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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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Discussion Starter #1
I was scanning the forum for snap-in history and it seems that 1921 is commonly speculated to be the introduction of this feature.

I just picked up a tatty old 50K soprano with snaps. The interesting thing is that it has a mix of resonators with and without the 12/27/21 patent date. I can easily presume that during a later repad a number of the resonators were replaced for new ones.

Seeing as the horn predates 1921, the original set of snaps wouldn't have the patent date. Are these pre-patent snaps very common? Was there an even later period when the snaps didn't carry the patent date? Just for reference, the pads were correct, white, and metal-backed (and nasty).

Who else has come across a pre-1921 horn with snaps?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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Buescher factory offered full repair/maintenance service (as many major makers did back then) Your horn is a retrofit (as in sent oput to the factory to overhaul-repad-maybe refinish)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A-HA!!! You must be correct Juan, as the finish (while a near perfect silverplate) shows a bit of buffing on the true tone logo! A factory retrofit and refinish makes prefect sense!

That possibility didn't even cross my mind... Oh, you'll appreciate this: One of the upper stack keys (while retaining the snap and bud) was fitted with a cork. Sheesh...
 

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@50K it's most likely the first True Tone stamp, the older pitchfork and bell inscribed on a triangle. It's kind of "shady" on original finish horns too, I bet it's a tad light on the left side isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Indeed, there is wear on the lower left side as well as the very top right. The 'T' on 'Tone' is fairly light too. I'll get some photos up before long. In the mean time, I'll share that this horn was a 'piece of art' when I picked it up. At some point somebody thought it would be really classy to wire it (no holes, thank God) to a frame with a burlap background surrounded by little construction paper musical notes and an old piece of marching band music! Amazingly, it very straight and came apart pretty easy. It also taking well to some Hagerty's and hand-polishing. I'm quite shocked actually...

Nevermind the smiling idiot! :)
 

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Awwww it's so cute. (The horn, that is).

I've never had much ambition to play soprano, but sometimes I see these old curvies and my heart melts a little.

And if I ever did plump for one, I would probably go Buescher, since the only soprano player I really get into is Bechet.
 

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out of morbid curiosity, how did you come by this little gem and what did it set you back?

...and did anyone else realize it was a real instrument?
 

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I love those early soldered on tone holes horns. BTW that's what Gus Buescher wanted to offer as an option but the board of his company banned them, pissin old Gus to the point he'd end up leaving his own factory in 1929-30
 

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I love those early soldered on tone holes horns. BTW that's what Gus Buescher wanted to offer as an option but the board of his company banned them, pissin old Gus to the point he'd end up leaving his own factory in 1929-30
What's the substantive advantage of having them soldered on rather than drawn? Less stress to the metal? More level tone holes?
 

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there's no advantage on soldering on vs. drawing except maybe for those silver brazed tone holes a la king. I like them because they're rare (within Buescher production) not because of any acoustical or tonal/timbrical advantage. I gues that around 50k horns in Buescher production means they were still perfecting many things, the soldered on tone holes horns have less distortion to the main body than drawn tone holes horns from the same era.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey guys, sorry I'm just getting back to this thread. JFW, I picked the little guy up at a local family-run pawn shop. They're really nice folks and love to do business with them, not your typical seedy kind of place. I'll probably take it back to show them the finished product, they'll get a kick out of it.

They did vaguely know what they had (I bet most pawn shops would laugh someone out the door if they walked in with this). They put it out around Christmas and I made an offer that they refused. I rolled the dice and left it there until a couple weeks ago when I reminded them of my offer. This time they accepted it. It appears to have very little playing wear on it, just decades of nasty tarnish and layers of dirt. The hinge rods and keys all came loose pretty easy, now I'm just fighting the cosmetics. It can be pretty depressing when you realize how many hours you can sink into hand polishing just the bow, but then I just look at the pictures I snapped when I picked it up!

I'm fortunate to own a Buescher stencil already so I'll probably have this guy overhauled then decide which one to keep. I'm not much of a soprano player so I'll probably let the better one go. We shall see though. I'm just having a blast reviving this little guy after decades of neglect on some bar or music room wall!

I'll keep you all posted with updates and photos. And, as always, thanks for the input!
 
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