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‘38 Buescher AristoTenor, ‘66 Martin Magna Tenor
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Saw this on sale in Japan advertised as a TH&C, but it doesn't have the raised lettering, castle engraving, or the underslung neck. However it does have the top hat and cane engraving, as well as what seems to be a King case with embossed TH&C.
I went looking on saxpics etc but could not find an example of this. Could it be one of those odd chimeras?
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It tells you what it is right on the bell.
It's a Buescher Super 400.
 

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Student model 400 with aftermarket engraving.
You may be incorrect in that statement.
This Super looks like it still has snaps. That makes it pre-buyout and if old enough, on par with the Top Hat and Cane.
Don't sell these horns short. They're better than some 'snobs' think. 😉
 

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I think this is one of the many incarnations of the Buescher 400, I am not at all sure that it would be reangraved and which would be the " obvious" signs of this on this pictures hardly detailed to make this assessment as being absolute and certain.

Frankly speaking I'd ask people who have made a serious study on this horns.

 

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The engraving has a generally legit look to me (I'm not setting myself up in opposition to Jaice who is a real expert, just giving my impression). Someone's gone crazy with upholstery tacks on the case. Not clear to me how a King case gets "Buescher" on the inside.

In support of the "aftermarket engraving" theory is the fact that someone thought the "top hat and cane and gloves" emblem was important enough to put it on the outside of the case with those upholstery tacks.

The horn is definitely a Buescher 400, late production. I've seen in photos and in person all kinds of different engraving patterns on late production Bueschers, including the change-of-the-week on whether the thing was a 400 or an Aristocrat and the bell keys migrating all over the place, different kinds of rod stock used for the key guards, different octave key designs, etc., etc., etc. So I wouldn't rule out that at some point the factory put a partial THC engraving on a late production 400.
 

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It sure looks like a Selmer USA Buescher to me in some ways. However that's all I've got on this one, except i wouldn't give half of what they're asking.
 

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Student model 400 with aftermarket engraving.
No, it isn't a student model at all. After-market engraving, yeah a possibility. Might it have been engraved just "Buescher" then someone added the rest ? A valid hypothesis.

Hard to say definitively, but this looks like a 400 series II, which would have been the first post-THC 400's made. When Boosh stopped the THC's, they introduced a 'regular' 400 (aka 'series II) and a 'Super 400'.

Serial # should be somewhere in the 360,XXX-395,XXX range (?)

The former was a slightly pared-down version of a THC....BUT it is no slouch of a horn. It is a pretty darn good horn, certainly not 'student' fare neither today nor in it's day. Mechanically it is around 80%+ a THC, geometry-wise it's an interesting amalgam in body/neck spec between a THC and an Aristocrat.

The latter, the Super 400, had an underslung neck. As this one does not, I'd say it is a 'series II" with an unusual engraving. Neck appears Buescher, and the type outfitted on the 'series II'...but it's not a Super 400 neck as we generally associate it to be.

Why would Buescher engrave Super on a 'regular series II' ??? I dunno....unless the neck is actually unoriginal and it really IS a Super 400 with a replacement neck.

But good horns, not student fare. I call either of these a "poor man's THC". They got dumbed down pretty quick later on, but for a while there while these were being produced, Buescher was still offering a good, solid, top-shelf horn (albeit not a THC, but still good...)

Very off-radar here in US. Usually one in very good shape can only fetch $700-800 tops HERE.
Old American horns have heftier price tags in Japan, however....so....while overpriced, it isn't ridiculously overpriced (again assuming seller guarantees it to be in very good play shape).

So I can imagine a $750 Buescher going for $1g in Japan pretty easily, particularly given it is one of the 'last REAL Bueschers'....so if seller confirms play condition, offering and acquiring one for around $950-$1g equivalent...over there....even though one wouldn't sell HERE for that.....wouldn't be a 'dumb' thing to do.
 

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Just curious, but I'd thought that the ones like this, with the inside bell tone holes, were the good ones. Did they denigrate before moving the tone holes to a more traditional position?
THC Altos had the back-bell holes/keys. This was kept on these early non-THC models, which appear to be the 'last' 400's made before Selmer buyout.

So I would agree, a telltale sign upon first glance can be "look for location of Bell keys"...that will tell you, again, whether it's an upper-shelf horn still, or not.

So yes, I'd concur with your characterization - these particular late 400's were still 'the good ones'. But these aren't identical to the THC's, again in either body spec nor keywork mechanics. Very close in the latter, pretty close in the former - but just pointing out they are not QUITE "THC's without the THC".

By the time we get to the ones with the side-bellkeys....yeah, those are 'gone' so to speak as far as any argument of them retaining THC-like qualities.
 

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milandro is right. some super 400,s had over slung necks. i have one, whats strange is when way after the buyout and the 400 lost most of its distinctive features-it had the underslung neck till the very end.
 

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milandro is right. some super 400,s had over slung necks. i have one, whats strange is when way after the buyout and the 400 lost most of its distinctive features-it had the underslung neck till the very end.
They were taking steps to streamline manufacture and lower the cost of creating the instrument. The return of the underslung neck was likely in response to marketing reception.
 
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