The Fabulous Leblanc Saxophones

Steve Goodson

One hundred years after the invention of the saxophone, Messrs. Leon LeBlanc; Georges Leblanc; and Charles Houvenaghel developed a unique instrument which offered viable solutions to problems which had plagued saxophonists since the very beginning. By using innovative key mechanisms and following the true Bohem theory of tone hole placement, they produced an instrument which is unsurpassed in technical facility and even voicing. Unfortunately, this complex instrument did not gain wide market acceptance, and was withdrawn after a limited production run. These instruments are very rare, and it is my hope that the new owner of the Leblanc Corporation will give consideration to the re-introduction of this system. I am very proud to have to examples of the “Rationale” saxophone (an alto and a tenor) in my personal collection. The following are scans of the original literature which accompanied the fabulous Leblanc Rationale. Please be patient, some of the files are quite large.

The Leblanc system saxophones were new to the established dealer network. These scans are from the dealer sales manual, and give a very good overview of this unique instrument.

The complex Leblanc fingering system was unfamiliar to repair technicians. The factory found it necessary to produce a manual which gave instructions on the proper adjustment and regulation of the instruments. To the very best of my knowledge, this is the ONLY time a factory service manual was deemed necessary for a saxophone!

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