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I told its new owner to check up in the body tube for the neck. I got one with no neck a couple years ago and found the neck wedged into the G# tone hole.
Ha!! Well I guess there's a lot of room inside. I hope he lucks out on that.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
It's a very small neck.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Hi guys, I just wanted to let you all know that I just listed one of these on Barnard Instrument Repair's website. Here is a link, man these are awesome playing horns!

http://www.barnardrepair.com/barito...er-custombuilt-extremely-rare-baritone-274xxx
And here's what I wrote about it on Facebook in response to Steve Goodson's question about it....

"Steve, I own 2 of them, and have owned a 3rd that I ended up selling to Juan Caino. Steve Berlin from Los Lobos plays on one, if you want someone famous to check with.

From what I can tell, and I have some backup from Juan Caino on this, is that this is the predecessor to the Buescher 400 line.

It first appeared in the Buescher catalog in 1936 and last appeared as a main line horn in the 1938 catalog. It gets a footnote on the 129 bari page in 1939 as still available on custom order, but no further description.

Unlike the 129 baris (True Tone through Big B) it is very mouthpiece friendly. Takes anything you throw at it and stays in tune without modifications to the neck. It's not as raw sounding as a 129, a bit more sophisticated and controlled in its tonal structure, while still providing all the power you'd want in any setting, including rock and big band venues. Like the early 400's, it's a dark and round sounding horn -- even in the palm keys, while retaining that characteristic Buescher deep and rich sound.

I'm playing one of them here with a late 70's Strathon mouthpiece with a 3-1/2 Fibracell reed. The video zooms in on the horn about 1/2 way through. My 129's never tolerated this piece without using a much longer neck, and if you look close I have the baffle on the Strathon set very high and yet it still blends in. I have to back the baffle way off with this setup on my Yamaha YBS-61 to get a similar blend, and the sound isn't any where near as rich on the Yamaha.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ghmdqv1u5n9t91s/IMG_0164.MOV?dl=0

The key work is much more precise and sophisticated than the 129's, including an articulated side Bb, side C, and feels like a TH&C 400 from 1942 up to about 1955. It uses the Aristocrat pinky table and has left hand bell keys, though the 129's of the period were still using split bell keys and used a modified version of the New Aristocrat pinky table (rounded C# and Bb with a rectangular G#. Another feature is that it came with the same G# articulation and G# tab as the tenor and alto Aristocrats while the 129s used the earlier TT G# articulation mechanism and didn't have the automatic G#.

It has the shortest neck I've ever seen on a bari. The neck octave key is on the body, nearly 2" down from the tenon. It's also the only bari I've played that I can actually see over the top of the crook at the music I'm playing. No shifting the horn from side to side to read the chart.

They appear to have been made in 3 batches. 274xxx (1936), 278,xxx (1937), and 284,xxx (1938). The 284xxx horns are engraved as Aristocrats with the Art Deco engraving. Prior horns were engraved as "Custom Built" with engraving that was unique to the instrument.

This is not your run-of-the-mill Buesher bari. It was more expensive than a Balanced Action bari of the same period, including import duties. It looks, plays, and feels like it was intended to take over the market for professional baris at the time, and it probably was. Something happened to Buescher in 1938 to make them stop producing this horn. It was probably too expensive for the market at the time, or it threatened Conn's 11M too much, but it's far superior to any bari they produced before or since, and it blows away any Conn, Martin, King, or Selmer bari of the same period. To use your own language, this is the Big Daddy Rabbit With The Fuzzy Tongue of vintage low Bb baris -- bar none. From my perspective, this horn from Aaron's shop isn't over priced from a retail outlet. It's that good."
 

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I just got one of these (cleanish relacquer I think). Took a risk and bought it on eBay- needs work (body work in a few spots that could have been better executed) but it plays great. Traded for my older True Tone bari which was a beast in a good way, that one had mucho soul as it was from 1914 with soldered tone holes but the 139 feels really even and vibrant and of course the ergonomics and range are much improved.

How do I know if it has the Snap-Ins? The original Norton springs do seem to be all there.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
I just got one of these (cleanish relacquer I think). Took a risk and bought it on eBay- needs work (body work in a few spots that could have been better executed) but it plays great. Traded for my older True Tone bari which was a beast in a good way, that one had mucho soul as it was from 1914 with soldered tone holes but the 139 feels really even and vibrant and of course the ergonomics and range are much improved.

How do I know if it has the Snap-Ins? The original Norton springs do seem to be all there.
Post a few pics!
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Danielstark, is this the horn you bought?

