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Discussion Starter #1
So I have this Aristocrat with SN: 385xxx. This should have been made after the Selmer buyout, but it looks identical to my friend's pre Selmer alto. Did they just keep making them like this for a while or was it made before the buyout?

It's a good player with good pads, but as you can tell from the pictures the lacquer is near gone.

What would this sax be worth?

I am trying to get a feel of the value of my saxophones. I have this and two tenors I would sell if I can get enough green to buy a baritone to replace my damaged beyond repair bari.

See my other posts for info on the tenors.

http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh252/Doc74/Buescher Aristocrat/
 

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Buescher started cheapening the Aristocrat line in this style circa 1960 I believe. When Selmer took over circa 1963 they just kept using the Buesher parts until they ran out and re-engineered the Aristocrats later in the 1970's. The last "true tone" Aristocrats had the rear-bell keys like the 400's 1955-1960. The prime years for Aristocrats were before this from what I've read. A couple other Buescher guys may have ore detailed information. These can be good players, unfortunately so many survived there is no great demand for them and in your horns condition I would guess less than 200 dollars on ebay if it plays now. Less if it needs any work.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Buescher started cheapening the Aristocrat line in this style circa 1960 I believe. When Selmer took over circa 1963 they just kept using the Buesher parts until they ran out and re-engineered the Aristocrats later in the 1970's. The last "true tone" Aristocrats had the rear-bell keys like the 400's 1955-1960. The prime years for Aristocrats were before this from what I've read. A couple other Buescher guys may have ore detailed information. These can be good players, unfortunately so many survived there is no great demand for them and in your horns condition I would guess less than 200 dollars on ebay if it plays now. Less if it needs any work.
Interesting! Thanks for that info. I didn't think it was worth much. It doesn't need any work though.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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If it doesn't need work and you don't care about resale value, then you have the potential of having a very fine horn indeed.

I prefer to thing of a '60's 'Crat as having "devolved" keywork, but the same basic core instrument as the 40's - 50's instruments (the pricier years on the market).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The only reason I am willing to let go af so much gear, saxes and guitars, is to replace my severly damaged baritone sax, which has always been my favorite instrument. If the alto doesn't bring much then it will most likely stay with me. I never really played it much because I had the baritone and the Beaugnier tenor, both exellent horns. But knowing me, I would probably regret getting rid of my only alto and then find the need to have it. : )

It is a very good horn, I'm actually thinking of taking it apart, de-lacquering the body and give it a hand polish.

That was a veyr interesting thread madhag. Thanks!
 

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So I have this Aristocrat with SN: 385xxx. This should have been made after the Selmer buyout, but it looks identical to my friend's pre Selmer alto.
I think that if you look closer, you will find several differences if your friend's horn is before about 360,000.
If you have any use for an alto and like the way that this one plays, keep it. You won't replace it or take much of a run at a bari for what you are likely to sell it for.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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The only reason I am willing to let go af so much gear, saxes and guitars, is to replace my severly damaged baritone sax, which has always been my favorite instrument. If the alto doesn't bring much then it will most likely stay with me. I never really played it much because I had the baritone and the Beaugnier tenor, both exellent horns. But knowing me, I would probably regret getting rid of my only alto and then find the need to have it. : )

It is a very good horn, I'm actually thinking of taking it apart, de-lacquering the body and give it a hand polish.

That was a veyr interesting thread madhag. Thanks!
How severly damaged?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Saintsday, I haven't had both next to each other, I say it looks identical because of the engraving, the spatula keys and so on. I will look closely at both and look for differences. I wanted to compare both in sound also so I'll do some more investigating! Any clues on what I'm looking for?

Maddenma the body got bent but I was able to straighten it back. The entire sax was desoldered. I have put it back together and apart from some sloppy solderwork I need to clean up, the joints are sound and solid, however, much of the rods are warped, many of the rolled tone holes are warped (no clue how that happened) so several cups no longer fit. A pro can fix it I'm sure but at what cost? The bari is a Kohlert Regent and was a great sax, but for the price to bring it back into shape I better invest it in another one. Much of the body is wavy due to the numerous dents it had so it also looks pretty ugly. Since I'm just starting to play again after a very long break, I want something that's technically sounds, has good intonation, and blows easy. Low A would be nice as well! I'm not sure what I am looking for, it all depends IF I can get some cash for my other instruments. A nice used Yamaha 52 may be nice.
 

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I wouldn't bother if it needs the work you state. Reinstalling keys on a horn that has had a bent body can be very time consuming and will not always yield a good finished horn.
 

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Doc- If your friend's horn has the same engraving, I'd be very surprised if the serial is lower than 360,000. It typically would have the classic "script style" engraving that started in the late 40s and continued through the 50s. It should also have ribbon key guards. I'm really curious what the serial is on your friend's horn. This is one of the sketchiest eras of Buescher history, partly because Pete Hales doesn't address it. Does your horn have a model stamped below the serial number? Does your friend's?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wouldn't bother if it needs the work you state. Reinstalling keys on a horn that has had a bent body can be very time consuming and will not always yield a good finished horn.
Bruce, the bent sax I was talking about is a baritone, the alto has very minor dings and a lot of lacquer wear but nothing more than that.

Saintsday I'll have to check with him and see exactly what he's got. Mine does not have a model stamped below the serial number.

I'm not sure what the script style engraving is or the ribbon key guards, I'll have to look that up.
 

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The OP's Aristocrat was made very early after the Selmer buy-out. It's going to be very similar the altos made right before the buy-out. These horns appears to have been made in batches and there were slight differences in the batches. So a few minor features could vary.

I would put the eBay value on this sax at around $200. These early ones seem to do a little better price-wise than the ones from a short time later with the stamped Buescher logo. And it's worth more in original condition. Clean this horn up and it will probably lose value.
 

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Near as I can tell, and I own 3 ranging from 330xxx to 363xxx, the baris really didn't change throughout the life of the Big B which seem to have run until they started switching over to the back bell keys in the late '50s. Must have been a lot of surplus stock on the baris.

I'm the wrong one to ask, of course, but it was worth it to me to restore one of these beasts from the condition you're describing to "new horn" status. That said, it isn't at all cheap and I'll probably end up spending what I could have bought a used YBS-62 for at the end of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Near as I can tell, and I own 3 ranging from 330xxx to 363xxx, the baris really didn't change throughout the life of the Big B which seem to have run until they started switching over to the back bell keys in the late '50s. Must have been a lot of surplus stock on the baris.

I'm the wrong one to ask, of course, but it was worth it to me to restore one of these beasts from the condition you're describing to "new horn" status. That said, it isn't at all cheap and I'll probably end up spending what I could have bought a used YBS-62 for at the end of the day.
Yeah it's not cheap, that's for sure! But if it gives you the horn you want, probably worth it.
 

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I would put the ebay value of that instrument at around $125, max. It's far more worth it to either retain it just to have an alto. Either that or float it for $250 on craigslist and see what happens.
 
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