Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Buescher

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Roger Aldridge
User ID: 0735934
Apr 1st 12:30 PM
I'm wanting to get a Buescher alto. (see my message under Marketplace.)

For those of you who play a Buescher, what are your opinions of mid 20's to early 30's Buescher altos? I'm also wondering about mouthpiece set ups. Do any of you use a Morgan? If so, are you using a medium or large chamber mouthpiece? Does it make a difference with respect to intonation to use a medium or large chamber piece on a Buescher True Tone?

Thanks!
Dave Dolson
User ID: 9209903
Apr 1st 1:22 PM
Roger: I play a silver True Tone alto dated to the early 20's (the serial lists I've seen are pretty general . . . mine is #153xxx). I use a HR Meyer 6S-medium chamber, Rico Royal #2 reeds, and a standard ligature. I sold a similar horn (lower number) a couple of years ago to a friend wanting to take up alto sax. I have not had experience with other Buescher alto models, but I can tell you my Buescher is wonderful. For comparison, I have a Yana A992, a BA, a MKVI (circa 1962), and a JK straight alto. All take second place to the Buescher for my style of playing (1920's jazz). For more modern work, I suppose the A992 would reign supreme in my battery of horns. Further, all of my altos play well with my set-up. DAVE
Thomas
User ID: 1132714
Apr 1st 1:33 PM
I have a 280xxx Buescher Aristocrat alto-all original with snap-in resonators,Norton gold screw-in springs,brown rollers and the 01 neck.This horn does it all,and is for sale. I've sold Selmer BA's and MKVI's but always kept this alto because of its versatility,playability and tone. I've never encountered any intonation problems with it. I use a Selmer soloist"E" on all my altos and currently am using Superial 2-1/2 & 3's.It's a great horn,if you're interested in buying it I'm at [email protected]
super20dan
User ID: 7705853
Apr 1st 5:08 PM
i have a early tru-tone ,a ww2 era cratand a late model 400. all are great horns but the sound of the tru-tone is the sweetest of the 3. i think this is the sound you are after but look for a later one with the modern octave mech as the old style is always needing regulation. ask gayle when the switch was made as i dont know . mine is a 141,xxx . this horn works best with my selmer soloest mpc but like others as well. runyon custom,hite comm. and meyer 5m all work well on it. i would get a silver plated one as sound is sweeter. good news is that these can be had at a very good price.
JAX, FL
User ID: 8604013
Apr 3rd 3:50 PM
I had a Buescher True Tone, which had a hollower tone than a King Super 20. I had a little problem with the octave key and gave to my father-in-law and got it fixed and loves it. I used a Meyer 5M on it, but would have enjoyed a wider opening. I sometimes used a Brilhart 7 that sounded great on it. I didn't care for the keywork on it as much as the King 20 or newer horns.
super20dan
User ID: 7705853
Apr 3rd 5:24 PM
i,m in jax also
Roger Aldridge
User ID: 0735934
Apr 4th 7:36 AM
I made a deal for a 1928 Buescher alto (246xxx). A Morgan large chamber mouthpiece was tested on it and I'm told the intonation is excellent. If it's anything like my 1928 Buescher soprano I'll be a very happy man.

I'll let you know how it goes when I receive the horn.
JAX, FL
User ID: 8604013
Apr 4th 2:34 PM
super20dan do play around the area? I imagine the name means you also play a King Super 20(nice horn).
David Apolloni
User ID: 0004344
Apr 10th 6:41 AM
My Truetone alto is from around 1925, without a front F-key. I'm wondering how it compares with Conn Chu altos for playing '20's jazz. I gather that most players of the period preferred the Conns.

Roger Aldridge
User ID: 0735934
Apr 10th 8:16 AM
David,

My Buescher should arrive tomorrow. After I've had a chance to give it a good workout I'll post a note with my impressions of it and how it compares with the Chu alto I had. It turns out that it's probably not a 1928 model after all. It's more like 1929 or early 1930.
paulwl
User ID: 9816503
Apr 13th 6:00 PM
I have a 256k True-Tone, a 266k New Aristocrat and a 284k Aristocrat. I'd give first pick to the New Crat, but the T-T is very close, just a little less naturally in tune (I use neck inserts in both it and the New Crat).

All are excellent jazz horns, in my opinion, if a little out of fashion among that community of players.
paulwl
User ID: 9816503
Apr 13th 6:04 PM
These altos seem to prefer vintage Brilhart round or horseshoe chambers (doesn't much matter which, all tune well and sound strong and sweet), NY Woodwind Ebonites, rubber Meyers or Links.

I'd like to try a Lamberson L or SB on the Buescher altos -- Mike Hashim uses one sometimes and sounds his usual great self.
David Apolloni
User ID: 0665994
Apr 14th 4:52 PM
Paul, you will recall the discussion we had a few years ago on alt. music. saxophone about '20's Bueschers and Conns. Then you said they were a bit stiffer than Conns. They seem to work with fewer mouthpieces. But you seem to have changed your mind a bit on them for jazz.

