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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Longtime lurker and infrequent poster, but I've learned a lot (from countless hours of reading) from forum members and during that time the folks on this board have convinced me that Bueschers are worth a serious look (apologies it's taken me a bit longer). That said, what are the impressions of those experienced with Buescher tenors on horns like this one -

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...Buescher-Big-B-Tenor-Saxophone-(Silver-Plate)

I've always played more modern set ups but having heard all the good comments here and listened to a number of clips of players on the vintage Bueschers (among many, really dug that Ellery clip from a while back)I really really dig the sound profile of these horns.

Has the vintage keywork been trouble for those who may have started on more modern tenors? What mpcs have folks found to pair particularly well with this horn (I realize this will vary widely on individual sound concept)? For what it's worth, I'm considering a Morgan hard rubber piece at around .105-.110. But as the advice on these forums typically goes .... I do plan to try a bunch and see what works for me (just hoping to shorten up that list with any suggestions)

Any and all thoughts/insights on Big Bs and Bueschers in general are much appreciated. Any recent converts willing to chime in? Looking forward to hopefully joining the Buescher club soon!

Many thanks in advance!
 

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Talking tenor only here.

Ellery was blowing a series 1 Buescher Aristo tenor like the silverplate Big B that you refer to.
Both have laser like focus to the sound.

Later Bs and 156s ( both have the bend in the bell) have a somewhat more spread sound.

However, series 1, including earlier B's with the smaller bell flare, and the later 156s all have excellent intonation, which is their common and best feature.

Either is a great choice, well set up of course.
Both series are mpc friendly, imo.

Ergos pose no serious issues ... no problem for me.
 

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I have a series one tenor which is basically the same horn as in the OP, but with art deco engraving.

These are really great horns, imo. And the one the OP refers to has had a fresh overhaul so it will be in excellent playing condition.

mpezz22, you can't go wrong with that horn. The ergos are fine and easy to adjust to, and the sound is fantastic. I doubt that horn will be on the market for long. And yes, they are mpc friendly.
 

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Of all the tenors I have, my TrueTone is my favorite, can be a bit bitchy at times compared to the new horns I have but the sound is spectacular and after having it overhauled and regulated it plays like a dream. It's way earlier than the ones you are looking for and the ergos need some adjustment every time I switch back and forth but it is only a 5 min transition period anyway.

And every MPC I have works fine - Brillhart Streamline, Theo Wanne DATTA, Phil Barone ... you name it
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JL and Saxphil -

Thanks for the replies - I have read many posts from both of you and was hoping you'd chime in here as the Buescher knowledge clearly runs deep with both of you! And JL ... I expected as much with the horn posted and just received my order confirmation from Sax Alley. Can't wait for it to show up and report back to the forum ... Now I just have sort out the mpc situation (as mentioned above, the various threads I've read on these horns have been pretty consistent in identifying these horns as mpc friendly).

Here's hoping I did well on my first Buescher purchase ... My only concern now is that based on the many posts I've read in this sub forum, one may not be enough!a
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Lost and others ... With all that mpc flexibility being mentioned feel free to point me to any used pieces any of you might have posted for sale on the forum! That Theo Wanne is on my short list but I'll have to look into that Brillhart as well. Great feedback so far ... This is what keeps my coming back to SOTW after all these years!
 

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What facing/opening are you looking for? And I just gave a few away to some kids who had school beaters only. Actually, I assume you are in Colorado - I am down in the Springs, just in case you want to try out some pieces. Also, SaxAlley usually have a ton of used ones.
 

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I have owned a Buescher Big-B baritone and a Buescher Truetone alto and have replaced both of them with more modern horns. They both sounded good, mouthpiece friendly and with good intonation, but I found the modern horns easier to play. My feeling was, and still is, that I have enough problems playing the sax without fighting vintage keywork as well. And to put it simply, the modern horns are a lot more fun to play. I have chosen to sacrifice a bit of tone for ease of playing.

I know that the vintage Buescher ergonomics aren’t a problem for some other players, but it definitely mattered to me. As with modern saxophones, some horns fit ones hands and some don’t. The Bueschers didn’t fit me. Maybe they will suit you.

