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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

I have purchased the following off eBay, under the advice of a very helpful player: -

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130124786390

I have ended up paying £325 UK.

I have been looking for a vintage alto sax for a little while and I am hoping that I have done the right thing.

Can anyone help me with some of advice on it's true value and playability and help me age it?

I am hoping that it will be a lot of fun, am I right?

Many Thanks.

John
 

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That will be an excellent horn as long as it's in good playing condition. You'll need to post the serial number in order to get much help with aging it, other than saying it was in the 30s based on the dual left side bell keys, it's hard to get exact without the serial number. Good luck and I hope you have a good tech to touch it up a bit..=)

- Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
;)
Migraine777 said:
That will be an excellent horn as long as it's in good playing condition. You'll need to post the serial number in order to get much help with aging it, other than saying it was in the 30s based on the dual left side bell keys, it's hard to get exact without the serial number. Good luck and I hope you have a good tech to touch it up a bit..=)

- Pat
Thanks Pat, When I spoke to the Seller last night, he was playing it up until a couple of months ago in a band, but has now changed to a Series II.

Hopefully it will arrive before the weekend, I'll post the serial number and some more photo's when it arrives.

Being ignorant, what year does it need to be to be classified as pre-Selmer and what were the better years for these models?

BTW my tutor is a good Tech and she can't wait to blow it!
 

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I'll almost swear to you it's a pre-selmer, just based on the wire key covers and the left hand spatula shape. Pics of the engraving, the left hand spatula, and the SN will make us able to date it probably within 1 year of when it was built...looking forward to em...=)

- Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Migraine777 said:
I'll almost swear to you it's a pre-selmer, just based on the wire key covers and the left hand spatula shape. Pics of the engraving, the left hand spatula, and the SN will make us able to date it probably within 1 year of when it was built...looking forward to em...=)

- Pat
Thanks Pat, will post ASAP
 

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It's definitely pre-Selmer. Selmer serials start just under 400K. That one will have a serial 2xx,xxx. It has obviously been relacquered, but that shouldn't affect the way it plays. It is either a New Aristocrat or a series 1. The pics aren't the best.
Look for a number stamped on the back of the neck as well as the serial. Also look for the snap on resonators. Search here and you can find a picture of them somewhere.
It's likely a great playing horn or could be made that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi All,

Well as promised it arrived this morning and I cannot believe that it is over 70 years old, it plays real sweet, quite bright and appears to need a little more air than my Tenor, but that might be me getting used to it, the keys are lovely and light, but for my hands a little close.

The serial number is 285228

The neck piece has an 01 stamped on it, I cannot find any other markings

I have attached some more photo's below, there appears to be a very tiny screw under the Octave mechanism itself on the crook.









I would welcome your opinions in the light of this extra information.

Many Thanks,

John
 

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That serial number puts your horn in the early 1938 vintage. Good looking horn too! I think you got a real winner.

As far as a little history on the Bueschers do some googling, I think you'll find that they were the most true to Adolphe's original design, and up until the late 50's-60's, they were all hand made, curled, keyed, and engraved in Elkhart. I love mine (I have 3)..and I'm not sure any other horn I've ever played has a more pure sound. Enjoy it, good catch! =)

- Pat
 

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That's a beautiful horn and many consider the "series one" with art deco engraving (which is what you have there) to be the best vintage Aristocrat. WAY before the Selmer buyout.

You did very well on the price. It's almost certainly been relacquered but these horns have a lot of brass so a little buffing won't have hurt it any. The relac lowers the value quite a bit, but then you got it for a song. One of these horns in original condition would run over $2000 from a dealer, and is worth every penny. Enjoy....
 

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You did well on this one. Looks very nice, as stated already probably relacquered but seems to be a good one. The 01 neck is the one you want and I'm a bit surprised about the extra engraving on the outside bellrim. Haven't seen that before.
Congrats on a horn you are really gonna enjoy.
 

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Grumpie said:
...and I'm a bit surprised about the extra engraving on the outside bellrim. Haven't seen that before...
I was thinking that too Grump, the engraving seems a little much for any Series 1's I've ever seen/played. I think this one could have been a special order, or someone who really loved the and was probably playing this horn regularly, a pro, which means it was probably well taken care of...=)

- Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank-you Pat & JL, it gives me a nice warm feeling to know that I have got something rather special.:)

It will take me a little while to get used to playing with an Alto, I still really love my Selmer Tenor, but this is going to be real fun. I have been playing around with Ligs on it and the difference is so much more than on the tenor.
 

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Very nice. Welcome to Buescherland. The engraving looks much sharper in these pics, so when the lacquer was done, it was done well. The price was certainly fair enough for one that looks that good. Did you look for the snap ons? None of the pics show pads.
For info on the necks, look here http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=11905&highlight=Buescher+neck
and at other threads.
The real question: how does it play?
 

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Well now you're getting into the major differences between french horns and early American horns....there's a lot to be said there on both sides of the fence, but you'll find that there are many tonal characteristics of the Buescher, and finding the one that suits you is only half the fun!

- Pat
 

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Migraine777 said:
I was thinking that too Grump, the engraving seems a little much for any Series 1's I've ever seen/played. I think this one could have been a special order, or someone who really loved the and was probably playing this horn regularly, a pro, which means it was probably well taken care of...=)

- Pat
Just took mine out of it's case to compare (284xxx). The artdeco pattern is the same, I've seen some options in the way 'BUESCHER' was engraved, mine has the filled letters, there are also the 'outlined' letters with the outside filled. This one seems the be in between. But it is the engraving below the bellrim going all the way round I've not seen before.
(Saintsday, please check your collection :D )
 

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Grumpie said:
(Saintsday, please check your collection :D )
Hi Grumpie. I would remember that engraving: it's very cool. I haven't seen it before, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Gentlemen, I am really quite chuffed (an English expression meaning "Pleased as Punch")

I have included some more photo's albeit not as clear as I would have liked of the pads, afraid I am not very good at determining what pads it has, but hopefully these will help some more: -





As for how it plays, well for the last 9 months I have only been learning the tenor, so this is rather hard for me to describe, all of my music is for tenor and I am not very good yet at transposing, but playing something like Danny Boy it sounds really bright and sharp.

I have only one mouth piece for it so far Selmer S80 C*) but I have been messing around with a few ligatures and the effect is amazing.

The pads seems tight, maybe a tweak here or there, but really quite lovely.

Thanks everyone, I would be interested in any more information.
 

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Looks like the snaps are there. That will assist in my decision to buy it from you to help you out when you find out what terrible horns these really are.:twisted:
The brightness is coming from that mpc. I think that it was Ralph Morgan who asked Selmer if they were going to make a square neck when they made their chambers square. If you like that thing, and many do, fine. But now is a good chance to engage in some serious GAS finding a mpc that will take you to the dark side.:D
 

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Going from tenor to alto, any alto is going to seem "bright and sharp." I'm assuming sharp doesn't refer to intonation. Also, Jkulin will have difficulty saying just how well the alto plays if he hasn't played any other altos to make the comparison. One thing, though, Jkulin, you can be assured you have an excellent horn and will be able to grow into it, so to speak. Playing alto is different from tenor. I find it requires a tighter embouchure and closer attention to intonation. Definitely try some other mpcs, but first you might want to spend some time with the alto to get used to it.
 
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