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Hey Buescher folks,
I may have a chance at picking up a TT for around 200 bucks that looks to be in good condition - hopefully I will actually see and play it this weekend. The big drawback is that it doesn't have the front F, which means it also has a button G# key.

Have any of you guys played modern big band and combo on a TT this old? Is it realistic? At this price, I could have the front F mod done by my tech and not be in too deep on this horn, but I'm torn about that. I honestly don't know how important it would be to me to keep it original.

One last question - if I do end up checking it out this weekend, will my modern Otto Link NY 6 be fine to test it with?
 

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One last question - if I do end up checking it out this weekend, will my modern Otto Link NY 6 be fine to test it with?
Yes to that, imo. I like a HR Otto Link on my TT alto.

I doubt it's a problem not having the front F key, but I understand it's a very easy fix to add one. If the horn is in good shape and you like how it plays, then I wouldn't let the lack of a front F stop me, especially considering it can be added.
 

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A front top F mod will only require the fitment of a single saddle (a small plate to which a pair of pillars are fitted...commonly seen on the palm and side keys) to the body - so if you needed to return the horn to original condition all you'd need to do is have the saddle removed. This would leave a solder mark though.
With a bit of thought it should be quite possible to fashion a saddle that could be held in place with a strap of some kind (as per a ligature).

I'm inclined to think the horn would be worth more with an F key fitted, provided it's done well and matches the rest of the keywork.

Regards,
 

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Hey Buescher folks,
I may have a chance at picking up a TT for around 200 bucks that looks to be in good condition - hopefully I will actually see and play it this weekend. The big drawback is that it doesn't have the front F, which means it also has a button G# key.
For around a couple hundred bucks, you can pick a later one up on Ebay with a front F and roller G#, but it'll need work. If the one you're going to be looking at isn't in playing shape, then I'd pass.
 

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Yep,

Lack of a front F doesn't bother me too much. But the button G# without articulation with low C# does bother me. You might want to look for a Series III TT or later in this same price range.
 

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For a horn without the front F, just finger A2 and add the palm F key = same thing. I have a series III with the front F and roller G# for sale if you are interested. If that horn for $200 plays well it can be a decent buy.
 

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For 200 if it plays I would buy it. I've sold several TTs to local students who are looking for something that sounds better than their current Asian instrument for 3-400.
 

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FWIW, if you want a Buescher soprano, you won't find one with a front F, yet they are sought after horns.
 

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Yep,

Lack of a front F doesn't bother me too much. But the button G# without articulation with low C# does bother me. You might want to look for a Series III TT or later in this same price range.
I don't know of any true tones with an articulated G#, are you saying some do?
 

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Are we talking about an alto?

If so, $200 for one that plays is a pretty good deal (if the pads are on the new side of things, then it's potentially a great deal). If it needs an overhaul, then it might be worthwhile to pass and wait for a playable TT to pop up for sale.

Also, depending on how much your local tech would charge to add front F, it might be less expensive to buy a later TT that already has front F and go from there.

I've never had a lack of front F hold me back in any way while playing in a big band. But I don't consider it a big drawback with any older sax, though some don't feel the same. And some people have an issue with the earlier G# key, but it's just a preference...some acclimate to it much better than others.

If you do buy it, you could always just play it for a while to see if you really wanted to have front F added (if you are concerned about originality). But there were tons of these saxes made, so modifying one to suit your needs isn't such a horrible thing. My take on keeping a TT original VS. modifying is this: If it were in pristine original condition or somehow unique, I would think twice about modifying it (but it's just my preference...some saxes I just like to leave as they were). With most anything else, I wouldn't be too concerned about originality...in fact I have an earlier TT alto in pieces right now, and when it goes back together it likely will be a bit of a frankenbuescher.
 

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FWIW, if you want a Buescher soprano, you won't find one with a front F, yet they are sought after horns.
On alto, it can ease the transition to a higher range.
On soprano, it could open the floodgates to hell...
 

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I must admit though, I haven't found a good F#3 on my soprano without one yet. Fortunately it's not something I use often on sop.
 

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I'm inclined to think the horn would be worth more with an F key fitted, provided it's done well and matches the rest of the keywork.
I agree with this...I don't think it would actually depreciate the value of the horn. You could even pick up a beater Elkhart or some sorta 20A stencil for about $100 and have the tech move the front F from the beater horn to the TTone...

All in all, I bet it wouldn't set you back more than $200 total for the parts horn and the tech work... and you could even then sell the beater, sans its F key, for $50 or so...

But, as noted by others above, if this one isn't in good playing and physical shape to begin with, i.e. it'll need $150-200 of work just to get it playing up and down....

...I would also be inclined to just look for a TT with the front F....it's not like they are hard to find, really...um...like the one I have here which will be up for sale in about 3 weeks........:|
 

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On alto, it can ease the transition to a higher range.
On soprano, it could open the floodgates to hell...
Might even be the root cause of zombies.
 

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To get the same results without the front F, just finger A2 and add the F palm key. Exactly the same as all the front F does is allow the B key and palm F to be opened with one finger. If you need to add the front F to a soprano, find a donor clarinet and use the A throat key and mount with the cop removed and a little engineering. You can epoxy the mount to the body and not have any soldering to do as it doesn't take a lot of force and should be fine. All the key needs to do is hang over the B key and via a slide move the palm F upwards. I am selling a buescher bari that has a great added front F works well.
 

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LOL.... I should have mentioned the horn in question is a tenor.
That changes all the valuations. If it plays, for 200 it is a steal.
 

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LOL.... I should have mentioned the horn in question is a tenor.
Thanks for clearing that up! I does make a difference. I think I'd be more inclined to want a front F key on a tenor than on an alto, but that's just me. In any case it's an easy fix and a Buescher tenor that plays for $200 is a very good deal.

I don't know much about the TT tenors, but I think (not sure so take this as speculation) that the TT altos have a bit better rep than the tenors. The Buescher Aristocrat tenors (series one, Big B/156) are the real gems in the tenor line.
 
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