Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, here they are:

1) What's the most preferred model of True Tones? Early ones, like the series II, or later, like the series III/IV? Any real differences?
2) What's a fair value for gold and silver versions of series IIs compared to series III/IVs?

I guess that's about it, actually! Thanks in advance! If I think of more, I'll add them...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,206 Posts
This guy plays one from 1928--

http://www.johnedwardkelly.com/

Click on biography and scroll down to the last paragraph. I doubt if anyone on here would know better than he.

But I have always heard that the ones above 200,000 are best because they have the added high F (on the tenor--can't remember what note this is on the alto at the moment).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
808 Posts
Swingtone said:
..But I have always heard that the ones above 200,000 are best because they have the added high F (on the tenor--can't remember what note this is on the alto at the moment).
I think it's called high F on the alto too.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
2,666 Posts
I have no idea what you mean by the series numbers. Where did you find them?

Most players use serial number ranges or production years (see Dr. Rick's serial number list below) in discussions about vintage Buescher saxophones. So-called series numbers can be confusing and I'm not convinced that they were actually used by the Buescher company.

It's generally accepted that 1926 is a date that separates earlier and later model True Tones. What are considered to be "late model" True Tone altos were made between 1926 and 1931 (or beginning of 1932). At some point in 1932 New Aristocrat altos started production; however, New Aristocrat tenors were started later in 1933.

Personally, I prefer as late of a True Tone as possible....such as 1928 and after.

Some early model True Tones can be okay (depends upon the individual horn, of course). But, I've been the happiest with late 20's True Tones, 1934 New Aristocrats, and late-30's Aristocrats.

Hope this helps.

Roger


http://www.drrick.com/buesc.html
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,206 Posts
SearjeantSax said:
What's so funny, eh?

I have played the tenor sax since 1979 (though off and on mind you). Were you even alive then?

I have only picked up an alto once in my life and that was enough for me.

OK, so after doing a little research I know it's the same note on both saxes but that the actual concert pitch is different. Not something I've delved into too heavily. Transposing on the tenor is difficult enough!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Roger Aldridge said:
I have no idea what you mean by the series numbers. Where did you find them?

Most players use serial number ranges or production years (see Dr. Rick's serial number list below) in discussions about vintage Buescher saxophones. So-called series numbers can be confusing and I'm not convinced that they were actually used by the Buescher company.

It's generally accepted that 1926 is a date that separates earlier and later model True Tones. What are considered to be "late model" True Tone altos were made between 1926 and 1931 (or beginning of 1932). At some point in 1932 New Aristocrat altos started production; however, New Aristocrat tenors were started later in 1933.

Personally, I prefer as late of a True Tone as possible....such as 1928 and after.

Some early model True Tones can be okay (depends upon the individual horn, of course). But, I've been the happiest with late 20's True Tones, 1934 New Aristocrats, and late-30's Aristocrats.

Hope this helps.

Roger


http://www.drrick.com/buesc.html
Oh, take a look here:

http://www.saxpics.com/buescher/truetone/index.htm

This'll tell you what I was talking about. I looked up the serial numbers, and now I know what you're talking about too, so everybody's happy. :)

Ok, so you prefer later...hmm...does anyone know the going values, though, of silver and gold variants between early/later (series II or III/IV :D )? Some approximate figures would help. Thanks for the input thus far :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
2,666 Posts
Just to throw out a number, I'd think that you should be able to get a nice late 20's True Tone alto in the $1,000 +/- range.

Value largely depends upon the condition of the individual instrument (especially the horn's finish and whether it's original) and its production year. That is, I'd expect a 1928 Buescher in prime condition to be a bit more expensive than one in similar condition made in 1924. That said, the cost difference will most likely be a few hundred dollars...not thousands.

As a rule of thumb, the most expensive Bueschers are typically the Top Hat & Cane model. After that, it could be a toss-up between the Aristocrat and New Aristocrat depending upon the horn. (Of course, fewer New Aristocrats were produced.) True Tones normally go for a less expensive price than the other models. As I mentioned before, 1926 is an important date for True Tones. Typically, True Tones in good condition produced in 1926 and after are in greater demand than True Tones made before 1926. Then, I'd expect very late True Tones made in the early 30's to be more expensive -- and are harder to find -- than late 20's True Tones.

The best thing, I think, is for you to do some on-line comparative shopping. www.junkdude.com, www.vintagesax.com, and www.worldwidesax.com are several excellent places to start. One problem with vintagesax.com is prices are not listed for some of the more expensive horns. However, you can email Gail (via the vintagesax.com web site) for price quotes. Also, Google "Buescher Sax" and you might find additional on-line shops that sell vintage Bueschers. By comparing horns & prices in this way you should get a feeling for Buescher price ranges very fast.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I'd suggest that you set aside the series numbers that you got from saxpics. They are helpful within the context of the historical comparisons on his website. However, most Buescher players and sellers do not use those terms. Rather, most of us go by the Buescher model name (such as True Tone, New Aristocrat, Aristrocat, Top Hat & Cane) and the serial number/production year. Dr. Rick's serial number chart is helpful in translating serial number ranges to production years.

In my personal experience with True Tones, I am much happier with late 20's True Tones than with ones from the early 20's. Intonation is better, the front F key is important, and late model True Tones seem to be overall better horns.

