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Discussion Starter #1
What do you guys think of this horn? I've never played a Buescher. I'm looking for a 2nd tenor - not necessarily a backup either. I'd just have to see and compare (My other horn is a 1939 Martin Handcraft Standard). I know there was some Bundy takeover but I'm not sure when that happened, exactly (I have a bad taste in my mouth from a Bundy alto that I learned to play on decades ago). I play straight ahead jazz. Admittedly its a relacquer. Any thoughts?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Bu...Tenor-Saxophone-1950s-Big-B-twin/292941902009
 

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I have a 1951-52 Buescher 156, same serial number range. It is a blank canvas. It is without vice. It is an archetype. Get the mouthpiece that will help direct the sound, and that 156 will go there. Legit or dirty, climb aboard. I would argue that straight ahead jazz calls for as much range of timbre as any genre, making the 156 a good choice.

[I also have a Martin stencil of the Handcraft Imperial/Standard make. That is a backup to the 156.]
 

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Nice horn but starting to get a bit on the upper limit for a relaq.

I dont mind relaq but the market does.

Ive seen good originals that still look good in the 1500 range.

Im not a horn dealer so Im not sure about current prices but those are my impressions.
 

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These are great horns! I have both the 156 and series one. Pontius is correct, the 156 has a more spread tone, but it's a HUGE tone. I think both models are great and would have a hard time choosing between them. But for the most part, when I want to play my Buescher I reach for the 156. It's very flexible and 'free-blowing'. As click says, you can go anywhere with it depending on the mpc, and how you play of course. When I first got it, my VI became the backup horn for a couple of years. I'm mostly back on the VI now, but still love the 156 and play it fairly often.

I'm going to disagree slightly with Phil (Sigmund), which I rarely do. I don't think the relac is much of an issue at all. Even in terms of value. $1k for that horn is a very good deal, especially if it's in good playing condition, as the ad states.

p.s. And it's not a Bundy at all. The 156 Aristocrat is well before the Selmer buyout and is one of the truly great Buescher tenors.
 

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Im assuming its going to go higher and I think it will approach the price of an original if your a patient buyer.

Its a hell of a lot of horn for a grand...hell, a yts 23 will sell used for close and its not half the horn. However ive seen originals in nice shape go for 14 to 16...maybe im behind the times on that.

If you could grab it for a grand heck yes...but im betting it will go for too much.
 

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Good point Phil. I guess it will likely go for more, but in the ad it looks like the 'buy it now' price is $1,050. Unless I'm not reading it correctly (I've never bought anything on ebay, believe it or not). I'm not all that up on prices either.

But in general these horns are an incredible bargain, given what you're getting. And, assuming the job wasn't botched, I kind of doubt that a relac has all that much effect on the horn's market value, unlike with a MKVI or BA, and no effect on its sound quality. I could be wrong about that of course. It's also worth noting in this case the horn was evidently overhauled recently along with the relac. It might be a better deal than an original lac horn needing a lot of expensive work, selling for a similar price. But all that sort of thing has to be considered when buying a horn.
 

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I've got a 156 with fresh pads, original lacquer and case. Could be convinced to part with it if you don't go with Pontius' horn. Have considered posting FS recently - PM if you are interested.

Otherwise - agree with the comments above - JL was very helpful when I jumped into Bueschers recently - these are a great bang for the buck horn. Ive been impressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Decisions...decisions....

Actually the original horn I was looking at was a Martin Committee III (which I have not ruled out, just a little more $$ ).....but since I already have a Martin, well, you know. (But I do love my Martin Handcraft!). In terms of this whole "spread vs. focused" thing, would you say Buescher's are more spread or focused than Martins (for those of you who have played both) or any other obvious differences. I know player/MPC is 80% of "the sound", just curious for opinions.
 

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The buescher is far more focused tan a The Martin. Also a remrefined sound....The Martin sounds very different than the Handcraft. Its a lot more balls to the wall sort of sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well that was weird. The guy ended the original auction before anyone snagged the horn. That usually means he had a change of heart OR, something was misrepresented. In any case, that decision got made for me lol.

