Saxophone Forum


by mtwilliams2448
(8 posts)
1 year ago

BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

I have really wanted to start playing alto again so this morning I bid on a Buescher Aristocrat I was aware it was a later model no truetone but for $200.00 I didn't think I could go wrong. the serial number is #553388 which put it right in the early 70s which is after the selmer buyout. So my question is how decent of a horn is it for being a buescher/bundy a student model. For $200.00 seems like a pretty good deal it has been professionaly serviced, adjusted and regulated but I havent played in 5 years either so was it? I will however use this till I can save up the cash to get a great player. I am real into jazz so I hope I can produce the tone I like. Any opinions would be great!

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  1. by saxgourmet
    (109 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

    yes, it says Buescher on the bell, but it's the same horn as a Bundy.....a student grade instrument, and not a very good one by modern standards......save your money and buy a better horn

    STEVE GOODSON
    New Orleans
    www.nationofmusic.com

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    1. by mtwilliams2448
      (8 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

      Thats what I was afraid of :(. I really miss playing I had a nice vito alto at one point and it got stolen it played fairly well but still not near as good as anything made in the 20s-40s. I have looked and passed on so many good saxes but yesterday morning I said what the hell ill give it a go just because I miss playing. That being said was $200.00 a complete waste at this point? Is there anything I can do to improve the playibility on it for the mean time? I have been checking my local craigslist here lately and there was a guy with a 1925 true-tone that he had up for sale for $150 that needed completely overhauled and I tried so hard to get it but he wont respond to any messages and didn't leave a phone number.

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      1. by saxismyaxe
        (574 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

        $200 is indeed in the ball park these sell for, but at least yours is set up and ready to play without additional expenditure.

        This will get the job done (They are often found being used as a school marching band warhorse), but don't expect to be blown away by the core tone, keywork etc. in the manner of the finest horns, vintage or modern. Depending on your level of playing at this  point, you may still get use out of it and make it worth the price paid.

        You could have done worse by sinking even more into a horn that isn't even playable, so don't feel bad.

        As you have found out, in the case of later Buescher branded horns (and many of the other, familiar names that have survived the Golden Age and original ownership), to paraphrase Sarah Bernhardt "A rose isn't necessarily a rose". 

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        1. by Saxquest
          (320 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          For $200 (if its really up and in good playing condition) is a great deal for a 70's vintage Buescher alto in good condition. There's nothing wrong with this saxophone as a starter sax. The best price for a new horn of equivalent quality would cost you well over $1000.

          I played on a similar sax up until I was a senior in high school and played first chair in concert and jazz band with it. I've got no gripes or regrets about the fact that I couldn't afford a better instrument from the beginning. It wouldn't have made a difference and I'm grateful that I had a good horn to play on. I got better because I obsessed about practicing and I fell in love with the sound of the saxophone not because of the brand of saxophone I played on.

          Well done! Rejoice in the fact that you have a decent quality musical instrument and have the opportunity to make music. Just make sure its in good working order. If the pads are sealing and the horn is set up well, it will serve you for many years to come.

          Cheers,
               Mark Overton
               www.saxquest.com

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        2. by mtwilliams2448
          (8 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          Thanks for the responses. I am glad to hear I got a decent deal! I just didn't know how far gone Bueschers design was at that time, from what I understand it didn't change majorly untill 75' or so and they kept all the same workers that worked in the plant. Do any of you know where i could get more information on this? My skill level will probaly be pretty mediocer untill I get back up to par and relearn. I was second chair when I was in school and loved playing jazz for me classical ensamble more often than not bores me to tears when I play.

          I am thinkng of investing in a jody jazz hr 7* anyone else have any experiance with these? From what I hear they have a nice sound and I can always use it when I get a better sax. I will currently be using rico jazz #2 reeds since I have had good luck and sound with them in the past.

           

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        3. by GFC
          (359 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          The major design change is most likely between the Bundy I, which is essentially a rebranded Buescher Aristocrat, and the Bundy II, which is a more modern looking Asian made horn with right-side bell keys.  The Bundy I/Buescher Aristocrat gets good marks for quality among student horns.  The Bundy II doesn't.

