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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking to purchase a new horn, and I have a few options one of which is this Buescher. Can anyone guide me with some experiential wisdom? I am also looking at a laquer stripped Selmer series II SA80 and a 1971 Buffet Crampon Super Dynaction Paris France Serial# 18142. Please help! I play 2-4 gigs a week and am getting a little tired of my Bundy II. Lol.
 

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How does this relate to the TrueTone? Those other two saxes are in a higher price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know they cost more, but I'm interested in your opinion on their value and playability. I see you have a couple Bueschers yourself, what do you think about this model?
 

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For Bueschers, and regular gigging, look at the early Buescher 400 and Aristocrats. Monster saxes! Otherwise, go for the SA80II or the Buffet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is the Truetone not that great? Any info on the Buffet would be nice as well, I have never bought a used horn other than this Bundy II. I had a couple nice horns get stolen so it's all I could afford. Can anyone offer as much advice as possible? It is much appreciated.
 

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Think of the TrueTone as an old clunky but fast Ford V8 that can hold it's own once you learn it's quirks. And think of the SA80 as a new smooth luxurious Lexus. Both can perform well and both were originally designed to fill the same niche. But they are so different that it is really hard to compare them.

In the TrueTone, you will notice some of the better qualities of the left-bell keyed Bundy (if that's what you have) including easy response and a full unrestricted tone. But the TrueTone will most likely have an evenness and possibly much better intonation. There will not be the big difference in tone between the first and second octaves that many Bundy's have. G1 and G2 will speak with pretty well the same voice. The keywork will seem a little more solid but is slightly more primitive than the Bundy. It will likely seem a little bedpan sounding compared to modern saxes. But this can be completely remedied with the right mouthpiece. In fact, with the right mouthpiece and skill, it will play right along with the Selmer.

I have limited experience with an SA80II. But they seem very smooth, easy to play and the ergonomics are very comfortable. And what I like is that they have that characteristic Selmer sound. And more than the other current Selmer Paris models, they are designed for general use. They don't seem too bright or too dark. Before I got my pre-War Crat, I was really wanting one of these.

And I have no experience with the Buffet. So I can't help you there.

Site unseen, I would say the SA80II would be the best bet for everyday regular performance use. Plus, I love that Selmer sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Enviroguy. I appreciate your opinion. The BundyII I have is keyed on the right side of the bell. I like the way it plays alright, it just acts funny when I play upper register G sometimes. Also some weird intonation. I'll look at the SA80, they guys asking 2500 for it and the lacquer is stripped on the body,but not the keys.

Also any advice on otto link ligature and reed setup anyone?
 

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A little caveat w/Otto Links: Many aren't finished, and do need to be hand finished by a good re-facer to play at their best. Other than that, use a a vintage Otto Link ligature (new ones are arse waste!), Brancher, Rovner Light, or Olegature.

If it were me, I'd skip the off-the-shelf cheap Link, and get one made from scratch in the Link design, but already hand finished (other members on here know more Link-type brands than I do), or buy a hand finished Link from Phil-Tone (for a hard rubber model).

On the SA80II Tenor, w/severe lacquer wear, see if you can talk him down to under $2200. Or have him throw in a nice high end mouthpiece of your choice :) .
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks NissanVintageSax. I just ordered a Olegature! I look forward to playing with it.

Also, the lacquer was stripped so it's all gone, not worn off. Think I should still ask for under 2200?
 

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I don't have too much experience with Buffet's (although I know a great all you can eat BBQ place :lick:)...but I do have a TT tenor and a series II tenor, so I can share my two cents about those.

Buescher TT (1920):

As with just about any vintage vs modern comparison, I have to side with the Buescher when it comes to the sound I can achieve with it. It has a certain richness (for a lack of a better word as of right now) that I find the SA80 to be lacking. Granted, intonation is not nearly as precise as the series II, but I don't consider it to be a deal breaker either.

Certainly, the TT is less ergo friendly than a SA80. Depending on the vintage of TT you're looking it, it could also be lacking front F and be equipped with the older style pearl G# key. Front F can always be added if you have to have one...and personally I don't mind the smaller G# key (though if you're frequently switching between a modern sax and the TT at a gig, you could run into problems of your finger slipping off it). The action does, overall, feel somewhat dated when compared to a modern horn such as a SA80.

Also, one thing you're more likely to encounter with this is wear and tear. Even the youngest TT's are rather old by most standards...so it's good to check to key play and past repairs if/when you look at the TT. If it's been properly maintained though, it could be a very reliable sax to play.

If you like the idea of a Buescher, you also should look into Aristocrat tenors. While I really like how some True Tone's play, I've found the key layout of Aristocrat's to be a little more comfortable (for me, the palm keys and side keys are the big difference).

SA80 Series II:

IMO the best selling point of going this route is the action. Slick...smooth, and well balanced. And again, if you're playing any other modern saxes, this will feel the most natural to switch back and forth between. Intonation is not much of an issue with these from my experiences with mine and others I've tried...but the sound just doesn't do it for me when compared to the vintage tenors I own (which is why my series II is currently for sale!).

I have to respectfully disagree with Enviroguy when it comes to the SII having the Selmer sound. But it could just be my opinion...when I think Selmer sound my mind goes in the direction of a VI, SBA, or BA...and the series II is not even close to any of them (especially an SBA or BA). It's not a bad thing at all...the series II just has a different sound when compared to any vintage Selmer I've owned/tried. IMHO, it just sounds like a modern sax. Not very descriptive, I know...but I've found that when it comes to modern horns, the variation between them in terms of timbre is far less than if you were to compare horns such as a VI, S20, and Comm III.

It would depend on your own needs as a player, but for someone that gigs regularly...I would almost be inclined to recommend the SA80.

My hangup with them is that while a modern sax feels good under the fingers, 99% of the modern saxes I've play tested (and a few that I've owned) just don't have anything on a vintage sax in terms of how they sound.

The ergonomics vs sound quandary is a big part of looking at modern and vintage saxes. It's a personal choice, and we all have one that's more important to us. For me, I rather go for the sound and work with a key layout that's less than modern. But to each their own :).
 

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Just a word of warning, if the TT is on ebay or craiglist, make double sure it's not a C melody. You'd be surprised how many so called TT tenors turn out to not be tenors.
 

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Thanks NissanVintageSax. I just ordered a Olegature! I look forward to playing with it.

Also, the lacquer was stripped so it's all gone, not worn off. Think I should still ask for under 2200?
I would try to get him to go as low as he can. Wheel and deal man, wheel and deal! There's no such thing as paying too little! But you can pay too much! $2200 may be right around market price, but I have NEVER paid market price for any of my used/vintage saxes :) . And that includes the ones I've bought at music stores :) .
 

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If you like the idea of a Buescher, you also should look into Aristocrat tenors.
+1. The Aristocrats have very good ergos and excellent intonation. And they have that great tone quality. They are still the best deal out there in vintage horns, imo.
 
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