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Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
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Discussion Starter #1
In response to this thread: What makes a Conn a Conn?...
What, for you, is the essential quality of Buescher saxes?

You might let us know what model(s) you play and what music(s) you play on it.
 

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Tone . . . focused with good intonation. I play the following Bueschers -

TT straight soprano 1928
TT straight soprano 1928
TT alto mid '20's
TT C-mel early '20's
Big B alto
TH&C alto

I play 1920's trad-jazz. DAVE
 

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What makes a buescher a buescher? Creaminess. Martins and kings sound crisp, Conns sound robust. All of the old American horns have the richness, but the bueschers have a certain creamy goodness about them that I just love. A buescher with a link is powerful and rich but still smooth and buttery, just like the action. They can be bright and buzzy if desired, but no other horn can mach the silky smoothness of a buescher.

Big B Tenor
Aristo 140 Alto
Formerly Early Aristo art deco tenor

I think what I usually play is considered "straight ahead jazz." Some rock n roll or soul when needed. Classical. Both horns can adapt very well for these styles. The early crat (which I no longer own) struggled with rock/r&b/soul/funk.
 

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I'd agree it's the tone quality. Very rich and flexible. It can go from subtone to screaming and sound great at all dynamics. And very good intonation!

156 Aristocrat tenor
'series one' art deco Aristocrat tenor
TT alto

I've had the opposite experience to meatballfoot with the series one 'Crat. It's a great blues/R&B/funk horn, with an RPC 120B mpc.
 

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The BOTTOM.
Early 60s' Buescher 400 bari
Concert band, pit orchestra, honkin' for the sheep stuff..
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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People always credit Selmer Paris horns with their flexibility, but I've have never played a Mark VI that was as flexible as a 30s through 50's Aristocrat. As others have noted, the focused center is there, unlike others, and that let's you play a wide variety of things and sound great at it.

Change the setup, and it moves from a Rascher quartet, to a small traditional jazz group to a big band, to the raunchiest blues/rock without compromising a thing.

I play in all these styles, any I have a Bb sop to an Eb bari in the fold.
 

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You guys are just looking for an excuse to praise your horns, aren"t you? :mrgreen:
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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You guys are just looking for an excuse to praise your horns, aren"t you? :mrgreen:
Yes.

When I got my Buescher 400 alto, I asked my wife her opinion of it (compared up against several others). She liked the others, she said but the TH & C just sounded sexy.
 

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You guys are just looking for an excuse to praise your horns, aren"t you?
Yes!

I've had the opposite experience to meatballfoot with the series one 'Crat. It's a great blues/R&B/funk horn, with an RPC 120B mpc.
Mine had some unique response issues even when leak-free. Oddly enough, this didn't hinder my jazz playing but made almost all other styles more difficult.
 

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I only have experience with Buescher altos, and it's not like I've played a huge swath of them -- just my 140, my TH&C, and a "The Buescher" Series II (is that what you call it?) that a student had at a clinic. In every case, these altos have a rounded "sweetness" to the sound that I don't get out of other altos. (I know that "rounded sweetness" is very much along the lines of dancing about architecture, but ... that's all my morning vocabulary will allow...)

I'm *very* Buescher-tenor-curious, but I'm also very my-wife-will-divorce-me if another horn appears in this house...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I agree with all of you...:D

For me, too, it's delicacy + focus + power. My other favorite marque, Conn, comes very close, but there the edge is to power rather than focus.

Conns make up for it by giving less backpressure - and more definite action in the M series - but there is a slight upper partial tinge always. It's never tinny or brassy, but it's especially noticeable when you play p and pp and sense a slight transparency, a little more air, in the tone. You are always conscious that you're listening to a saxophone.

Bueschers have that woody center to their voices that makes that assumption fascinatingly questionable at times. It comes out best in the 2nd register and is equally full and rich at p and pp as it is at f and ff. It's what people call "chocolate" - "creamy" - or just "dark." Yet change to a brighter setup and the same delicacy and focus are there, even if the woodiness is gone. (It's elusive, yet unmistakable.)
 

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I have a 1918 TT Bari. I use predominantly for pit work (which covers a broad range of styles.) For me its the ergos, nothing beats that RH spatula! :p
Seriously though, the tone, rich and warm. My only complaint, it's very mouthpiece picky; the only piece that I've found that works superb is an old pickle barrel with a tiny tip opening.
 

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The BOTTOM. ..
Yes, I should have mentioned that in my previous post. I'm talking about tenors now (I can imagine the baris have it even more!), but the low register on both my early Aristo and later 156 Aristo is very rich, fat, and full, at any volume. In this respect they definitely beat out my MKVI.
 

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Sorry for throwing the bari into the mix.
The only other Buescher I had a chance to really put a few good minutes on was an alto that belonged to a former student.
I liked it, but I like my Martin alto a little better. :)
 

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my old buescher is like a fine caramel chased with a single malt scotch.

and of course, johnny hodges! no need to say mo'
 

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Sorry for throwing the bari into the mix. :)
Hey no need to apologize bandmommy. The OP didn't specify any particular horn; just Buescher.

I'm not at all surprised that the baris have a great bottom (ok, that sounds a bit risque, but I'll let it stand), given how good the low notes are on my tenor Aristos.

My first horn was a TT alto (I still have it 40+ years later) and I'm convinced the wonderful tone of that horn kept me in the game early on when I was 'young and dumb.'
 

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Yes.

When I got my Buescher 400 alto, I asked my wife her opinion of it (compared up against several others). She liked the others, she said but the TH & C just sounded sexy.

That is exactly it. The Buescher sounds sexy!
Mine is a '61/62 Super 400 and subtones like a mother on lush ballads. Women like that:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

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I have been playing with my TH&C Alto for over 25 years and although I've owned other altos in the meantime (basically not to expose MY alto to marching band abuse...) I always come back to my Buescher when I really need to speak with my horn. Selmer SA 80, SA II, Yana 901 and even a VI came and went... but my trusty TH&C is still here. When I was playing in the marching band, the guys would know when I brought the TH&C just from warm up. Just the tone was a give away. Lush and powerfull, flexible enough to go from Breton" contemporary" traditionnal music to West coast jazz trios, she takes me wherever I want to go.
And yes, Ilove my alto, even though my tenor is a Conn 10M and my next bary is a 12M (bandmommy, you got me thinking there ;) )
 
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