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Discussion Starter #1
20 years retired from science teaching, I'm still playing clarinet in our community band. I also have a tenor sax I haven't played for 50 years, and am planning to donate it to some lucky high-school kid. But I would like to know what I'll be giving away in quality and value. Model is "The Buescher Aristocrat." SN is 274679 Low Pitch. Pix attached. Your help and comments will be appreciated.
 

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Good for you!

I'm thinking you might be able to maximize your contribution by selling it and buying 2 new horns from someone like Palo at Justsaxes...especially if it needs work to be playable?

http://justsaxes.com/cgi/
 

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I thought that it might have been a Big B, but the engraving had already changed. This is a great looking, and potentially a great sounding, American tenor from Buescher's glory days. Unless you have personal knowledge of a needy player who has the chops for the instrument, I agree with rleitch; sell it and purchase some saxes with the proceeds for your school or to donate to individuals. This is a thoroughly professional, first class saxophone, and it likely will not receive appropriate care for a 60+ year old survivor as a school horn. It deserves to be in the hands of a serious player.
If your Aristocrat is not in playing condition, the low end of Bruce's estimate would give you a good used Yamaha YTS-23 tenor to give to your school or needy individaul, plus a bit of cash to donate as well. But if you have a local repair tech, an evaluation of its repair needs is usually free, and you might be able to spend $100 for a few pads and a regulation to get it up and running. That would put it at the upper end of Bruce's estimation, which might allow you to give a used alto YAS-23 and used tenor YAS-23 to your school. Two good, "solid as a tank" horns made for rough student handling are much better use of your donation than a single pro horn that will be eventually more abused than used.
I am a retired school band director of 22 years, and then a college professor for another 14. I know first-hand of what I speak. Get the Aristocrat a tuneup (NOT a full repad, just get it playing), sell it, and then buy suitable horns that your school will be able to use for many years. You can probably find YAS-23 and YTS-23 horns used here in the marketplace, perhaps $300 - 400 for the alto and $500-600 for the tenor.
As a final story, I have a friend who donated a King Super 20 to his local school. Three years later, it was nowhere to be found, and there had been as many different band directors as years in that time. The King was either stolen by a student or a band director, or else foolishly traded in for some piece of marching gear like a mellophone or a tuba or a drum. Give this great horn its due by selling it to a serious player, and donate appropriate gear to your school or to needy player(s).
Respectfully,
Sax Magic
 

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Hey, guys, thanks for the input! I found some 50-year-old reeds in the case, and was able to play a few notes down to about D. But remember that I started out on the clarinet, and the low notes have always been problematic for me. :(

I guess my next step is to find a sax-player in our band who can give it a try. Anyhow, it does seem playable--at least partly. :)
 

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That's a BEAUTIFUL horn, built around 1936, BEFORE the "Big B" as far as I am aware.

Stunningly good lacquer condition, my 274k Aristocrat doesn't look half as beautiful, but I love it nevertheless and it holds its ground agains a 1957 Selmer MkVI no probs.

Have a look at this thread to get a rough idea about the merits of this vintage, there's quite a few extremely comprehensive and authoritative comments from real Buescher cognescenti:
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...-all-buescher-aristocrat-pre-156-tenor-owners
 

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PS: From what I can see of the pads it looks like it may still have the original snap on mechanism in place. However, far more experienced Buescherites will chime in in due time.

There is enormous knowledge regarding these instruments spread throughout this forum, and I find it an absolute pleasure to peruse.
 

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Well I wrote a long post and the server was too busy so I lost it. I'll make it quick this time.

That's one of the best vintage tenors out there, imo. It's a 'series one' Aristocrat with the art deco engraving. Some consider these to be the best of the Bueschers; in any case they are among the best of the line and in the top tier of vintage tenors. I have one and it stands up very well to my MKVI (the 'gold standard' of saxes) and arguably has a better tone.