Interestingly, the late Benny Waters (who played in King Oliver's Savannah Synocators, inter alia) said in an interview in Saxophone Journal that he always played Conns, but the best saxophone he ever played was a Buescher, and that he wished he had one now.
Bootman
User ID: 1676554
Apr 14th 5:53 PM
Roger,
Has your Buescher arrived yet?

I love my Bueschers and my Conns and even my Martins. The choice of horn which you will ultimately make is going to be based upon your concept of what a saxophone should sound like. If you want a centred sound that will fill the entire room with little effort then you buy a Buescher. These horns are capable of producing an older style sound or a cutting modern sound.

The Conn on the other hand is less centred and has a spread sound that is as big as it is wide. It will also fill a room with sound as easily as a Buescher will or a Martin for that matter.

The Martin Handcraft sound is a lot darker than the Conn with a lush rich texture. A georgeous sound that is also very big and will fill a room with sound with consumate ease. The alto's are so big that they sound like tenors at times.

Comparing a Vintage American horn to a Selmer is a moot point, the Selmer has (arguably) a better mechanism and is fairly open sound that is easily lost within the acoustic mix of a big band in full cry. Whereas if you were using a Vintage American horn, you would end up scaring the lead trumpet player and the rest of the brass section by having a big competitive volume, a thickness of tonal colour and could play over the topof them when required.

Try it out for yourself, you will be very surprised, in a good way that is.
super20dan
User ID: 7705853
Apr 14th 9:18 PM
i recently had my 1920,s tru-tone alto (silver) repadded from plain pads to modern plastic resos and what a world of difference.it can now hold its own in my very loud big band.
paulwl
User ID: 9816503
Apr 15th 8:03 AM
David Apolloni wrote:

>> Paul, you will recall the discussion we had a few years ago on alt. music. saxophone about '20's Bueschers and Conns. <<

With pleasure David -- howyadoin'...

>> Then you said they were a bit stiffer than Conns. They seem to work with fewer mouthpieces. But you seem to have changed your mind a bit on them for jazz. <<

I basically tried a few Bueschers and was impressed enough by them to think they deserved a better reputation among jazz players. I now have a whole stable of them alongside my Conns, and use them more or less interchangeably.

Those neck inserts helped a lot on the altos (and let me stress, only the True-Tone and New Crat altos needed them). I cut them from PVC tubing with the help of a lab engineer/saxophonist net.buddy who is also a Buescher fan.

There is some stiffness (=tonal resistance) in the T-T alto, but no more than in the Chu Berry Conn of the same vintage. After a while it doesn't hold you back.
Roger Aldridge
User ID: 1439244
Apr 15th 12:19 PM
Bootman and Everyone,

The Buescher alto arrived last week. But, it has a problem. It came with an early 60's Bundy neck instead of the original neck. I confirmed this with Steve and Emilo at L&L Music.

I contacted Dave Hoskins, whom I'm getting the horn from. This is how the instrument came to him. He scratched his head over the neck, too. He wasn't sure about it at first but he found pictures of some vintage Bueschers on saxpics that in a picture have a similar-looking neck.

Dave is a person with integrity. So, we're working together to see what the best solution is. He found a Buescher True Tone alto in the same serial number range. Dave said the horn needs a lot of work. However, the neck is in excellent condition. He's sending me the neck from that horn to try out on the horn I have. If the intonation and tone are good with this match then we're home free. If not, we'll talk about another option. Worst case, we can always reswap our altos. But, I don't think it will come to that.

The neck should arrive tomorrow. I'll let you know how this saga turns out. I hope that all will be well. My best instincts tell me that Buescher is definitely for me.

Paul -- One of these days I'd love to try out a New Aristocrat. Ideally, in the 263-264 range.
Roger Aldridge
User ID: 1439244
Apr 15th 3:31 PM
The Buescher neck arrived this afternoon from Dave. I've spent time shedding the horn against the tuner. The intonation is superb. Much better than my Chu alto! The sound is everything that Bootman said it would be. I'm really happy with this horn. It's Buescher for me!!!

I also want to commend Dave Hoskins at junkdude.com. He did everything possible to make sure that I was happy with the horn. I recommend him to others. Thanks dave!!!
Bootman
User ID: 1676554
Apr 16th 8:13 AM
Roger,
Good news on the neck. The 264K Buescher New aristocrats are incredible saxes, identical to the later Aristocrat series but with perhaps a little bigger bottom end. There isn't much in it at all.
Roger Aldridge
User ID: 0735934
Apr 16th 8:29 AM
A final word about the Buescher True Tone. I'd describe the Chu alto I had as more free blowing. Bootman described its sound perfectly! It's a big sound that easily fills the room. The main problem I had with my Chu is that the intonation on some notes was quirky. I was able to adjust. However, I didn't feel comfortable with the horn. In hindsight, a different mouthpiece set up may have worked better on this alto.

I find the intonation to be much better on the Buescher True Tone. It's sound is more focused and darker than the Chu. I'm hearing the SWEETNESS that others have described. I absolutely love the Buescher sound! The horn has good projection and should be able to hold its own in an ensemble. It's definitely not a wimp!

Given how well Buescher True Tones play and how they have a truly beautiful sound, I have no clue as to why more jazz players are not using them.
The horn is off to the shop today for a chemical bath, cleaning & polishing, and a check over.
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