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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys, well i've been playing alto since 8th grade, which makes it about 10 years now. but i'm now interested in getting a tenor but have never been too familiar with all the different brands out there, whats good, whats not, etc.

i'm eyeing this 1927 Buescher but dont know if it's a good purchase or not.

this is the description on it:

push pads intact
Nickel Silver
Original Martin Case
The slide mechanism is missing on one of the locks
No Dents
Serial # 223098
Needs the small mouth piece

what would you guys recommend? yay or nay?
i dont know what a horn like this would normally go for, but i'm focusing on this one because the auction is pretty cheap right now. I dont know how high the bids can go up on one like these so I dont even know if i'm getting in over my head just yet. i'm willing to spend about $500 if i need to. Also, i dont know how much that slide mechanism (which i have no idea what they're referring to, i cant think of my alto having one of these) will set me back.
one last question, roughly how much do new pads run? just in case...

i'd appreciate any help you guys can give me. thanks.
 

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A Buescher would be a great choice but you haven't given us enough info about the horn you are considering. Pictures would be helpful. The slide mechanism reference is likely to one of the case latches. Depending on the amount of brain death of the seller, the small mouthpiece could refer to the neck.

IF it is a Buescher True Tone, it is unlikely that it it nickel. Silver plate over brass would be common. It could also be keyed to C rather than Bb and still be advertised as a tenor.

Your budget of 500 would about cover the cost of the overhaul the horn is likely to need.

IF you can take a tenor playing friend and try the horn, and IF it is a Bb instrument, and IF it plays decently, then <500 is a bargain.
 

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AS the seller to measure the body. A tenor will be at least 28" without the neck and if it is 24-26'', it would be a C Melody. I have never seen a Buescher in nickle but sellers usually think satin silver IS nickel.
 

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That slide mechanism would worry me. I have no idea what it refers to, but vintage parts are not easy to replace. Make sure it's an easy part to replace or else you'll be in an unwanted situation.
 

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Dweekie said:
That slide mechanism would worry me. I have no idea what it refers to, but vintage parts are not easy to replace. Make sure it's an easy part to replace or else you'll be in an unwanted situation.
I think it refers to the case lock; the slide being the part that releases the latch when the button is slid to the side.

Last time I played one of these tenors, it didn't seem a good match for a high baffle mouthpiece. Not sure what you're planning to use on it saxtunes, but you might want to look into what others use with these tenors.
 

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Also, I think you meant to say you are stepping DOWN to tenor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
BobbyC said:
Also, I think you meant to say you are stepping DOWN to tenor.
oh snap! i say step up because i remember trying a tenor back when i was 14 and i couldnt get much sound out of it since i was still a bit scrawny. thats the memory that's stuck with me... haha


anyway here are the pictures from the auction:







the seller is from new jersey and being that i'm in california, theres no way for me to check it out first.
by 'little mouth piece' he actually meant, the mouth piece, since you can see the neck is there. might need a new cork though.

as for the mouthpiece i'll be using on it, i have no idea really. i guess i can look into that too, i hadn't really thought of it just yet.
 

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BobbyC said:
Also, I think you meant to say you are stepping DOWN to tenor.
Tonally yes. But overall it's a step up, lol.

Saxtunes, I think you can pretty much assume you'll be spending $500 to get it in playing condition (unless you're very lucky). From the seller's description, I'd say they know nothing about saxophones. If you can pick it up for a "song" you might score. Just for reference you can pick up a TT tenor in near perfect condition for around $1200-1400, with a trial period from a dealer. Go here to see a couple of examples for $1400:

http://vintagesax.com/tenor.html
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i wish i could fork out that much for a sax right now. thing is i hardly ever play now so my alto just sits for months and months at a time. every once in a while i'll play at church or just mess around at home. i dont want to pay too much if i wont be using it all that often. however, if i get something nice and something i've been wanting for a while like a tenor, then i might use it more often.
 

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I am less convinced by TT tenors than altos, but then that is me.

Plenty of work in this one, but, cleaned up with new pads, it should be a nice sax - provided it is Bb of course.

Just on a point of detail: Buescher stopped making saxes in nickle plate in about 1922 except to special order. This one is silver plate, not nickle.
 

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bmsj said:
I am less convinced by TT tenors than altos, but then that is me.
.
Yeah, I have a TT alto and it's definitely a winner, but I've never tried the TT tenor. I do own 2 Aristocrat tenors, and the Aristocrat tenors of the '30s, 40's, & early '50s are such fabulous horns, that they probably overshadow the earlier TT models.

Saxtunes, definitely make sure it's a Bb tenor (not a C melody). Your point about having a horn that you really like and want to play is an important one. It's pretty tough to find a good tenor in the price range you seem to be considering, but who knows, that TT may be a real "diamond in the rough." good luck on it.
 

