Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,775 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day I was playing next to a guy who has a Buescher 400 baritone. We both noted how distinctive the sounds of our two horns are (Mine: Conn 12M.) The Buescher has a very distinctive sound that is really hard to decribe, the best I can do pre-coffee is that it's somehow "tuba-like"; yet tons of projection. (I have no idea what MP he is using, but I think some of this (or a lot of it) is the horn.

It seems that players would be choosing the Buescher 400 baritone for its unique tone, yet I don't think I have ever seen a professional player using one of these; and they certainly don't seem to get the internet respect of the tenors and altos.

Why not?

I add that I have not played a Buescher 400 baritone for myself, so I really don't know much about these instruments.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,585 Posts
I play one. Great horn. I wouldn't trade it for the YBS-52 or Cannonball that I used to borrow.
I would guess that the 'big boys' have gone to horns with low A. That extra low note seems to be important in today's music.
Side note; I am NOT a pro player. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,775 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
True enough about the low A, but when you see someone playing a low Bb horn, it seems to be almost always the Conn; or maybe a Selmer.

It doesn't seem like I've seen photos of players from the past with the Buescher 400 bari either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
Well, if "internet respect" is talking about here, don't pay it too much mind. There's a lot of fad to it.

For why a horn might sound pretty good but not show up much on stage, in certain kinds of bands? Bari is kind of a tough act, in my opinion, partly because it's down in a range where it gets beat up pretty bad by percussion and contrabass-range instruments that are turned up to 11 to suit popular taste these days. Sound like a tuba? Great - in a sax quartet maybe. You might have a better chance to saw your way into the mix with your 12M. I'm probably making too much of the difference, I'm just saying that sounding good in isolation is kind of beside the point, for bari. Also, compare your mid-range presence - I don't know anything about Buescher, but I think the 12M manages pretty well up in the 2nd register where some other baris start to get a little insipid.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,967 Posts
i personally would pick a 12M over a buescher baritone.....they have different tonal qualities....i prefer the conn...
cheers,philip
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
41,632 Posts
I still have on my cellphone the text message that I got from a professional Blues player who bought one of the 3 that I have sold over the years and who thanked me for that.

First gig, everybody was asking which horn was that with such a good sound.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
4,861 Posts
i personally would pick a 12M over a buescher baritone.....they have different tonal qualities....i prefer the conn...
cheers,philip
3 years ago this month I bought one of those Buescher 'Custom Built' baritones that was made for only a
few years in the 1930's it needs all new pads [and a neck]. I've played a 1930 12M as pretty much my
only baritone for 19 years . I really need to get around to having the Buescher repaired so I can compare
them -- the Conn has really been hard to beat when I've tried others.

I've only heard good things about the 400 baris ,
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
8,608 Posts
3 years ago this month I bought one of those Buescher 'Custom Built' baritones that was made for only a
few years in the 1930's it needs all new pads [and a neck]. I've played a 1930 12M as pretty much my
only baritone for 19 years . I really need to get around to having the Buescher repaired so I can compare
them -- the Conn has really been hard to beat when I've tried others.

I've only heard good things about the 400 baris ,
I would imagine that a neck would be pretty hard to come by for that one.
But they are very nice looking baritones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
787 Posts
3 years ago this month I bought one of those Buescher 'Custom Built' baritones that was made for only a
few years in the 1930's it needs all new pads [and a neck]. I've played a 1930 12M as pretty much my
only baritone for 19 years . I really need to get around to having the Buescher repaired so I can compare
them -- the Conn has really been hard to beat when I've tried others.

I've only heard good things about the 400 baris ,
I had the opportunity to play a 400 bari once but didn't have the time or a mouthpiece.

I have played one of the 30s vintage custom builts and it was wonderful in every way. I play a '50s vintage 12M that I like very much. I honestly do not understand why Gerry Mulligan (or any other top shelf player) would play a 12M when the Buescher custom built is available if hard to find.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
4,861 Posts
I would imagine that a neck would be pretty hard to come by for that one.
But they are very nice looking baritones.
Curt at Music Medic told me a couple years ago that he could make one,,, saving up to have the work done .

Yep, and different than any other Buescher neck, much shorter and upper octave key on the horn.
Yeah the necks on these are the shortest I've seen on any bari !

I had the opportunity to play a 400 bari once but didn't have the time or a mouthpiece.

I have played one of the 30s vintage custom builts and it was wonderful in every way. I play a '50s vintage 12M that I like very much. I honestly do not understand why Gerry Mulligan (or any other top shelf player) would play a 12M when the Buescher customer built is available if hard to find.
Well, Mulligan really did prefer the Conns; both New Wonder and the Transitional models and I can see why.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Wow, interesting timing...i just took one in my shop today on consignment.
Looks...super groovy condition with all the snaps and not beat up
I'll have to give it a blow....i do play bari for money, (Selmer Mark6...low bflat}
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
787 Posts
Yep, and different than any other Buescher neck, much shorter and upper octave key on the horn.
The short neck is a bit strange. The nice part about it is that the top of the neck is almost even with the top of the upper bow. Takes a bit of getting used to but the upper bow does not block your view.

On the one I played sound was fabulous, ergonomics were much better than the 12M (probably not as good as a modern Yamaha or Mark VI but really good for a '30s vintage horn), intonation was excellent. I really wish that I had had the money to buy it but they were asking more than I had. It did hang just a bit funny but that's really the only fault that I could find and is really picky. Engraving was beautiful.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,831 Posts
Of the archaic keywork Baris, I don't like the Conns. Very awkward to play. King Super20 baris are just as awkward. Martins are typically missing side F, and Selmer Bueschers are slow and clunky. The early 400 and Aristocrats, however, are pretty comfortable to play :) . But I've been spoiled by modern ergos ever since the Mark VI I played in high school. Though I did own a 1926 King for a while, which I preferred the tone and ergos on to any Conn or later King!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,775 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just as a reminder, I am not talking about the rare-as-hens-teeth "Custom built" Buescher baritone from the late 30s; I am talking about the garden variety Buescher 400 baritone from the 50s through the 70s (which turned into a Bundy and a Signet baritone later).
 
1 - 20 of 75 Posts
Top