Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read up a little. I understand that they we stenciled. I was trying to narrow down who, and possibly when. Also, never heard of a "low tone" horn, but have heard talk of "C melody" horns. Difference? Thank you in advance!

-Wes

















P.S. I understand the condition :) it's not my gig horn (big bell cannonball "brute") so I'm hoping to restore it :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,992 Posts
I believe it is a 1920's Buescher stencil, likely a copy of their True Tone model, and is unfortunately beat to hell as you well know. :( It does indeed appear to be a C-melody. Martin, Buescher, and Conn all made stencil horns for Wurlitzer. I'm assuming that you have the neck for this although I don't see it in the photos.

I think you would be better off picking up a great condition one for around $200 or so off Flea-bay. You'll be upside down from the get go if you dump money into this one. Beyond a normal restoration, it looks as though the body tube is bent from your photos. Yikes. Were it not for the bent tube, it would have made a good project horn for you to cut your teeth at horn repair yourself.

LOW PITCH refers to the now standard A=440 pitch. HIGH PITCH (approximately a semi tone above) horns were also made until the 1930s by most manufacturers before orchestral tuning became more or less standardized.

Moved to the Buescher sub forum.
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
Geez. From the pics, I couldn't really tell if it was a C-melody or not, but it's clearly a stencil based on elements of early 20's and late teens True Tone features (no pearls key touches, but yet keyed from Bb to F).

Add about $5 in electrical parts and I think it would make an interesting lamp. Not really worth anything as an instrument though.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,292 Posts
No idea on who made it. This one is beyond repair and the lamp idea may be best. To much decay and you can buy a nice original C Melody needing a polish and pads for $150 or less. The cases for these are scarce so if it is in nice unsmelly condition, it may fetch close to $100 but if it looks like the horn.....Also the neck could be worth a few bucks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,992 Posts
Geez. From the pics, I couldn't really tell if it was a C-melody or not, but it's clearly a stencil based on elements of early 20's and late teens True Tone features (no pearls key touches, but yet keyed from Bb to F).

Add about $5 in electrical parts and I think it would make an interesting lamp. Not really worth anything as an instrument though.
You can tell by how narrow the bell is vs. it's length. Definitely a C-melody.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Despite all the negativity :p, I'm still going to have fun with it and attempt a restore. I'm optimistic and patient! I also have a high need to prove people wrong :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
Bravo! +1 for MisterWes, bring these C-Mels back to life!... I concur that it is indeed a C-Mel but I do not see evidence of the body tube being bent. What picture are you seeing that in possibly?

Reminds me of the story of Fester...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,992 Posts
This one:

It is very clearly bent in the manner illustrated below:


I'm sorry, but paying into the high hundreds if not a grand or more to restore a horn that could be had in the form of a more desirable model, in excellent playable condition, for $200 these days is foolhardy, regardless of one's propensity for maudlin sentimentality and enthusiasm. My two cents.

As I mentioned, cutting one's teeth and restoring the horn yourself would be the only way to go if bringing it back to life is your hellbent mission.
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
As a learning project, ok. Just be prepared that the cost of the parts will exceed the value of the horn -- by a lot. Experienced gained? Priceless -- or at least the cost of the parts.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,292 Posts
I have been repairing saxes for over 48 years and there are limits of what can be done. This C Melody is beyond ever playing by just cleaning and repadding. I bet there are at least 5 screws or rods that are frozen. If it was sitting here, I would assume that several posts would need to be removed, some keys cut off, new keys custom made or taken from a donor horn and then the body would need to be straightened. Even though I keep costs as low as possible, so far we would be at about $600 ready to reassemble. If you want it cleaned, add another $200. Then time to pad and cork assuming everything is aligned properly. This would add another $400. At this point you are into it another $1,200. If the neck needs work, maybe another $50 and if the case is poor, at least $100. SOOOO, you "may" have a nice playing horn for $1,350 + whatever it cost originally. At that point, you may be able to ebay it for around $250-300 due to it being an early model with no pearls so you would loose about $1,100 on the deal.
You can find nice overhauled Bueschers, Conns or Martins with new pads for about $500. I can sell you a really nice super minty GOLD PLATED Conn with working original pads in a super nice case with original mouthpiece for $900. If you want to redo a C Melody, I can sell you an original Holton in the original case shipped for $150 that does not appear to have been a boat anchor.
I am not trying to ruin your dream but this one you have is so poor, I wouldn't even waste the $10 to wire it as a lamp and I am the cheapest person known in my area. I don't have a cell phone, I save old stuff that has been here for 40 years.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went and looked at it after you posted the pic where you saw it was bent. Thanks for that. After seeing that it may be impossible. :( DAMN lol... Oh well better break the news to the wife eh? Thanks all!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,992 Posts
Hi Wes,

I don't think anyone wants to rain on your parade and enthusiasm about restoring a vintage horn back to it's former glory. This just isn't the right donor to do it with. Bruce is correct with his break down of work and costs with this one. I'd keep your C-melody and make it into a lamp, bar decoration etc. and look for a more suitable project.

There are many out there to be had for cheap, and you will get plenty of joy learning to repair it without an insurmountable headache attempting the near impossible.

Cheers.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
There are many out there to be had for cheap, and you will get plenty of joy learning to repair it without an insurmountable headache attempting the near impossible.

Cheers.
This. They are not rare, and a relatively high proportion of them are closet queens. Lurk eBay patiently and a gem will come along.

Incidentally, my first vintage tenor sax was a gold-plated Buescher-made "Wurlizter"; pearl G# no front-F. Kinda wish I still had hit.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,715 Posts
Not only is it not worth restoring in terms of money but surely your time is worth more than that (unless you play golf or are an angler)....it is dead...ceased to exist...shuffled off it's mortal coil....popped it's clogs...joined the heavenly choirs etc.
Bearing in mind that I am extremely fond of C tenors I would not even nail that to my wall....unless I lived in a cave...it is not even decorative.
Just my opinion of course. :cry:
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top