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Replace "Top Hat & Cane" alto bell?

1123 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bruce bailey
I have a Buescher 400 "Top Hat & Cane" 400 alto. I've had it for years, but haven't played it for a while. I took it out of the case and found the pin broken off the octave key. I wasn't the one who had put it away and someone put it away without a top cap. In any case, got that fixed and had the horn aligned (nothing else). I was thinking of trading it for a bari, but after doing some research I realized that this alto had some problems. First, it had obviously been relacquered at some point, as the etching was a bit indistinct and, worst of all, the silver "Buesher 400" was not on the bell. Also, (and I was aware of this from the beginning), it was obvious the sax had been dropped since the bell rim was flattened (just a little) and the brace is pushed into the bell a bit.

In any case, with all these issue with the bell, I'm wondering, has anyone had any experience with replacing the bell on one of these? Are bells (or parts horns in general) even available for these horns? Is there any techs in the LA/Orange County California who could even do this if it were possible? Thanks for any help.
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It may be more difficult than imagined to find a replacement bell for a TH&C. Besides the silver Buescher 400 script, there is the silver "tone ring" around the underside of the bell lip AND the back-of-the-bell tone holes - NOT your routine alto bell for sure. If a bell replacement is as difficult as I think it is, I'd opt for repairing it, not replacing it.

There are some really good repair-techs in our area. Rheuben Allen, Jim Scimonetti's shop, Baxter-Northrup, and Hornimprovement. I'd give them a call and see what they say. DAVE
Repair. Much easier to straighten than to unsolder and resolder.
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