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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to be able to use my mint-condition 1917 Buescher tenor on gigs, but no matter which mouthpiece I use, I end up playing almost a half-step flat, and the low notes are suppressed. I'm aware that open-chambered mouthpieces work best on these saxes, but even the original Buescher mouthpiece that came with the horn gives me the same problems. Any ideas on a specific mouthpiece that would work? Thanks for your help.
 

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The earliest Buescher tenor I've played was a 1920. Large chamber Morgan mouthpieces (L and C models) worked fine on it. It had decent intonation.

That said, here's a couple of thoughts:

1.) How far do you have your mouthpiece on the neck cork? Even with Morgan mouthpieces I had to crank the mouthpiece practically all the way on the cork in order to get some True Tone altos and sopranos in tune. Interestingly, I haven't had to do that quite as much with Buescher tenors. Try pushing the mouthpiece further on to see if you can get the intonation up to pitch.

2.) You say the tenor is mint condition but has it been overhauled? If not, I'd suggest that you take the horn to a saxophone repair tech in your area who is good with vintage horns for a check over. Perhaps he might be able to find a cause for the intonation trouble you're having.

Good luck!

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice.

Even with the mouthpiece all the way in, it's still considerably flat. Some mouthpieces are better than others, but the result is still the same. I'm used to the vintage Martins being mouthpiece-friendly, and even my 1919 Conn accepts all of them and still plays relatively in tune.

I believe I will take it in to be checked over.
 

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Actually, a large chambered mouthpiece is what you want when the horn plays sharp, not flat. So you might want to try a high baffled, smaller chambered piece just to experiment (if you haven't already). It does read "low pitch", not "high pitch", right?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitely low pitch.

The only problem with the smaller-chambered pieces is that the low notes are stuffy, warbling, and suppressed.
 

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jjulian said:
The only problem with the smaller-chambered pieces is that the low notes are stuffy, warbling, and suppressed.
Yeah, an old TT tenor I tried didn't seem to want to jibe with a high baffled piece I put on it, so I guess that is a Catch 22 in your situation. Will low Bb play in tune? If so, you might just need more open key heights.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Will the higher key heights help the warbling problem with the low notes? Aside from the tuning and low warbling, the basic tone is excellent when I use my metal Otto Link 9.
 

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Key openings won't help unless it below where the gurggle starts. Putting a small object in the bell may help but the Link type mouthpieces may be the only cure.
 

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jjulian said:
Will the higher key heights help the warbling problem with the low notes?
I'm just trying to figure out where the intonation problem may lie and if your low Bb plays in tune (the note not affected by key heights) it might be a good place to start. If your low Bb is also way flat, well... might be time to make a lamp (that or you might actually have a C Melody).
 

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Grumps said:
I'm just trying to figure out where the intonation problem may lie and if your low Bb plays in tune (the note not affected by key heights) it might be a good place to start. If your low Bb is also way flat, well... might be time to make a lamp (that or you might actually have a C Melody).
I'm speaking off the top of my head now, since I've never owned a horn older than the late '20s, but I wonder if the fact that it's a 1917 horn has anything to do with these problems. jjulian, a more recent vintage Buescher, say a '30s or '40s Aristocrat tenor, might suit you better.
 
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