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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So when Buescher introduced the "400" line in the late '30s there was alto sax, tenor sax, Bb trumpet and cornet, and . . . . . .





Over the years I've had a low-key project to collect the entire original lineup. T-bone is the rarest of them. Now I've got four of the five original horns; all I got to get is the TH&C alto!

This is a 1950 horn; later in the '50s they redesigned it without the slanted braces and offset curves in the bell crook and slide, but added the raised "Buescher 400" logo like on the TH&C horns. Just minor dings in this one, tuning crook isn't stuck, and the slide works fine. All I need is a mouthpiece to become a serious menace.
 

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Ok, I am starting a petition to save the world and keep you from getting a mouthpiece :)

Seriously, one of my neighbors plays T-bone professionally and I could ask her whether she has any mouthpieces she wants to part with. Knowing diddly squat about T-bones, are the MPCs universally fitting? (before I ask)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, I am starting a petition to save the world and keep you from getting a mouthpiece :)

Seriously, one of my neighbors plays T-bone professionally and I could ask her whether she has any mouthpieces she wants to part with. Knowing diddly squat about T-bones, are the MPCs universally fitting? (before I ask)?
Thanks! Should take a standard small-shank tenor bone mouthpiece. But what I would really need is advice - mouthpiece suggestion for (very) casual player, with some trumpet / cornet experience, who would be deploying it in a jazz context.

Also, it's too late to save the world. I already got a soprano sax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool! Now you can play both the Curtis Fuller and the Benny Golson parts.
Benny Golson is a favorite of mine. Underappreciated these days.

When I think "what would I actually like to play on trombone", what comes to mind is something like the trombone break on Count Basie's "Super Chief", or this:


I seriously doubt I'll ever get good enough to play like that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright I got a generic Bach-clone mouthpiece off Amazon for $10.00 and some Trombotine for the slide. Gotta say this is a lot of fun. Not as punishing on the chops as trumpet, either. I like it way more than I expected, I really only bought it b/c of what it is & it was only $50.00. I have nothing to compare it to, but seems to be in much better playing shape than you could expect from a shopgoodwill horn with no case.

However, evidently I am not a menace; I can’t make the neighbor’s dog come out and look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Um guys the trombone situation accelerated:



So in the space of about a month I went from zero to two "400" trombones. What can I say, you don't see them often, and they were cheap. The second one even came with the case & some gear. The bell on the left is the first one I got, the original '30s model. The bell to the right the early '50s re-design. I put my TH&C horn in there out of kindness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Hornlip:
How the trombone coming along? Those are some beautiful old 'bones on your photos!
Still sawing at it. Mostly I've been playing the older one & the question at first was "is the horn terrible, or am I terrible?" It was hard for me to say b/c I had zero trombone experience. By now I've improved enough to figure out it was mostly me that was terrible. Progress!
 

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Great! The trombone was my favorite brass in the brass classes I took in undergrad music education back in 1972. Enjoy!

In a search today, I found another Buescher 400 'bone for sale, this time in the horizontal Buescher lettering of the early and mid 1960's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Great! The trombone was my favorite brass in the brass classes I took in undergrad music education back in 1972. Enjoy!

In a search today, I found another Buescher 400 'bone for sale, this time in the horizontal Buescher lettering of the early and mid 1960's.
The difference between the first (30's design) and second ('50s design) 400 trombone is that the later version has a bigger bore and wider bell. I have learned that was the trend back then. Unless it's got a different model number I would guess the '60s 400 trombone is identical to the '50s model with less of a drop in overall quality than in the saxes of the same period.
 

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I would agree, Hornlip, if only because the relative sophistication of the trombone's working parts is much simpler than a saxophone's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would agree, Hornlip, if only because the relative sophistication of the trombone's working parts is much simpler than a saxophone's.
They are more robust in general than I would have imagined. Something else I've learned is that it's relatively hard to wear out the slide on a trombone, so if a slide isn't stuck & there aren't obvious dents / damage to the slide, it's probably basically okay though the inner slides may need some alignment.

Also, I realized today that I have another way to answer "how's the trombone coming": I'm beginning to think about having it's minor pings, dings, and the slight bend in the bell straightened out, which will inevitably cost more than I paid for the horn.
 

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Hornlip said:
I'm beginning to think about having it's minor pings, dings, and the slight bend in the bell straightened out, which will inevitably cost more than I paid for the horn.


That proves that you lucked up on the trombones for next-to-nothing! If you had found a vintage pro sax for next-to-nothing, you would be happy to have any work done that it needed to make it sing again.
Treat your pro 'bones with the same respect, and get their imperfections corrected! You will be glad you did!
 
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