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I thought all big b’s had big b inscription ?
They do. All Big Bs have a Big B engraving, but not all 156 Aristrocrats have that engraving; the (slightly) later ones have a script engraving, like the one in the photo you posted. Same horn as a "Big B" 156, except for the engraving.

Technically, there is no single "Big B" model. Three separate model Aristocrats (127, 155, 156) had the Big B engraving.

This has been covered in numerous threads (click posted some above).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They do. All Big Bs have a Big B engraving, but not all 156 Aristrocrats have that engraving; the (slightly) later ones have a script engraving, like the one in the photo you posted. Same horn as a "Big B" 156, except for the engraving.

Technically, there is no single "Big B" model. Three separate model Aristocrats (127, 155, 156) had the Big B engraving.

This has been covered in numerous threads (click posted some above).
A 156 without Big B engraving worth less than a model with ?
 

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This quote is from a thread about my 338xxx aristocrat 156:

I believe the horn evolved every year in some small way, as all brands did. Is a 1950 or '51 substantially different than a 1949 -- probably not by much. It becomes more pronouced as the years pass though. Clearly a 1963 "evolved" quite a bit from the 1945-49 Big B horns, just as a 1940 'Crat Series 1 is arguably quite a bit different in key feel, heft, and to a lesser degree sound from a Big B.

My opinion, though it's not univerally shared, is that the late 40's and very early '50s line of horns represents the best that Buescher ever did. If you're in that range, you have a sweet and versatile instrument regardless of whether it's a 'Crat or a TH&C.

Having the Big B engraving is good news if you are a seller.

If you want to play a 156, and have no desire to sell it, then finding one without that engraving could be worth the wait.

It is rather like desiring a early King Zephyr, and waiting around until you can score a very late Voll II --- change the engraving and change the price.

The same can be true with some stencil horns --- Martins and Keilwerths, for example, are often spoken of as refusing to cheapen the production merely b/c the contract requires some other name to be inscribed on the bell.

In these cases the market price of the product has more to do with mental state than with what the item would be like in a blind test or caliper measure.

My own 156 is a treasure and it would take big bucks past big B numbers to get me to part with it.
 

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A 156 without Big B engraving worth less than a model with ?
It's not worth less in terms of quality (same horn, remember), but you may be able to get one at a better price because so many buyers/sellers are focused on the engraving rather than the horn. So yeah, if you're looking for a great buy, the script engraved 156 would be a good one to look for. But one HUGE caveat: Playing condition is everything, so you always have to take that into consideration when pricing a horn. Unless you buy from a reputable dealer who can guarantee a horn in top playing condition, you have to add in the price of what it takes to put it into top playing condition.

p.s. And I'll second click's last sentence in his post above.
 
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