If you're serious about getting a good True Tone I'd suggest that you focus on the production years of 1928 or 1929, see what you can find, and the prices for those horns. 1928 & 1929 were superb years for True Tone production. This is the True Tone in full blossom. It's my impression that most True Tones produced in the early 30's have been grabbed by collectors. I have not seen many for sale.

Good luck!

Roger
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
25,970 Posts
Roger Aldridge said:
Just to throw out a number, I'd think that you should be able to get a nice late 20's True Tone alto in the $1,000 +/- range.
Actually, for a grand, you could get three of them (altos) on Ebay. Late TT altos with front F's and roller G# keys in their original silverplate still go for around $300-$350 on Ebay (US). You'll have to have them overhauled for another $300-$350. Gold plated models that show up are usually earlier models without a front F. A gold plated one with a front F would probably bring in about $500 or more depending upon condition.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
2,666 Posts
Grumps is right! Ebay is certainly a cheaper way to go. I've purchased several absolutely great horns on ebay for cheap prices.

That said, one thing I weigh in my mind -- and I often go back and forth over it -- is whether I'm better off getting a horn on ebay, shooting the dice about its actual condition, and then spending additional money on taking the horn to my repair tech for whatever work it needs versus getting a horn that has already been overhauled from a dealer I know. Getting a horn from a dealer I know is safer.

Really, it can go either way. I've purchased horns both ways. I've generally had good luck getting things on ebay. That said, I've also had a few experiences where there were problems. Earlier this year I purchased a vintage Couesnon clarinet on ebay. The clarinet was described on ebay as being freshly overhauled. When the clarinet arrived I found a crack in the upper joint and a problem with one of the tone holes. Happily, my repair tech did a wonderful job fixing the clarinet. Even with the repair tech's cost, I ended up with a truly wonderful pro-level clarinet at less than half the cost of a new Buffet.

It's important to know your subject matter when it comes to buying horns on ebay. The comparative shopping method I suggested is a good way to learn the price ranges for dealer-sold horns. Then, you won't be fooled by ebay sellers who have outrageously high prices. As Grumps suggested, always factor in the cost of a repair tech's overhaul when you bid for a horn on ebay.

Hope you find something you really like!

Roger
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
808 Posts
I got a beautiful pristine 1929-1930 (254xxx serial) TrueTone tenor on ebay for about $550. It was a total closet horn in perfect original condition, other than heavy tarnish of the 100% intact silver plate and age. The original white kid pads were still clean but went fragile and started to tear, so it will need repad. Even the case is near mint. It's likely going to be a keeper though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
buescher truetone (alto and tenor)

Chu-Jerry said:
I got a beautiful pristine 1929-1930 (254xxx serial) TrueTone tenor.
What is "pristine"?

I have a Truetone alto sax since february with serial number 232606. I tried several horns (also aristocrat and other brands like conn etcetera). But this 1928 horn was the best and compared to the others also the cheapest in my saxshop. So I really love to read such positive comments on this particular horn! Why did I choose mine? It has great intonation. When I play a F# with or without the octave key, it tunes perfect. Then there is the sound, which I like very much. It is deep and warm, but not too soft. Last credit I give my sax is the mechanism. It works superb, very easy to play. I often hear that vintage saxophones are harder to handle, but that does not apply to this horn. For me it was nice that the palmkeys are not too high, so I can play the horn with my smaller (female) hands...

To be even more convincing:
Two weeks ago I decided to buy a tenor saxophone. I tried about 12 different horns in the saxshop. Open minded, trying everything more than twice (very patient owner). And with what horn did I go home? A 1930 Buescher Truetone tenor sax with serial number 256761. Same reasons as my alto apply here. What a great sound, great intonation, easy to play, what a fantastic saxophone.

So as a very proud and satisfied owner I would recommend these later Truetones.

Maike
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
808 Posts
Maike said:
What is "pristine"?
Hi Maike,
"pristine" as I use the word, means almost unused with no damage, dents, scratches, and no signs of wear. The original case is even nearly perfect. It also came with the original mouthpiece in perfect condition. It was truely and literally a "closet horn" for most of its 79 or so years

...And with what horn did I go home? A 1930 Buescher Truetone tenor sax with serial number 256761. Same reasons as my alto apply here. What a great sound, great intonation, easy to play, what a fantastic saxophone.

So as a very proud and satisfied owner I would recommend these later Truetones.
Maike
Congratulations on finding a good one for yourself!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Chu-Jerry said:
Hi Maike,
"pristine" as I use the word, means almost unused with no damage, dents, scratches, and no signs of wear. The original case is even nearly perfect. It also came with the original mouthpiece in perfect condition. It was truely and literally a "closet horn" for most of its 79 or so years
I'm lucky enough to have a horn like that -- one at 201xxx (Series "III", I guess). It's really unbelievably clean, as well as the case. It's like opening up a new horn. The pearls are completely sharp-edged. Original white pads. I've also got a 245xxx horn only a little less pristine.

Speaking of the "Series III / IV" designation, since Saxpics started using those designations to distinguish between the various TT horns, I've started seeing them being used to describe TT horns on eBay.

I sold a 254xxx alto recently and decided against using the Saxpics designations, as I felt it might confuse matters. I just stated that it was a sample of the ultimately tweaked version of the TT horn before the NA came out. That horn had a rose gold bell and all its snaps, but no pads. There was also some significant wear to the silver on the keys, though the plating on the body was very good. Sold for $350.00 or so, if I remember correctly.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top