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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Y'all,

I've been in the market for a new pro tenor for a while now. In the meantime, I was borrowing a Selmer MKVII from my university. The only thing is I really don't like modern ergos with the offset toneholes and tilting G# table. I played a 1955 Buescher Aristocrat of YEARS while I was learning so I think that might explain the preference.

Anyway, I found this Buffet SDA in my local music store. After some hard bargaining, I got the horn for a tick over $1000.

The horn has (what I'm 99% sure and HOPE is original lacquer), and still has the warranty card from the first owner who purchased the horn new in 1960 in the next town over. The horn as pretty much 98% lacquer left with the only wear being on the palm keys and right hand side keys. As far as I can tell, the pads are all original, but the horn still plays rather well. I'll definitely be getting it overhauled. With (what I believe to be) the factory setup the key heights are very high and I really can't imagine why anyone would call this a "classical" saxophone - it's bottomless. It projects and bites just almost as much as the MKVII even with these old pads.

I think I got a rather good deal :)

The horn is a little dusty still, so the pictures don't quite do it justice.

I'll upload more pics later.

IMG_0147.JPG IMG_0148.JPG
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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Bam, that's what I'm talkin 'bout.

Thanks for showing. Nice to see a fellow sax player get a good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Killer! I'm jealous, always wanted a nice buffet tenor. Let me know if you want to sell the Buffet mouthpiece...
The mouthpiece actually isn't the original Buffet one sadly. It's a small chamber Meyer 5 labeled New York. I really don't know anything about these pieces, I'm thinking it might be from the same vintage as the SDA. Anyone have any insight on this?
 

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With (what I believe to be) the factory setup the key heights are very high and I really can't imagine why anyone would call this a "classical" saxophone - it's bottomless. It projects and bites just almost as much as the MKVII even with these old pads.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! I remember watching a Matt Stohrer video about these, in which he describes the need for a very high setup to get them to really speak at their full volume. I'm constantly amazed when people describe the SDA as having a reserved or muted character because when you bump up the key heights, the sound is huge and the intonation is fantastic! I close friend of mine bought a beaten up one on ebay and had a really high quality overhaul done on it. It's set up nice and high and it's a very versatile horn.

Also, unbelievable find - congratulations!
 

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Forum Contributor 2014-2017
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Congrats! That is a steal. I love the focused clear tone of my ‘68 SDA. Fantastic intonation and it does have a big voice. They are very under appreciated and IMO undervalued horns. Very versatile too.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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Congratulations on the excellent score! Matt has a story about Trane and Pharoah Sanders both feeling like they couldn't fill up their SDAs, which says a lot about how huge they are. Seriously undervalued, and you totally stole yours; next week you can tell us about the '71 HemiCuda you got for ten grand.
 

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Garbage horns those SDAs ... You got taken. In fact I feel bad enough that you ended up with this dusty classical tenor that I'd be willing to buy the horn from you today for the price you paid +$100 for your troubles. PM me and let's resolve this travesty.

And in case anybody's sarcasm meter is broken this more commonly translates to - "Wow ... You got a great deal, I am very jealous and these monsters are totally under appreciated. Enjoy!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Garbage horns those SDAs ... You got taken. In fact I feel bad enough that you ended up with this dusty classical tenor that I'd be willing to buy the horn from you today for the price you paid +$100 for your troubles. PM me and let's resolve this travesty.

And in case anybody's sarcasm meter is broken this more commonly translates to - "Wow ... You got a great deal, I am very jealous and these monsters are totally under appreciated. Enjoy!"
From all my years on SOTW I've learned that sarcasm like this is a metric for determining how good the deal was :)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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Nice! Is that just the dust in the pictures or is this the coveted "sparkle" lacquer?

I got my YTS-61 2 years ago from a friend for $400 (CDN). Really the best horn I've owned ever. Good deals do come around once in a blue moon. You gotta jump on them fast.
 

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Congrats, you've found yourself a horn for life and for a great price. Years ago I found a silver SDA (actually two, but by the time I came to pick them up they didn't want to sell both anymore) that was in rather bad shape. It had taken some sort of nosedive and was in need of some repair. Picked that one up for 200 euro's and I made a deal with my tech to get it fixed 'in between jobs' to keep the price down (the SDA was to become a backup horn, so nu hurry)). I had to wait about three months I think before it was ready, back straight again with black roo's. The SDA was a steal and so was the cost for the repairs and overhaul. These are a joy to play.
My silver one looks nice and shiny, but I prefer the lacquer ones like yours. They look great with that typical SDA engraving. You've got a beautiful horn there. Enjoy.......
 

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Welcome to the Buffet Club! The first Buffet I ever played on was an SDA Tenor when I was in Jr. High, yes, my school-issued horn as a 7th grader was an SDA! I really don't think my band director knew what she was giving to me to play other than and it was an old school horn... TBH, I didn't really know what it was either and in High School, the Band Director bought a brand new Yamaha 52 Tenor for me to play as she felt bad that all I had to play was the old SDA...

Now I own 5 Buffet horns, 4 of which are listed in my signature. Careful, they can become addicting!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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…I'll definitely be getting it overhauled with (what I believe to be) the factory setup the key heights are very high…
Don't pay for a complete overhaul if you just need the action lowered. I would just have it checked for leaks at this point. Your tech can also lower the action in a few minutes. If that ends up negatively affecting the sound, you can always raise it up again.
 

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Forum Contributor 2012-2017
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that is a good find.


I use a Theo Wanne Gaia 8 on a SDA. I am very happy with the set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Don't pay for a complete overhaul if you just need the action lowered. I would just have it checked for leaks at this point. Your tech can also lower the action in a few minutes. If that ends up negatively affecting the sound, you can always raise it up again.
No the action is fine right now - feels pretty good with the keys heights the way they are. They're only slightly higher than on my other horns, it just looks like the Buffet is VERY open because the bow bend is very short.

I'm getting it overhauled because I think all the pads, corks, felts, and other materials are original from 1959 and as a result the horn doesn't quite play as it should. It's difficult to play low E, Eb, D, Db, and C (doable, but it takes more effort than it should. Low B and Bb are easier for some reason.
Given the pretty much immaculate mechanical condition of the horn (NO loose keys/rods) I'm guessing it's a few leaks here and there, and some clicking due to hard/absent adjustment materials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nice! Is that just the dust in the pictures or is this the coveted "sparkle" lacquer?

I got my YTS-61 2 years ago from a friend for $400 (CDN). Really the best horn I've owned ever. Good deals do come around once in a blue moon. You gotta jump on them fast.
I wiped the horn down thoroughly and it appears that it is indeed only dust :(

If it had sparkle lacquer it would be too good to be true!
 
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