Six months after getting my modern bari horn I had a final blow on the Big-B. I couldn’t hear much difference between them.
 

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I have owned a Buescher Big-B baritone and a Buescher Truetone alto and have replaced both of them with more modern horns. They both sounded good, mouthpiece friendly and with good intonation, but I found the modern horns easier to play. My feeling was, and still is, that I have enough problems playing the sax without fighting vintage keywork as well. And to put it simply, the modern horns are a lot more fun to play. I have chosen to sacrifice a bit of tone for ease of playing.

I know that the vintage Buescher ergonomics aren’t a problem for some other players, but it definitely mattered to me. As with modern saxophones, some horns fit ones hands and some don’t. The Bueschers didn’t fit me. Maybe they will suit you.

Six months after getting my modern bari horn I had a final blow on the Big-B. I couldn’t hear much difference between them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nigeld - I hear you on the ease of playing and I think that's what had caused me from going the vintage route for so long. That said, I'm getting back into tenor after a lengthy lay off (3 young kids will do that) and my thinking is there will be an adjustment period regardless. Add to that the fact that philosophically I probably lean a little bit more towards a willingness to make minor concessions on ergs and focus on the best tone I can personally achieve (within the confines of my limited amateur abilities). And since I'm getting back into playing after a layoff, I've also considered purchasing a modern horn as well and rewarding myself with two horns! We will have to see how it plays out but I really appreciate the thoughts as the ergonomics factor is something that I have definitely considered at length.

LC - my preference is in the .105 to .115 range and I plan to experiment with the set up. Probably try to demo as many as I can and hang on to the two I feel most comfortable with. Tim had some helpful suggestions as well.
 

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mpez22, Congrats on picking up that horn. I bet you'll really like it. As to the ergos, I realize we're all different, but my main tenor is a '65 MKVI with really nice ergos and I've had it since the early '80s so I'm very used to it. But I have no problem with the Buescher ergos; in comparison they aren't quite as crisp as the VI, but still very smooth. I can easily go back and forth btw the two horns. And I have to say the Buescher might have the better tone quality. Mine is also silver plate (the original matte finish with burnished keys and engraving) and I love how it looks. Yours looks even nicer! Let us know how you like it.
 

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Longtime lurker and infrequent poster, but I've learned a lot (from countless hours of reading) from forum members and during that time the folks on this board have convinced me that Bueschers are worth a serious look (apologies it's taken me a bit longer). That said, what are the impressions of those experienced with Buescher tenors on horns like this one -

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...Buescher-Big-B-Tenor-Saxophone-(Silver-Plate)

I've always played more modern set ups but having heard all the good comments here and listened to a number of clips of players on the vintage Bueschers (among many, really dug that Ellery clip from a while back)I really really dig the sound profile of these horns.

Has the vintage keywork been trouble for those who may have started on more modern tenors? What mpcs have folks found to pair particularly well with this horn (I realize this will vary widely on individual sound concept)? For what it's worth, I'm considering a Morgan hard rubber piece at around .105-.110. But as the advice on these forums typically goes .... I do plan to try a bunch and see what works for me (just hoping to shorten up that list with any suggestions)

Any and all thoughts/insights on Big Bs and Bueschers in general are much appreciated. Any recent converts willing to chime in? Looking forward to hopefully joining the Buescher club soon!

Many thanks in advance!
Big B's are fantastic, go for it. But I greatly prefer my Buescher Top Hat and Cane. If you're going to crawl into the booshes, go whole hog and get a Super 400, 1940's or 50's era preferably. Personally I love vintage Bueschers, especially that full, rich tone and nimble action. But there's something about Conns and Martins especially that beat the Bueschers on tone IMO, and the Selmers too for that matter.
 

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I just bought an alto silver plated Big B 1941 US, no doubt, these are great horns.
Mine looks like the same condition perhaps buffed a bit more. It was completely "set up" with Roo pads, so they said. Like you I had my eye out for this horn as a fixer upper for quite a while- only because
I had some great experience with a TT IV that I had re-padded. I haven't seen that many THC horns I could afford.

