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I went to get my Aristocrat big B alto put back into playing order and was told that it wasn't even worth repadding much less the two broken springs and a couple of corks. I had been under the impression that Big B's were very desirable horns and worth much more than the $400 he estimated the repairs would cost.

My concern is that when I started looking for the serial number to try to establish it's age, the big B serials are nowhere near what is on my horn. My horn has a 4 digit number of 1577 and then two indecipherable marks vertical just below the serial. According to just about every Buescher serial number list I can find online, that would make it a pre-1904 True-Tone but the engraving on the bell is most definitely a Big B.

View attachment 75846 View attachment 75847

If it IS just a stencil it's no big deal. My folks only paid $50 for it and that was 40 years ago.

I'm really curious about this.
 

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IMO the serial number should have a 3 in front of the 1577 but it is gone from the heavy buffing it received before relacquer(s). Below the number would have been the triangle TrueTone logo and the two indecipherable marks are what remains of that logo. This link at saxpics.com should explain what I am describing. http://saxpics.com/?v=gal&a=2663
 

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IMO the serial number should have a 3 in front of the 1577 but it is gone from the heavy buffing it received before relacquer(s). Below the number would have been the triangle TrueTone logo and the two indecipherable marks are what remains of that logo. This link at saxpics.com should explain what I am describing. http://saxpics.com/?v=gal&a=2663
^this.

damn, capn', tell you what, if you're still not sure I'd be glad to double what your folks paid for it. *grin*
 

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it is true...its just a really heavy buffing of the serial#area...it looks like a bigB to me and probably worth $400 before the repadding....
get the job done and you'll love the sax for another bunch of years....
if you are just gong to sell it,just sell it as-is...
cheers,philip
p.s....i am sure i could also give you more than your folks paid for it.....
p.s.s....sometimes if you get it under a spot light and a good magnifying glass,you can see the outline of the other numbers etc....
 

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....was told that it wasn't even worth repadding much less the two broken springs and a couple of corks.....
Those springs and cork are high dollar stuff! :bluewink2: $400 is waay-aayy too much to put into a horn [sarcasm mode], when you can buy a superior Reference 54 brand-new for $780 with free shipping:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Professiona...787291?hash=item33b24dfbdb:g:FAEAAOxycmBSxEcb

WTH on both accounts . And folks wonder why I'm such a skeptic. :faceinpalm:
 

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Go to a different tech! Definitely buffing damage! A good tech would have realized this, and knew what he was holding. Get it rebuilt by a better tech. The one you consulted failed! Bueschers are awesome Altos, and my personal favorite among vintage American brands :)
 

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Go to a different tech! Definitely buffing damage! A good tech would have realized this, and knew what he was holding. Get it rebuilt by a better tech. The one you consulted failed! Bueschers are awesome Altos, and my personal favorite among vintage American brands :)
It's about like having a '67 L68 Corvette that needs a new set of tires, and the mechanic thinks it's not worth it and you should get a new Camry.

That tech's an idiot.
 

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Go to a different tech! Definitely buffing damage! A good tech would have realized this, and knew what he was holding. Get it rebuilt by a better tech. The one you consulted failed! Bueschers are awesome Altos, and my personal favorite among vintage American brands :)
This ^

Don't let that tech near your horn! Take it elsewhere to someone who knows what they are doing and what the horn is. Or did the guy offer to 'take it off your hands' for a 'really good price' of $50 or so?
 

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haha, too many techs just don't want to deal with the snaps in these things. Plus $400 is an extremely low number for a quality overhaul on something like this. I agree it will be a smoking horn with a proper overhaul by a tech that has experience working on bueschers. Just my opinion, I had one that the serial number was in the aristocrat range before the Big B's, but had the engraving. So I think some were transitional between the two models, still a blazing horn!
 

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$400 is an extremely low number for a quality overhaul on something like this.
Yes, a full, quality overhaul (assuming that's what it needs) will likely cost considerably more than $400, but it will be worth it.

I wouldn't cut corners just to save a few dollars...
 

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Yes, a full, quality overhaul (assuming that's what it needs) will likely cost considerably more than $400, but it will be worth it.

I wouldn't cut corners just to save a few dollars...
Exactly. It would be worth a quality $800+ overhaul to get a smokin sax when completed! By a tech that knows what they're doing!
 

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I had one that the serial number was in the aristocrat range before the Big B's, but had the engraving. So I think some were transitional between the two models, still a blazing horn!
There's no evidence of any transitional models between the 135 and the 140 altos, or anything I've found to date that says that a 135 ever came engraved with the Big B on the bell -- not that it isn't possible, just no one has ever come up with an example of one. It's also entirely possible that whatever serial number chart (to determine year) you were using to determine this is wrong.

Just to pile on, yup, this horn has had the snot buffed out of it and is missing much of the stamping below the thumb hook, including the first two digits of the serial number.
 

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Ach, I stand corrected. Thank maddenma, for pointing out there are two numbers missing/buffed out. I guess I need to use the digits on both my hands when counting.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Those springs and cork are high dollar stuff. $400 is waay-aayy too much to put into a horn, when you can buy a superior Reference 54 brand-new for $780 with free shipping:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Professiona...787291?hash=item33b24dfbdb:g:FAEAAOxycmBSxEcb

WTH on both accounts. And folks wonder why I'm such a skeptic.
That sax is some brand I've never heard of called Eastern Music Co.
The cheapest used Selmer Reference 54 I could find is $4000

http://m.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=r...e+54+selmer+alto&sqp=reference+54+selmer+alto
 

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Ha! Sometimes my sarcasm doesn't translate well in print. The notion that springs and corks dominate the $400 repair costs is as farcical as this imposter Asian sax-shaped-object rip off of Selmer's Reference 54. Both designed to deceive the purchaser.
I got your sarcasm :) But without emogees, some people don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm not really that well. Versed in this type of thing. I've just starting getting involved again after a long abscence. I never really was involved with the technical issues.

I had a Yamaha yas 31 recommended to me at an affordable price a while ago and went to do some research on them and can find nothing at all about them. It's as if they never existed. How can I find out more about these horns?
 

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I'm not really that well. Versed in this type of thing. I've just starting getting involved again after a long abscence. I never really was involved with the technical issues.

I had a Yamaha yas 31 recommended to me at an affordable price a while ago and went to do some research on them and can find nothing at all about them. It's as if they never existed. How can I find out more about these horns?
Short answer:

Yamaha 21= student model
Yamaha 31= step up model
Yamaha 51= Intermediate model
Yamaha 61= Pro model

For more detailed response and opinions, best to begin a new a thread topic on it.
 

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short answer is a little WRONG.....
they never made a 51.....
so the 31 is the intermediate
21 student
31 intermediate
61 professional...

the 31 altos are not all that common...the early ones with serial#0-4000 have the professional neck,and real pearls...they are great horns,but they are a little funny to do with building,for technicians anyways,like all the 1 models...they straightened these things out and also cheapened some things in the next models(23,32/52 and 62).....

in the end for a player,i find the 21/31/61 are a darker sounding saxophone than most of all the other yamaha's....
the yas31 are great saxophones and one would be happy with it,i think...
cheers,philip


(
Short answer:

Yamaha 21= student model
Yamaha 31= step up model
Yamaha 51= Intermediate model
Yamaha 61= Pro model

For more detailed response and opinions, best to begin a new a thread topic on it.
 

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they are good horns...check my answer below....
cheers,philip
I had a Yamaha yas 31 recommended to me at an affordable price a while ago and went to do some research on them and can find nothing at all about them. It's as if they never existed. How can I find out more about these horns?
 
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