Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night I was playing my 400 Tenor and it occured to me that I've never heard anything about the "400" mouthpiece. I've got one -- it came with my horn, a '45 THC. The horn's a factory relac, and came in a Buescher 400 case from the later 50's or early 60's.

I've always assumed the mouthpiece came with the horn in '45, but I've never noticed another one on eBay by itself or included in an auction for an old 400.

The mouthpiece is marked "Buescher 400" on the butt end of the facing table. There aren't any facing/tip opening markings anywhere. It's black hard rubber with a big, round chamber and the round ring at the shaft-end. I'm familiary with the Tru-lays, and the 20's mouthpieces, and the white plastic ones, but never seen another one of these. Anybody know if they were standard issue with the the 400 horns, & if so, for how long?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
I have a white Buescher mouthpiece that I believe was also available with the 400. Sarge has had one just like it on his site and said the same. Could the black ones marked 400 have been for the "Super 400" horns and the white for the earlier TH&C horns?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Columnist / Forum Contributor 2
Joined
·
4,202 Posts
I've never seen one of those. I have a couple of the white Buescher mouthpieces. It sounds similar to the older barrel chamber pieces that came with the true tones with different markings and a ring like the old Conn Eagle (if memory serves me).
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
10,014 Posts
tophatsax said:
I have a white Buescher mouthpiece that I believe was also available with the 400. Sarge has had one just like it on his site and said the same. Could the black ones marked 400 have been for the "Super 400" horns and the white for the earlier TH&C horns?
I also have the white mouthpiece. It came with the TH&C alto that I purchased recently. I've always assumed that it was an original accessory though in reality I don't have any evidence of this. In looking at it more carefully now, I see it says "Buescher True Tone" on the shank which I admit is kind of a funny thing to put on a mouthpiece for a 400.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
2,607 Posts
I thought the white mouthpieces were Runyon-made with straight sidewalls and horseshoe chambers. Are they in fact round-chambered Buescher mouthpieces that just happen to be white?
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
10,014 Posts
tophatsax said:
Mine has straight sidewalls and a round chamber.
Same here. I think it might be similar to a Teal actually, but I have to look at them side by side to be sure. I'll report back.

Look at the back of your horn. It says True Tone on it.
I figured that but I was too lazy to make another trip to the attic to look.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
awholley said:
I've never seen or heard of these, and would love to see pictures!
Don't have any pics just yet -- camera's on the fritz. I'll make 'em available ASAP.

It's nice looking, more like an older mouthpiece than the white ones -- it's black with the round ring at the shank end like the black 20's & 30's "Buescher" and "Tru-lay" mouthpieces. On the top at the rear it's got the 30's and later "Buescher" logo with "True-Tone" just beneath it. Doesn't say "True-Lay" anywhere. The "Buescher 400" on the table surface still has the gold in the lettering.

It's got a big, round chamber & a pretty narrow tip opening. I don't play it very much, but it plays well on both of my Buescher tenors, very even, nice open tone in the palm keys & goes down to the bell keys very smoothly. I can get it to play fairly loud, but to get a really good tone on it I would need to use a harder reed & spend some time with it. Unfortunately it's got a little bur and a scratch on the tip rail, so it tends to buzz.

I'm surprised nobody else (so far) has heard of them!! I just assumed it came with the horn. Since it got relacquered & got a new case, I suppose the mouthpiece could have come later, but the mouthpiece is so old-fashioned in appearance I doubt it got made much later than the 40's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Hornlip said:
-- it's black with the round ring at the shank end like the black 20's & 30's "Buescher" and "Tru-lay" mouthpieces. On the top at the rear it's got the 30's and later "Buescher" logo with "True-Tone" just beneath it. Doesn't say "True-Lay" anywhere. The "Buescher 400" on the table surface still has the gold in the lettering.
I do remember seeing one like that on Ebay about 6 months ago and wondering about whether mine was actually from a 400.
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
10,014 Posts
Hornlip said:
Don't have any pics just yet -- camera's on the fritz. I'll make 'em available ASAP.

It's nice looking, more like an older mouthpiece than the white ones -- it's black with the round ring at the shank end like the black 20's & 30's "Buescher" and "Tru-lay" mouthpieces. On the top at the rear it's got the 30's and later "Buescher" logo with "True-Tone" just beneath it. Doesn't say "True-Lay" anywhere. The "Buescher 400" on the table surface still has the gold in the lettering.

It's got a big, round chamber & a pretty narrow tip opening. ...

I'm surprised nobody else (so far) has heard of them!! I just assumed it came with the horn. Since it got relacquered & got a new case, I suppose the mouthpiece could have come later, but the mouthpiece is so old-fashioned in appearance I doubt it got made much later than the 40's.
My tentative hypothesis (that I'm making up on the spot) is that what you've got came with the earliest TH&C's and they then switched over to the white ones like tophatsax and I have. Hornlip, are the inner sidewalls scooped out? If so, the sidewalls, narrow tip opening, large chamber, and round shank ring sound just like the older ones that came with the True Tones and Aristocrats. And many of those had gold markings stamped on the table. So maybe yours is even a carryover from Aristocrat production? (Vintagesax.com's current alto list includes an Aristocrat that is actually a very late serial number New Arisocrat in everything but name and engraving, so this sort of thing did happen) What I have would be a slightly more "modern" design with straight sidewalls and a smaller chamber, I think, that would seem to me to be more in line with the concept the 400 was aiming for. Maybe if tophatsax and I date our horns (can't remember offhand but I think mine is fairly early too) this will help solve the mystery. I'll try to check this evening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
chitownjazz said:
Maybe if tophatsax and I date our horns (can't remember offhand but I think mine is fairly early too) this will help solve the mystery. I'll try to check this evening.
Mine is from around 1951, but that won't help, since I bought this piece after I already owned the horn.

Hornlip said:
Hmm. What did it go for? ;)
I can't remember, but it seems like it was around $50.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
Joined
·
7,167 Posts
chitownjazz said:
My tentative hypothesis (that I'm making up on the spot) is that what you've got came with the earliest TH&C's and they then switched over to the white ones like tophatsax and I have. Hornlip, are the inner sidewalls scooped out? If so, the sidewalls, narrow tip opening, large chamber, and round shank ring sound just like the older ones that came with the True Tones and Aristocrats. And many of those had gold markings stamped on the table. So maybe yours is even a carryover from Aristocrat production? (Vintagesax.com's current alto list includes an Aristocrat that is actually a very late serial number New Arisocrat in everything but name, so this sort of thing did happen)
The 1938 Buescher catalog even lists an Aristocrat branded mouthpiece. It was the standard stubby ring shank model, but designed for greater projection, and only made for alto. I have never seen one.

If anybody has early '40s Buescher instrument or accessory catalogs, they might show a reference to 400 model mpcs. I have a few True-Tone Musical Journals from 1941, but these have no reference to 400 saxes, only trumpets and cornets.

Something tells me that any differences in playing characteristics between these and regular Buescher facings would seem very minor to us today.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,001 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
chitownjazz said:
My tentative hypothesis (that I'm making up on the spot) is that what you've got came with the earliest TH&C's and they then switched over to the white ones like tophatsax and I have. Hornlip, are the inner sidewalls scooped out? If so, the sidewalls, narrow tip opening, large chamber, and round shank ring sound just like the older ones that came with the True Tones and Aristocrats.
It's got scooped-out sidewalls. It's an early TH&C, about '45, so your hypothesis could be true.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top