Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With good intentions I purchased for my son a Buescher true tone alto 1929 model. I thought I did good. At least until I talked to my local repair guru. Now I'm looking for a source for
pads, a source for snap resonators, and apparently I need a mouthpiece that either came with the horn or a modern equivalent. My question is, do I pay to have the studs ground down
and eliminate the problem once and for all or do I pursue this lofty goal of keeping the horn original. He already has a Keilwerth St-90 (czech version) , and a Martin Indiana Deluxe.
I'm trying to provide him with a reasonable vintage sax collection rather than the modern stuff. I also want him to be able to play symphonic as well as jazz. HELP!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
1. I would try to keep it original.
2. An Otto Link "Reso chamber" alto mouthpiece should work well with that horn when it's in good adjustment.
3. I would contact a guy like Matt Stohrer about an overhaul and/or the parts needed, I like to use someone who has a lot of experience with vintage horns like this and he is one of my favorite techs.

Your son doesn't seem to be in desperate need of a sax so I would take the time to get it done in a way that maintains the original design concept. Grinding out the snap-in buds on a Buescher is like installing "Microsoft" software into a Mac.

Good luck...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,289 Posts
It doesn't matter, in MY view. Some are purists and insist the horn be restored to its original condition. Others are a bit more flexible and can (will) restore it any way you want it.

I tell you this as the present and past owner of several TrueTones (sopranos, altos, C-Mel tenors). I've had them both ways (with and without snap-ins), had them overhauled both ways, and frankly there are other reasons why they play so darned good, rather than the presence or absence of snap-in pads.

Many repair techs will want to use something other than merely snapping the pads into place anyway. I had Rheuben Allen restore my '25 TT alto and it is a beaut. I don't really know what he did but it sure plays great. My '28 TT soprano is a superb horn and it had regular pads installed and I think the guy who did it kept the spuds - at least that was what I was told when I recently had a pad replaced.

Value? Face it, these horns don't command what they are worth even if they are original. I never bought a saxophone as an investment, I bought them to play. Make the TT PLAY and you won't regret it.

I'm sorry to upset the purists on this issue, but I just don't agree that keeping the horn as original is necessary. Whichever way you go, your son will most likely end up with a wonderful old horn that will outplay any of his classmates YAS23's or whatever and be a discussion-topic wherever he goes. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
26,274 Posts
... and apparently I need a mouthpiece that either came with the horn or a modern equivalent.
Your guru is wrong here as well. These altos are very mouthpiece friendly. With an original Buescher mouthpiece, the horn might sound as if it's being played through a victrola. A good Meyer type is all your son needs with this horn. No wild goose chase necessary.

Any tech who wants to charge you to grind out the snap-in spuds is one to avoid. What he's basically doing is charging you a premium to make his job easier in replacing the pads. Some techs will even sell the spuds they remove to others wishing to restore their Buescher horns. If you truly want this horn to be a vintage highlight for your son's collection, then don't ruin what makes it truly unique... for whatever reason.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,086 Posts
I would go with the snaps (easy to find) and any modern mouthpiece will work. Find another tech and go with one here at SOTW if needed.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
First, don't fault the "guru" too much. Most techs I've met have never even worked on a real Buescher and most just think they are early Bundys. It's also my experience that most techs trained on modern Yamaha and Selmer saxes will often set the pad heights too low on a Buescher. They just don't seem to understand the design.

That said, grinding down the pips in order to use standard pads is a bad idea. It would be like pulling all of the emblems off of a 1965 Ford Mustang. If you want a real Buescher, then you should want the special Buescher features.

You really have two choices. My first and best recommendation is to go buy a good used Yamaha sax for your kid and then resale the Buescher either here on SOTW or on eBay where there is a good pool of buyers for vintage saxes. I bought my own kids Yamaha instruments because they are well built, play well and in-tune, are usually reasonably priced, and because schools and teachers like and readily accept them. My kids can always buy themselves vintage US made saxes later as adults when they are no longer in an academic setting.

If you decide you really want the Buescher for you kid, you are going to have to find a tech that knows how to work on them. Luckily, there are a bunch of them right how on SOTW. Just start a thread to solicit that service, and you will likely get many offers. HoneyJ and Horn Fixer are two techs that I have personal experience with here. There are many others here with great reputations too.

PS: Almost all popular modern mouthpieces play fine on most Buescher saxophones. The baritones may be a little picky but I've never had an issue on the altos and tenors.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
I'm not sure where you are in OK., but if you want to drive down to Dallas and visit David Schottle at David's Musical Instrument repair, he'll give you sound advice and do a good job reasonably priced. Check the link below and give him a call.

http://davidsinstruments.com/
 

·
Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
First, don't fault the "guru" too much. Most techs I've met have never even worked on a real Buescher and most just think they are early Bundys. .
Really???!!!!

I am not slamming you, Enviro, but TT altos are incredibly common horns. I would bet all reasonably experienced techs in the UK would have come across a few and even more so in the US. No? :)

I'm afraid I go with the "get a new tech" advice.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
Really???!!!!

