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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have a Buescher baritone saxophone that I bought quite a while back. I liked how it played, and wasn't overly concerned with what I was purchasing at the time. Now, I am a bit more interested and would like to figure out exactly what it is that I have.

Its serial number is 357196, which some research seems to suggest it's an aristocrat series 3 made somewhere between 1955 -- 1960. Where I am having some confusion is with the model number, which is 160. From what I have found the model number that should correspond to the serial number, and other details on the horn is 129, but that is not what I am seeing anywhere on it.

I am hoping someone will have some information about what it is that I have, and can help me understand a little bit more about it.

Thanks in advance for all your help!!
 

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Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
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Some photos might help the guys give you some answers.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Aristocrat 3 is a meaningless definition for a bari. More importantly, this is a very wide range of years and I have no idea of what you're talking about regarding a model 160 baritone. Won't say it's not possible, but there's no catalog evidence of a model 160 that I've ever come across, and scant evidence of serial numbers corresponding to specific years between 1955 and 1960. You also have given no description of key features, much less a photo, so there's no way to help you here.

Where are the bell keys (l/h or back of bell) and what does the pinky table look like? Possible this was the S-80 baritone's model number (usually called a 400, but originally it was an Aristocrat), but there's no catalog number corresponding to a 160. Jumps from 129 to S-80, but there are many multi-year gaps in the available catalogs, so physical features matter.

Pictures please, or at least a better description of the features of the horn. I'd be particularly interested in a photo of the model number stamp under the r/h thumb rest.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Well now. You have discovered a new model number for a well-known horn that was produced from about '57 to about '81. Bundy and Selmer Signet variants of the same ran from about '65 to '81.

That is indeed what is commonly called a Buescher "400" bari. Originally introduced as an Aristocrat, they changed branding from Aristocrat to 400 starting in 1960. First model number I'd seen until now is the S-80 in a '57 catalog. They must have originally introduced this as a model 160 and only called it that for a very short period of time. Certainly one of the first few they produced.

Cool find! Get it fixed up.
 

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Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
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I play a 400 and it's a beast.
It's known as 'Old Beuford' in my family. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much! I have been thinking about getting it fixed up for a while now, but it still plays really well so I haven't felt the need to do it immediately. Now that I have an idea what it is, I was also wondering if you had an idea what it might be worth? I don't have any intention of selling it, but would love to know what I'm dealing with. I know it's not in great shape at the moment, but would still like a bit of an idea. Thanks again for all your help!
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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The odd model number doesn't really add to its value, so its pricing is comparable to any other "400" bari, and while these are really pretty good baris, they don't get much respect from a pricing point of view. There are a lot of them out there too. In really nice condition and generally with a fresh overhaul, the top dollar is about $1200 from a private seller. As any kind of project, between $200 and $500. For yours, probably something in between.
 
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