My advice, don't give it away to a high school kid who might not appreciate it and could very well trash it. Unless you know an exceptional kid who would take good care of it and play it. This horn deserves to be in the hands of a player who knows what they have. Sell it to someone who really wants it. I wouldn't let it go for less than $1500, especially in such good condition (actually I wouldn't let it go at all; I'd play it). It's really worth far more, but in this economy you probably can't get more.
 

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Give to me. I'll be a student until the day I die. You can even adopt me if it would make you feel better.

Don't let anyone hornswaggle you out of that saxophone. Sax Magic and JL, as usual, gave very good advice. I'd call the market value a little differently, though. With the cheapest new Yamahahaha tenor over 2K and Taiwanese C-Balls, Jupiters etc. over 2K, it should be worth about 4K. But even Music Medic is having a hard time selling a Buescher tenor in that price range.

If you could post a picture showing the pads so that it can be determined whether the snap-on resonator system is still in place it would be easier to get close to the current market value. I doubt that even with snaps it would make mid teens from a newbie on eBay (although with Beaugnier Vitos finishing over 1K anything is possible), maybe if you have an established record there you could get that. Since it is free, it surely wouldn't hurt to post it in the marketplace here and you might find someone knowledgeable enough to pay you the bargain (to them) price of mid teens if the snaps are there. I can think of a couple of members who might go that kind of money and be happy to do it for a really nice original instrument.
 

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DUH! I don't know why the art deco engraving and the lack of ribbon guards didn't scream Series 1 to me. I guess I was too concerned that a wonderful Buescher would end in the wrong hands. Anyway, if you have Snap-ons intact and beautiful original lacquer for a 75-year-old Buescher, do make sure that it ends in the hands of a serious player.
Sax Magic
 

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I am drooling all over my keyboard.... That is a SERIOUSLY beautiful horn.
Don't donate it to a school or kid that isn't going to appreciate it.
I needs to be in the hands of a player that will cherish it and treat it with the respect it deserves.
If I had the funds available.... :)
 

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If I didn't already own a 291k tenor that played like a sonofagun (even without original finish or snaps!) and weren't waiting on an overhaul of a silver 285k (with both), I'd be on this like chicken gravy on a Sunday shirt.

As it is, I would say you'd get the best price for it in the South or in NY state, where you'd find most of the Rascherian players who prize these horns, or more yet in Germany, where there are a few playing that way too, and vintage US makes are scarcer generally.
 

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As it is, I would say you'd get the best price for it in the South or in NY state...
Thanks, Paul, and the rest of you for your very helpful and positive suggestions. Unfortunately, I live in Central California, in an area that doesn't have many Rascherian players. So what to do? I could sell it on Ebay and hope for the best. I could hang onto it and hope for a better market in a few years. After all, it is 75 years old, and a few more years probably wouldn't make much difference. What would you do?
 

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I'ts a really nice horn, with snaps and everything, but sadly it's a relacquer. That can set back the price a little. I'd estimate around $1.3k to be a fair value.
 

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FSU is definitely Rascher school. The classical students here would fall all over themselves for it.
 

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I wonder if some of the SOTW collectors would be willing to buy it from you. Maybe someone here would be willing to trade you a few good quality Yamahas for it (notice I said "a few" and not "a couple!) Just be careful when selling it ouside of eBay (e.g. always get a return receipt + insurance)

That is a seriously gorgeous horn.
 

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I'ts a really nice horn, with snaps and everything, but sadly it's a relacquer. That can set back the price a little. I'd estimate around $1.3k to be a fair value.
Good eye and probably so, but I'm not as certain. The color in most of the pictures is certainly wrong and the TT stamp and serial are too fuzzy, but the shot of the bell engraving looks great. I'd like to see a picture in late day natural light. Re-lacquered, your price guesstimate sounds pretty close to me.

To the OP: Put it on the marketplace here. There are some Rascherians who scout there and others with some sense of vintage saxophones. And it's free. And supply a link to this thread. You've had some very well respected members admire your instrument.
 
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