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Today, I went to Sam Ash and tried out a couple altos. Since I left my gear at home, I had to use a store mouthpiece, lig, and reed :cry: . The setup was a vandoren al3, a rico #3 reed, and a rovner dark lig. First off, I played a late 24xxxx something tru-tone. To my surprise, it was stuffy, more out of tune than my yas-275, and had none of that characteristic buescher sound everyone talks about. Next was a 33xxxx (i think) something buescher 140. It was slightly less stuffy, slightly less out of tune (but still very), and I couldn't hear the straight, clean, buescher sound (very fuzzy). Next, the clerk went back and pulled out a Selmer SBA. It was still stuffy, slightly out of tune, but I could hear that french selmer sound pushing through through the stuffiness. I told him this, and he said that I would love a Cannonball (which I have a slight bias against). He pulled out a black nickel (I forget what model) alto. It was loud, and spoke easily, but was still out of tune. He then told me that he (coincidentally) happened to play for Cannonball :shock: . I thanked him, and I left. My question is, why were the bueschers stuffy and out of tune? The stuffiness might be explained by the reed and the fact that the lig wasnt stretched out, but the cannonball wasn't stuffy (and even the selmer was :shock: ). Also, I don't know the explanation for the out of tune-ness. It may have been the mouthpiece, but I personally play an al3, so it may have just been a bad one. Next time I go back, I'll play it with my setup, which isn't much different (al3, java 2 1/2, rovner light. btw i know the javas don't really work, but they give a nice bright sound; I plan on switching in a couple months) My setup has a nice, light, french sound on my 275, so it might work on the bueschers.

Anyways, sorry about the long post but thanks in advance for your answers.
 

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I am guessing it could be the overall combination of your set up. I would go back and try them out again (if you are looking) with the set up you would be using.

~Carbs
 

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You weren't using a set up you were used to. I'm going to assume that the reed you were using was too hard. Bueschers are anything BUT stuffy. Give me a buescher over any modern horn. Anyday.

It also could be the set up of the horns that contributed to its stuffiness.
 

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k, maybe next time I'll try a selmer solist or something since I've heard small chambered mpc's are bad on bueschers (al3's are small chambered)
EDIT: anyone have any recommendations on good (not too expensive) classical mpcs on bueschers?
 

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btw, the reed wasn't too hard, I used to use vandoren classics 3's and 3 1/2's, but I switched to softer javas for the sound and the consistency.
 

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one horn might be stuffy but two and three! It has to be set up and i am suprised the store didn't offer you a different mpc to try
Dave
 

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Dave dix said:
one horn might be stuffy but two and three! It has to be set up and i am suprised the store didn't offer you a different mpc to try
Dave
On top of that, they were all out of tune? Again, maybe one out of tune, but four different models indicates something amiss that isn't the horns. To suggest an overly obvious possibility, are you sure you had the mpc pushed to right place on the cork? The Bueschers especially shouldn't give you any intonation problems (for a sax).

The stuffiness would likely be the reed. Go in there with your own mpc and a well-broken in reed and give it another try.
 

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my Buescher 140 alto is easy to tune; it's one of the easiest altos to tune I've played if not the easiest.
 

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Certainly playing a set-up that is not your on own will not yield predictable results. However, I don't think it's that odd for a player using a YA 275 to play a Buescher true tone and say it's stuffy. even the later Bueschers are stuffy compared to Yamahas, they seem to be less free blowing with more resistance. this is why so many folks, myself included, like them.
 

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Bring your own sax with you, not just the mouthpiece, next time. Also, you stated all the vintage saxes sounded stuffy while the Cannonball didn't. This seems to indicate poorly set up saxophones by the technician, while the Cannonball may have come from the factory in better shape. Let us know when you try again :)
 

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MusicMedic said:
Certainly playing a set-up that is not your on own will not yield predictable results. However, I don't think it's that odd for a player using a YA 275 to play a Buescher true tone and say it's stuffy. even the later Bueschers are stuffy compared to Yamahas, they seem to be less free blowing with more resistance. this is why so many folks, myself included, like them.
I thought that this was sort of the point with Bueschers as well. You have to learn to work with the resistance and it eventually helps with control. This is also why so many people seem to love to play them with large chambered (think Rascher) mouthpieces; these add more resistance. It's also why most French/American classical players have so much trouble with them.

