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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Cosmetic and keywork features aside -- what (in terms of bore, neck changes, 8ve pip or tonehole placement, that sort of thing) distinguishes

1. The late Truetones from the New Aristos?

2. The Series I Aristos from the earliest Series II Big Bs?
 

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Great question. I own a New Aristocrat. I may be wrong here, but I've always understood the New Aristocrat to be identical in terms of bore design to the late Trutones. The initial improvement of the NA was solely its improvement on keywork and intonation. I think the only bore changes were in the neck design; the NA's were I believe manufactured with *, **, and *** necks. Kind of like how Yamaha keeps hyping the same horn with different necks. The major bore change for Buescher came between the NAs and the Aristocrats.
Just my stab at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I didn't think anyone was going to reply to this. Do you know specifically where the bore changes took place? I'm guessing perhaps the bow.
 

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I'll put them side by side some time this week and see what I can tell. I don't really have any good measuring tools, but tone hole placement and such shouldn't be hard. I know that I have switched necks between TTs, NAs and Big Bs without modification, but have noticed a difference in the octave pip placement.
 

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When I asked Gayle at vintagesax what the difference was between a New Aristocrat and a The Buescher, she indicated that there were significant improvements in the tone hole placements, and, of course, the neck.

Alan
 

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Just lost 20 minutes of writing! Dang!
Short version:
Please nobody jump on me...but...er...parabola.
How it has been described to me by Rascherites is that the NAs had the "parabola" while the Aristocrats had the straight cone. This "parabola-like" flaring occurred was on the key side of the tube (according to a John Edward Kelly article that I can no longer find). There is a great thread on SOTW archives with Curt Altarac, Gayle Fredenburg and Paul Cohen discussing this parabola. Didn't seem like any definitive answers came out of that...there has just been a respectful silence on the parabola since. Anybody that has tried a NA next to an Aristocrat has to admit that the bore is totally different...however, I don't think anyone has uncovered the mystery yet. According to some, the new Keilwerths have the parabola though they do not advertise this and, to me, they still sound more like an Aristocrat than a TruTone or a New Aristocrat. Short, unverified answer, the key side of the cone flares out subtly like a "parabola" on the NAs and TTs. I wouldn't say this in public though.
 

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I'm confused as to why then they'd choose to put the parabola on the tone-hole side of the NAs and TTs. Early TTs had soldered on toneholes like my 1915 Bari and matching and fitting chimneys to a surface made irregular by the presense of a parabola sounds like an unecessary pain when putting the parabolic curve on the other side (the neckstrap side) would be simpler.

Just thought I'd mention, not that I'm trying to muddy the waters any furthur on the mystery...

:/
 

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I agree completely. Please someone tell me I'm wrong about the key side thing. This is just the answer I've come up with from what sources I've found. I'm not even sure I believe in the parabola; the bores are different for sure, just not sure if "parabola" is the right way to describe it. I've talked to some guys that have played Adolphe Sax horns and they say that they also have that definitive TT/NA sound...therefore parabolic? I've no clue. Sax's patent letter says parabola, but I kind of think that "parabola" here was used more as a poetic ideal (like referring to a golden ratio) than an actual, physical "parabolic" cone. I'll do some looking for sources in the mean time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I thought that the parabolic bore idea had been debunked, but as I have no hands-on experience looking down New Aristo body tubes, anything I'd say about it is pure speculation. Perhaps the proponents of a tonehole-side parabolic arch were confused by artifacts of the tonehole drawing process (that's my know-nothing speculation for today....).
 

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If the parabola thing has been debunked, give me something I can quote...I'm at FSU fer cryin' out loud!
I've looked down the tube of my NA and it looks the same as my Mark VI. The actual tube curvature is different though between the two. I'll have to try and make some more detailed observations tonight.
 

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I doubt it would be anything you could see with your eye.

Going back to the original question, I'm wondering what exactly you are looking for, wind.miller? It sounds like you want a discussion of bore size, tone hole placement, etc, but will that get you anywhere as to how these horns differ in terms of how they sound, or how they play? Which is the important thing, right?

From that perspective, I've heard that the TT & New Aristocrat have a similar sound, with the NA having more updated keywork. The series one 'Crat has a somewhat different sound, more focussed and a bit brighter maybe (?). I suspect the earliest Big B with the smaller bell is essentially the same as the series one. Although, you didn't ask about it, the later Big B/156 with bigger bell definitely has a different sound and feel. More "free-blowing," with a more spread sound. I think that is where a real distinction can be made--between the "series one" and later Big B/156.

I'm basing these observations on pretty limited data: I have TT alto, had a series one "Crat alto for awhile, and have a series one tenor and a 156 with big bell tenor.
 

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JL said:
I suspect the earliest Big B with the smaller bell is essentially the same as the series one. Although, you didn't ask about it, the later Big B/156 with bigger bell definitely has a different sound and feel. More "free-blowing," with a more spread sound. I think that is where a real distinction can be made--between the "series one" and later Big B/156.
The bigger bell applies only to the tenors. On altos I measured the bells on a TT, an early Big Big and a 50's 140 and they were all the same or within a quarter inch if I remember correctly. The tenors are a different story.
 

