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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have a link to a page about the Bundy/Selmer saxophones that were similar and different from Bueschers? I remember reading a bit about Selmer USA buying Buescher and starting to use them for Bundy models, gradually changing to the Bundy that is different from the Buescher completely. I'd like to read about when, what serial numbers, etc. or any other info.

Thanks
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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I think it's safe to say that the best source of info on these is here -- although I don't see anyone jumping up with exact dates and serial numbers. Saxpics doesn't seem to have anything on Selmer USA specifically.

Why don't you start a little project and see how many Bundy II owners you can find with info on provenance? There is still a zillion of them out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I read a lot about it here but can't really find anything with the search. I often see people mention how some Bundies are Bueschers, surprised no one answered yet. I just remember occasionally someone asking about a Bundy and someone replying with something like "if it's xxx S/N then it's actually a Buescher", but I can't even find any of those posts and don't remember details on what Bundy and what Bueshers those instruments actually are.

I'm not interested in starting a project like that. I'm mostly interested in what Bundies were actually Buerschers (if there were any). Not so much in the Bundy II, all that I've seen were basic student models (and I don't remember reading any of those were Bueschers). I'm interested in the "life" and various versions of the first Bundy (non-II).

Thanks
 

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I just remember occasionally someone asking about a Bundy and someone replying with something like "if it's xxx S/N then it's actually a Buescher",...
Well, yes and no. It's still a Bundy. I have heard some of the early Bundy's were made using left-over Buescher parts and in that sense they are similar to what came before. They also might be very good horns. But they aren't exactly the same thing. I'm no expert though, just a fan of the 'real' Bueschers, well before the Selmer buyout. Perhaps someone like Jicaino, who is an expert, can chime in and give you an answer.

This is only my opinion, but if you really want a Buescher, why not get one that is for sure a Buescher from the 'golden era' of the '30s through early '50s? These horns are out there and go for ridiculously low prices compared to what they are really worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.

By "actually a Buescher" I meant using a Buescher body, not that they are the same exactly. Possibly some are not left over bodies but just the same design. I found a post by Ralph Morgan, who said he designed the Bundy II, saying the body was the same design as the Buescher True Tone for both the Bundy and Bundy II, if I understood it correctly. I don't know but Bundy IIs that I've tried never played like Buescher True Tone.
Maybe not so many look in the Buescher sub-forum? I hope you're right and someone will post about this.

This is only my opinion, but if you really want a Buescher
I don't want a real Buescher, or a "fake" Buescher, or a Bundy regardless of what it is. I'm just interested in the info.
 

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For more modern altos, the "Buescher" BU series and the Selmer Bundy II should be the same animal: a student horn, probably built in China or Taiwan, using the basic "Mark VI copy" for the design of the keys.
Looking back, I see the 1963 - 1965 Bundy saxophones as Bueschers with somewhat altered key designs. My first beginner alto was a 1964 Bundy bought in 1964. More than 40 years later, I got a Buescher 140 Aristocrat, and it seemed to be the exact same animal, right down to the sharp high A and flat low D, except for the nickel plated keys and the absence of Norton springs/Snap-in Pads on the Bundy. Of course, a sharp high A and flat low D are typical problems in all sax designs due to compromises in placement of the octave key pips.
I have played a mid-1960's Signet with the S brace, and it played exactly like my Buescher 140 alto minus Nortons/snap-ins.
I have also owned a late True Tone alto (with front F and the usual hissy high A). I have long suspected that the 1964 Bundy has a TT neck with a smaller top octave pip hole to alleviate the hissy A. There seems to be a lot of disagreement here about my next statement, but I will stand by it until someone (Jicaino?) proves me wrong. The Selmer Signet alto of the mid-1960's with the brass keys and the S brace seems to be the same horn as the Buescher 140 with the best Buescher neck. Some here insist that the Signet is based upon the Buescher 400 alto, but none of the telltale signs are present: no large bell flare, no "inside RH" bell keys, no underslung octave mechanism, and no nickel keys (which were common on post-TH&C 400s). It is true that the last 400s had LH bell keys like the Signet, but so did the Bundy and Aristocrat 140.
So, it is my theory that Selmer took the Bundy with nickel keys from the Buescher 140 with one of the earlier TT necks, and then they took the Signet with brass keys from the 140 with the best TT neck. This gave them 3 levels of instrument: Bundy, Signet, and Mark VI.
Ah, I see in the thread cited above that Jacaino agrees with my neck statements on 1964 Bundy and Signet altos.
Sax Magic
 

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Good info, Sax Magic. Of course it's very hard to tell subtle differences in bore size, etc, by visual inspection.

In any case, the real question is do these post-buyout Bundys play as well and with the same tone quality as the series one/Big B 'Crats and TH&C Bueschers?
 

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I've got a Bundy tenor from about '69-70 that blows the walls down. It's a real pit bull R+R horn, and serves me as a faithful backup to my Selmer.

An old now deceased friend of mine had a Big B, and I remember that sax being a little darker, but the setup could have been (probably was) different. Can't play his horn anymore to compare, but IMO, my Bundy is at least in the right ballpark.

Pretty good bargain for less than $300 with a brand new case.
 

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Can't play his horn anymore to compare, but IMO, my Bundy is at least in the right ballpark.

