Within the last 50 years, saxophones with Vito Saxophone name has served more students in marching or school bands than any other saxophone brand.
The Vito Sax was named after Vito Pascucci, who was the instrument repair technician for the famous Glenn Miller orchestra. After the end of the second World War, Vito helped establish the Kenosha, Wisconsin complex of the LeBlanc Company which was owned by Beaugnier of France which built and distributed saxophones in the United States.
The Vito Instruments have been made by a number of companies that stenciled the Vito name on complete saxophones and then exported the instruments to the United States. Beaugnier of France made many of the saxophones carrying the Vito name and also produced saxophone parts that were assembled into finished instruments at the Leblanc complex in Wisconsin. Some of the saxophones or some of their parts, were produced by KHS of Taiwan. Both Yanagisawa and Yamaha of Japan also produced a number of Vito Saxophones. These instruments are generally regarded as being of good quality and sound.
Though Vito Saxes were not usually considered the preferred choice of professional musicians, saxophones carrying the Vito name were used by some professional saxophonists mainly between the 1950s and the mid-1970s. These professional models, which were produced by Leblanc, are rare. Many are sought by saxophone collectors and professionals who enjoy the mellow sounds made by the professional models of a Vito. After about 1975, the Vito name was found exclusively on saxophones produced for the student and intermediate level markets.
The Vito Horn developed a strong following among students and sold a considerable number of the instruments primarily to schools for orchestra and band use mostly because of their low cost and good sound.
For a number of reasons, Vito Saxes are considered to be among the best available for the student saxophonist. The instruments are not as large and are specifically designed to fit smaller hands. The bottom curve is a bit wider on a these Saxes typically. This design makes it easier for beginners to master the low notes which can be more difficult to reach on other models of saxophones. Leather pads help ensure a better seal and metal resonators over the pads add to overall sound quality. They are also relatively inexpensive given the quality of the instruments (This is no doubt dependent on the country you are purchasing the sax in).
There are currently a large number of Vito Alto Saxes available for sale in the used instrument market. Definitely worth considering as a learner instrument, but as with any Sax purchase ensure you’ve thoroughly checked out what you’re buying. Vito Saxophones were also produced in a range of models other than alto. These included soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones that feature similar designs though the manufacturer of the instruments varies depending upon the serial number and the year produced. Buyers of a used Vito can usually find an Internet source to verify the serial number on their saxophone.