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We recently took my husbands Buescher 400 alto sax to be repadded so our son could use it for school. The tech at the shop approached us when we picked it up and suggested that we not give it to a student, that it was too nice an instrument for a kid. He told us he could sell it for $1000.00+ The model is a 538xxx. Can anyone tell me anything about this sax? Is this a reasonable price? I would hate to have my son bang up something worth that much money! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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No, that horn was made well after Buescher's glory days, isn't prized as a collector and would be fine for your child. Though a store might ask a grand for it, it would probably go for half that in a private sale; maybe less.
 

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but if they are telling you it's worth that much, ask them to buy it for that much so you can get a good student horn and have some spare cash.

it isn't worth that much as grumps said, but perhaps your tech doesn't know that ;)
 

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If you know the sax and have owned it for years, why sell? It should be fine, indeed, very good, for a student, especially now it has been repadded. I agree with the others that $1000 is an unlikely price for this model.
 

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Of course just to clarify, the serial number is 538XXX, correct? I'd hate to see a typo in the serial number cause a horribly gross error in our recommendations. I agree with everyone else assuming the number is correct. If we're mistaken about the number and there's a picture of a castle on the bell we're talking something completely different.

I've played a couple of the student model 400's and they are good horns and will serve your son well.
 

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Another Buescher 400

Hi,
I'm getting ready to sell my old Buescher 400.It does have the castle as well as the tophat and cane.The serial number is 299571,and I bought it a long time ago from a guy who played big bands in the 30's and 40's. Any ideas what it may be worth,and where might be the best place to sell it? It's a beautiful old horn.
 

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Friendlybrown, that 400 is a completely different animal than the aforementioned student model. The top hat and cane Bueschers are one of the most sought-after vintage horns, and play up to their reputation. I have a tenor version myself, so I'm a little biased.

With these types of horns, condition is everything. Depending on whether it's tenor or alto, condition of the lacquer, whether it's been re-lacquered or not, the pads, whether they are still snap-ins or not, dents, etc., the horn could span a broad range of value. For a tenor, for example, I'd guess it would range anywhere from maybe $1000 for a crapped-out relac with dents and shot pads, to perhaps $3000 for a very nice condition horn that's ready to play. FWIW, I paid $1900 for mine a few years ago in decent condition (70% original lacquer) and used but reasonable shape pads, ready to play. I probably overpaid a bit.

You can look to eBay completed auctions for comparables, there's a few out there. When you sell, you could sell on this board or put it up on eBay and take your chances.

Pete
 
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