable to view the photos as it requires logging in. Probably it is with password'd! So ... you might kindly remove that restriction, if not we won't be able to determine it for you!

Liu

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4 years ago#3
johnnie3
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Sorry about that! I cannot figure out how to change that so I have uploaded them to my flickr. Here is the link:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/37465107@N04/sets/72157624294728837/

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4 years ago#4
wingchung89
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Now that's a funky Olds Super model. It's quite hard to find really, I never tried one of that before, so i won't know how it sounds sonically. In terms of getting it fixed ... that can be a tricky question.

1) Just because it is hard to find, may not necessary mean it is desirable or valuable.

2) Because of its rarity, there is no 'demand' for such saxophones and is probably strictly for collectors.

My opinion? Get it fixed, and either play it (if you do play the saxophone) or sell it away to a collector. Still i wouldn't mind having a funky looking saxophone around. It looks awesome! Just my opinion.

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4 years ago#5
johnnie3
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Thanks alot wingchung89!

I am going to try and get her fixed up so she can ROCK again!

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4 years ago#6
Average Joe
Master
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It is an Olds SUPER Model. Here is a history from our SOTW archives:

"The Olds Super Sax history, from a former executive at F.E. Olds & Son.

The Kanstul family runs Kanstul Music, a producer of Brasswinds previously associated with Benge. Zig Kanstul keeps business hours, but other Kanstul's appear throughout the web site for the company. He started his career working for FE Olds in the early 50's as a technician reaching the top of the company and overseeing it's success and decline. Kanstul Music has an amazing history of its own.

An alternate explanation of the Olds Super saxes. According to Mr Kanstul the Olds Super sax was made in very numbers run just before the start of WWII in the Los Angeles F.E Olds Plan. The company hired a former Martin Sax employee who had moved to the LA area(I failed to note his name during our discussion) As a result of this hire Olds developed the Olds Super sax models intended for the professional market. This was part of the companies evolving product line.

The instruments were produced in small numbers untill WWII interrupted civilian production. Mr Kanstul thought less than 2000 were produced, something beyond a prototype run, and enough to build interest in the new line. Full production wasn't ever achieved, the tooling was put in storage. The serial numbers reflect the pre-production nature of the Olds Super line. The instruments were not produced for the WWII effort, or under government contract, but they were new west coast instruments at the beginning of the war.

The similarity to Martin instruments is explained by the former Martin employee who did the design and tooling. Based on the timeframe, the Olds Super has common roots with he Martin Committee II line. In order to avoid Patent problems, the tooling was Olds proprietary production hardware and much of the construction differs from Martin instruments. The keywork, tone hole shapes 8va mechanism, and guards were unique to the Super Olds line.

Post war Olds Saxes were all made for the European branch of Olds.(the more familiar Ambassador and Parisian models). The US Olds plant never produced additional Olds Super saxes. The tooling was shipped to a sax manufacturer in Holland as Olds production ended. It was last known to be rusting in a container in a small plant in Holland. (I failed to note the name of the company)

Given Olds popular brasswind productss, and their postwar outsourcing of saxes, the Olds Super sax wasn't important to the company. No one noted it's production, serial numbers, and it faded away. Mr. Kanstul considered the sax line as a product that never developed it's own market. Much like art, it becomes more interesting when the artist can't make more.

Conclusions... A Super Olds isn't a Martin Stencil, although it shares manufacturing techniques.

Many thanks to David Browne of Anaheim Band Instruments for listening and providing references. And to everyone who in the last 10 years has listened, rendered opinions played my set of Olds Super's. Many thanks to L&L Music in Gaithersburg for repair, restoration, and patience. It's a world filled with amazing people and instruments.

The author of this article (Scott B.) is the son of a big band trombonist who loved Olds instruments. I've been playing sax since the 70's and still own my first tenor (50's Buescher 400 TH&C) I purchased my first Olds Super (Alto # 268) in 2000 as a tarnished used instrument. L&L put it in playing condition, and I still love it. I'm the L&L employee who brings my restored Super (#760) to the sax symposium, and I work part time at L&L corrupting youth, and working with players and their instruments."

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4 years ago#7
johnnie3
Guest

Thanks Mike S.!!!

Great info! I wondering if I can get in touch with this Scott B??? Maybe though L&L. And maybe they would be a good place to get the sax cleaned up!
Thanks man!
~John

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4 years ago#8
ditmare
Guest

Hi Mike S.

just yesterday I could hear the great sound of a Super Olds alto sax that was give to me as present some years ago...
the serial number I found is # 179 - after looking for some information also to find out about its possible value I consider this alto sax to beproduced before WWII

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4 years ago#9
johnnie3
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Hello,

Yes these are very cool saxes! I still have to get mine fixed-up. I joined a couple of forums and they were very nice with information. They said mine was from the 40's (serial in the 600's) and fixed up is worth about $2,300 (b/c it is the silver one). But they had also said that people that collect Olds are a select crowd and that if you were to try selling on ebay you would probably get $1,500, maybe. Well that's what I know so far! Still have to get it cleaned up and see if I want to sell it. They say there are not many of these left. Some people do not believe the sunken ship story! I might just learn how to play it!

