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· Registered
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I have a Buescher alto saxophone in possession and I have absolutely no concrete information on this beauty. The serial number is 84xxx and right under it is a fading "20A."

Here are some pics.

The pads are old and unaligned, therefore the sax isn't in proper playing condition. It needs an overhaul; that isn't a surprise. I did try it and I do like the tone that it produces, but I don't find myself playing it because of the feel on my fingers. I absolutely adore my existing Cannonball, sorry Buescher. :twisted:

Now here are my questions. Approximately what year was this saxophone manufactured? Also, is this a beginner horn or is it like a modern pro horn? Finally, how much could this beauty--assuming it's completely overhauled, yadda yadda...--go for?

Thanks so much guys! Looking forward for some feedback.

· Registered
171 Posts
I like my cannonball too but I love my Bueschers.
It takes a little time to adjust switching between the two but I actually prefer the buescher keywork. Always have. In 6th grade, many many years ago, my band director let me play her buescher while my signet was in the shop and I loved the left hand pinky cluster.

Probably made about mid 50s or later. These arn't too sought after so you wouldn't be able to recoup the cost of an overhaul. If your looking to sell it just get it put into playing condition or sell it as is.

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
20,616 Posts
This is another one of those oddball Buescher serial #'s. The horn's #, according to all regular online Buescher sequences, would place it pre-1925...while as Bruce and TNH both correctly note, the details and design clearly are NOT of that era whatsoever.

Unlike Conn or King, nobody has ever bothered to do a survey of Buescher serial # sequences for their Elkhart By Buescher or stencil line of that gives no explanation, unfortunately.

This thread was interesting:

I agree it's likely a '50's horn at the may well be '40's...interesting that "Elkhart by Buescher" engraved 20A and 30A's actually sported a more Aristocrat-esque appearance than 20A/30A's which were not branded "Elkhart". Their other stencils sported much more pared-down keyguards, for instance. (Matter of fact, had you not written 20A, I would have said what you have there IS an Aristocrat).

Some strange things pop up now and again in relation to some of their horns serialed in the 55,XXX-140,XXX range.

This is, by today's standards, at least an intermediate horn (they didn't use such labels back then). Much better than a budget asian brand of today. These were the second-shelf Bueschers, much like the Indianas were to Martin or the Clevelands were to King.

It's market value is probably only around $400usd in good playing and physical condition.

Worth fixing up if you want to keep it and have a cool vintage horn around...but if your inclination is to have a tech fix 'er up and turn it and make yourself a ain't gonna happen. $300-400 worth of tech work could likely get it playing OK (assuming at least SOME pads are still salvageable), but today's market will not support a +$400 or so pricetag afterward.

If you wanna unload her, PM me....I might be interested in purchasing.
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