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Also note the pants / rod guard on the left-hand side of my 400 bari...something the model 129 Baris did not have.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Also note the pants / rod guard on the left-hand side of my 400 bari...something the model 129 Baris did not have.
No Buescher bari came with a pants guard and yours didn't have one either when it left the factory. FWIW, that's not original to the instrument and doesn't look like any part Buescher ever produced for a saxophone. Clearly added later, and in the pics you can see evidence where someone cleared the lacquer around the posts to give themselves a clean surface to solder it to.

Nothing wrong with that, and this one is pretty well done. I've added pants guards to all of my current and former Buescher baris -- except for the 400 I briefly owned.
 
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Also note the pants / rod guard on the left-hand side of my 400 bari...something the model 129 Baris did not have.
No Buescher bari came with a pants guard and yours didn't have one either when it left the factory. FWIW, that's not original to the instrument and doesn't look like any part Buescher ever produced for a saxophone. Clearly added later, and in the pics you can see evidence where someone cleared the lacquer around the posts to give themselves a clean surface to solder it to.

Nothing wrong with that, and this one is pretty well done. I've added pants guards to all of my current and former Buescher baris -- except for the 400 I briefly owned.
Wow, I had no clue...I saw the solder marks but thought it was a repair. I'm always learning...thank you for the correction.
 

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No Buescher bari came with a pants guard and yours didn't have one either when it left the factory. FWIW, that's not original to the instrument and doesn't look like any part Buescher ever produced for a saxophone. Clearly added later, and in the pics you can see evidence where someone cleared the lacquer around the posts to give themselves a clean surface to solder it to.

Nothing wrong with that, and this one is pretty well done. I've added pants guards to all of my current and former Buescher baris -- except for the 400 I briefly owned.
The placement looks a bit high to me compared to the guards on my baris (not Bueschers). Is that where you had them placed on your horns, just curious?
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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The placement looks a bit high to me compared to the guards on my baris (not Bueschers). Is that where you had them placed on your horns, just curious?
I've had three different versions between 4 horns.

The first go around was a similar affair to the OP's. Some sheet metal and posts on the body tube to hold it up. Don't have pics of that one that I can find, but that was on a Big B 129. As I recall, it started just south of the pinky table and ended between the B1 and Bb1.

Second Big B guard used wire instead of sheet metal. Shelly Tanabe created some pretty substantial posts out of 3/16" sheet brass with a lathe, weaving the posts through the bell key rods. Pretty awesome bit of engineering, actually. She made me promise not to tell anyone what I paid her to do it, as she was unlikely to do it again at that price. Note that I also had her extend the B & Bb key guards to the body with a 4th mounting point as well. On the 129's there are usually only 3 mounting points on the bell.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v6g2xwh9ykzilwy/AADk4E_xBSdunyU3cAyMIUBja?dl=0

For the last two, both Custom Builts (139), I shared some thoughts with Aaron Barnard on how Buescher might have done it, had they actually thought to do it, and that's what he built for me out of nickle silver rod stock. Disappears into the horn's key rods and the nickle silver gives that long rod some rigidity between posts so it doesn't bend under use. Pretty simple design, actually, and yes, you can still easily remove the C# rod. I have no idea why Buescher didn't choose to do this...

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mm1jmsk7ifrqtck/AADDI1-e7zphNuw-0JLzR_FJa?dl=0

BTW, the 139's came from the factory with the bell key guards extended to the body, and that particular feature I also had made for the 129. The 139 key guards are essentially identical between the two, so just showing one of them here.
 

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OK, well, no one has mentioned this and as I just got my first bari 400 361xxx,S-80 (stamped), I will.

The C# pinky is awful!! omg...what were the thinking? Its not a spring adjustment thing as it just came from a full work up /play condition and took that into consideration as best as possible.

Does anyone have any ideas? I likely going to do an epoxy extension of the key touch itself to get some leverage on it. But really, isn't it a "thing" with these overall? It shows well on photo #8 here http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&a=2559 Its small to begin with then its at an odd angle as part of the overall design!

ugh...
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
OK, well, no one has mentioned this and as I just got my first bari 400 361xxx,S-80 (stamped), I will.

The C# pinky is awful!! omg...what were the thinking? Its not a spring adjustment thing as it just came from a full work up /play condition and took that into consideration as best as possible.

Does anyone have any ideas? I likely going to do an epoxy extension of the key touch itself to get some leverage on it. But really, isn't it a "thing" with these overall? It shows well on photo #8 here http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&a=2559 Its small to begin with then its at an odd angle as part of the overall design!

ugh...
What are you coming from? If you are used to Selmer-copy horns, those have the greatest leverage on the C#, whereas the old-style horns (Martin, Conn, Buecher, some King) have the least leverage on C#. You just have to get used to it.
 

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Im coming from a 50s 12M which by comparison (side by side)is a breeze-I think this is a whole other level of bad design!

