Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have the opportunity to purchase an Aristocrat 654XXX for $400 CDN/$315 USD which (according to the serial lists I've seen) seems to be c.1975-6. It is in excellent condition, a closet queen, and comes with a Brilhart MP. I haven't played it yet because some of the corks between the keys and body are missing and the repair shop (where it's on consignment) are replacing them over the next week before I try it out. However, it isn't being overhauled and will likely need future work. I should add, it is the design where the B flat is on the back/left of the bell and I think the whole thing is brass (not nickel) keys. The engraving is just Buescher, Aristocrat - nothing else.

I don't know a whole lot about saxophones, although I own a YAS-23 w/Selmer D MP, which I find a bit too bright for my taste. I don't really have a budget as my son has "stolen" the alto for Grade 7 band and have just started looking for a tenor to fill the gap. I have reviewed several YT videos of Aristocrats of various vintages including the post-selmer era which this is from, and am impressed with the sound from a similar serial Aristocrat (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve_Qp61GCzA 660,XXX).

Question: Is this a fair price / wise purchase for someone on a limited budget, who might play in community band (but not professionally), looking for a sax with a bit of "character" and less brightness? I've had lots of recommendations to get into a YTS-23 (there is one for $800CDN with plenty of scratches and a small ding - I think it is overpriced) but to be honest I've never really liked what I get out of the YAS-23 w/Selmer D mouthpiece and I suspect the YTS-23 will exhibit the same brightness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
I would tend to stay away from tenors with left-hand bell keys, other than a Conn 10M, a King Cleveland made in the 50's, and maybe one or two others.

Most LH bell key horns are student models and they will dwindle in popularity over the next decade, and be difficult to recoup your investment on a resale if you decide to upgrade.

I have a Vito DUKE tenor made by Beaugnier in France for sale, that is a very good pro horn for a reasonable cost. I'm in the Toronto area and have several tenors available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
If you really like the feel and the sound then it's a good buy. Only you can decide.
One thing to check is the left hand pinkie keys, which can be quite heavy on a Buescher. I think this is due to the design.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,123 Posts
Most LH bell key horns are student models....
I think you need to qualify that statement. You are talking about post 1950 horns, right? Otherwise saying most LH bell key horns are student models is absolutely incorrect. Pre-buyout Bueschers, Conns, Martins, etc, were not 'student models.' They were, and are, top quality pro horns, among the best ever made. What you say is true for post buyout (Selmer) 'Bueschers' but certainly not for the earlier models.

To answer the OP's question, I would strongly suggest spending a bit more money if at all possible and look for a pre-mid 50s Aristocrat if you want a really top quality tenor. However, if you can only afford $400, then the horn you are looking at is not a bad choice. What I'd be concerned about would be if this horn needs work, as you imply, then you may have to spend considerably more than the horn is worth to get it in top playing condition. What empressdiver says is true for the horn you're looking at, but it is decidedly not true for 'most LH bell horns.' Don't be misled by that statement.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top