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I talked my neighbor into a comeback, She said she still has her old sax in the basement from 50 years ago. She brought it up. Yep, 1949 Buescher Aristocrat Alto 140. She want to take to our local music store and have them "gussy it up." Any suggestions? I am going to have my director (a sax teacher) take a look first.

Warning: I am a 61 year old comeback trumpet player, but some of my best friends play sax. Really. And I believe that instruments younger than their players are often suspect.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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I talked my neighbor into a comeback, She said she still has her old sax in the basement from 50 years ago. She brought it up. Yep, 1949 Buescher Aristocrat Alto 140. She want to take to our local music store and have them "gussy it up." Any suggestions? I am going to have my director (a sax teacher) take a look first.
Matt Stohrer (aka ABADCLICHE here)

[quoet]Warning: I am a 61 year old comeback trumpet player, but some of my best friends play sax. Really. And I believe that instruments younger than their players are often suspect.[/QUOTE]

:mrgreen: I think so too!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011
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1) Do not let them "grind out" the receivers for the snap-in resonators on the pads.
2) It is ok to use high-quality "standard" pads and float them in with shellac. The Buescher-style metal-backed pads are ok, but less generally available. I am not a fan of the old-school approach of using shims and no shellac to seat the pads.
3) Beware that many repairmen don't respect these older horns and will give them a marching-band quality pad job and adjustment (this has happened to me many times trying to use local repair people on my Bueschers), as opposed to the pro-level adjustment that EVERY sax deserves. If you sense that is the case with the local person, there are numerous options you could ship it off to and pay about the same amount. PM me if you need a recommendation.
4) Re-lacquer is probably a bad idea.
 

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That's a very good horn she has. What it probably needs is something more than a "gussy up." I would take it to a good tech who can assess the condition of the pads, etc, and put it into good playing condition. It would be well worth it. As awholley says, make to find a tech who knows what they are doing.
 

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1) Do not let them "grind out" the receivers for the snap-in resonators on the pads.
2) It is ok to use high-quality "standard" pads and float them in with shellac. The Buescher-style metal-backed pads are ok, but less generally available. I am not a fan of the old-school approach of using shims and no shellac to seat the pads.
3) Beware that many repairmen don't respect these older horns and will give them a marching-band quality pad job and adjustment (this has happened to me many times trying to use local repair people on my Bueschers), as opposed to the pro-level adjustment that EVERY sax deserves. If you sense that is the case with the local person, there are numerous options you could ship it off to and pay about the same amount. PM me if you need a recommendation.
4) Re-lacquer is probably a bad idea.
All good advice, but:
There is no problem getting metal backed Buescher replacement pads. They are available from Ferree's (your tech should have an account) or you can buy them from Music Medic, one of the sponsors here.

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no need to shim or shellac the metal backed pads. They need to be heated as if you were using shellac and then lightly clamped to seat. I've bought and sold and currently own a lot of Bueschers and the only time that shellac was used on a metal backed pad was when the snap was worn and we weren't confident that it would hold the pad securely.

Again, contrary to popular opinion, many modern pads are too thin to seat well without a fair amount of key bending, or shimming, or a lot of shellac. Not the end of the world, but not optimal either.

Be wary of technicians who contend that old pads are necessarily bad pads. Depending on how the instrument was maintained before it was put away and the storage condtions over the last 50 years, it may just need minor adjustments to play very well. Try to find someone to work on it that understands that and can give you an honest evaluation as to whether it really needs a complete overhaul. Don't assume anything based solely on the age of the instrument. Sax teachers and band directors, even really good ones, often know just enough to be really dangerous.
 

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All good advice, but:
There is no problem getting metal backed Buescher replacement pads. They are available from Ferree's (your tech should have an account) or you can buy them from Music Medic, one of the sponsors here.

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no need to shim or shellac the metal backed pads. They need to be heated as if you were using shellac and then lightly clamped to seat. I've bought and sold and currently own a lot of Bueschers and the only time that shellac was used on a metal backed pad was when the snap was worn and we weren't confident that it would hold the pad securely.

Again, contrary to popular opinion, many modern pads are too thin to seat well without a fair amount of key bending, or shimming, or a lot of shellac. Not the end of the world, but not optimal either.

Be wary of technicians who contend that old pads are necessarily bad pads. Depending on how the instrument was maintained before it was put away and the storage condtions over the last 50 years, it may just need minor adjustments to play very well. Try to find someone to work on it that understands that and can give you an honest evaluation as to whether it really needs a complete overhaul. Don't assume anything based solely on the age of the instrument. Sax teachers and band directors, even really good ones, often know just enough to be really dangerous.
wait... I'm halfaway finished grinding the spuds on your aristo I and you just come up with this? I barely ground the cup's edges while having a go at the snaps...
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(waits for the falling on the floor body noise....) :mrgreen: :twisted:
 
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