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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there forums, I'm quite new to these and I'm looking for help in purchasing a saxophone. The saxophone is a Buescher 400, as stated in the title, and I think it's from 1963, but I'm not the best at identifying from SN's. It's being sold by a local buyer in my area, heres the link, http://baltimore.craigslist.org/msg/2159617443.html

So, first off, was I correct about the year it was built in? Second, in the description, it says it is not a top hat and cane model. I've played a 1923 top hat and cane and I would like to know how different these would preform? I'm really just looking for a step up sax from my student level yamaha. Next, if I was to buy it, would that price be ripping me off? I've seen a few on eBay for around 850-1,000, this one is 700. It seem's a pretty decent price for the model. Lastly, he's allowing people to test it out. I'm not the best at saxophone and I would really like some advice on what to look for when I do try it out. What kind of nuances should be very noticeable and what kind of pros and cons should be found in this model. I'm hoping there is someone on these forums that owns a model the same as this and could tell me what to look out for. Thanks for your help, so far these forums have been great,
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Hmm... There was no Buescher 400 in 1923, much less one that had the Top Hat & Cane engraving... What horn from 1923 have you played?

There are no pictures on the Craigslist site, so it's hard to determine condition, much less value. Maybe a trip to http://www.saxpics.com is in order.

For a later "400" in playing condition, this is generally a right-ish price, but could be cheap or expensive given the condition. A 381,xxx horn was built after the Selmer USA buyout, but just. It's generally considered a Buescher horn, and you won't be unhappy with it if it's a player.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He gave me pics through email, they looked pretty nice. The neck looked relaquered though, is that something to be concerned about?
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Not particularly. If the lacquer is fresh, it might not be original to the horn, but Selmer USA still seems to have these available -- at least for baris.

Care to share some pics with us? Can give you a bit better advise if we know what we're looking at.
 

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I have one just like it, same year, original lacquer, original case. It is a screamer. I wouldn't sell it for $700. Try it if you can and if you like it, maybe talk the seller down a little, as they often go fairly cheaply on Ebay. If you search completed auctions, you might find some similar ones that have sold recently.
 

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The neck does not look like it's been relacquered, but the horn might be.
 

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I know it was one or the other, but will that make any amount of difference towards the playing quality? Jicaino, could you elaborate? I'm not sure what desnapped means.
 

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I know it was one or the other, but will that make any amount of difference towards the playing quality? Jicaino, could you elaborate? I'm not sure what desnapped means.
It won't make any difference toward playing quality if the horn has been relacquered. It can have an effect on the value, but probably not much in this case as this is not really a 'collector's' horn. What you're seeing with the neck is most of the lac has worn off. If the engraving on the horn isn't sharp, but looks kind of faint, that's a good sign it's a relac. I wouldn't worry about that, given the low price of the horn. The main thing is to play it and see how you like it. Could be a great player.

"Desnapped" means the Buescher snap in resonators on the pads have been removed. This is would have been done by a tech when the horn got re-padded.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What should I look for while I'm playtesting it? I've never done it before and don't have much experience with different saxophones than my own.
 

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Clear and easy notes through the range and a lush tone all over ;)
And if you have a couple of mouthpieces and a few reeds, you'l make sure it's not too picky...
 

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What should I look for while I'm playtesting it? I've never done it before and don't have much experience with different saxophones than my own.
What horn are you playing now? Is it a tenor, and/or have you played a tenor before? It's not clear from your first post, since there is no such thing as a 1923 TH&C. You can compare it to what you've already played. Maybe bring a friend along who has more experience to play-test the horn?

I think this is likely to be a reasonably decent tenor, maybe a very good one, especially for $695. You'll want to take it into a tech and have it looked over. Sometimes a very minor thing like changing a pad or two will make all the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sorry for that misspeak, the sax is actually from 1949. I have played a tenor sax, student Yamaha, and that's really the only tenor I've played.
 

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it has been desnapped
Juan means that the snap on resonators have been removed. There are endless discussions here about them.

I don't think that is the original neck. That would keep me away from it unless I could play it before buying. Go honk on it and see if you fall in love.
 

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Juan means that the snap on resonators have been removed. There are endless discussions here about them.

I don't think that is the original neck. That would keep me away from it unless I could play it before buying. Go honk on it and see if you fall in love.
That neck is identical to mine, which I am certain is original. For some reason, this year didn't seem to have the underslung octave mechanism.
 

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It looks like the original neck to me, and no, it should not be from year '49, that's a pre buyout horn still past the late 50's in serial number.
 

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On the snaps subject, I guess that I'll never understand what everybody's talking about. I'm just giving the final adjustment to a Series I that I started installing pads on sunday. It took me 3 hours to get every pad installed and the horn sealing. Snaps, no glue. Have absolutely no clue as why someone will float a pad and then install the snap, or why someone will "secure" the snap with shellac. It takes me about double of that time to install a "regular" pad on a "regular" tenor.
 
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