BTW, I've owned a few Bueschers, and playing them is a very different (but not better/worse) experience than playing "modern" (post Mark VI) horns.
 

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J.Max said:
I thought that this was sort of the point with Bueschers as well. You have to learn to work with the resistance and it eventually helps with control.
This may be true for the altos. I have a TT alto and it has some resistance, but then all altos feel "resistant" to me. The tenors are another matter. Both of my Buescher tenors (a "series 1" Aristocrat and a 156 Aristocrat) are noticeably less resistant than my MKVI. The earlier 'Crat is more resistant than the 156, which is the most free-blowing tenor I've ever played. So you can't over-generalize.
 

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I'm using Buescher True Tones (Alto, Tenor, Soprano) and they play in tune. One thing you should have in mind about these saxophones is they are very sensible to mouthpiece changes. There's a lot of mouthpieces which didn't work for me and a lot which worked. I think they are very different when comparing with modern saxophones like Yamaha. I played Yamahas 62 (Alto and tenor) for a long time and they're not more in tune than a well regulated True Tone.
 

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JL said:
This may be true for the altos. I have a TT alto and it has some resistance, but then all altos feel "resistant" to me. The tenors are another matter. Both of my Buescher tenors (a "series 1" Aristocrat and a 156 Aristocrat) are noticeably less resistant than my MKVI. The earlier 'Crat is more resistant than the 156, which is the most free-blowing tenor I've ever played. So you can't over-generalize.

I was thinking of the altos...I've actually never played a Buescher tenor. (Strange too, I've played a True Tone soprano, bari, and bass and Aristocrat and Elkhart altos, but never a tenor. Go figure.)
 

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J.Max said:
I was thinking of the altos...I've actually never played a Buescher tenor.
If you get a chance, definitely try one of the tenors, especially the Aristocrats or 400 "TH&C." I've never played a TT tenor, so can't speak to those, but the 'Crats are pretty amazing. As good as the altos & sopranos are, I think the Buescher tenors are the real jewels of the bunch. But then, I'm mostly a tenor player.
 

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JL said:
If you get a chance, definitely try one of the tenors, especially the Aristocrats or 400 "TH&C." I've never played a TT tenor, so can't speak to those, but the 'Crats are pretty amazing. As good as the altos & sopranos are, I think the Buescher tenors are the real jewels of the bunch. But then, I'm mostly a tenor player.

I've actually heard that the TH&C tenors are awesome...I need to try one. Of course, I've actually only ever owned two tenors: a Mark VII and my Keilwerth SX-90R.
 

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J.Max said:
I've actually heard that the TH&C tenors are awesome...
True. So are the Aristocrats. Search back through the Buescher threads and you'll see how folks feel about them. But really you have to play a few for yourself to find out.

I'm back (yet again!) on my 156 'Crat after playing the MKVI for several gigs. The Buescher never ceases to amaze me, especially the fact that it just seems to outplay the VI and every other tenor I've tried. I'm talking tone, flexibility, ease of play, and TONE. I might be lucky and have an especially good one, who knows?

Sorry to derail the thread to tenors. I know this should be about altos, and Buescher altos are certainly great horns.
 

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You know, it should really be hard to determine whether a horn plays in or out of tune until you've been playing for a little while and everything gets warmed up. I 'll have to agree with the majority that it sounds like it's your setup. The truetone definitely should not sound stuffy. Haven't played on the Cannonballs, don't know what one should expect on those. Really, when you're going to the music shop to try out a horn or two you need to bring your own piece, along with a reed that has been conditioned for play. Not all reeds play that great straight out of the box.
 
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