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I have found a decent 12M bari.The seller,whom I have done business before & whom I trust,is getting rid of all his instruments and wants to include an excellent 1949 Top Hat & Cane in the deal.The price is reasonable but I have 2 other tenors.I also have a 1950 400 alto.I have never played the tenor version.In researching opinions USA Horn
refers to the 400's as having a "Gut Bucket Sound"What in the hell
does this mean?My alto can be played with great volume but can also be played sweetly.Are the tenors a different animal?I think I can sell it for what I am paying and just keep the bari but then again I may keep it.
Any opinions of the tone quality of this instrument?Gracias
 

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TH&C Tenor Sound...

That "gut-bucket" description is a bit weird. I owned and played a '49 TH&C tenor for about 6 months. I used Morgan mouthpieces with it, a 7E excalibur and a 8M. Both mpcs seemed to work with the horn. To me it had a dark, rich, spread sound. If there is a "gut-bucket" sound, that would be a King Super 20, from what I've tried. The TH&C is definitely more refined. I guess results would vary depending on your mpc and tonal concept. If you know you like the ergos I would go for it. I sold my TH&C because I had a good MKVI tenor, and I wanted a similar Alto. It was a tough decision, as I really liked the TH&C. Two things put me into moving it on. The ergos were just a bit more comfortable on the VI, and the versatility of the VI over the TH&C.
I hope that helps!
 

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My TH&C tenor has a spread sound that has more brightness to it than my VI tenor. I've played it in all settings using hard rubber Link type pieces. Either modern hard rubber links or Morgan L's. Both work well. I've also found that a number of older style large chamber pieces work well on the horn for a more subtle classical sound.
 

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I have been playing my 342xxx TH&C since april and I definatly LOVE IT...
The ergos definatly take getting used to,especially compared to my Ref54 tenor but the sound is incredible,im playing with a JJ DV NY and just love the big fat bottom and the intonation is spot on as well...the only gripe i have is the offset strap hook which because I play standing can become a drag.Im a R&R player and have pretty much decided on having sarge remove the snap-ins and going with better pads and larger Resos...
 

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"Gut Bucket Sound" is a piece of metaphorical fluff in my opinion, probably written by someone who's rarely played any Buescher sax for any great length ot time, who thinks they are all a bit "rough". As you know, that's not the case. I would go by your existing experience of the 400 alto and get a play test of the Top Hat. Even if you're not totally convinced by the play test, I still think you should buy the TH tenor if it's in reasonable condition, especially if the price is good. As others have said, the TH with the right m/p should be eminently suitable for whatever music you want to play on it. If you can't get on with it, others will jump at the chance to buy it from you.
 

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BigHunk said:
I...have pretty much decided on having sarge remove the snap-ins and going with better pads and larger Resos...
YIKES! Get a new mouthpiece or a new horn instead. I'm not of the school that says a Buescher doesn't sound good without the snaps, but removing them from an original horn is like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. And it won't help the value of the horn in the market place.
 

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lamar reeves said:
... and wants to include an excellent 1949 Top Hat & Cane in the deal.The price is reasonable but I have 2 other tenors.I also have a 1950 400 alto.I have never played the tenor version.In researching opinions USA Horn
refers to the 400's as having a "Gut Bucket Sound"What in the hell
does this mean?My alto can be played with great volume but can also be played sweetly....
Any opinions of the tone quality of this instrument?Gracias
I never played a TH&C alto, but am very happy with my TH&C tenor.
Judging from what you say about your alto, I'd say you can expect the same from the tenor. It can be sweet if you want it to, but wake up the neighbours across the street too :D
But it does NOT sound rough or "gut bucket". Always full/fat/lush or whatever word you want to use.
 

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saintsday said:
YIKES! Get a new mouthpiece or a new horn instead. I'm not of the school that says a Buescher doesn't sound good without the snaps, but removing them from an original horn is like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. And it won't help the value of the horn in the market place.
Referring to Big Hunk's idea of removing the snaps, and getting "better pads...."

Big Hunk, you don't need to do that for a R&R sound, nor do you need another horn! In fact changing the pads probably won't have a huge effect (or it might have a negative effect on the sound) and will only devalue the horn seriously. As saintsday says, a different mpc would be a MUCH better and more effective way to change the sound if that's what you're after. Of course, as has been stated over and over on this site, the sound is mostly up to you. Slap an RPC high baffle mpc on there and it will scream when you want it to. I'm sure there are many other mpcs that will do the trick also. I'm not familiar with the JJ DV NY mpc. Jody makes wonderful mpcs, but the ones I've tried would not be my first choice for R&R.
 

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Well sarge can replace the pads without removing the Posts in the pad cup.He basically modifies new pads to fit the snap-in pad cups,,,Im was sure this would bring out some comments concerning this process. i do agree it would de-value the horn to remove the posts but i would like some modern pads and bigger resos,and i dont EVER plan on selling the horn so thanks for the input...
 

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lamar: I wish people would make me take saxes for next to nothing: what a steal!

BigHunk: I really don't believe this. share the concern of the three very knowledgeable posters - JL, saintsday and Dave Dix - and doubt if you would get a better sound by making the changes you are thinking of.
 

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Playing Bueschers with and without snap in pads, the difference is that snap in pads give a better feel to the keywork and balance to the horn, better intonation and last for years. Non snap in pads always put the balance of the horn out, adversely affect intonation and devalue your horn.

The TH&C, contrary to popular myth isn't the be all and end all of Buescher tenors, the Series I aristocrat will actually play louder, more in tune and work with a variety of mpcs far more readily than a TH&C will. The TH&C and the Big B (large Bell models) have a less focused sound, are harder to centre the pitch in all register, don't have as good an altissimo response nor as slick a keywork as on the series I.

If you want volume from your TH&C then look into different mpc set-ups. The older R&R sound was achieved by using a Brilhardt with a plastic reed. The Quantum and a stiff reed will give you a very flexible sound, the bigger tip opening will mean more air but you will be able to overdrive your sound and get that edge to your sound.

I tend to prefer a Martin for RnB, Rock, Soul or Fusion playing with a modified NY 10* Link and Plasticover #4. Intonation is good, projection is exceptional and sound versatility is effortless. The down side is that it requires a lot of air.

You may want to consider the Brilhardt levellaire, Ponzol M2, Guardala SKRB (very much one sound), Quantum, Rovner Deep V model, Radicalised Dukoff and a Barone Trad contemporary.
 
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