Saxophone Forum


by honker
(4 posts)
16 years ago

more Buescher questions

I have read that saxes made before 1930 can have questionable intonation. How true is that? I am looking at an Elkhart Buescher that looks to be from the 1920's. I want a player!

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  1. by Dave Dix
    (421 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: more Buescher questions

    If it says ELKHART BY BUESCHER its a buescher 2nd line horn. If it says THE BUESCHER it will be a true tone professional model and a darn good horn. The latter has very good intonation. The first one is a good sax but not as good as a true tone Dave

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  2. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: more Buescher questions

    Many saxophones made before 1930 do have questionable intonation, and action that is often clunky, somewhat cumbersome, and needs frequent adjustment. That is very true. The 2 best saxophones pre-1930 are without question, the Buescher True Tone and the Conn New Wonder Series II. The earlier Conn New Wonder Series I's are great horns, but tend to have more intonation and keywork problems then the later series II. Most of the Elkhart horns were made by Buescher and they are basically True Tone Stencils. I believe Conn also made a few Elkhart horns that were New Wonder Series I stencils. The True Tones have a huge tone; especially the tenors. They are well worth the cost of an overhaul. Jim

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    1. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: more Buescher questions

      One reason for the questionable intonation is the mouthpieces that are often used with these horns. Many of the newer pieces have smaller chambers that do not work too well with the older horns. You need a mouthpiece with a large chamber. For alto, the Otto Link Tone Edge, or Meyer G series is a good choice. The original mouthpieces are not always the best either. Some earlier mouthpieces have design flaws that can cause intonation problems. Others may be warped, or have other damage that can through off intonation. I would suggest buying a new mouthpiece with a large chamber that will accomodate your sax. Jim

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  3. by sean_m
    (2 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: more Buescher questions

    I have a buescher horn, on the front it says "The Buescher Elkhart Ind. On the back it has a serial numer 138571 and "low pitch" then True Tone under that in a triangle. It has a silver finish, and is in good condition. No dents, or repairs. Can anyone tell me how old this is, and is it worth getting serviced? Thanks, Sean

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    1. by golferguy675
      (600 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: more Buescher questions

      I have a Buescher Top Hat & Cane sax, and while it is an absolute blast to play, it does have terrible intonation, which is why I never play anywhere but at home with it. Some of the issues could be addressed with mechanical adjustments, but others are just the horn. This alto is probably 3/4 the size of my Super 20, and has just as big a sound, and is actually bigger on the LH palm keys. I've always been one to say that the saxophone doesn't have a great impact on your sound, when I pick this one up, it sounds different. Very deep, rich, and fat.

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: more Buescher questions

        Hi Golferguy, Some of the problems that you are having with intonation could be due to the mouthpiece you're using. If you are using a newer type mouthpiece with a smaller chamber, that could be why you are having intonation problems. Also, the problem could be mechanical, or a little of both. With the older vintage horns, you need a mouthpiece with a fairly open chamber. The Meyer G Series and Otto Link Tone Edge hard rubber pieces work well on the older horns.

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        1. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: more Buescher questions

          Hi Jim, Thanks for the advice. I use a modern piece as of a month ago, since I pretty well ran a hole through my old link... It's a Phil Barone, but it's a big chamber, 8M. I had the same problem when I play with the link though. I've really been avoiding sitting down and really looking at this horn. I'm fearing that I'm just going to have to take it apart and rebuild it. It needs cleaned anyway.

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        2. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: more Buescher questions

          The Phil Barone mouthpieces are really nice, and they do have a fairly large chamber. I doubt your problem is due to your mouthpiece then.

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      2. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: more Buescher questions

        Hi Sean, That is a 1923 Buescher True Tone. It's definately worth the cost of repairs, especially if it is a tenor.

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        1. by sean_m
          (2 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: more Buescher questions

          Hi Jim, Thanks for the reply. This was a thrift store purchase, still in the original case which is pretty beat, and is very tarnished, but the action seems pretty good. It has the original neck, and mouth piece. How can I tell if it is a tenor? I know nothing about saxophones (pretty obvious) Sean

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          1. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            16 years ago

            Re: more Buescher questions

            www.saxpics.com/buescher/docs/truetone.htm This site has pictures of the various True Tone horns. The alto is smaller. It would have a straight neck. Both the C Melody and the tenor have curved necks. They look similar, but the C Melody is smaller. The bell on the C Melody is a bit longer than the tenor. Hopefully these pictures will help. The C melody plays in the key of C, where the tenor is in Bb. Conn saxophones use a letter to indicate the pitch; an A for alto, C for C Melody or T for tenor. I don't remember the True Tones having such a letter, only the serial number in an arc above a triangle stamp with the words "True Tone", trademark, and the patent date.

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