C Soprano Saxophones

a relatively rare breed, as saxophones go.....

* Have you got a C-Sop you'd like featured, or do you recognise your sax from any of the pictures shown here ?

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 * Buescher *
Harwood Pro.

 * Conn *
My PanAm (page coming..)
Marsh WW. 144K

New Wonder  II
Saxpics Curved 
Wades Wurlitzer   (now sold)
Conn 'et cetera'...

 * 'European' *
Cousenon Curved - P Hurd


 * Holton *
USA Horn - gold plate !
Jay Easton's + friends


 * King *
Mo's  (engr. Jason DuMars)
From the HN White website


 * Martin *
Lyon & Healy (page coming..)



 * And..... *
Jay Easton's Curvy C's (+)



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The C-Soprano saxophone was mainly produced during the 20's, in the same era as the C-Melody (C Tenor) saxophone, but almost certainly aimed at a different market - it's difficult to imagine the C-Sop being played in the parlour by a relatively inexperienced player !   The first were almost certainly intended to play the oboe parts in Military marching bands.  A Conn advertisement from the 20's, listing the Conn 2-M C-Soprano at $95 for the polished brass, and up to a whopping $200 for the burnished gold model, announces "Has a thin reedy voice, much in vogue for jazz and novelty effects".  Ah, Vaudeville then ?

Not as popular as the C-melody, and produced in fewer numbers, but nevertheless a beautifully expressive little instrument.  As with it's bigger brother, the C-Soprano does have a reputation for problematic intonation.  However a properly regulated C-Soprano saxophone, with a suitable mouthpiece, and in the hands of a good player, is very capable of being a really useful addition to the saxophone family - pitched (as it is) in 'C', and therefore able to read all 'concert pitch' music without the need for transposition.

Production of C-Soprano saxophones was within the same companies that manufactured C-Melody saxes, and manufacturers (naturally...) were mostly in the States.  The same system of "stencilling" was used, but, because there were so few C-Soprano's actually produced, the stencils were by no means inferior instruments.  My own Conn stencil C-Soprano is pure Conn, just minus the rolled toneholes and without the actual Conn name. 

From a 1920's Lyon & Healy catalogue, describing  -  The Lyon & Healy "Artist" Straight Model_C Soprano Saxophone - which was keyed to High F, not  Eb, as with most : -

"Perfect intonation combined with the most improved mechanism, this model is winning deserved praise. Its smooth tone and brilliancy makes it an excellent substitute for violin, oboe or flute in band or orchestra work. Piano or voice parts can be played without transposition. As a solo instrument or for church work it is ideal. The range is from Bb below the staff to F above" 

The C-Soprano has one small disadvantage in that, apart from the 20's 'stock' mouthpiece originally supplied with the sax (which is often missing, either lost or sold separately), there are  currently only a couple of manufacturers supplying alternative 'C' Soprano mouthpieces.  This has led to increasing use of Bb soprano sax mouthpieces on C Soprano saxophones. Choice of a suitable mouthpiece, as with the C-Melody,  always has a major influence on good intonation.  More about that in the Q&A section.


C Soprano Sounds


Questions & Answers


The Original Page


C Soprano Players


All Soprano's gallery