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Discussion Starter #1

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That serial number range isn't 100% correct.

But if it has the Big B engraving, it's a Big B. If not, then it isn't.

The only thing that really defines a Big B as a Big B is the engraving.
 

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Big B vs 156. Some like one or the other better, they are very similar but both good horns.
The later Big B-engraved horns are 156s. The same 156 horn continued on after the Big B, but with a script engraving.

What Vintagesaxguy said is true: "The only thing that really defines a Big B as a Big B is the engraving."

The Aristocrat changed somewhat during the "Big B" run. The biggest change occured somewhere in the middle of the run, when the "156" was introduced, with a bigger bell flare and different shaped bell. I think the bore of the horn may have changed somewhat also.

In any case, to the OP: All of the Aristocrats from the first ones around 1930, through the later 156 model, are great horns. Are you asking about tenors or altos??????????????

We're talking about tenors here, though. The altos are also great horns (and just like the tenors, the Big B refers to the engraving), but the later ones have a '140' designation.
 

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It should be a Big B, but the engraving is well worn or a bad picture angle. I believe the 156 Big B's started arount 309xxx or 312xxxish, so a 304xxx would be a smaller bell non 156 Big B. And the angle of the bell tells me it is Big B. I have a 156 script engraved and its bell flare is much larger.
 

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With a broken octave key, mismatched pads (snap-ins??), potential other damage, I'd stay away from it unless you really know what you are doing.
 

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Thanks for the answers...but it didn't help me :( It's impossible to see any engraving on the bell. Can anybody tell if this is a Big B or a 156?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BUESCHER-TE...081?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc0806e51
that's a 127 Big B, the best tenor made by buescher IMHO. The horn's different when the 156 model is introduced, around 310XXX or so. I have made a side by side photoshoot posted here.

incidentally this is the same tenor model that Sonny Rollins played somewhere along the road, Ike Quebec, Gene Ammons, man great tenor players played on the older 127 model tenor from buescher.

156 bore is narrower (less tapering) the bows are smaller and the bell tone holes are placed differently. The necks are different too. The trend they started with the 127 they followed up on the 400 THC and "tamed down" the aristo line to the 156 model.
 

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I didn't buy it....Have basically no experience of reparing saxes. I'm reparing my first saxophone now and I want to have a tenor and repair it too. But that sax was mabye too much work to me...Have to find something easier for me :p
 

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I got a 156 cir. 1952 off ebay listed only as "old saxaphone" for a few hundred american. It needed only new pads and a couple minor tweaks. Very lucky, but it could happen again.
 

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I didn't buy it....Have basically no experience of reparing saxes. I'm reparing my first saxophone now and I want to have a tenor and repair it too. But that sax was mabye too much work to me...Have to find something easier for me :p
The last thing you want to do is buy a great vintage horn like this and then try to "fix" it without knowing what you're doing. I would only let a reputable tech, with many years experience, who knows Bueschers, work on that horn!

You were wise to pass on it, if you had intended to work on it yourself, with no experience repairing saxes!
 

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It sold for $650. Somebody got a true bargain on a pre-war Big B aka model 127. I love mine. It is 100% the sweetest tenor I've every played. Nice and open with Buescher tone but more focused than later models and with a sweat almost Selmer-like core.
 

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It sold for $650. Somebody got a true bargain on a pre-war Big B aka model 127. I love mine. It is 100% the sweetest tenor I've every played. Nice and open with Buescher tone but more focused than later models and with a sweat almost Selmer-like core.
+1. That's a steal. If they are smart, they'll take it in to a GOOD tech, get it totally overhauled, cleaned up and put into top playing condition. Even if that costs $1000+, they still end up with one of the best tenors ever made, in tip-top shape, for less than $2000.

I have a silver-plated series one (art-deco engraved) Aristocrat tenor, slightly earlier (serial #292,xxx), but pretty much the same horn, and it's everything you describe.
 

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that's a 127 Big B, the best tenor made by buescher IMHO. The horn's different when the 156 model is introduced, around 310XXX or so. I have made a side by side photoshoot posted here.

incidentally this is the same tenor model that Sonny Rollins played somewhere along the road, Ike Quebec, Gene Ammons, man great tenor players played on the older 127 model tenor from buescher.

156 bore is narrower (less tapering) the bows are smaller and the bell tone holes are placed differently. The necks are different too. The trend they started with the 127 they followed up on the 400 THC and "tamed down" the aristo line to the 156 model.
My Big B, with the "Big B" engraving is a 307,xxx SN. It has no model stamped on it like my Big B alto which has 140 stamped on it. I'm curious about the "127." Do I assume this is my model or is there some other identification? The SN on the one on eBay and mine are pretty close...304 vs 307. Also, the one sold on eBay and mine are very similar in appearance. I compared mine with the pics. It looks nearly identical in every way, except I can't see the engraving in the pics.
 

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Juan what would be your best estimate on year of manufacture for a 307xxx Big B? I ask because somewhere I found a source indicating 1944, but a bit later a list indicating 1949.
 

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... and indeed my 1949 (date of purchase) Big B 156 tenor is a 326k horn.
 
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