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I can't say which neck it is for sure, but the horn is a 156 Aristocrat, from about 1950, based on the serial number. This is the exact same horn as the "Big B" model, except for the engraving. I really don't know what you mean by series III, IV, etc. The pre-war Aristocrat with smaller bell is sometimes referred to as a "series one," but I don't think Buescher ever used those series designations.

At any rate you have a fantastic horn there, for a ridiculously low price (assuming it's in reasonably decent playing condition). It does look like it might be a relacquer, even if some of the lacquer is worn, but at that price it really doesn't matter. Back to the neck, it does not look like the original neck for that horn, now that I look at it.
 

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JL said:
I can't say which neck it is for sure, but the horn is a 156 Aristocrat, from about 1950, based on the serial number. This is the exact same horn as the "Big B" model, except for the engraving. I really don't know what you mean by series III, IV, etc. The pre-war Aristocrat with smaller bell is sometimes referred to as a "series one," but I don't think Buescher ever used those series designations.

At any rate you have a fantastic horn there, for a ridiculously low price (assuming it's in reasonably decent playing condition). It does look like it might be a relacquer, even if some of the lacquer is worn, but at that price it really doesn't matter. Back to the neck, it may be the original neck with a replacement octave key.
Maybe series 1, Big B is series II, 156 is series III. Great price for a 156, relacq or not, these are great horns. As for the neck I don't think it's the original, I've only seen them without the brace and this one has a short curve in the pics, maybe a little pull-down?
A later Buescher neck would probably work fine though.
 

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That doesn't even look like the post Selmer Buescher neck. Not necessarily a catastrophe. I have a 140 alto with a mystery neck that plays up a storm.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Series IV

The series designations I am getting from the Saxpics dataset. Here is a link to a sax listed as a series IV Aristocrat that has a neck just like the one I bought - of course, it's neck may not be original either, or there were variations as one model transitioned to another.

http://www.saxpics.com/cpg143/thumbnails.php?album=2764

I can't tell for sure if it is a relaq from the pics - the bell looks like it may be, but it's hard to tell. I just couldn't pass it up - I've already got a 156 Big B that is in bare brass that is pretty sweet. You can't have too many saxes can you? Especially Beuschers that cost $300 bucks!!
 

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Right you are. I only looked at the first pic and thought the brace looked flat, not round.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Doubtful it is Silvertone

Silvertones I've seen have a soldered ring that engages the octave mechanism - this neck has a continuous loop that engages the mechanism. Saxpics shows two Aristocrats in his Series IV designation that appear to have this sort of neck, and two that show the traditional Buescher neck with no brace. So it seems possible that Buescher may have sold some necks with this style of bracing but those two saxes on Saxpics are the only Bueschers (other than the one I just bought), that I have found that have this sort of neck. Hence my question. Maybe I will know a little more about it once I receive it. Then I can tell what kind of posts are used anyway.
 

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Were the "series IV" horns the first ones with nickel-plated keys? That neck has what appears to be a nickel-plated octave mechanism, which also suggests it's from a later series than the 156/Big B. It may play just fine, though. You'll have to assess that when you get it. You could always look for the right neck, or even experiment with an "after market" neck (using some of the $$ you saved on the price of that horn). Let us know how it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
First? Not sure...

if there were any 156 horns with nickel keys, but there are definitely several 157's (Series IV) that have nickel plated keys. Today I did find several pics of Selmer era Bueschers that have similar looking necks - so I'm hoping that it is at least a Beuscher neck of some sort and that the intonation is OK. I'll be able to do a lot better comparisons once I get it - hopefully it won't take months of work to get it playing - but if it does I may put it off until winter comes. I should be able to put this neck on my Big B and see if it presents any problems on that horn in any case. I will post whatever I find out. Thanks for everyones help!
 

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Oldair2 said:
if there were any 156 horns with nickel keys, but there are definitely several 157's (Series IV) that have nickel plated keys.

I should be able to put this neck on my Big B and see if it presents any problems on that horn in any case.
Right. I'm pretty sure there were no nickle-plated keys on the Big B or 156 horns. By the way, if you have a Big B, assuming it's not one of the earliest ones, with the smaller bell, it is exactly the same model as the 156. Only difference is the engraving. This has been pointed out numerous times, but I mention it here again because, as you say, you could try the neck on your Big B and find out how it works and compares with the Big B neck. You could also just use your Big B neck on the 156.
 

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I'm pretty sure that's a Bundy neck [not Bundy II]. I bet it works fine

LBA thats the one and not the silvertone i was thinking of earlier
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Got the Crat

It is definitely a relaquer, and it needs a roller pin for the octave trigger, and one of the amber rollers has been replaced with a cludged up black roller, and the neck does have some significant pull-down, and all the original snap-in resos are gone. But the good news is that it plays really well, and the flat reso pads look almost new. I don't think it got buffed to death in the relaq but the engraving is definitely rather filled in.

The neck off my Big B works very well, but the Bundy/Selmer/Buescher neck seems a bit constricted in the upper register - probably because of the pull down-which would definitely decrease the volume of the air column. I have a friend who is a tech who may be able to hook me up with a better neck, or rework this one so it is round again. I haven't had time to really try and determine exactly who made the neck yet.

I don't think I could tell the difference between my Big B and this one (using the Big B neck) if I was blindfolded, either in feel of the key work or the sound. Maybe eventually I could pick up subtle differences but I cound't right now. So, a pretty cool find.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dead Horse?

Just one more comment on this from me. Here is another Aristocrat, series III - 157, that the seller claims was bought new by his dad back in the day.

http://cgi.ebay.com/BUESCHER-ARISTO...yZ119030QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

It has this same style neck - And I did find a lot of early Bundy's that have what appears to be the exact same neck - at least to all appearances. So, it looks like Buescher was at least selling a few 157 Crats with this style of neck, and it would appear that Selmer picked up on this style of neck to continue on the Bundy models. The later Aristocrat neck after the real Selmer buyout had what looked to be a straight cylindrical rod seated in a brass pedestal as the brace on those necks and doesn't seem to be used on any of the Bundys. I have yet to find any example of 156 necks that came with a brace of any sort. So - that was all kind of anal wasn't it? :)
 
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