This folks, is how you find them. When engraved as "Custom Built", they are sometimes mistaken for a TT by an uneducated seller. When engraved as Aristocrat, they are sometimes mistaken as the same thing as a Big B 129 and can be had for TT or Big B 129 money. They show up on eBay, on average, about once a year or two.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Coming soon....

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Beautiful horn Mark. Are you bringing it next week?
 

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Hey Mark, here's a question... Does that 139 sound better than a 129 while using a Buescher pickle barrel mouthpiece or a Rascher? If these are significantly better than the 129s you may have a bunch of smiling grad students with GAS busting down your door. The mythos surrounding these horns is cool enough but if they're versatile enough to roll with silver plate Buescher 400s one minute and play the Glazunov quartet the next, this could be quite a discovery.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Hmmm.... Been awhile since I broke out the Rascher piece. I remember that it played in tune with the Rascher and Buescher pieces, intonation was better overall, palm keys were less strident, it was a richer sounding horn overall, and that the Durga and Strathon pieces did (still does) play in tune as well.

Unfortunately, I don't have a Big B anymore to actually do a sound comparison MP3 between the 2.
 

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(Ra/Bue)scher

It is manifest destiny. :cool:
 

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Just to follow up - I bought the 139 and played it for a while, then resold it. I liked the broad tone and even scale (compared with my other Buescher bari which is from 1914!) but the intonation was way off on the open C#. Since I had another bari that tuned fine (and it was a relaq) I felt fine letting it go. Someday I'd like to try another one but doubt I'll have the chance.
 

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Dang...tuning fixes are a thing, altho on open C# it can be tricky. Sharp or flat?
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Just to follow up - I bought the 139 and played it for a while, then resold it. I liked the broad tone and even scale (compared with my other Buescher bari which is from 1914!) but the intonation was way off on the open C#. Since I had another bari that tuned fine (and it was a relaq) I felt fine letting it go. Someday I'd like to try another one but doubt I'll have the chance.
FWIW, intonation issues on a 139, particularly open C#, hasn't been something I've encountered on any of the 3 I've owned or the 2 I still currently own (sold one to Juan Caino). I have had intonation issues (and they are generally well documented by others) with the 129-based Aristocrat with anything other than the stock-type mouthpiece. No bari has perfect intonation, but are we talking about the same horn and do you recall what serial number?
 

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I believe I may have one of these wonderful semi mythical horns. My first ever baritone and it's a great playing beast of a thing too. My teacher sold it to me for a fair price and told me it was a bit rare and if I ever want to sell it, he wants first option!
The only thing that bothers me about it is the rusty looking corrosion on it but otherwise it's in perfect playing condition. Has had a couple of little ripples removed and the odd solder job on a guard or two but for its age it's in great shape. I only have one mouthpiece for it at the moment, some sort of bronzite thing that works well, nice and edgy and refaced to perfection ( also by my guru) Serial number is 274xxx, so it's a 1936 model?

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Judging by the the shape of the braces, the key guards and the engraving, it looks like it to me. Also, it is in the right serial number range. I am sure that maddenma will weigh in as well. BTW, my 139 is pictured in my avatar. It is a 284,xxx (so made in 1938) and has art deco engraving which is like the Aristocrats of the time (it is different from yours). Mine is also engraved "US" on the bell, so it was a military horn.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Yup. That's one from the first batch with the Custom Built engraving.

A couple things you can do to make it quite a bit more comfortable to play is to move the r/h thumb hook up a little so that it's about even with, or a little into, the side Bb. Also a pants guard can be installed that keeps the bell key rods free of your leg without having to hold the horn out to the side. You can see what I had done here.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/naaw5hbhu4jqadc/AADo8vTkK4hIZZurKqKfxe7Ca?dl=0

I wouldn't worry about the copper oxide (rust color). It's not hurting anything. If it bothers you just take a little Noxon 7, Wenol, Miracle Cloth, or other low abrasion brass polish to the problem areas, avoiding the lacquer as much as possible. My experience with the Noxon is that it leaves at least some of the dark patina intact if you use it sparingly and wipe it off quickly. The Miracle Cloth seems the least damaging to the lacquer, but completely strips the patina. Haven't used the others, but other people have. Just avoid the pads with all of these.
 

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I want to thank everyone on this post. I have someone near me selling one of these horns. From what I saw, and what I'm hoping, this is a closet find. I have a few pictures of it. What I am hoping is that everything looks original.

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