Any thoughts on modification via added epoxy appreciated. I'm pretty sure its not a spring/balance thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Im coming from a 50s 12M which by comparison (side by side)is a breeze-I think this is a whole other level of bad design!

Any thoughts on modification via added epoxy appreciated. I'm pretty sure its not a spring/balance thing.
I see the issue: the 400 has a single piece low C# key whereas the 12M has a two piece. The leverages are quite different. The only cure I can imagine would be to relocate the posts; skewing the main long rod so the arm at the key touch is longer but the one at the pad is shorter, but working that out mechanically would be decidedly non-trivial, as the changes in position would have to be pretty large.

If there's a linkage to the G# key you could disable that and it would reduce the total force on the key somewhat.

I can't see any way to extend the C# key touch and get any advantage since where you need it to be is further from the post and the B and Bb keys are there.
 

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Great observations...I can tell you have seen a few horns along the way. Thank you for the analysis.

I was (desperately?) thinking that just a bit of an extension in the form of a "wing", to the metal touch might give some mechanical advantage/leverage. But, there is very little surface area to get a bite onto....

By disabling the G# would that mean cutting off the platform metal of the G#, beneath the C#!?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
By disabling the G# would that mean cutting off the platform metal of the G#, beneath the C#!?!
I don't know how it's constructed on your instrument, but many times just scraping off the cork and bending down the little lip or arm will be enough. I wouldn't cut off any metal.
 

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Update:

Though I still contend the C# pinky is a terrible design, fundamentally, I was able to balance and reduce the associated key spring strengths (reduced as much as possible) so that I can use it somewhat reliably and quickly.

But compared to my VI and 12M its a mini disaster. There isnt any binding or other issues (it just got a good play condition work over top to bottom)as far as actuation etc. It looks just like the one in the above photo set...typical mid to late period 400

Im really baffled as to why it isn't mentioned in this thread. Not sure what you mean by bending down the lip or arm...do you mean the actual touch point for the C#? Not sure how that would make require less "superman pinky"...to fight it down

Any other suggestions welcome!!

Getting used to it means I just can't hit it quickly and after a half hour my pinky is sore and weakened!

The tone of course, is its own thing. Just much warmer and earthy and "earnest" than others, poetry aside.
 

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I have to agree with High Fly & the low C# pinky issue, as my first baritone, bought 2nd hand in 1975, was a Buescher 400.
Great sound & intonation but that low C# really had to be digitally "attacked". (Came with a bonus 7* Slant Link that I still play)

Sold it for a '61 Mk VI low A Bari in 1983. Ergos better, especially the left hand bell arrangement (and I couldn't pass up a Selmer)
but it had a smaller tone and required more effort to stay in tune in the upper part of the horn.

Then enter the Yamaha YBS62 acquired in 1985, an excellent all-rounder which I've used since.

In retrospect, one could have an SML style switchable C#-G# articulation lever fit to the Buescher, to disconnect when not required, that would lighten the required finger pressure.
I wonder whether this feature is actually used much by SML players and if it makes a worthwhile difference. The C# key would still be "tucked" in though.
I still have the occasional yearning for a nice low Bb Conn, King or Buescher!
 

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Glad I'm not alone in this!

Update II: The 'disconnecting' from the G# is fairly simple as noted by turf; bending down the contact "shelf". It definitely helps but still is sort of an incredulous original design.

As far as VI, v. 400, v. 12M (for me), its all very apples and oranges. If I could get the 400 to feel like the VI under the fingers that would be a dream. Also, i hesitate to take the VI anywhere that doesn't 'deserve it' ....too much bang potential and its a relaq beauty from '70 I think.
maybe sell all three and get the YBS?? : )

oh well...carry on.
 

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:cry: I don't own a bari...

That said, back in university, for the fall 1972 through winter/spring 1973 quarters, I played bari in the university wind ensemble (alto sax major, playing bari at the request of the conductor). For the first two quarters, I played a university-owned mid-1960's Mark VI bari, which was a fresh experience for me...

Until the third quarter, when that Selmer was not available because another student was using it in a sax ensemble. I was issued a 1950's Conn 12M, which I found to be a MUCH better instrument, IMO. I really enjoyed discovering the difference between the two horns.

Then, 30 years pass. As a school band director, I purchased a rebuilt/relacquered low A Conn 11M for my school. While it was heavier than I expected, it played really well, and stayed in good adjustment, even in high school marching band. I thought the intonation and tone were rather good for a low A horn.

Finally, a few years ago, I was called by a college director to fill a spot on bari for his jazz band concert. The furnished bari was an early 1970's Buescher 400 with the back bell keys. I was really impressed with the tone color and response of this bari, and I told the director to call me if the college ever wanted to sell it and buy a new bari.

Regarding the low C#, most are sprung too strongly. However, having been a beginner on a Bundy 1 alto in 1965, I was accustomed to the C# resistance, so it never really bothered me.

I would not hesitate to use a Conn 12M or a Buescher 400. If I were given a choice of those two identically-priced baris in fine playing condition, I think I would choose the Buescher 400 for the tone.
 
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