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· Registered
466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Everyone,

I am just a little confused about the models of certain Bueschers. Is the big b, Top Hat and Cane, and 400 the same thing? Then is the aristocrat a completely different model?


· SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
25,274 Posts
Carbs said:
No the Top hat and Cane was an Arisocrat model. Same with the 400 and the 400 and the Top hat and Cane are the same thing.
I think thats right.
I'm not sure that is quite right. I think the 400 was considered a different model than the Aristocrat (it certainly had some different features). The "Big B" is an Aristocrat (Big B refers to the bell engraving). Here's how I understand it (very roughly dated in order of models):

1920's: True Tone (split bell keys)

1930: "New Aristocrat" (split bell keys)

1930's - around '45: "Series one" Aristocrat (left side bell keys)

Mid to late '40's: Big B Aristocrat

Late '40's to mid 50's: 156 (tenor)/140 (alto) Aristocrat; identical to Big B except for engraving.

Late '40's to late 50's: 400 "Top Hat & Cane" (bell keys on back of bell)

Late 50's to early 60's: later 400 model without TH&C engraving. Also the bell keys were moved to the side at one point.

I may be a bit off on some of the dates, but that's the right order. Also, the earliest "Big B" Aristocrat tenors had a smaller bell (like the series one 'Crat). The later ones and the 156 had a larger bell.

· Distinguished SOTW Member
14,671 Posts
JL: I agree, generally, meaning that I am not THAT familiar with the small details.

I'd add that although the model designations changed from "TrueTone" in the '20's to Aristocrat, etc., the trademark-logo and etching of "TrueTone" remained on the Buescher horns at least through the 400/TH&C era, even though the model designation was no longer TrueTone. DAVE

· Registered
1,279 Posts
To try and express this more clearly. The Aristocrat replaced the TrueTone. Firstly as a transitional sax, officially The New Buescher - Aristocrat, but known as the New Aristocrat. It was followed in about 1936/7 by the art deco Aristocrat, often referred to as the series 1. In 1940, the Big B model took over, but still an Aristocrat. It 1950, the Big B engraving was dropped, but he sax remained the same.

In 1942, a different model called the 400 was introduced. Originally with top hat an cane engraving. It was a model to complement the Aristocrat, not replace it. The TH&C engraving was dropped in 1957 when the Buescher slide really took hold, and the Aristocrat was also altered drastically. See some of my other posts for more detail - or ask here and i will add the rest.

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
5,142 Posts
Pinnman has it right.
It is also worth noting that the 400 is both cosmetically and mechanically different from the Aristocrats.
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