Saxophone Forum


by stephangus
(11 posts)
16 years ago

Early Selmer Buescher

i'm curious to know if there are any good bueschers made right after selmer bought the company. i've got a line on a '65 aristocrat (479xxx), and i'm wondering if they had gotten bundy-fied yet. thanks, -s

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: Early Selmer Buescher

    Some of the early post-Selmer Bueschers were still good horns. The really good Aristocrates are those made in the late 1930's up through the 1950's. In the early 60's, Buescher started having financial problems and began to cheapen them up a little even before Selmer took over. From 1963-1967, the Aristocrates were basically unchanged. It was during the late 1960's leading up to the Bundy name, that Selmer really bastardized the good name of Buescher.

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    1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
      (767 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: Early Selmer Buescher

      I think the earlier post-Selmer Bueschers are among the most undervalued vintage instruments. Jim's right, the decline of Buescher happened years before Selmer bought them out. From what I hear, the Aristocrats' decline was more immediate. I played a Mid 60's Aristocrat alto and found it almost identical to my recollection of the Bundy I grew up with: It was over sprung, especially in the table, but otherwise allright. The 400 was a bit different. After the TopHat 400, keywork was simplified, and eventually the back-mounted bell keys moved to the left side. Keywork became Nickle plated instead of lacquered. But some finer amenities did continue: like the underslung octave, the basic bore design (except the bow was modified), and the norton springs.

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    2. by stephangus
      (11 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: Early Selmer Buescher

      interesting. so the aristocrat at this time had been for awhile a student horn anyway, albeit perhaps a good one. got it. thanks, guys. -s

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: Early Selmer Buescher

        No, the Aristocrat was far from a student quality horn until the later Bundy years. By the mid 1950's, theree became an increased market for lower-end student quality instruments while there was a decline in the sales of professional and artist model horns. By the end of the 1950's, Selmer dominated the pro market with their Mark VI horns. Buescher and Conn, among others, began finding ways to reduce the cost of their instruments, and offer lower priced horns that were affordable to schools and beginning players. Still, these were quality horns that were good players.

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        1. by stephangus
          (11 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: Early Selmer Buescher

          jim from the mitten and johnson from cheeseland, my only reference for what i think is a "student quality" horn is the '73 mexi-conn alto i learned on, which quite frankly was a p.o.s. (yeah, i paid my dues). since then, i've owned two mk vi's, a vii, an sba tenor, and the love of my life, a conn 12m bari. currently i'm playing a '65 buffet super dynaction alto which is marvelous. apples to oranges, i'm guessing the addition of a clean '65 aristocrat alto would fill the 'back-up' horn slot, no? ($400!?!) -s ps, jim- i (finally) sent my new wonder bari off to meridian winds in haslett, since my tech here in colorado just had his third heart surgery. very much looking forward to getting that humming again. any thoughts on pads? i was thinking metal reso's, perhaps noyeks.

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        2. by blackfrancis
          (396 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: Early Selmer Buescher

          I played a mid 60s Buescher from 6th grade through my first year in college. Not a bad horn, but not a good one, either. The tone was only so-so and the intonation was not that great, especially in the palm keys. Didn't hold a candle to the Mk. VI or the 6M that came after. Play test it first and bring your tuner.

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