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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my eyes on a playing condition 1924 Buescher True Tone for cheap but I had some questions about True Tones in general before buying it.

1.) Since it's 1924 it doesn't have a Front F key. How much is it to mod one on?

2.) It doesn't have the full bar G# key. I don't know if it will bother me but if it does how practical would it be to mod one on?

3.) On the right hand keys there's a fourth key between the 1st and 2nd keys almost like a bis key. What does that key do?

The first question is a deal breaker for me, I need the Front F key. Period. The reason I don't just save and buy a TT series III is because the II I'm looking at is cheap and playable. Only 2 easy-fix repairs apparent.

The second and third are more or less curiosity and keeping my possibilities open.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
 

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1.) Since it's 1924 it doesn't have a Front F key. How much is it to mod one on?
Generally between $150-$300 depending on who does it and how everything is finished (ex: plated to match if the sax is silver or gold).

2.) It doesn't have the full bar G# key. I don't know if it will bother me but if it does how practical would it be to mod one on?
Most people adjust after playing for a while...some never acclimate. It's not hard to modify. Either you can go for a DIY mod and use epoxy putty or sugru, or you could have a tech remove the round key and fab a flat piece of brass to go in its place (the more expensive option...and I have no idea how much your tech would charge for this).

3.) On the right hand keys there's a fourth key between the 1st and 2nd keys almost like a bis key. What does that key do?
That's the G# trill key.
 

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The first question is a deal breaker for me, I need the Front F key. Period.
Then wait for one that's more suitable, as the cost to modify might equal or exceed the price difference. Just because a deal for a vintage horn seems to present itself, doesn't mean we have to bite. There are plenty of these horns around that have the front F and original silver plate. I'd hold out for one of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well, being as paying for repairs on a random series III would cost much more than 100-300, I think it's still going to be worth it so that's awesome.

the LH pinkie cluster doesn't look too uncomfortable so I'll probably manage. and wow, a G# trill key? where was that when i needed it in high school concert band? lol sounds like a cool little aux key.

all in all, sounds like a great horn to head to college with. thank you for your knowledge
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
250 and it's in playing condition. i wont get a working series III (and its front F, bar G#) for 350. not for a long time if ever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
im not sure if it's silver plated or nickel. that wasn't specified and i can't tell the difference myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
here's a picture

Kitchen appliance Automotive exhaust Drinkware Gas Home appliance
 

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Silver, most probably (posted before seeing the picture... definitely silver plate). Though nickel was a less expensive option for Conn horns, I believe it had to be custom ordered for Bueschers. No, not a bad deal, especially if it's ready to play and doesn't need work. That's what I paid for my later model with the front F and roller G# key, but had to put about three hundred into it to fix it up about seven years ago. Been going strong since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
if i knew now what i knew when i started playing... i had bought a bundy for 150 and it needed 500 worth of repairs which somehow i got the repairs done for free.

should have bought a True Tone out right. as cheap as a Bundy student model but it's a pro horn
 

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Not worth putting a front F on. As mentioned above, wait for a series III or IV which only differ with some engraving. I have been selling really nice silver ones ready to play in the $600 range so they are out there.
 

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Not worth putting a front F on. As mentioned above, wait for a series III or IV which only differ with some engraving. I have been selling really nice silver ones ready to play in the $600 range so they are out there.
This is good advice here, from a great seller/repairer of these horns.
 

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well, being as paying for repairs on a random series III would cost much more than 100-300, I think it's still going to be worth it so that's awesome.

the LH pinkie cluster doesn't look too uncomfortable so I'll probably manage. and wow, a G# trill key? where was that when i needed it in high school concert band? lol sounds like a cool little aux key.

all in all, sounds like a great horn to head to college with. thank you for your knowledge
If you like that, you may be pleased to know that the TT horns also feature an Eb trill; you finger a D and lift up your right hand middle finger to activate it.
 

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Only 2 easy-fix repairs apparent.
Are you quite certain about that? Hard to tell anything from the picture, but it looks pretty rough. Have you had it into a tech for a complete assessment? I don't want to discourage you because I know these to be great horns, but If you're already looking at $200+ to add a front F key, and will have at least '2 easy-fix repairs,' and my bet is unless you've verified that for sure, you're looking at more repairs (new pads maybe?), I'd agree with Grumps and Bruce that you'd do better to look for a later model TT in good shape. They are not rare horns, so you can certainly find one and at a good price.
 

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+1 on buying from Bruce! The horn will be in great playing condition, and it will have functioning factory front f, g# trill, and alternate eb key (not only a trill, but useful in bluesy licks from low C to eb and back). Plus, Bruce has a simple cure for the dreaded hissy high A that works really well. $600 spent with Bruce for a later TT will be money well-spent.
On the other hand, if you don't want those extra keys, the 1950's Buescher 140 Aristocrats run about $600 ready to play, and they have front F, of course. They don't have the hissy A, they play better in tune with themselves, and regulation is less tricky when you don't have the alt eb key. You might like the tone of the late TT slightly better, but the difference is small compared to gains in other areas that the 140 Aristo has.
Just one man's opinion, but I owned both of them at the same time for a few years.
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250 and it's in playing condition. i wont get a working series III (and its front F, bar G#) for 350. not for a long time if ever.
You might be surprised. Altos and tenors from about #160k-200k had front F as an option - most lacked it - but all still have pearl G#. Call them series IIa, I suppose.

My 185k tenor has front F. My 166k alto does not. Pic
 

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Don't have any TTs right now, only a few sopranos.
Someone mentioned reverse springing the G# trill.....can't be done! Maybe it was the rear Eb.
 
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