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Hello, how are you!!

I´ve been playing the saxophone for 13 years now but I have no real experience with Buescher sax and I have been offered a 1939 alto Aristocrat that is in awsome shape but I have a few questions I would like to ask you before I pull the trigger.

- I guess a 1939 Aristocrat is a series I? Isn´t it?
- How do you compare it to the Big B?
- What are the mail differences regarding the keywork compared to the Big B and to modern horns (ref 54, SX90R, CustomZ)

Thank you very much and congrats on this valuable source!

Ian

Hi, I´m new to this forum and let me tell you that I have found some great info here!!.

I posted a similar question in another subforum but I guess this is the right place (sorry admins, will pay more attention next time :) )

Although I´ve playing sax for 13 years, I have no real first hand experience with Bueschers. I´ve been offered a 1939 Artistocrat that is in great shape and I have the following doubts:

- Is it a series I ?
- How do you compare this horn with the Big B in terms of sound and keywork
- What are the main differences regarding the keywork compared to a modern horns such as the Selmer ref. 54 or JK SX90 for example

Thank you for your time,

Ian
 

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Art deco keyguards=series 1 , ribbon guards and its a big B thou the first big B's were series 1's.
The keywork is very good but you will need to get use to it as in any horn
Dave
 

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The bell flare on that sax will be smaller than a Big B, which gives the sax a punchier, more focused sound. The keywork on the old Aristocrats is not as ergonomic as on modern horns, but is among the best of the vintage horns. I never found the left-hand spatula to be tight like some have claimed. Those are nice horns with a very sweet, focused sound. Think Johnny Hodges (that's the model he played).

If this thread doesn't get much action, you might PM Bootman or JL for some more info. They're both pros who play Bueschers and can surely fill you in some more. I'm a hobby player myself.
 

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The Series I has a darker, more focused sound than the Big B and is not as free-blowing. Some classical saxophonists in the "Rascher School" play this with a large-chambered mouthpiece and wind up sounding something like Rascher (in truth the same holds for the Big B - Wardy Hamburg plays one with a Rascher mouthpiece, samples here). I think they are flexible enough to use for a more modern sounding jazz horn with the right mouthpiece.

The keywork is not that different from a Big B. It's got the "in-line" keys which feel pretty different from a modern horn but you will adapt to that.
 

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Quite a warm tone. Lovely saxes; I had one and let it slip through my fingers ... and regretted it ever since.

chitownjazz hits the nail on the head as regards the way they play.
 

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Ian,

Personally, I don't make too much of a deal about the bell size of a Big B versus earlier Aristocrats. My '34 New Aristocrat has a huge sound. I can cut through in a big band without breaking a sweat and it has a smaller bell than a Big B. The 1939 Aristocrat sounds like a great horn. If I was in the market for another Buescher I'd jump on it in a heartbeat. The keywork on a 30's Buescher will not be a probem. It feels entirely comfortable to me. Another positive aspect of a 30's Buescher is the Norton springs. I love the feel of a Buescher with Norton. I cannot think of a single reason NOT to go for this horn.

As Chitown suggested, one can experiment with different kinds of mouthpieces on a 30's Buescher (as on any horn) and find the particular tonal qualties you're looking for. By getting a late 30's Buescher you are not locked in to one particular kind of sound. Depending uon the type of mouthpiece/reed set up you use, you can take the sound of a '39 Buescher wherever you want it to go.

Please let us know how you come out.

Roger
 

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I have a 1940 silver 'crat alto. I like its sound very much. I played a Mark vii alto for a while. I prefer the 'crat. The keys are easy to get used to. I play Mark VI and Ref 54 tenors.
 

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Roger Aldridge said:
Personally, I don't make too much of a deal about the bell size of a Big B versus earlier Aristocrats. My '34 New Aristocrat has a huge sound. I can cut through in a big band without breaking a sweat and it has a smaller bell than a Big B.
Just to clarify: tenor bell sizes changed, however the altos did not. I have matched a TT 224xxx, an NA 265xxx, a series 1 288xxx, a big B 295xxx, and a 140 338xxx all bell to bell and they are the same. I've never taken the time to measure bows or body tubes, but there is no difference in bell diameters between the altos. FWIW, they are all great playing horns. This week I'm favoring the 388xxx.

Just get a well set up Buescher and smile.
 

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Oops, I thought we were talking about tenors. (sound of hand slapping head)

Never the less, all of my comments about the greatness of 30's Buescher tenors also applies to Buescher ALTOS.

Thanks Saintsday!

Roger
 

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Roger Aldridge said:
Oops, I thought we were talking about tenors. (sound of hand slapping head)
Hey, yeah, I've been following this thread and I thought it was about tenors also. Now I just re-read the first post and I realize the type of horn wasn't stated. Ian74 (I realize you're new, and welcome to SOTW) and everyone else, please try to remember to specify whether you are talking about a tenor, alto, soprano, bari, or whatever, when asking about a horn. In some cases it can make a significant difference.

Some of us (like me) who play tenor mostly, just assume tenor. Others (probably alto players) will assume alto. Fewer will assume you are speaking of a soprano or bari, I guess.
 

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The Series I Aristocrats have a more direct sound than the Big B and as a result they will readily cut over a big band in full cry with ease, make the perfect lead alto or solo tenor horn. No Mic is needed. Intonation is exceptional and effortless. The big B models dont have the same awe inspiring projection as the Series I models which is especially noticeable in the botttm end.

They are also incredible RnB, Rock and Blues horns. Keywork is never an issues with a well set-up Buescher sax becuase it will play so efortlessly that it will make you realise just how good these old Bueschers really are.
 
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