Pretty good bargain for less than $300 with a brand new case.
I bet a lot of the Bundys are a real bargain, price-wise. But you could say almost any horn is "in the ballpark." I might be asking a similar question to the OP. Do these post-buyout horns differ from the earlier Bueschers in terms of how the play and sound? For example, I can say for sure that a series one Aristocrat tenor differs significantly from a 156 (since I have both and can compare). Both 'real' Bueschers, but different. Is anyone suggesting the Bundys are the same as the earlier Bueschers, and if so, which Buescher are they 'identical' to?
 

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I remember reading a bit about Selmer USA buying Buescher and starting to use them for Bundy models, gradually changing to the Bundy that is different from the Buescher completely. I'd like to read about when, what serial numbers, etc. or any other info.
Going back to the OP question, I wonder if any accurate, detailed data exist on this transition? Here's what I've heard from those who are familiar with Bueschers, and also the basic history. Sometime in the mid-50s or so Buescher (and Conn & other American sax manufacturers) had trouble competing with Selmer and maybe some other overseas companies. The first thing they did was to start cutting corners (so the story goes), and the quality of their instruments started going down. Eventually Buescher sold out to Selmer and Selmer cut back even further on quality in order to reduce costs and market a 'student' horn, the Bundy.

I have no idea how accurate all that is, but one thing does make sense. In order to reduce costs, there will likely be a reduction in quality. Maybe that will or will not affect how well a horn plays and/or sounds. I don't know for sure. I would at least guess the higher-quality instrument would be more desireable on several levels, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the link and all the other info. Here is why I'm confused about this.

I understand the Bundy was possibly/probably a Buescher that was gradually cheapened more and more. I also assume the info from Ralph Morgan is correct (any reason to think it's not?). Here is the main points of what what he wrote:
"...I was the Cheif Woodwind Technician and Designer for the SELMER Co and did the designing of the BUNDY II saxes... for many years previous, the BUNDY saxes had been made by the BUESCHER Company... The body design was the same as the famous BUESCHER TRUTONE saxes... and were so fine... There certainly was no way of improving on that, so my attention was focusewd on variations in the mechanism..."

So it sounds like Bundy and Bundy II are basically idnetical acoustically to the Buescher True Tone (pretty much?), with worse keys and build quality of the Bundy. Bundy IIs that I've tried (many) never played like Buescher True Tone to me, they just played differently, regardless of the different keys. I've just played a 435xxx Bundy (non-II) and the tone was definitely more like a Buescher than any Bundy I've played. IMO Bundy II has a "harsher" tone that I don't especially like. This Bundy (I) has what I call the "thick" and "full" tone of Bueschers that is very good, although I don't personally like it so much either.

I'm trying to determine a value for Bundy (I) in my local market compared with "real" Bueschers and Bundy IIs.

Thanks
 

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Sounds like something to research. Just to add to the confusion, I believe you'll find some threads on here that include and HW Bundy horn that's a Conn, and that "Bundy I" may or may not be a Buescher stencil. I'm no definitive source here, just noting that I've seen a few variations in opinions. Might make for an interesting bit of research if you're so inclined.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here is the one that plays a lot like a Buescher IMO and ulike Bundy IIs I've tried. Obviously some things (e.g. bell tone holes) are not identical to True Tone, but maybe they are in acoustic design(?).

Curious about value in comparison with Bundy II, Buescher True Tone and maybe later "real" Bueschers (I need to know value in comaprison and not "exact since I will consider in local area). The seller is asking a lot and the potentional buyer asked me to check it and find any info if I can.
 

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I sold one of those locally about a year ago for $100, after I had put it in good playing order, but with a few minor dents. Yes, the earlier 60's Bundys are slightly finer, but just don't get the price that even an identical, late Buescher will get. Persisntent brand stigma.
 

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Yes, the earlier 60's Bundys are slightly finer, but just don't get the price that even an identical, late Buescher will get. Persisntent brand stigma.
I think this is probably true. For sure, a Bundy will not bring a high price and I wouldn't pay too much for one. If the seller is 'asking a lot,' then unless your friend really likes the horn, he'd want to talk it down.

I've heard that some of the Bundys are good horns, especially since you can get them for a low price. Bueschers also sell for reasonable prices. I would simply treat the Bundy as a different brand, since that's what it is. It might be similar to a True Tone, but every alto is similar to every other alto, so that doesn't mean much. The differences are there, though, and are more or less important, depending on what you like. And as has been pointed out more than once, there are even subtle variations from one horn to the next among the same brand, especially with vintage horns.
 

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Here's the photo.
... and not surprisingly, that is more or less a cheapened Buescher Aristocrat. Probably why it sounds like one. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
$100, after I had put it in good playing order, but with a few minor dents.
That is maybe a bit extreme? I've seen Bundy IIs on ebay sell for more, sometimes significantly more and sometimes even not in the best condition. I imagined Bundy (I) would sell for more but maybe not.

The owner of this Bundy (I) which is I guess a "cheapened Buescher Aristocrat" is trying to sell it for so much more. Imagine a price that is way too high and then double it. The repairs alone would cost a lot more than $100. It does play very nicely (for those who like that sort of Buescher tone and many do). The almost outrageous price is high, especially including repairs, but it's rare to find a pro vintage model for this price here. It would still be much cheaper than a real Buescher. Ordering from abroad is not an issue even and irrelevant.

Anyway I decided what to explain about it. In the end it's their decision, undertsanding reselling after repairs will most likely be at a (significant) loss.
 
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