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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I recently bought what I think is a Buescher Big Bell tenor Saxophone. It's serial number is in the 314,XXX range. I only paid $200 for it but, it needs some work. I think it has some leaks in the right hand keys and low B and Bb as well. The laquer is pretty good but a good amount is missing. My question here is, is it worth it to fix the horn or just let it sit around a while longer?

Thanks for any responses,
-Birdman
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Hey,

No such thing as a 'Buescher Big Bell'...it's a very unfortunate misnomer confusing the term "Big B" it with some sorta crappy asian import by that other name.

So, do you mean "Big B" ? Never was called that BY Buescher, but it refers to the models which have...you guessed it...a large "B" engraved on the bell. These are sought-after.

It could also be another model (such as a 400) which tended to have large bell-flairs. Post some photos.

Regardless, it's a vintage horn from a good era (late 40's), so $200 is a steal if all it needs is some pads. Depending on model, in good playing shape it could be worth between $800-2000.

Take it to a tech and ask 'em how much it would cost to get it playing up and down. Depending on prices in your area, it may even be worth springing for a complete repad.

Now...I am a' hopin' you bought it to play it, and not just flip it. You can probably make a profit in flipping it, but...these are phenomenal, classic Tenors.
 

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No such thing as a 'Buescher Big Bell'...
Correct. The "B" in the "Big B" engraving probably stands for Buescher. There were a variety of bell flare sizes during the "Big B" run, although the size of the bell itself did not change much, as far as I know.

Anyway, to answer the question: "..is it worth it to fix the horn or just let it sit around a while longer?"

Absolutely it is worth it. These are among the best tenors ever made. Put it into tip-top playing condition!
 

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Just send it to me. Then you won't have to worry about it.:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just checked the serial number against a chart and pictures, it looks exactly like an Aristocrat. I wouldn't say that it is a 400 because of it's appearance. Also, my main purpose is to have it is a back-up horn to my Mark VI. I'll get it to a tech soon and see what they say about it.
Thanks for the help!
 

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I'll get it to a tech soon and see what they say about it.
Be sure that the tech knows better than to grind out the spuds for snap on resonators if the horn still has them.
 

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I just checked the serial number against a chart and pictures, it looks exactly like an Aristocrat. I wouldn't say that it is a 400 because of it's appearance. Also, my main purpose is to have it is a back-up horn to my Mark VI. I'll get it to a tech soon and see what they say about it.
Thanks for the help!
If it has the Big B engraving it is an Aristocrat. This would be a very worthy 'backup' to your VI. If you get it properly set up by a good tech (be sure to do that!!), the VI might take a back seat for a while. That's what happened to me when I got an Aristocrat as a 'backup' horn. I do play the VI more now, but I use them interchangeably.
 

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p.s. Man, I just noticed in your OP that you only paid $200 for that horn (where do you guys stumble on to these deals?!). That's a ridiculously low price. You'd be crazy not to get it completely overhauled and put into perfect playing condition. No matter how much that costs, you'll still be way ahead on the value end. And you'll have a horn that will rival your VI, as I said above. I hope you have a good tech.
 

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p.s. Man, I just noticed in your OP that you only paid $200 for that horn (where do you guys stumble on to these deals?!).
I picked up the same type of horn myself for the exact same price in the early Craig's List days. Definitely worth fixing up; even if needing a full overhaul. Just wondering though from the OP, does it have the Norton gold plated springs? They would be thick, gold and not pointed at the ends. Double bonus if it has the snap-in resonators (round metal discs clipping the pads in).
 
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