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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
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bradshawm said:
When it comes to the vintage Buescher sopranos, what years had the best sound and intonation?
There are variations through-out the line, but you're most likely going to want one that has a flat G# key with a roller instead of the earlier models that had a "button" style G#. There are other changes, but this change is the easiest to identify quickly. The key-work change (that this change is a part of) happened right in the middle of the '20s.

So the short answer is that you'd probably be better off looking for a later '20s model rather than an early '20s model.

Happy Hunting!
 

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I have two TT straight sops from 1928 (roller G#) but have always been impressed whenever I played TT sopranos of any vintage. The ones with the button G# (also a different octave mechanism than the later models like mine) have had consistently good sound and intonation - similar to mine. DAVE
 

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Dave Dolson said:
I have two TT straight sops from 1928 (roller G#) but have always been impressed whenever I played TT sopranos of any vintage. The ones with the button G# (also a different octave mechanism than the later models like mine) have had consistently good sound and intonation - similar to mine. DAVE
I didn't want to get into all the key-work changes (for example I prefer the later palm key heights much more than the earlier models), but I agree, almost any TT that's setup well should sound very good. I've just found that the later key-work is more comfortable to play whereas the earlier key-work can tend to be more of a battle.
 

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Agreed.

The palm keys on my '28 TT's are pretty low - one of the horns has cork risers to raise their height a bit. I don't recall specifically how the earlier TT models felt but recall they all had good sound even when they had obvious leaks. I can't imagine palm keys much lower than the ones on my late-model TT sops.

Key-work design is pretty subjective in my view. Some players aren't bothered by much and easily adapt. Others are sensitive to placement, heigth, etc. I consider myself to be pretty flelxible but stop at the point of in-line palm keys (old Conns and Selmers) - those I cannot abide. I know others can. DAVE
 

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If money is an issue, there are some really nice stencils out there, Harwood, Wurlitzer, Grinnell (some), etc.
 

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Had a buddy of mine shopping around for one some years ago. I think the first one he had on trial was in the 230K range. It was hopelessly flat. All sorts of mouthpieces, all sorts of flat. He ended up with a beautiful model in the 180K range. Heck, it's almost as sweet as my 50K...
 
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