I love the feel of my TT series IV such a beautiful horn, and readily available, learned so much on it. The pinky table was the only complaint I had with it. I didn't really want to change horns, I just wanted a easier C# pinky key. You can quiet a TT down w an old large chamber mouthpiece and the neighbors will love you.

The Big B's have just enough modification to allow freedom of hands, very popular for good reason, they are the updated True Tones. The horns have the same feel even if the bore is different and the Big B is louder. I suggest a TT series IV for less than half the price. The sound is sublime.

Keep in mind-
The Big B's I saw all said "recent re-pad" or "set up" ...but be prepared it may not be set up the way you like to play, so "set up" by who & how, is crucial. A re pad is going for close to $850 now, so if you can get a good TT for $300 or so that is a solid start.

A Big B Alto or Tenor will be significantly more money and unless you play it and accept it as is, be prepared to pay a tech his just due.
I'm having to reset four pads and will probably re plate the neck and some keys for a really more pleasing horn maybe.

As Maddenma said to me...... " It’s 70-some years old. It’s allowed some lumps and wrinkles. 😊 At our age, we both call those character marks, no? " Ha Ha...right on Mark!
 

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The only “issue” that I had with a Big B was the left pinkie table. In my experience, there was little else than shouted “old ergos”. TH&C tenors are different - which is better is up to you.

The Sound is a beautiful thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sax Bum - really interested in hearing why you greatly prefer the THC? Did you start with this as your intro to Buescher horns or have you played them all and ended up landing on the THC as your favorite? Are you a 10M and Committee III guy with the conns and martins or what's your preference there? Truth be told my biggest concern now is that I will really enjoy my first foray into a truly vintage horn and end up with a serious case of GAS!! Guys that prefer the vintage horns seem to have that issue ... Particularly since these horns tend/appear to be much more affordable than many of the modern favorites ... I get the impression a guy could have a Martin, Conn, and Buescher in the lineup for pretty close to what a new custom 82z, top tier Yani, ref 36, or Keilwerth shadow costs.
 

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LC - my preference is in the .105 to .115 range and I plan to experiment with the set up. Probably try to demo as many as I can and hang on to the two I feel most comfortable with. Tim had some helpful suggestions as well.
The only one I am selling right now is a Link Tone Edge #6 (.095) and I wouldn't even sell it but it's going to be a Christmas present for the son of a friend who bought my Vito - and BTW, the kid is ecstatic about it, he never brought his school horn home and now his mom can't even get him off the thing. Makes me happy to see that a really nice horn found a good home but I digress...
 

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Congratulations on your Big B purchase. Let us know how you are doing with it, for sure. Referring to tenors here: My main horn is a 1963 MKVI and it is my most recently purchased horn as well. I have a small bell flare Big B at the "other" house so I can practice when I am there. Same mouthpiece, Link 6*STM and same 2.5 Java Jazz red box reeds. Ergos no problem (low B is in the center of the pinky cluster) after I play on it a bit. I love the Big B's tone and intonation and overall fit to me. I find it and the MKVI to be more similar to each other than my Buffet SuperDynaction to either. Any significant difference I might raise between the MKVI and the Big B is that the Big B just takes a bit more air to do the same things. Note, I haven't had it in for any adjustments or rehab since I bought it a few years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Horn hasn't arrived yet unfortunately ... Was really hoping to have it by this weekend. Nuages - interesting you mention the SDA ... The last time I picked up a tenor, that's what I was playing (with a Jody Jazz NY 10*). And I've got a Link 7* showing up to pair with the Big B initially ... Was told this is a very mpc flexible model so interested to see how that fits. But I really enjoyed the SDA horn and wish I still had it! Dr G ... The left pinkie table is the only thing that has me worried ... all the comments I've heard/read about the tone/intonation of this horn have been positive ... Just hoping that left pinky table doesn't give me fits.
 

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Dr G ... The left pinkie table is the only thing that has me worried ... all the comments I've heard/read about the tone/intonation of this horn have been positive ... Just hoping that left pinky table doesn't give me fits.
FWIW, it is just different, not bad. Commit to the horn, and you will be rewarded.

Enjoy!
 

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Enjoy your new big B. Worry about getting GAS.
The beautiful sound of a vintage horn makes all of its quirks just character not problems. GAS is fun too.
 
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