Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / *old* Buescher E-flat Alto

Valerie
User ID: 0478154
Sep 3rd 8:54 PM
I am trying to find information on my Dad's old Buescher E-flat Alto sax. It says The Buescher Elkhart, Ind. on the front and 222672 Tri-E-Tone, Low Pitch on the back (also license & patent #). Can anyone offer any information? I know it's from the early 1900s, a very sentimental keepsake for me! I'd like to find some history and would appreciate instructions on how to maintain and display it. I do not play the sax, I play guitar.
Dave Dolson
User ID: 9209903
Sep 3rd 11:20 PM
Valerie: It is "True Tone" . . . great saxophones. My favorite alto (and I have two other brands, plus I've owned several other altos, all top-drawer stuff) is a silver Buescher TT from the early '20's (#152xxx). I think the serial number on yours puts it in the late '20's but others more knowledgeable about Buescher serial numbers may correct me on that.

Many Buescher saxophones of that era were silver, some were lacquered brass and some were gold-plated from that era. I have a straight soprano, thr alto, and a C-Melody - all silver Buescher TTs.

Low pitch is the desired type for a vintage saxophone like your Dad's. It means the instrument was made to play to the international pitch standard of A=440. It will play with modern ensembles.

Is your Dad still around? And, what do you intend for the future of this horn - sell? play? fix it up for Dad?

If your horn has the original finish, keep it that way.

A complete overhaul, if necessary, is a worthy investment, although if you intend to sell it, you may want to avoid the price of an overhaul and factor that into a reduced price. Most TTs in need of an overhaul, but otherwise in good shape (no dents, no missing parts, etc.) may command $300 +/-. After an overhaul, their value goes up.

You have potentially a wonderful old alto sax, although there are plenty TTs still in existence. DAVE
Valerie
User ID: 0478154
Sep 4th 3:01 PM
My father died recently. The sax was the one thing I said I wanted -- and I got it!!! Unfortunately I do not play. I am a guitarist. I got to strum along in the background while he wailed away. He played this sax and his clarinet up until a few months before he died, just a bit short of his 90th birthday. The instruments are in great shape. The sax is gold by the way and was second hand when he got it as a teenager. I want to know how to maintain it properly for display in my home. I never thought about learning to play it myself... hmmm, interesting possibility! Thanks for any info you can offer or any other sites you can direct me to. My email is [email protected]
Dave Dolson
User ID: 9209903
Sep 4th 4:38 PM
Valerie: Check your e-mail. DAVE
Roger Aldridge
User ID: 0735934
Sep 5th 12:02 PM
Valerie,

Your Buescher alto (222xxx serial number) was probably made around 1927.

There are several sites that could be of help to you. Saxpics.com has quite a bit of information about vintage saxophones. In particular, it has a section called "Buescher alto saxophones through the years". This should be of great interest to you. You'll be able to see other examples of the Buescher True Tone alto. Other good sites are vintagesax.com and saxgourmet.com.

Vintage Buescher saxophones are very special instruments. They are known for their beautiful dark tone, excellent intonation, and quality craftsmanship. I have several late-20's Buescher saxophones and I absolutely love them. They have a quality of sound that can't be duplicated on a modern instrument.

If you would like to hear the sound of a Buescher alto saxophone in the hands of a master, listen to some Duke Ellington recordings that feature Johnny Hodges.
Dave Dolson
User ID: 9209903
Sep 5th 12:10 PM
Roger: So Hodges played a Buescher? I didn't know that . . . and it was something I've always been curious about. All of the photos I've seen of Hodges didn't clearly show details on his horn.

But, recalling that Hodges studied with Bechet, it doesn't surprise me. Of all the alto players, Hodges was the most listenable and pleasing, in my opinion. Thanks for that info. DAVE
ToreH
User ID: 1843114
Sep 14th 1:25 AM
Hodges went from Conn to Buescher around 1942. Then he played Buescher Aristocrate for most of his life. A few years in the end he played Vito/LeBlanc Rationale - after Buescher was bought by Selmer in and no more pro Bueschers were made.
ToreH
User ID: 1843114
Sep 14th 1:28 AM
Hodges went from Conn to Buescher around 1942. Then he played Buescher Aristocrate for most of his life. A few years in the end he played Vito/LeBlanc Rationale - after Buescher was bought by Selmer in and no more pro Bueschers were made.