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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm new to the Buescher world. Haven't owned an alto for several years. Started looking for one a couple of months ago and got really jazzed about the TH&C, then became interested in other Bueschers.

Ended up with the 354xxx one pictured at http://www.saxpics.com/cpg143/index.php?cat=1857

The horn wouldn't play when it arrived so it went to my long time tech. In fixing the no play problem he determined the tone holes were not level and believes this problem was a factory "birth defect" Probably not a huge issue while the pads were still fairly soft. He leveled the tone holes, replaced a few of the original pads (50 year old pads and many still seal fine, wow) and did a regulation.

Now it really plays fine - really fast, quiet action and a bunch of other good qualities.

I've not played enough different horns to make well informed conclusions and would like to tap into the groups expertise. In comparison to my tenor, a late model MKVI, this Buescher feels great, very precise. In some ways the 141 seems a better horn, I've only tried it with one MP so far, a Meyer 8 small chamber hr, so far I find the 141 easy to play in tune and it opens up nicely in the upper register, lots of interesting timbres are available.

So I'm thinking about a Buescher tenor. Maybe a TH&C in really good shape would be comparable in $ to my 222XXX MKVI.

But, I read this from http://www.saxpics.com/buescher/aristocrat.htm:
"My opinion is that the "Series III" is probably the last really good Aristocrat. The horns that followed were slowly morphing into the Bundy II."

I have a Bundy II alto and find my Series IV Buescher a far superior horn - with not much in common between the two. Perhaps I'm missing something... Obviously Saxpics has seen far more horns than I have.

If the Series III a really good Aristro and my series IV is a lesser horn. But my 141 plays so well that I can't imagine how the series III could be dramatically better. Does someone here have experience with both models?

I've always regretted selling my BA alto, and decided that selling one's Selmer is not something that should be done without careful consideration.

However I'm really turned on by the TH&C appearance and am completely thrilled with my Series IV Aristro which on the face of it seems like a similar horn - Nortons, snapons, back bell keys. If the TH&C is a better horn than my 141 then I gotta think trading my MKVI in on a TH&C might work out OK.

I know this is a long note but I'm trying to sort things out and would welcome your insights.

thanks for your time and your thoughts.
 

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The pre-Selmer Bueschers are very good horns. From what I've heard, even the later models, such as your 141 alto can be excellent players. And your experience seems to confirm this.

Regarding tenors, you don't have to go with a TH&C to get a great horn. If you are willing to pay a premium, by all means look for a TH&C, but there are better values. If by "series III" you mean the 156 tenor, then you're talking about the same horn as the "Big B" with the bigger bell. Only difference is the engraving (which is no difference at all!!). The Big B/156 is one of the best tenors out there, imo, and stands up well next to a TH&C, but for a much better price.
 

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You could buy 3 aristocrat 156 horns and still have a heap of dollars left from the sale of a mk6. The bueschers are as good as any mk6
Dave
 

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The 141 is by no means a bad horn. I prefer the 140's a bit more (and have owned both). My complaint with the 141 is that the one I had was a big bell model and didn't have that sweet Buescher tone that the 140's seem to have. Monster horn the 141. Would be great in pretty much any setting other than classical - guess what I needed at the time :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great replies. Thanks for your thoughts.

Last night, once I started to push some air through the 141 it just filled the club. Now I just need to acclimate to the G# key... my little pinky was flailing around a bit looking for its new home. Probably looked a little funny.

Off to drool over saxophone pictures.
 

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I currently have several 140s and one 141, which like Hurling's, has the bigger bell. I also have a TH&C. FWIW, I like the sound of the 140s best.

I also have a supremely ugly 156 that is the only horn my son has instructed me never to sell. Almost everyone I've let play it wants to buy it from me even though it won an ugly horn contest here.
 

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The 141 has the back bell keys, right? This is not really an Aristocrat, but a 400 with reduced frills. It was replaced by a very much reduced 'Crat in 1959 when the frill-free 400 replaced the TH&C. I feel pretty certain it is basically the same sax.

If you like the fancy stuff on the TH&C, be prepared to pay; otherwise, buy a 157 or a later 400 (up to 380K) and be happy.

This has been discussed before in several threads, and several of the posters to this thread have contributed to the others. It's a long story, but I have given you the bare bones here.
 

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Pinnman said:
The 141 has the back bell keys, right? This is not really an Aristocrat, but a 400 with reduced frills.
Right. I'm not completely convinced of any exact dates, but I have a 141 #35xxxx that has Nortons and snaps, the back bell keys, basically a TH&C with regular 140 engraving minus the tone ring and underslung octave mech.
Because the keys and rods are nickel, the Nortons are not gold plated, but look to be nickel. Some of these later Bueschers may not be collectable, but they sure can play.
FWIW, the snaps lasted to a lot later production than the Nortons. I have 400 that is into the late 60s or maybe even early 70's that still has snaps.
 
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