I wouldn't mess with it, especially for $500 and it "needs cleaning and has been sitting around for a while." I'd look for a real Buescher from the '30s to early '50s.
However, some members here are familiar with the post buyout 'Bueschers' and can advise you better on those than I can. It's just that the really great vintage Bueschers can be had at a very good price (more than $500, but way less than many other comparable horns), so I'd look in that direction.
That's an Aristocrat 200 from about 1980 or so. It's probably the forerunner of the Selmer TS-200. It has very little if any relationship to a real Buescher saxophone. I would not even call this a post-Selmer Buescher. It's a full Selmer USA sax based on a french design. This is a Selmer USA step-up student model. The price is okay, but not great.
There are better saxophones to be had in this price range.
Well...the ST90 is the Keilwerth which they subbed out to asia, because they decided to market a horn for beginners/students (ST='student')...so it's not a German-made instrument nor does it really possess the JK attributes as far as tone or build. So, from the reviews I have read, it cannot compare to the "real" Keilwerths (which is why it has a lower market value).
With that said, they get decent reviews as student horns. So if the one you are looking at is in good playing shape, $500 isn't a bad price. But if it has issues (body damage, leaks, bad pads, etc)...then it's only a fair-to-middlin' price.
I bought an ST 90 about ten years ago for a shade under 1000 and used it for about ten years until I lucked into a Buescher. I was always pleased with the tone and response of the JK, but had never played anything but a student model horn prior to that. It is definitely a student model horn (and not a true JK in the purest sense, as has been pointed out), but I consider that model to be well made, and with the right setup should have a great tone that will suit you for some time. Use your judgement on price. As I said, the retail on these about ten years ago was around a grand.
mtrim, what is your budget? Are you looking for a 'beater horn' for the lowest possible price to fool around on, or are you looking for a good horn that will last a while and play well for you? How experienced are you as a player? Are you just thinking about taking up the sax, or are you pretty serious about it? Etc... With some more info of this sort we could maybe advise you better. So far you've asked about a couple of pretty marginal horns. I'd personally rather shell out 1k or 2k for a really good tenor in good playing condition, than $500 for a second-rate 'student' horn that will never be up to snuff.
But a lot depends on your goals and why you're looking for a tenor in the first place.
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