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The interesting thing about that horn is that while the bell says it's a "400," the bell keys are positioned like an Aristocrat rather than a 400 Top Hat and Cane (THC). The Aristocrat bell keys are positioned more or less like a Conn 6M or a Selmer Cigar Cutter. But the 400 THC bell key placement is very different, with the tone holes pointed toward the main body tube. All of this is to say, I think he was playing a later model Buescher with lots of special finish and engraving work, but it doesn't look like a classic 400 THC to me.

Obviously, he was a true master and would have sounded great on anything. Johnny Hodges is one of the reasons I have a Big-B Aristocrat.
 

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Hodges was my motivation to pick up the saxophone way back in the late 60's, and the Buescher Aristocrat was my first horn, albeit at that time I had no idea Johnny played one. That said, I've seen many pictures of J.H. playing different horns and different mouthpieces and have heard a multitude of his recordings and the end result has always been the same, he sounded unmistakably like Johnny Hodges! So, once again the deciding factor being the man behind the horn and not the horn itself.

As far as the horn in the photo goes I would venture a guess that that horn is strictly custom made for him, as this was an ongoing practice between Johnny and Buescher.
 

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The interesting thing about that horn is that while the bell says it's a "400," the bell keys are positioned like an Aristocrat rather than a 400 Top Hat and Cane (THC). The Aristocrat bell keys are positioned more or less like a Conn 6M or a Selmer Cigar Cutter. But the 400 THC bell key placement is very different, with the tone holes pointed toward the main body tube.
Late 400s have the bell keys on the left side like the horn in the picture. I don't know when the picture of Hodges was taken, nor when Buescher/Selmer made the change. Or it could be a Frankenhorn made up specially for him. Maybe he didn't like the feel of the THC 400 bell keys?
 
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