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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello...
I have just made a deal with a person who wanted to sell a Buescher True Tone tenor with gold surface.The serial number is 194XXX...He just posted some pictures so I could see that it was in such a good shape as he claims, but it made me wonder. I wonder if it is relaquered, and if the Bb key is bent? He claims its not bent or relaquered but I have never seen such a color on a buescher before. And based on the pictures I really think the Bb key is bent...I'll post some pictures so you can see it yourselfs and tell me what you think. And one more question...the G sharp flap is looking weird on the first picture - is it just a reflection?


 

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Bb key: definitely bent out. It has to be in line with C and E. Not hard to bend back, but there's always the possibility that the metal has been cracked! The old brass alloy is soft.

Lacquer: This vintage of Buescher (1925) had no lacquer originally. It may have been bare brass or silver plate. From these pix, it's hard to tell. There's too little focus even to see whether the engraving has been buffed.
 

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almost certainly a later lacquering. As paulwl says Buescher didn't offer the option of lacquer until a few years later, so probably a bare-brass horn that has been lacquered later, but it could be an old vintage lacquer ('30's or '40's). If the lacquer is in good condition it doesn't really matter?
 

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If the lacquer is in good condition it doesn't really matter?
As it's originally bare brass that has been lacquered later, it would have been buffed as much as any reacquired horn. This is backed up by the pics which appear to show rather worn and shallow engraving. It won;'t affect the sound, and won't affect the value much as it's not a high value horn anyway. And in need of repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, so it's hopefully possible to bent the Bb key back, and if I break it, how much would a new one cost and how hard is it to find one?
Are you guys sure it is lacquer? And if you are...is it sure to be bare brass originally? If it would not be bare brass, that would effect the sound, right?
 

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Are you guys sure it is lacquer? And if you are...is it sure to be bare brass originally? If it would not be bare brass, that would effect the sound, right?

The photos are bad so who can say 100%, but the spotting on the keywork is most likely due to lacquer wear.

The original Buescher TTs would have been bare brass, silver plate or gold plate. As this one appears to have had (at least one) coat of lacquer applied at some time, then it was most likely bare brass rather than silver of gold that was subsequently stripped.

I don't understand how the sound could be affected ???
 

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Are you guys sure it is lacquer? And if you are...is it sure to be bare brass originally? If it would not be bare brass, that would effect the sound, right?
I have a True Tone soprano that originally had silver plate, but it was buffed off in favor of at least one, and possibly two after-market lacquer jobs. It still played very well, and remained the same after I had it stripped and replated with silver.

If the one pictured is gold colored, but not lacquered, then it could be gold plated. Those horns had more extensive engraving on the bell going right down to the bow/bell connection. I can't tell anything by the pictures shown however.

You also might want to see if it has a front F key, as that's not shown either. It probably doesn't given the serial number, and savvy sellers will often cut off photos at the B key to hide the lack of such key.
 

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If the one pictured is gold colored, but not lacquered, then it could be gold plated. Those horns had more extensive engraving on the bell going right down to the bow/bell connection. I can't tell anything by the pictures shown however.
Yes, the picture is not good enough either in quality or range to tell much, but the spotting on the F# makes me think it's lacquer.
 

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OK, so it's hopefully possible to bent the Bb key back, and if I break it, how much would a new one cost and how hard is it to find one?
Are you guys sure it is lacquer? And if you are...is it sure to be bare brass originally? If it would not be bare brass, that would effect the sound, right?
Having that bent key, odds are it has plenty of other problems. The only way to buy this horn is to factor in at least $500 or $600 for repair (if it ends up costing less, then consider that a bonus) to the selling price. It WILL need some work if you want it to play well. How it plays is far more important than the lacquer.

The lacquer is not original because, as Pete pointed out, they didn't lacquer the brass horns back then. But that's not much of an issue. The finish won't affect the sound at all, but leaky pads, and poorly adjusted keys will affect both the sound and feel of the horn when you play it.
 
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