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4 years ago#10
ditmare
Guest

HI John,

thanks a lot for first information.

Regardiing serial #179 of my Super Olds alto (silver) could be a real rarity.
A friend, professional musician means that it is almost completely ready to play - he prooved this by playing some melodies: that babe made a great sound !

Have u got any addy to get in coontact with organizers and connaisseurs for instanace of such forums u mentioned?
Would be great help and thanks again in advance.

best
ditmare

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4 years ago#11
Average Joe
Master
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johnnie3 wrote:
Hello,

Yes these are very cool saxes! I still have to get mine fixed-up. I joined a couple of forums and they were very nice with information. They said mine was from the 40's (serial in the 600's) and fixed up is worth about $2,300 (b/c it is the silver one). But they had also said that people that collect Olds are a select crowd and that if you were to try selling on ebay you would probably get $1,500, maybe. Well that's what I know so far! Still have to get it cleaned up and see if I want to sell it. They say there are not many of these left. Some people do not believe the sunken ship story! I might just learn how to play it!


Just to clarify,

The condition and relative rarity had a lot to do with your valuation on SOTW, not just the silver plate.

Cheers
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4 years ago#12
arnold
Guest

i have super olds sax, my grandfather gave it to me with serial number olds 423. i'm fr philippines..

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4 years ago#13
johnnie3
Guest

I just got $1100 for mine. It was an alto though, very rare. If you play it seems like it is a good one to have. Enjoy it!

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2 years ago#14
juampablus
Guest

OLDs saxophone series

73000 Mar1952
80000 jul 1952
90000 feb 1953
100.000 oct 1953
150.000 aug 1955
200.000 nov 1956
250.000 jul 1957
300.000 sep 1958
350.000 jun 1959
400.000 mar 1962
450.000 feb 1964
500.000 feb 1965
550.000 jun 1966
600.000 jun 1967
650.000 jun 1968
700.000 jun 1969
750.000 jun 1971
800.000 jun 1972
850.000 oct 1973
900.000 nov 1974
950.000 apr 1976
970.000 sep 1976
990.000 mar 1977
999.999 sep 1977

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2 years ago#15
ditmare
Guest

hi, my OLDS ALTO SAX shows serial # 179 – concerning your list, juampablus, the instrument must be produced at least before 1956, right? Or even older? Does anybody know anything about this serial mumber? and by the way: it still sounds good, but will need some renovation soon – what could it be worth?
thanks for any information in advance to whom ever...best regards sent from Stuttgart, Benz-Town, Germany, Dietmar

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2 years ago#16
johnnie3
Guest

Yes it is older than 1956. Probably from the 1930's. I had sold mine for $1,100 on ebay. It needed some work done to it but if it is mint or restored it can go upwards of $2,500.
~John

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12 months ago#17
Saxomafone
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I have a Tenor Sax that is just like Johnny's. Serial 14xx with a satin silver finish. There is information from various websites that talk a bit about the history of Olds and it's contract with the US military to make 2000 of these horns. Mine has a "U.S." stamp on the bell and the same info as your alto under the bell in a lacquer silver finish that states:

"made by F.E. Olds & Son Los Angeles, Calfornia, USA Super Olds"

So if you believe the story that a ship containing as many as 500 sank in Europe, than I may be holding one of the last ones produced.

It is a very rare horn indeed, and a bit of an oddball. I don't know that it's super valuable, but I would never give mine up, where would I find another?

It's heavy, throaty, big neck and big bell, and therefore big sound. I bought mine over 25 years ago for about $200 without asking too many questions. It was probably thrown away by military bean counters that deemed it "too old" and it's probably worth $1500-$2000 today. But again, I'm not selling mine.

In all my years of playing, I've never come across another player with one. Most look at it and ask what it is. Many never even knew this Super Olds model existed.

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12 months ago#18
johnnie3
Guest

Yes a very interesting piece. I had sold mine for $1100 - it needed alot of restore but it was a really cool sax.

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12 months ago#19
secondhandsaxes
Ace
Blogs: 3
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hello there....i have never seen one except for the photos on this forum....can you add photos of the tenor for us all,i would love to see the bell engraving and the neck especially....
thanks,philip from down under....

Saxomafone wrote:

I have a Tenor Sax that is just like Johnny's. Serial 14xx with a satin silver finish. There is information from various websites that talk a bit about the history of Olds and it's contract with the US military to make 2000 of these horns. Mine has a "U.S." stamp on the bell and the same info as your alto under the bell in a lacquer silver finish that states:

"made by F.E. Olds & Son Los Angeles, Calfornia, USA Super Olds"

So if you believe the story that a ship containing as many as 500 sank in Europe, than I may be holding one of the last ones produced.

It is a very rare horn indeed, and a bit of an oddball. I don't know that it's super valuable, but I would never give mine up, where would I find another?

It's heavy, throaty, big neck and big bell, and therefore big sound. I bought mine over 25 years ago for about $200 without asking too many questions. It was probably thrown away by military bean counters that deemed it "too old" and it's probably worth $1500-$2000 today. But again, I'm not selling mine.

In all my years of playing, I've never come across another player with one. Most look at it and ask what it is. Many never even knew this Super Olds model existed.
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