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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there, new member here.
I was at a garage sale this morning and noticed a really old sax.
Upon inspection its a Buescher alto "true-tone".
The serial numbers are 194278.
Can someone please speculate on the year and possibly value?
It's looks a bit worn and faded, but I sapose that's to be expected.
done some research but can't find anything reliable.
Pics to come!
Thanks all for your time!
 

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Re: My first vintage Beauscher alto- Questions on year and serial #!

Oh yea forgot to mention I snagged it for 30$
 

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Re: My first vintage Beauscher alto- Questions on year and serial #!

Hi there, new member here.
I was at a garage sale this morning and noticed a really old sax.
Upon inspection its a Beauscher alto "true-tone".
The serial numbers are 194278.
Can someone please speculate on the year and possibly value?
It's looks a bit worn and faded, but I sapose that's to be expected.
done some research but can't find anything reliable.
Pics to come!
Thanks all for your time!
Its "Buescher," not Beauscher. Serial number probably late 1925. There are a lot of Buescher S/N sites on the net. I looked at a couple. True Tone with your S/N seem to have stopped in 1925. You have to look at the beginning S/N in '25 then look at the starting S/N's in the next grouping of numbers. There's no telling the value of yours. There was a 1925 TrueTone on ebay a couple weeks ago in good condition that sold for about $350 or thereabout. Your horn is worth exactly what somebody will pay for it. Check ebay for vintage Buescher altos to get an idea of what they sell for and what asking prices are.
 

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Re: My first vintage Beauscher alto- Questions on year and serial #!

I own four Buescher TT's (two sopranos, one alto, and one C Melody), all good players. The one soprano is among the best I've ever played. They date from early 1920's to 1928, by the various serial number lists around. I'm guessing your's is 1925 (no list available now). Assuming all the parts are there, a good overhaul should make this horn play fine.

You didn't tell us what type of saxophone it is. That will have a bearing on it's value. Dave
 

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Re: My first vintage Beauscher alto- Questions on year and serial #!

[] There was a 1925 TrueTone on ebay a couple weeks ago in good condition that sold for about $350 or thereabout. []
That's not so unusual these days for one in good or even better condition, including the later TT's right before the NA horns came out. But you rarely see them go for much more than that unless they're gold plated, ready-to-play, or are really pristine and come with the original case and gear in similar shape. Dollar for vintage-sax dollar, still the best deal going.

But $30.00 is really a steal, long as there aren't hidden problems. You could go crazy on a primo overhaul and it would still be a steal.
 

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Wow thanks for the valuable information.
She deffinatley needs some lovin'.
Although everything looks original, she's deffinatley been played !
Anyway now I just need to find a trustworthy shop to get her playin good.
 

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Re: My first vintage Beauscher alto- Questions on year and serial #!

I own four Buescher TT's (two sopranos, one alto, and one C Melody), all good players. The one soprano is among the best I've ever played. They date from early 1920's to 1928, by the various serial number lists around. I'm guessing your's is 1925 (no list available now). Assuming all the parts are there, a good overhaul should make this horn play fine.

You didn't tell us what type of saxophone it is. That will have a bearing on it's value. Dave
Alto sax.
 

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Wow thanks for the valuable information.
She deffinatley needs some lovin'.
Although everything looks original, she's deffinatley been played !
Anyway now I just need to find a trustworthy shop to get her playin good.
"She," not "it?" Mine's an "it." So's my 1923 silver plated soprano. Its a pretty cool horn, for an "it.' ;-)
 

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That serial number is right about the time they switched to the series III. If it has the front F and roller G# (not the round pearl), you did really well!. Still the neck alone is worth 3-4 times what you paid.
 

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"She," not "it?" Mine's an "it." So's my 1923 silver plated soprano. Its a pretty cool horn, for an "it.' ;-)
I'm a guitarist for almost 20 years.
We refer to our axes as she's.

How much does a typical overhaul run?
I'm guessing pads, springs, and lube?
I inquired at a music shop and they said between 200-300$.
Seems quite high since you could buy a decent brand new sax for that price.

Should I avoid polishing?
The sax has a wicked smell, like old metal that's sat around for too long.
 

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The price of an overhaul (a GOOD one) will be considerably higher than you listed. Some depends on the condition of your horn, the type of pads that are in it now (snap-ins vs. snap-in buds being removed), etc. I don't know of many "decent" new saxophones for $300. A friend of mine who owned a music store a while back took one of those "inexpensive" Chinese saxophones from his inventory, then replaced all the pads and bumpers, etc. He actually made it play decently but it required a total re-do. I played it one day. Nice enough, but nowhere close to $300.00. The best new inexpensive alto I know of is Kessler's house-brand (I've played them, bought one for my grandson a few years ago and he's STILL using it) and it will more than double your pricing. DAVE
 

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all my bueschers are "shes" not "its". It's profane to call a horn you love an "it"
Kudos on the horn!
 

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Good catch at $30.00!
These can be good players, so it is worth investing $ 300 or more ($300 is a good price) in a decent overhaul. It is much more solid and will sound WAY better than a new $300.00 horn.
Usually the overhaul includes complete cleaning and polishing (I am assuming it is silver-plated).
The smell on the horn will be gone, and all you need to worry about is the smell on the case. A search on this forum will help you get rid of that.
If you post pics we can be more specific on the value of the horn and on the work needed (or not).
 

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As already said...if yours has front F and the later style G# key with a roller, you hit the jackpot (well...for True Tone's anyway).

When it comes to polishing, it depends how it's done and actually what finish you have. If your alto is plated, then yes...it could be polished. This is best done with some kind of silver cream polish (brasso and the like are far more abrasive and a No-No :tsk:). But, since you're already going to have it overhauled...this could be done by a tech while they're already working on it. Sometimes they do it for free, sometimes they charge (to really get everything clean, it takes a little while).

If the sax is lacquered or bare brass, then polishing isn't necessarily the way to go. If it's lacquered, polishing only serves to remove lacquer...and if it's bare brass, polishing removes oxidation that actually protects the brass. Now if it is lacquered or bare brass and there are spots of corrosion, those should be taken care of while it's being worked on (generally green is verdigris and red spots are called red rot...both are bad for the sax).
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Overhauls really vary in price. A guy near me charges $150 for alto overhauls, but does just enough to make them playable without any other work (polishing and dent removal are absolutely extra). I also know a place that charges around $1,000 for an alto overhaul. They make the sax as good as new (if not even better).

But price doesn't necessarily indicate quality. There's another tech near me that I've known for years who does alto overhauls for around $300...and he does a GOOD job.

$300 is a good price for an overhaul (provided they do solid work). Honestly, I've never come across a new sax for $300 that's anywhere near decent.
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Things to consider when you're shopping for someone to overhaul your new baby:

If...and this is an if, your sax has all the original snaps (more importantly the spuds that hold them on), you should definitely consider keeping them on the sax. This means either going with metal backed pads made for Bueschers, or having the tech modify other pads to fit. Not every tech will automatically use the original snaps...this is something to ask a tech about when you're considering them. If their automatic response is to grind out the spuds...run fast!

If you're missing snaps, they can be replaced. But if the spuds have been partially or completely ground out (I've had a few that only had a few keys without spuds), then you just about have to go with a regular pad/reso.

The thing about snaps and the spuds that hold them on is that the sax is worth more with them intact. And once the spuds are ground out, there's really no going back.
 
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