This is really helpful info. everyone is providing. I would have assumed The Martin was at least very close to my Handcraft Standard, apparently not so. The strange thing is a The Martin was really at the top of my short list (still is), but they seem pricier than Bueschers (although still bargain basement when you compare them to say a MK VI).
 

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I would like to sell off my tenors. They are all very fine horns. But I am never selling my 156.
 

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Damn it click ... you are starting to make me regret opening my mouth in this thread. Do I tell the OP selling price just doubled : )

They are really nice horns ... I've always been interested in what people think they can get in this price range that exceeds some of the virtues of the 156 (ie, if we took Phil's top end of $1600 ... what are the other great value horns at or below this price point). I also really like SDAs but those seem to go a bit higher.
 

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They are really nice horns ... I've always been interested in what people think they can get in this price range that exceeds some of the virtues of the 156 (ie, if we took Phil's top end of $1600 ... what are the other great value horns at or below this price point).
Who knows, but imo, probably nothing in that price range to exceed the virtues of a 156.

sthsquid, since you are asking about 'focused vs spread,' are you looking for a strongly focused horn? Or for something more spread? Phil said the Buescher is more focused than a Martin. But which Buescher? I'd say that's true of the series one Buescher, but I'm not so sure about the 156. If you're looking for a more 'open' spread sound and a free blowing horn, I'd go for the 156. If you want more laser-like focus, go for the series one. Either way I don't think you can go wrong, so you might get in contact with either mpez or pontius and see what they have to offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
JL

Excellent question. I hear the term "spread vs. focused" all the time but I'm still not sure what it "means", exactly. I assume "spread" means the sounds spreads out and fills the room vs. focused meaning the sound is more narrow-sounding...coming out the bell of the horn and as you say more "laser-like". Here's why I get confused: I love early 60's Dexter - he played a Conn then which is supposed to be "spread" but when I listen to him it sounds rather focused (but - not as focused as Coltrane). I also love Gene Ammons sound on say "Boss Tenor" - that sounds focused to me. But then...now about Zoot Simms? That "fluffy", West Coast sound. Love that too. So maybe the answer is I want a horn that can go in either direction. If you'er good enough I'm sure any pro could do that with any horn, but I'm no pro - not by a long shot. I just want good projecting tone but also be able to soften it up when called for.

Correct me if I'm way off the mark here. FWIW....My Martin Handcraft to me sounds a little more "spread" than "focused", but - changing my embouchure can change that....some.
 

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Part of the problem is you just can't describe the nuances of sound with words very effectively IMO. Not to mention everybody has a different sound in their head that they are trying to get out. Then you have mouthpieces and reeds which can really add to the synergy or lack thereof. In the end, you just have to play horns and until you fall in love,... at least for awhile.
 

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+1 to what pontius says above.

Part of the problem with 'spread vs focused' (aside from what exactly they mean) is that it's a relative thing. So you might say a horn has a focused sound, but, as Les McCann would say, compared to what? I'm only comparing the earlier series one Buescher tenor to the later 156, so I can say the series one is more focused. But that's all I'm saying; I don't know where your Martin fits in comparison. And these are only tendencies; how you play the horn is obviously a big factor.

But if you're looking for more focus than the Martin, the series one Buescher would be a pretty good bet. Then again, maybe the 156 would give you something else again that you prefer. I don't know how you can decide without trying the horn(s).
 

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Well that was weird. The guy ended the original auction before anyone snagged the horn. That usually means he had a change of heart OR, something was misrepresented. In any case, that decision got made for me lol.
The Buescher 156 is relisted at $300 more than his original asking price, BIN.
The snap in resonators are gone,probably the spuds too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Interesting. I was talking to my tech yesterday about Bueschers (well, a bunch of makes) and he said it's not uncommon to replace the snap-ins with regular pads/resonators on a Buescher pad rebuild. I'm assuming sound-wise it makes no difference, but if you are a collector or are very into "original everything" then that would be a downside. Can you tell from the pics that the snap-ins are gone? I'm assuming because its a relacquer everything else was just redone "new" too (like you said, springs etc). I'm sure it's still probably a great sounding horn, not sure I'm interested at this point at that price.....
 
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