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Hi Saxtunes,
sounds like this is on ebay? so here's what I can share about some of my Buescher ebay experiences.
I bought a true tone alto 1927 193xxx for $400 Aus. In great cond & plays beautifully with nothing to spend. (but no mth pce in the deal)
I bought a 1967 400 tenor for $520 US - also plays beautifully, nothing to spend or adjust & includes HR mth pce.
On the downside I bought a C melody (1922) for $120 US which looked great in the photos - no dings, all original with mth pce & extras - but pads need a complete replacement + various adjustments. (maybe not worth it)
The thing is I have other playing saxes & like collecting so I can afford the odd one that needs fixing.
If you only have a very limited budget then you probably don't want to end up with a 'fixer upper'. The photos & answers can be very misleading as to the actual playability of the horn.
You can get vintage bargains but maybe you're safer getting a 60's 400 tenor that will still sound great but is not a 'real' collectable & therefore will be cheaper. (I'd figure on $500 - $800 for a 60's / 70's 400 tenor off ebay)
good luck , buyer beware! & remember to cost in the price of a mth pce!
 

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Hi Saxtunes,
sounds like this is on ebay? so here's what I can share about some of my Buescher ebay experiences.
I bought a true tone alto 1927 193xxx for $400 Aus. In great cond & plays beautifully with nothing to spend. (but no mth pce in the deal)
I bought a 1967 400 tenor for $520 US - also plays beautifully, nothing to spend or adjust & includes HR mth pce.
On the downside I bought a C melody (1922) for $120 US which looked great in the photos - no dings, all original with mth pce & extras - but pads need a complete replacement + various adjustments. (maybe not worth it)
The thing is I have other playing saxes & like collecting so I can afford the odd one that needs fixing.
If you only have a very limited budget then you probably don't want to end up with a 'fixer upper'. The photos & answers can be very misleading as to the actual playability of the horn.
You can get vintage bargains but maybe you're safer getting a 60's 400 tenor that will still sound great but is not a 'real' collectable & therefore will be cheaper. (I'd figure on $500 - $800 for a 60's / 70's 400 tenor off ebay)
good luck , buyer beware! & remember to cost in the price of a mth pce!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
hey there guys, yea this is an ebay auction (sorry i thought i had mentioned it before).

i asked the seller to measure the sax and he says it measures 29". i'm thinking of just letting that one go and actually trying to buy a different one i just found.

so change of plans i guess. here is the description of the other tenor i just found:
ebay auction said:
Buescher Elkhart Ind Vintage Tenor Saxophone app. 1936
Vintage Buescher True Tone Elkhart Ind.Tenor Saxophone, just fully re done no work required. This sax sounds amazing and works perfectly. It is in great shape , it does have a very small weld on one key and the neck and the pictures show all other condition of this great instrument. , Serial # 65588

On Sep-28-07 at 08:09:06 PDT, seller added the following information:

I found out a date for this instrument thanks to a very kind ebayer and another local saxspert! This is a True Tone Series 2 Circa 1920 . It also was re padded ( and other aspects restored completely ) re done last year and then stored and un used completely since it's refurbishment. The work was done by an expert who maintains the Royal Canadian Orchestra's instruments in Ottawa Ontario Canada. He valued the Horn at approx $2500- $4500
so like it says, he originally put that it was a 1936 sax but then later corrects it by saying its a 1920 sax. which one is it? also, there's a couple welds on the neck and a weld on one of the keys. he hasnt posted a picture of the weld on the key though. these are the pics provided.



welds on the neck:






so far the auction is at around 200 with 2 days left, so i'm hoping it stays low and depending on your guys input/opinions, i'll hopefully buy this horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i dont get it...

do tenors have extra keys? i havent been around a tenor since that time in high school, so i've never really noticed if tenors are built that different from altos.
 

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Some... actually, few... True Tone tenors before around the upper 190K serial number range had the front F key (the pearl or lever above the B key that opens the palm F key). Before that, they were special orders (or just lacking in the earlier models... which this one is). Most players find this crucial for altissimo and alternate fingerings. You can always have one added, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
oh ok. well i dont think i've ever used that little guy before so i dont think it would be that much of a problem.

what about those welds, do they pose a problem? can the sound/quality be altered by those?
 

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saxtunes said:
oh ok. well i dont think i've ever used that little guy before so i dont think it would be that much of a problem.

what about those welds, do they pose a problem? can the sound/quality be altered by those?
Saxtunes, you probably WILL want to use that little key in the future, once you start playing altissimo. I know, you can get the altissimo range without it, but the front F key is very useful for certain fingerings.

That's definitely a pre-'30s tenor. 1920 is probably about right. If I were you I'd look for a '30s-'40s Aristocrat. Save up a few more bucks and get something you'll really get into playing.
 
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