King stencil for Lyon & Healy - the " Inspiration "
C-Melody Saxophone, a.k.a. "The Big Ugly"
I affectionately call her 'Big Ugly', very much a project and a half....... Quite a rare beast this one, I've only seen one other. After Lyon & Healy stopped making their own C-Mels - based around Martin design/tooling, but always with the unique 'mercedes' Low-C guard - they had stencils mostly made for them by Buescher. This is the more elusive King stencil, with classic King domed cups, and, more importantly, the auxiliary Front-F mechanism - a rare find on stencil horns. The silver plating is almost completely worn from the body, but much remains on the keys - giving a two-tone appearance. In reality, I think what remained of the silver body plating may just have been removed manually at some time, to create this look ?
A real workhorse. When I got her she had the most amazing mix of pads I've even seen on a sax - white, brown, reflector, rivet, plain, composite, cork, even a home-made one... Oh, and some very 'functional' solder-work on some guards. And a flat spring held on by a sliver of duck/duct tape !! So she's never really going to be 'pretty', but she just has that amazing vibe.... The sort of sax that's been played everywhere, indoors and outdoors, rain and shine, I'll initially just do what it takes to get her back to fully playing, as a tribute to the generations of repairs, but I know that, sooner or later, she's going to get the full treatment. See for yourself...
And now, on the left, note the H N White / King octave mech , and domed cups...
Unfortunately - no 'double-G' cup though, so the G# cup is on the front, not the side. Does have Front-F !!
Isn't she lovely ?