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saintsday said:
The bigger bell applies only to the tenors. On altos I measured the bells on a TT, an early Big Big and a 50's 140 and they were all the same or within a quarter inch if I remember correctly. The tenors are a different story.
Good point. Thanks. Actually it's not clear whether wind.miller was asking about altos or tenors, or both.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
JL said:
I doubt it would be anything you could see with your eye.

Going back to the original question, I'm wondering what exactly you are looking for, wind.miller? It sounds like you want a discussion of bore size, tone hole placement, etc, but will that get you anywhere as to how these horns differ in terms of how they sound, or how they play? Which is the important thing, right?
Well, yes and no. Guess as with anything like this I need to explain my terms. (Also, in my initial post, which I trimmed down, I might have stated that I was curious about the tenors only in this instance, but I must have edited that out. Sorry.... )

On the one hand, sound is important if a large number of players come to some sort of agreement on what to expect from Horn A with Setup B. But I'm not primarily interested in "how they sound" here because the player and setup are such huge variables that I doubt we can settle down to any lasting conclusions.

I don't want people running around with their digital calipers measuring points of their own choosing, either. I was hoping when I posted the query that there might be people on this forum who have already made some reproducible comparisons, having been led by their curiosity to search for physical explanations behind any widely acknowledged differences in intonation, timbre, volume. Also, at my own gut level, I have perhaps wrongly assumed that there are *practically* NO physical differences in the horns +/- the model transitions I asked about.

I've actually measured a few Buescher bores in multiple spots, but not any NAs because I've not had the opportunity.
 

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wind.miller said:
I've actually measured a few Buescher bores in multiple spots, but not any NAs because I've not had the opportunity.
Is there any particular measurement you'd like on an NA tenor?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
saintsday, if you are serious .... just some rough and easy spots requiring no horn disassembly..... (you'll need a digital caliper).

OD (mm) of neck tenon (that fits in the horn receiver socket)
OD (mm) of body tube at the center of the high-F tonehole
OD (mm) of body tube at the center of the low-D tonehole
Length (cm) from center of high-F tonehole to center of low-D tonehole

Your own visual comparison of the bow size on an NA, later Aristo, an earlier Truetone...... (All I can say about the True-tone bows is that they look a bit more compact than the Aristos......)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
vivace1 said:
If the parabola thing has been debunked, give me something I can quote...I'm at FSU fer cryin' out loud!
I've looked down the tube of my NA and it looks the same as my Mark VI. The actual tube curvature is different though between the two. I'll have to try and make some more detailed observations tonight.
I believe there have been a few threads right here on SOTW, but I'd have to search them out. If you do see a curvature in the tubing that suggests an outward, exponential flaring (like the main bore of a brass instrument as it approaches the bell), and it's consistent along most if not all the body tube, how about providing some metric measurements?

I see horns with bodies bent forward all the time, and I'm quite certain that's accidental. Such bends are readily seen by looking down the tube, and most of the time the bend is toward the toneholes.....
 

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My (admittedly vague) recollection is that there were at least three different sets of toneholes placements and/or tonehole sizes for the The Buescher/TT series vefore the NA.

Regarding the parabola, this one has been discussed before without any joy. A pity; it is one of these eternal enigmas that seem to be incapable of solution. One mildly tangential point here is that The Sarge at Worldwidesax claims that the parabolic curve was replaced when the Big B became simply the 'Crat model 156. No-one else has claimed any other difference between these two models, believing them to be the same. I think he is pushing it, but have never got round to e-mailing him to ask about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Pinnman said:
My (admittedly vague) recollection is that there were at least three different sets of toneholes placements and/or tonehole sizes for the The Buescher/TT series vefore the NA.

Regarding the parabola, this one has been discussed before without any joy. A pity; it is one of these eternal enigmas that seem to be incapable of solution. One mildly tangential point here is that The Sarge at Worldwidesax claims that the parabolic curve was replaced when the Big B became simply the 'Crat model 156. No-one else has claimed any other difference between these two models, believing them to be the same. I think he is pushing it, but have never got round to e-mailing him to ask about it.
Maybe the parabola topic should be carefully side-stepped here. My own personal "belief" is that makers built horn bodies with straight conical mandrels and that the tonehole side of the body is structurally the weakest and most prone to a mild buckling over time, creating the arch that many people see and describe as a segment of a parabola. But I'd be thrilled if I were proved to be plain wrong about this. There are people on SOTW who most certainly know a great deal about that; I'm not one of them. As to tonehole placement, I suspect Buescher and the other makers were constantly -- within any given model production run -- moving some around and resizing them, too, tweaking for better intonation and a desirable timbre defined by players of the day.

Necks on the late Truetones look very similar to those I've seen in pics of the NA tenors. Earlier Truetone necks are clearly not the same at all. Aristos had at least two necks as well, the shorter/fatter one on the early Series up to the early Big Bs.

I have to reiterate something; as per my initial post, I'm mostly curious about the physical differences delineating late Buescher Truetones from the NA model, and the Series I from the Series II. All about tenors only, here. I didn't really specify SN cutoff lines, assuming it wasn't necessary.

I've closely measured a Series II Big B and a 156 Aristo. They are identical, aside from the neck and the fact the 156 I examined had measurably thicker body tubing (Body only, not bow or bell.)

Boy I'd better get back to work or these thoughts about Bueschers may be my last.....
 
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