I am not slamming you, Enviro, but TT altos are incredibly common horns. I would bet all reasonably experienced techs in the UK would have come across a few and even more so in the US. No? :)

I'm afraid I go with the "get a new tech" advice.
While True Tones are very common on eBay and at estate sales, they are very rarely seen in public schools. Other than one old beat up bari, I never even saw one back when I was in school in the late 1979's and early 80's. Many band teachers today will not even let student use these great old saxes. They will often send home a list of "approved" brands that parents are to buy from. This list usually includes Yamaha, Jupiter, and a few other well-know brands that are mostly sold by local and state-wide shops on rental-purchase plans. Some colleges will also turn their collective noses up at old vintage saxes.

And since techs work on student saxophones 99% of the time, that seems to be what they know. This often seems especially true of the younger techs I've seen. There's always some delightful exceptions to this, but it's generally the rule as far as my experience goes.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
33,264 Posts
That said, grinding down the pips in order to use standard pads is a bad idea. It would be like pulling all of the emblems off of a 1965 Ford Mustang. If you want a real Buescher, then you should want the special Buescher features.
Love the Mustang analogy. Those were pretty poor drivers in stock form - heavy steering, weak brakes, etc. I guess I'm more of an iconoclastic hod-rodder than a Concours collector.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,990 Posts
I would concur that the tech who is wholly unfamiliar with pro vintage horns (including Buescher snap in pads) is more in the school band/student instrument "put a band aid on it and send it out the door" category and not the sort of repair professional I would want working on my horn.

If he is advising you to remove the snap studs due to a personal,experienced opinion on the matter, he should have explained the pros and cons of removing vs. restoring the horn to it's original configuration at the very least. And why is he asking YOU to source the readily available Buescher style pads?

Some will say this is a harsh generalization, but I think it pans out to be true nonetheless.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,151 Posts
I've owned a '29 TT alto since high school (over 40 years!). It was my first horn and while I've briefly owned some newer altos, including a Yamaha Custom, I've since sold the newer altos and still have the TT. It has the best tone of any alto I've tried. I really think the great tone quality of that alto kept me in the game early on when I was first learning. So I'd suggest getting it fixed by a good tech who knows Bueschers and it should be a great horn for your son. I mostly play tenor now, but I'll never get rid of that TT alto.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
33,264 Posts
And why is he asking YOU to source the readily available Buescher style pads?
All the rest aside, this is likely a clue that he'd really rather not have to work on the horn.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
While True Tones are very common on eBay and at estate sales, they are very rarely seen in public schools. Other than one old beat up bari, I never even saw one back when I was in school in the late 1979's and early 80's. Many band teachers today will not even let student use these great old saxes. They will often send home a list of "approved" brands that parents are to buy from. etc
Ok, that is interesting. Thanks for the explanation. I still tend to go with the "get a new tech" consensus but what you're saying does add context to the OP's situation.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,289 Posts
I forgot to mention the mouthpiece issue when I posted above . . . put me in the group that says no need for a vintage mouthpiece. I have used a variety of modern mouthpieces on my TT alto (and soprano for that matter) and they work beautifully. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,086 Posts
If you are going to grind out the spuds, then just get a modern horn or a non-Buescher and forget about the vintage experience. NOW to contradict myself, I just spent the last 2 hours grinding out the spuds on a Martin soprano that had the "never-leak" swiveling idea that lasted about 6 months. For this horn, I don't have any reservations as it was an uncommon experiment.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
33,264 Posts
I just spent the last 2 hours grinding out the spuds on a Martin soprano that had the "never-leak" swiveling idea that lasted about 6 months. For this horn, I don't have any reservations as it was an uncommon experiment.
<ackkkkkkkkkk, sputter> Your "uncommon" is another person's "rare"!

Bring on the power tools. :twisted:

<toggle SARCASM: OFF>
 

·
Just a guy who plays saxophone.
Joined
·
3,831 Posts
I'm not sure where you are in OK., but if you want to drive down to Dallas and visit David Schottle at David's Musical Instrument repair, he'll give you sound advice and do a good job reasonably priced. Check the link below and give him a call.

http://davidsinstruments.com/

Wow, I used to live in Dallas, I was thinking the same thing. If it is reasonable to drive to Dave's place just a little north of Dallas, I would give him a call. Maybe a forum member from Oklahoma could recommend someone in-state as well?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,286 Posts
Find a tech who can and does appreciate a vintage horn to do the work, and do it NOW.
Grind out the snaps, find your own pads, get an original or equivelant mouthpiece....
Not the kind of tech I would want working on any of my vintage saxophones.

I've got a Buescher 400 bari with the snaps intact. My tech took a look and stated "You don't want to remove these. "
I said, "No, I do not. I'd prefer to keep it as original as possible."
He said it would take a day to get the snap in pads I needed and the horn should be a beast when I got it back.
THAT'S the kind of tech you want working on your alto.
No problems using a 'modern' mouthpiece with it either. :)
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top