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Discussion Starter #1
I got a C-melody recently, originally upon the assumption it was a Buescher (the description merely read "Elkhart") I know that Elkhart was merely a factory location and many brands used it, so it proves little. It appears to be gold-plate, and all it says is "The Elkhart, Elkhart instr co, elkhart Ind.) Buescher made "The Elkhart by Buescher" but nowhere on the horn body does it say Buescher. It has soldered tone holes and the left hand pinky cluster of a Martin, came with a Buescher C mel mouthpiece, an old case, and the bell's engraving features the writing in a fancy heart with an elk's head above it. It'll need work, and for now remains a project horn for me, but I'd like to have a firm grip of what it is I have here. So...what the heck is this thing, Buescher or Martin?

Ebay page here

My own pictures here
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Instrument, mouthpiece, and case look like an early Buescher TT to me, but there weren't enough pictures to tell for sure. Spatula shot would have made it easy, but that wasn't there.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Mouthpiece is Buescher for certain. :) Spatula seems wrong as I expected a typewriter key on G#.

The G# is making me lean towards a Martin, but let me see the octave key change mechanism (should be somewhere around palm D.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Looks a lot like this, doesn't it?

Buescher TT -- Series 1A.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That it does. So a very early TT? Any info you could give me on it? Date? (50xxx) sound? Love to have an idea of what it could be with a good & simple repad.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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No way to really know. Probably early 20's. Stencils were usually older versions from the maker, and most of the time the serial numbers don't line up. I don't think anyone has the serial number data on the Elkharts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alright, so if not a date, can I hope (or pray, as the case will likely be) that this stencil will be similar enough to the name brand Bueschers, and will play comparable to one? And if so, what might I expect?
 

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With soldered on tone holes and the "bailey bridge" crook brace, my money would be on a stencil by Martin.
PS.
However, that octave mechanism is exactly like that on my Lyon & Healy stencil by Buescher.....Hmmmmm.
 

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I've never seen a Martin without the bevelled toneholes, nor a 1920s Buescher without the button G# touch, so those might be clues. Couturier was in Pa Porte Indiana and used bevelled toneholes and a bar G# touch, and with a Conn-type "Mercedes" insignia low C cage. A few more clues for you. Perhaps Bruce Bailey would know- Did the Indiana Band Instrument Co. ever make saxophones? That would be interesting if they did, as I've never seen one. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So...it's still so confusing. xD It's quite a mishmash, since it seems like the neck, toneholes and G# touch point to a martin.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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We're not done yet. :) Early Bueschers had soldered tone holes.
 

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Yes the early Bueschers had soldered holes similar to the Martin series one horns where they actually looked like drawn holes, rather thin and not beveled. I have seen a few horns like this and actually had a few labeled MW which I think were Montgomery Ward. The ones I had were drawn Buescher like and had Martin keywork. I think that these were not from Martin or Buescher but were made up from parts sourced from various makers. There have been writings about a venture by Gus Buescher or someone else who had horns branded Elkhart that preceded the Elkhart by Buescher horns of the 1935-55 period. This horn in question may be one of those but whatever it is, it may just be a great horn.
 

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Buescher... I hardly know 'er. Sorry- couldn't resist a slip back to the beloved old C Melody Forum.:bluewink:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So, still a conundrum. Unfortunately, it won't be in playing condition very soon since it does need a full repad and a tiny bit more, and I have very little funds with which to pay for it at present, but that's why I call it a project horn!
 

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Buescher... I hardly know 'er. Sorry- couldn't resist a slip back to the beloved old C Melody Forum.:bluewink:
That forum is still alive....just. Moribund would describe it more accurately.....I wonder what happened to the irascible Captain Muggles et al....halcyon days; at least, for C Melody players....all eight of us.
Back to topic...I have that octave mechanism on a Buescher stencil, but it differs from my "real" Buescher of the same period.....early to mid 20s. Surely the real stumbling block is the chunky, carved from the solid, Martinesque tone holes.
 
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