I have been super busy tuning up school horns and updating the shop (more info on this soon!) but I am finally back on a cool overhaul that I am pleased to share with you. This is an Italian-made Grassi Alto Sax from right around 1970. Information about this company is sparse at best, but the story goes that in the late 1950's a whole factory's worth of Italian sax makers were on strike from another manufacturer, and came to the Grassi flute (?) factory with the proposition to start up saxophone manufacture there. Fast forward 60 years and If you search for Grassi now, you will find Asian-made horns, which also tells us the name was sold at some point.
Historical details aside, this is a well made and reasonably rare instrument that is undoubtedly modelled on the "balanced" Selmer instruments of the 1950's (as most instruments these days are). One unique thing about these horns is the beautiful jade rollers installed on all of the pinky keys. This one looks like a couple have been replaced with a brighter green material at some point, but the majority are still intact. Condition wise, aside from the usual mechanical wear, the neck socket needs to be resoldered and repaired, a couple of posts are pushed in to the body, the bell lip is quite warped, and I am going to do my best to remove as much of the red corrosion as I can from the exposed brass without damaging any of the existing lacquer finish.
Along with the overhaul, we have also decided to go with a beautiful custom-sized set of Resotech domed brass resonators, which are going to look stunning, and should add a nice dark crispiness to the sound (will post a photo when these come in!). Also check out the engraving, neck socket design, bell-to-body brace, pinky key layout, and neck logo (all very distinctly Selmer-looking). Stay tuned for more photos as the rebuild progresses on this rare Italian beauty!