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Saunders Recorders

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Old Dolmetsch 'School' recorders.

The Old Dolmetsch Plastic Descant (ABS).
(Late Version)

Old Dolmetsch ABS plastic descant.

Old Dolmetsch ABS plastic descant.

The five completely disassembled parts.
Note the elongated foot tenon and
slot to accomodate the lowest holes.

An unusual feature is the 'ski jump'
shaping of the top of the block.
This is usually only a feature of the
very best hand made instruments.

Old Dolmetsch ABS plastic descant.

Beak details.
There is a separate block.
The windway ceiling is part of the beak.
Early models had an integral rectangular windway tube.

The first moulded recorders were made of Bakelite.
There were several variations affecting
colour and subtle aspects of design.
They were discontinued in the late '60's

Early ABS models are made of light coloured plastic,
the colour of milk chocolate.
The dark ones have also been branded 'EMI'.
The moulds have been sold and the recorder
may still be available (without the 'Dolmetsch' name).

Rigadoon in C major, Z.653, by Henry Purcell

Click play to hear one of these old ABS recorders,
or use the links below.


The Old Dolmetsch Plastic Tenor (ABS).
(Late Version)

The 'EMI' branded model is the same and accepts the same spare parts.

Spare Parts

I have parts available for this model tenor recorder. (The keys are easily pulled off and lost.) New ones are easily pushed on to replace them. The keys are not quite identical. To avoid problems with 'left' and 'right' I refer to them as 'C#' and 'C'. Please check the next image so as to be sure which is which.

Old Dolmetsch ABS plastic tenor. Old Dolmetsch ABS plastic tenor - foot.

The keys are fitted to a 'saddle'. This should have two little 'fingers' that act as springs. These should be checked for cracks before any keys are ordered. I have the 'saddles' and their fixing screws in stock, as well as pads and a quantity black keys that will fit all. I no longer have keys in light or dark brown.

The keys come complete with pad and I can supply a screw (foc) with the saddle if yours is missing. Each part is £2.50.

Old Dolmetsch ABS plastic tenor - saddle.


An Old Dolmetsch Plastic Treble (ABS).

Dolmetsch ABS plastic treble.

The first 'Dolmetsch' mass produced trebles were made of bakelite, a very hard and heavy moulding material, in the 1940's. Many of these recorders survive despite being brittle and are still used by aficionados. There were different versions and the first were the best. (That's progress for you!).

Later, ABS, plastic trebles similar to the descant and tenor illustrated above became available. When production ceased they were replaced for a short time by the model illustrated on the left, which came from Israel. These were nice instruments with 'soloist' tone. (Similar recorders branded 'Ariel', the factory's brand, were available at the same time.)

As ever, quality control became a problem and this model soon disappeared. Its (Korean) replacement is the current 'Nova' treble.



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