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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).
Of course you're right,, apologies for the partial hijacking of your thread topic .
 

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i know of 2 people playing these "garden variety" buescher 400's,professionals,but not majoring in baritone though....
i still like these garden variety bueschers,but i do prefer the conn sound...
cheers,philip
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).
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
"My old Conn has been unbeatable so far for the sound I like..
I would try a 400, though if I'm ever near one ."

Give it a blow. I don't say the sound is "better" - because then you have to ask "better for what?" But it's distinctly different from the Conn sound (and also from the Selmer and Selmer-copy sound).

For a point of reference, I have been playing the Conn 12M since 1984.
 

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Give it a blow. I don't say the sound is "better" - because then you have to ask "better for what?" But it's distinctly different from the Conn sound (and also from the Selmer and Selmer-copy sound).

For a point of reference, I have been playing the Conn 12M since 1984.
Gotcha, so how would you describe it ?
 

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I've never played a 400 bari but I imagine the lack of devotees is due to "image" problems and the set tastes of genre players.

Conns are much more accepted among jazz baritonists who choose a US made horn. Among classical players who do, the Buescher Big B is pretty much mandatory. This group avoids the 400 alto and tenor, too, so there is another strike against the bari.

Finally, it was a late addition to the Buescher line (around 1959*), after the company's peak years. All examples have nickel-plated keys, the hallmark of school instruments, shunned by image-conscious, advanced students and pros.

*The 1959 catalog lists baritone sax model S-80 as an Aristocrat, with the standard "post-Big B" engraving. A year later, model S-80 is listed and engraved as a 400.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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I would imagine that a neck would be pretty hard to come by for that one.
But they are very nice looking baritones.
Actually, another member on the forum borrowed one of my 139 (Custom Built) necks and sent it to Karsten Gloger to take measurements and duplicate. He can now make an accurate replacement neck for a 139.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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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).
I actually see them used quite a bit, the low A horns anyway. Usually someone that doesn't specialize on bari, but might use it a few times/year. Primarily because the intonation is good, it's pretty mouthpiece friendly, and the price of entry is pretty cheap for a low-A bari. Big roaring horn, but unlike with the earlier Bueschers, I don't know anyone that plays one just because they prefer the sound of it.

Like the others that have chimed in, I now have the Custom Built (2, actually) that I use when I don't have to have a low-A on the gig. These are my favorites of the Buescher baris. I had a low-A 400 from about 1980 or so and really just didn't get along with it. Felt pretty flimsy, almost like hanging on to a very heavy empty beer can. The bell would flex in my hand. The ergonomics work for me (obviously), but the action was ho hum and the mechanics weren't very good. All of this is pretty standard with a Selmer USA produced horn from the 60s to 80's, of course.

So, to make a long story slightly shorter, I ended up ditching the Buescher 400 and buying a slightly older Yamaha YBS-61 that I use in the funk band. For everything else, the Custom Built comes out.
 

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Actually, another member on the forum sent one of my 139 (Custom Built) necks to Karsten Gloger to take measurements. He can now make an accurate replacement neck for a 139.
That's good to know .

I'd emailed Karsten about that when I first got my 139 and he couldn't make one because
he'd never seen one of these and didn't have the dimensions .

I then tried to contact the owner of the bari in thephoto I posted, above to see if he might
be willing to let Karsten measure his neck but never received a response.

Lastly, I'd thought of asking you to send your neck to Curt @ Music Medic but I was a little paranoid that if the neck went missing in transit I'd feel responsible for it.

I was in touch with Juan Caino also at that time but but he sort of disappeared .
Anyway, good to know . :)
 

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I was biting my nails bloody the entire time, trust me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Finally, it was a late addition to the Buescher line (around 1959*), after the company's peak years. All examples have nickel-plated keys, the hallmark of school instruments, shunned by image-conscious, advanced students and pros.

*The 1959 catalog lists baritone sax model S-80 as an Aristocrat, with the standard "post-Big B" engraving. A year later, model S-80 is listed and engraved as a 400.
I'm surprised it was such a late addition. I think the alto and tenor 400 came out just after the war, yes?

Is the horn pictured in the 1959 catalog the real Aristocrat, and the one in 1960 the real 400 with the bell keys on the rear right of the bell? It's kind of surprising that they would have kept on with the old tooling and changed to the rear-bell-key 400 style right as Buescher was going down and about to turn into a student line horn.

