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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
My last lost got a lot of comments and the advice was great! I have am in high school and I'm looking for a Conn 10m. I have been looking for a while but it's getting pretty hard to find one in good shape for a fair price. So I started looking at other tenor saxophones of same vintage. The Buescher Aristocrat art deco and Big B have got me interested. So what are your thoughts on these 2 horns? what years are good, what to look for, how they play etc. I would love the advice!

Thank you,
Butter1983
 

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Their pinky table is similar to the pre 10M Conns.
Some people don’t like this type of layout just like some don’t like the 10m’s layout.
Their not like modern horns, so if you’re okay with that then they can be great sounding tenors.
Depending on your budget you might consider a conn 16m to get that Conn sound on a budget or a King Cleveland or a Martin Indiana etc.
These can be had quite cheaply if a 10m or Buescher are too expensive.
 

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Aristocrats are great! I've had both Conn and Buescher and they are both fantastic. I would say Beuscher sound is more focused vs the spread sound of the Conn. Intonation was better on the Beuschers that I tried. If you think of a 10m and a MarkVI at opposite ends of the tonal spectrum, a Buescher Aristocrat sits between those IMO. I personally feel the ergos on the Aristocrat are more comfy than the Conn.
I whole heartily agree with B Flat. Martins are just as good. You may want to open your horn search up to Conn, Buescher and Martin and some of their stencil models. There are a handfull of 50's era Holton professional models that are also excellent.
 

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I vote aristocrat. Big bang for the buck. The art deco is the essentially the same horn as the big b but a better price. They also have good intonation and feel good under the fingers
 

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I am the owner of a 10m and an Art Deco horn. I love both instruments, but for different reasons. Both have premium overhauls with black roo pads, teflon strips, etc...

The Aristocrat has an amazing scale. It's really easy to play and forgiving with a any large-ish chamber mouthpiece. The sound is focussed and bright-ish (mine is much brighter than any other I've tried, so I think that's an anomaly). It is also seriously punchy and loud when you want it to be - like a laser beam. I've played this instrument at 35 degrees C and higher and it stays in tune. It's actually amazing. It was also 1000 pounds less than the Conn, so great value! Keywork is good, but not amazing.

The Conn has incredible keywork - better than the Buescher. It's almost as in tune and will play great with a large chamber mouthpiece, but not (!) well with medium or small (in my experience). The sound is spread and a little warmer. My favourite thing about it is the feeling of complete resonance and responsiveness. It takes the air in a really special and fun way. Maybe it's because I've had it since I was in high school, but I feel like tonally it always goes where I want it to. It's like a mirror in that sense. The trouble is that it can be a little bit fussy with intonation at different ambient temperatures and with different mouthpieces. Fiddling with the key heights has helped a lot.

I've found the Bueschers to be consistently fantastic. I've played incredible Conns and also some mediocre ones. With the Conns, they almost always have the ability to be big and boomy, but sometimes they are just a bit too much. If you go down the Conn route, play lots of them and find one that tunes well and can also be played with some focus.

Both are great choices!
 

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If budget is an issue, then a Martin Indiana should be on your list. The Indianas were Martin's second-line horns, but they were made in the same factory as the professional models by the same workers using the tooling for the previous generation professional horns.
 

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Alto: Buescher Aristocrat 1937, Tenor: Yanagisawa T880, Bari: Selmer La Voix II
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Theres a decent looking indiana tenor on reverb at the moment
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If budget is an issue, then a Martin Indiana should be on your list. The Indianas were Martin's second-line horns, but they were made in the same factory as the professional models by the same workers using the tooling for the previous generation professional horns.
I have been also looking at Martin committee III. thoughts?
 

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Having owned a 10m and a couple of Aristocrat tenors, I would also recommend the Aristocrat - everything said above by various people tracks with my experience. The Big B aristocrats (and the 156 model - sometimes called 'the Big B without the B b/c it's essentially the same model with a different engraving) are just an incredible value
 

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Bueshers are great horns. Experts will opine in more detail but IMO you won't go wrong with anything in the serial # range from ~270xxx to ~330xxx. Much later than that you get into the post Selmer buyout years when they started cost-savings measures. As you go much earlier you start getting into eras when keywork was under more development; that's not at all to say that the earlier horns are bad, just more different.

My first horn was a 1918 True Tone, it sounded wonderful. Sigurd Rasher did amazing things with his True Tones.

IIRC your budget is around $2k? You can certainly find a fine playing Buesher for that.
 

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I have been also looking at Martin committee III. thoughts?
OK, so...you have hit on 3 of the 4 old Big 4 pro models. Might as well add a King Zephyr or Super 20 - one from the more affordable eras - to that list, why not ? (seriously, not being a wiseguy...why not ?)

I agree with a lot of the above...the 'Crat is more focused, edgier. It is the 400/THC which is the more spread of the Bueschers.
I would not call a 'Crat 'bright' by any means...compare it next to any modern horn with the exception of a JK, and it certainly won't sound 'bright' in that context.
But it is brighter than the Conn.

Martin Committees...I, II, or III's...great horns too. All of these, and I'll throw in the Holton Revelation/241's as well...are of the similar American Big 'Ol Tenor Sound pedigree...but they (nicely) differ from one another sonically and blowing response-wise just enuff to create some nice variety and differentiation.

Which is just to say...IF the price points of 10M's these days make you feel a bit..uncomfy....(and that's valid, IMHO....their current market values ARE overpriced, period...I would not pay the prices I see them fetching right now)..

Then really pretty much any other of the big American makers' middle or upper shelf models would be a really solid choice....and indeed many of them ARE significantly cheaper, even refurbed, than most of the 10M's at the moment.
 

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Bueshers are great horns. Experts will opine in more detail but IMO you won't go wrong with anything in the serial # range from ~270xxx to ~330xxx. Much later than that you get into the post Selmer buyout years when they started cost-savings measures.
Weren't the post-buyout horns in the 381xxx range? I believe 330xxx horns are from the early- to mid-50s, so a good decade before the buyout.
 

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Weren't the post-buyout horns in the 381xxx range? I believe 330xxx horns are from the early- to mid-50s, so a good decade before the buyout.
Hmmm... I think you might be right. But didn't they start thrifting before the buyout? Not that they're bad horns, but I've gathered that the 270xxx-3300xxx range safely covers the best years.

OP: if you find a 156 (tenor) in good shape, buy it. You won't be sorry. One distinctive feature of them is that the bell key pants guard is made from u-channel shaped material.
 
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