Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently found a Selmer USA 1256 (ser. # 1066xxx) on ebay which, by the pictures, didn't look to be in too bad a shape. The description mentioned that there were some pieces missing including the neck, mpc and case as well as a couple of dings in the neck that will need to be addressed. The missing pieces were all easily acquired at very little cost and I was able to pick up the sax for slightly over $300. I've talked with my technician who is going to fix the dings and give it a thorough going over to get it set up right. He figures it should not be more than $400. By my calculations, the total I will spend is less than $900 for a bari that will have 98% original lacquer and will be set up the way I want it with a new neck and the mouthpiece I prefer.
I have seen some Selmer Bundy's advertised for $1500 (would probably have to be set up the way I like it) up to $2100 and advertised as totally prepared and ready to play with new case and all. So, what's my problem? I decided to take a gamble and buy the 1256 (this is the one with low Bb) without playing it (for obvious reasons) figuring that, if worse comes to worse, I could always resell it and buy a better bari!
There's not a lot of info about this model. I hear it's a Buescher clone, that it has lousy key work that is fragile, that it has a booming sound and that it is a "worthless lump of metal"(!) Most of this came from posts 5-8 years ago! Can anybody give me some insights into this model? How does it compare to a Model 156 (the one with the low A) or the newer Selmer Bundys that I'm seeing on ebay? I won't be getting mine back from my tech for a couple of months and I am understandably curious as to whether my gamble is a decent one or a real long shot! Any info would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
A horrible baritone saxophone. Bell keywork is almost unusable. The later ones, with more adjusting screws, especially on the low C#, are even worse. Run, do not walk, RUN away. I've been repairing saxes for 35 years, and I hate these baritones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If this bari is so abysmally bad, why would Selmer USA have put their name on it for as long as they did? Can you tell me if this serial # (1066xxx) is a later one or not? Believe me, I'm not dismissing your warning!! I guess I am curious as to what happened with this model. Selmer USA was still putting out a pretty decent "professional" alto and tenor model so it stands to reason that they wouldn't knowingly foist a piece of sh*t baritone model on us! (Doesn't it?) From the very little I have been able to glean, the Model 156 (with the low A) was an even worse choice! I was hoping that the bad keywork was mainly limited to the low A keywork (*sigh) oh well, if this turns out to be as bad as you say, I'm only out about $700. With it in working order I should be able to recoup my money. I'll chalk it up as a lesson learned the hard way! Just out of curiosity, are these based on the Buescher 400 model as I was led to believe? Did they redesign the sax and totally screw it up in the process?? Also, is the Selmer/Bundy bari a better model? For the moment, the verdict is still out but isn't looking too good for the 1256! Anybody else?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
Yes, it started out as the Buescher baritone. The key cups still have the little dimples on the inside that once helped to locate the Buescher snap-on pad spuds. Everything that was changed made the horn worse except that the main body to bell brace got a little stronger. The bell key mechanism is a nightmare - Very heavy springing and difficult action. When it is adjusted perfectly it soon falls out of adjustment simply by playing the instrument. If you have the one piece (original Buescher type) low C# key, you are lucky. The high F pad is not much bigger than the high F tonehole, and it takes some tweaking to get it to cover. Tell your tech to expand the high F pad cup slightly and use a Conn Reso-pad on the high F key. The face of the Conn reso-pad is as large as the external diameter of the pad cup and it helps. Everything else depends on the skill of your technician.
Why did Selmer make the changes to the Buescher design? I don't know. The tenors and altos were much better. Ask the guys wearing suits and ties in the front office. Don't blame the workers in the factory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So, it sounds as if the linkage is "klunky" and easily knocked out of kilter. (Hmmm..... not too promising I'll admit!) Still, I'm not a student slinging this thing around the football field or jam'n in the basketball stands on Friday nights either. I understand that it's sound is pretty meaty! I do thank you for giving me some more to go on! I'll definitely give my tech your recommendations! He's the best in Kansas so he should be able to get it working right. The rest will just have to wait until I see what it plays like! I played on a Buescher 400 Bb bari in high school (never set up to my specs but playable) so I really thought I was getting a good deal at $300... (*sigh). Oh well, we'll see what happens. (I wonder if it's possible to exchange an original Buescher one-piece C# key?) Thanks for the info!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,409 Posts
The sound is meaty! These horns have a legendary low end that will blow out bass bins on a PA system. Saxtech is right, the keywork is clunky. There is no clothes guard behind the lower stack keys - everything catches on the key linkages and bends the keys. A 'The Martin Baritone' is a dream compared to this horn. Still, they play in tune, and if you get a working bari for what you're paying, you did okay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
If this bari is so abysmally bad, why would Selmer USA have put their name on it for as long as they did? Can you tell me if this serial # (1066xxx) is a later one or not? Believe me, I'm not dismissing your warning!! I guess I am curious as to what happened with this model. Selmer USA was still putting out a pretty decent "professional" alto and tenor model so it stands to reason that they wouldn't knowingly foist a piece of sh*t baritone model on us! (Doesn't it?) From the very little I have been able to glean, the Model 156 (with the low A) was an even worse choice! I was hoping that the bad keywork was mainly limited to the low A keywork (*sigh) oh well, if this turns out to be as bad as you say, I'm only out about $700. With it in working order I should be able to recoup my money. I'll chalk it up as a lesson learned the hard way! Just out of curiosity, are these based on the Buescher 400 model as I was led to believe? Did they redesign the sax and totally screw it up in the process?? Also, is the Selmer/Bundy bari a better model? For the moment, the verdict is still out but isn't looking too good for the 1256! Anybody else?
Remember that for years there weren't very many good baritone saxophones at a reasonable price. Conn wasn't making a good one anymore. Perhaps the King was the best for the money in the moderate price range. Keilwerth stencils were available through King and Couf, but were never the mainstream instruments back in the 60s and 70s. Enter Yamaha and suddenly a good bari at a good price. Follow others from Asia that starting making instruments that were better players than the Elkhart products.

The truth was that Elkhart didn't have to make it much better for many years because of the market and competition. If you wanted very good, you got a Selmer Paris. I have been told that many of the Elkhart horns were not made with much profit and Conn and Selmer didn't really even want to make them, they just provided them as a price point. Little incentive to improve at that time. And as for putting a their name on the instrument..., well this is the same company that now calls their student brass instruments "Bach," which is something that Vincent Bach would not have been very happy about. They now have instruments which they do not even make with the name stenciled on them of Selmer, Bach, Buescher etc.

-anchorsax
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
Yet some idiot in the front office at Selmer had to make changes in the admirable Buescher baritone saxophone, enough to destroy the instrument. I've often wanted to meet that Selmer exec in an alley with a brick. Don't take me seriously - I'm against capital punishment.
Selmer spent a lot of money re-tooling a good instrument to make it a bad one. Sorry, but I'd like to interview the workers on the production line when these changes were implemented.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Update: I finally got my bari back from my tech and I was really surprised at what he was able to accomplish! He managed to get out that major ding in the upper curve of the neck and replaced all of the missing keywork (it turns out he had a "parts horn" in the back room which surprised him as much as me!) I would still prefer a keyguard on those long keys (or at least another guide) but I can live with it! Since it's only a low Bb horn, it's keywork isn't nearly as "clunky" as the low A model! I will say that the sound is BIG! Is it a great horn? No, but for $375 initially and $450 to put it to rights.... yeah, it's working just fine! :bluewink:
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top