Of course we know that catalogs can have out of date pictures, too. But probably not 10 years or anything. It would be interesting to see the oldest SN 400 baritone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Gotcha, so how would you describe it ?
I don't really have the words to describe it, but it's kind of like this: sing a note with your mouth "normal", then pull the back of your tongue down and make your mouth cavity as big as possible; the first one is analogous to the Conn and the second one to the Buescher. Kind of.

Who knows, maybe someday I'll get hold of one for a few months and do some A to B.

I find that Selmers and Selmer copy baritones sound - for me - similar to my Conn only lighter and less projecting, and less responsive to really pushing for volume. I've played briefly a King Super 20 and a Zephyr, and I think of them as also similar to the Conn, but a little "smoother" sound (if that makes any sense). The Buescher has a different kind of sound. I've never played a Martin bari, nor a Buescher True-Tone or Aristocrat bari. (All the above comments are baritone, which is my primary saxophone.)
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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I'm surprised it was such a late addition. I think the alto and tenor 400 came out just after the war, yes?
Nope. The 400 Alto (model B-7) and Tenor (model B-11) came out in 1941.

Is the horn pictured in the 1959 catalog the real Aristocrat, and the one in 1960 the real 400 with the bell keys on the rear right of the bell? It's kind of surprising that they would have kept on with the old tooling and changed to the rear-bell-key 400 style right as Buescher was going down and about to turn into a student line horn.
Take a closer look. The horn depicted in both is the back bell key S-80 baritone. It's just a little tougher to see in the 59 catalog. Called an Aristocrat in 1959, then a 400 in 1960, when they renamed the Aristocrat line as "400", and the Elkhart by Buescher 21A's and 31A's as Aristocrats. The previous model 129, left-hand bell key Aristocrat baritone, last seen with Big B engraving all the way to 1958, appears to have been discontinued when the S-80 was introduced.

Of course we know that catalogs can have out of date pictures, too. But probably not 10 years or anything. It would be interesting to see the oldest SN 400 baritone.
This one is going to be pretty close. http://saxpics.com/?v=gal&a=2559
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Nope. The 400 Alto (model B-7) and Tenor (model B-11) came out in 1941.

Take a closer look. The horn depicted in both is the back bell key S-80 baritone. It's just a little tougher to see in the 59 catalog. Called an Aristocrat in 1959, then a 400 in 1960, when they renamed the Aristocrat line as "400", and the Elkhart by Buescher 21A's and 31A's as Aristocrats. The previous model 129, left-hand bell key Aristocrat baritone, last seen with Big B engraving all the way to 1958, appears to have been discontinued when the S-80 was introduced.

This one is going to be pretty close. http://saxpics.com/?v=gal&a=2559
So, do you concur that the bell-keys-on-the-right-rear 400 baritone was introduced around 1959 or thereabouts?

As I said earlier, it seems a little surprising that Buescher (were they still independent at that time?) would have invested in changing over from Aristocrat to 400 on the baritone at such a late date, when the Buescher reputation was on the decline, rather than closer to the time when the alto and tenor were introduced as professional horns. Of course we all know that baritones typically change configuration much later than alto/tenor, but that's usually considered to be a matter of minimizing investment in a low volume product. So why not, as Buescher was transitioning to the student-grade horn, just keep making the baritones in the Aristocrat style, thus really minimizing the investment?

You know, if these were cars, there would be all kind of documentation and information on the product line decisions that were made by executives and management, but it seems like we have to largely guess about how these things came about. A much smaller industry.
 

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it seems a little surprising that Buescher (were they still independent at that time?) would have invested in changing over from Aristocrat to 400 on the baritone at such a late date, when the Buescher reputation was on the decline,
probably they had already done all the changes,experiments etc and got the machines together before they thought about selling out and cheapening things....
cheers,philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Sure, it's just that I am wondering about what appears to be an 18 year delay between the 400 alto/tenor and the 400 baritone, during which the character and marketing focus of Buescher completely changed.
 

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hmmmmmm.....well,it would be hard to know,unless someone here was around in those years behind the scenes in buescher then...otherwise,just speculation...
cheers,philip
 
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