Posted on June 19, 2012
Late 1950s Noblet (Beaugnier) Tenor Saxophone, Handmade in France
Looking for a vintage hand-made French tenor saxophone in excellent and unmolested physical condition? One with a fresh top-shelf overhaul by a top-tier saxophone specialist who knows and loves them? Would you like it to have good intonation, ergonomics that won’t break your fingers, excellent quality construction, a powerful and bottomless tone that will put most other saxophones to shame? One that will only appreciate in value as time goes on? Oh and how about all of that for $2200?
Meet the Beaugnier. Hardly ever found with their own name on the bell, Beaugnier was a small family-run saxophone maker literally across the street from Selmer. They were owned by Leblanc for much of their history, and produced saxophones for them under many different names. I own two Beaugniers myself- of the Vito “Duke” persuasion, one in alto and one in baritone- and I love them. In fact I am strongly tempted to keep this horn, but I already have a museum-condition Buffet for a tenor and I need to make a living. So!
This has a fresh overhaul by me on it with flat metal resonators, and it has no dents or dings, no resolders, no past repairs, is original lacquer at about 98%, and comes with its original end plug in its original case. All in all a very clean example, and there aren’t a ton of these around to start with. This particular horn was made sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and features very solid construction, a left hand pinky table much like a 10M or 6M, and sculpted side E and C keys (which are actually very nice to use- I still don’t understand why sculpted and/or angled side E/C/Bb keys never caught on), and a large bell.
The intonation is very good, and the response is almost instantaneous with a lot of power. You can push this horn, and just more and more sound keeps coming out- all the while with a very French sound like on an SML or a particularly powerful Selmer.
Whoever ends up buying this one will consider it money excellently spent. I’ll be sad to see it go.