          If you're ever considering another True Tone, make sure you understand the limitations of the keywork on the particular horn you're looking at, and decide if they are acceptable to you.  The keywork of the True Tone changed a lot during its production run and some of them are downright primitive.  Other than that, they're known for a sweet sound and good intonation.  

          You can't go too far wrong with a mouthpiece at this stage as long as the quality is reasonable and the design doesn't have any trick features that mold the sound excessively.  The idea is to develop your own sound.  Moderate to large chambers and low baffles are the way to go for that.  I don't know how a 7* opening compares with what you're using now, but it shouldn't be a problem with soft reeds.  You're on the right track and the money you saved on the horn can go into a good mouthpiece, which will ultimately be more beneficial for you.

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        4. by mtwilliams2448
          (8 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          Well thats great to hear. I'm kinda oldfashioned in the sense, things made pre 50s Were way better quality than what we have today. I like hand crafted workmanship. So earlier mouthpieces are very attractive to me. I have an eye on my a few untouched Beuscher rubber mouthpieces I know they vary since they were handmade, from the ones I have heard and played in the past they were great quality. It would be ideal to try them first but I may just order it and try it.

          I very much would like to produce my own sound and definately know what I'm looking for I kinda always play around with reeds because sometimes they are good/bad and depending on what your playing makes a difference. 

          As for the old true tones I am aware thet they can be primitive but once more the hand crafted workmanship is desireable and further more there "sweet sound and intonation" is right up my alley. I will take a hit on keywork I just have to work a little harder to play :).

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        5. by GFC
          (359 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          The hit on the keywork can be anywhere from moderate to severe.  Just take the time to familiarize yourself with the evolution of the True Tone from the mid 1920s on.  This site and saxpics.com are good resources for that.  Saxgourmet.com has a value guide and this site has a section on buying used horns.  Armed with all that information, you should be able to find something you'll be happy with.

          The premium mouthpieces such as the one you're considering are hand finished the old fashioned way.  I don't think you'd be missing out on quality. 

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        6. by saxgourmet
          (109 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          uh.....where you gettin' your information? The Bundy I is NOT based on the Aristocrat....the bore taper, tone hole diameter etc. are significantly different.....the Bundy II was made in Elkhart, not Asia

          STEVE GOODSON
          New Orleans
          www.nationofmusic.com

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        7. by mtwilliams2448
          (8 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          Could you send me some links where I could read/look at this information to get a look at what the difference between my aristocrat and the Bundy I?

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        8. by GFC
          (359 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          In the words of a column by Matt Stohrer:

          "Later on in the 60s, Buescher was bought out by Selmer USA, who took the tooling for the Buescher Aristocrat, cheapened the design a bit, and called it a Bundy. The Bundy I (not the Bundy II) is basically a slightly cheapened professional horn! They have the same bore, the same neck, almost the same keywork, made in the same factory under a new name, and when in proper working shape, basically the same beautiful tone."

          Maybe there were some design changes to the Aristocrat around the time the Bundy I was introduced? 

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        9. by mtwilliams2448
          (8 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          Thats what I am trying to figure out. Because from what I am gathering is the Aristocrat became the bundy I. So untill then did the Aristocrat remain the same or was the Aristocrat made into the Bundy I, tested out like that then released as the Bundy I? In other words Was the Aristocrat the prototype horn of that time period?

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        10. by GFC
          (359 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          The Aristocrat did go through a series of changes before the Bundy was introduced.  Saxpics.com lays them out in an easily understandable form, with some historical notes.

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        11. by mtwilliams2448
          (8 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          I took a look and couldn't find the specifics that you were talking about, maybe I'm just overlooking it on another note look what I just picked up on ebay after shipping $18.49 the buy it now was 95.00. I hope this was as good as my old mouthpiece! looks like a number 2 piece which should put it right in the 1920s. i'm super excited! well incase you can't see the photos it is a buescher mouthpiece. Rubber, Nice fat chamber and all!

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        12. by mtwilliams2448
          (8 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: BUESCHER ARISTOCRAT Question?

          Looks like I just got another, 2 for the price of half of one good mpc :) also an old number 2 piece with eb stamped on it.

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