Saxophone Forum


by karebear1012
(395 posts)
10 years ago

Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

I found an antique alto sax made by Royal Artist of Bruno N.Y. Is this any good? The horn is silver plated, but its really dirty (probably from age). However, it's in good shape. The horn is about $100. Should i bother buying it? Thanks!

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  1. by saxismyaxe
    (574 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

    Karebear, My notes indicate that the horn in question is most likely a "Bruno Royal Artist of New York" Stencil horn. This company sold horns primarily in the 1920's and 30's that were stenciled horns supplied by both Martin and Buescher. If there is anyway that you could email some pictures to me, I would be more than happy to identify which maker manufactured your horn. Basically we are looking at the tone hole chimneys to examine if it has soldered/beveled tone hole flutes, or straight drawn tonehole flutes. The former would indicate a Martin horn, and the latter a Buescher. Now I'm not going to recommend a horn sight unseen, however I will say that if this horn turns out to be what I believe it to be, then it might make a good playing vintage horn, provided it is in good nick. My experience has been that the better stencil horns (they could vary from excellent, to junk models, depending on the specifications of the retailer, and the manufacturer) were often plated, be it Silver, Nickel, or in very rare cases gold. This might be to your advantage with this horn. Mike.

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  2. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

    I've never heard of them karebear, and I can't seem to find any information about them at all. It could be an imported stencil, maybe an Evette Schaefer or something? I really have no idea. Can you take a couple pictures of it?

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    1. by karebear1012
      (395 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

      yeah, what are your email addresses? I'll send a couple pictures. Thanks for your help! Kara

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      1. by karebear1012
        (395 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

        oh yeah, what do you mean when you say "stencil horns"??

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        1. by jazzfool132
          (144 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Aren't stencil horns, made by one company for another? Like Selmer makes stencils for Bundy. I think that's what they are -J

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        2. by saxismyaxe
          (574 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Jazzfool, Stencil horns are indeed a horn made by one manufacturer for a retailer or another instrument company. In the case of Later Selmer/Bundy or Selmer/Buescher horns, these were companies bought out by Selmer USA and not made by a completely separate company. KareBear, Please send the image files to www.gentofthesouth1861@yahoo.com. Cheers.

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        3. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          alright ... i sent the ones I could....i'll try to get more if you want because I dont think those pictures will help very much. Thanks! Kara

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        4. by saxismyaxe
          (574 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Kara, Actually the pictures provided everything I needed. It is indeed a Silver plated Buescher Stencil of their True Tone Model Eb Alto, made for the Bruno Company. Bruno moved their company to Japan in the 50s and are best know for their Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo lines. These True Tones are great horns, with a sweet sound and very good intonation. The key work (especially the left hand pinkie table keys) takes some getting used to, but this is a fine vintage horn. Provided it doesn't have any excessive pitting, damage, poorly repaired components etc. this is a great deal at $100.00. You will need to plan on a total break down of the instrument, cleaning, recorking and possibly new springs, and definitely a repad. This will add several hundred to the price, but will still be a worthwhile horn. Bearing in mine the previous caveat, I would go for it.

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        5. by saxismyaxe
          (574 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          As an added side note: My records show that C Bruno of Bruno Company of New York started off as an employee of Martin Guitars, and branched off in the 1880's to start his own company, which as I mentioned earlier was known mainly for their accoustic string instruments. Cheers.

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        6. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Hats off to you Mike! I didn't have much luck with this one at all! I really like the old Buescher True Tones Kara. They're cool old horns. They look very similar to the Conn New Wonder, but I think the intonation on the Bueschers is actually a little better. My email is jimmyalber@yahoo.com. I'd like to see it, but I'm sure it's what Mike says it is. He collects horns also, and has a pretty good idea what he's talking about. I'd go for it. sounds like a good buy. Best of luck! Jim

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        7. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Hi Kara. Mike forwarded your pics to me and I had a look at them. It's definately a Buescher made horn you have under all that tarnish! Never fear though. I've cleaned up a couple that looked even worse. Tarn-X works wonders! It's going to need some work, obviously, but you can make this a really nice horn, and it's not going to cost you a lot of money either. Since it's a Buescher stencil, you should be able to check the serial number with this list and get an idea as to when it was made. I've heard that all of the Buescher stencils were stamped at the factory and follow the same number sequence as the other Buescher horns. This is not the case with most stencils. Here's a link to a site with Buescher serial #'s www.drrick.com/buesc.html Your mom called it right! These saxophones have a sweet tone that's big and bold and really stands out. The intonation is good and they play very well. The action, although a little clunky like all vintage horns, is very solid and smooth when properly adjusted. This is quite a treasure you've found here! Good luck! I'm sure Mike and I both would love to see another picture after you've cleaned it up and had it overhauled.

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        8. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          thanks for all your help! My dad ended up getting the horn for $117, and it should be here in a week or so. I'll keep you posted on how everything turns out. My dad was sort of ambivalent because he was scared that it would be a piece of junk - so if it ends up being junk ill just try to sell it or give it away and get my keilwerth. s'all good=) does it have a bright / dark/ warm tone? thanks again! Kara

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        9. by saxismyaxe
          (574 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Hi Kara, Your welcome! If you don't want the horn, I'll be happy to buy it from you :). These Bueschers have a warm, lush sound to them. If you want to hear what these horns can sound like, listen to Johnny Hodges with the Duke Ellington orchastra, especially a ballad such as "Passion Flower"; You will be very amazed. Granted it helped that he was a musical marvel!

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        10. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          hey! i just got the saxophone, and itz really cool! i definately needs a lot of work - new pads, theres a big dent on the bell...etc. the tarnish is coming off nicely, and my dad got the neck perfectly silver again.. the serial number is 113518. what does that mean? is it a good model? thanks Kara

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        11. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Hi Kara and Merry Christmas. sure sounds like a neat old horn. I'm glad to hear the tarnish is comming off nicely. The Silver saxes usually do clean up well. I looked at dr. Rick's list of serial numbers for Buescher saxophones www.drrick.com/buesc.html, and according to the list, it's a 1922. Buescher is the only company I know of who used their own sequence of serial numbers on their stencil models as their own. I'm sure that with a good cleaning, some new pads, and a little TLC, you'll have yourself a nice sax with an awesome tone! You'll have to send me some pictures when you get it all done! Jim

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        12. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          we brought the sax in for an estimate today....the guy there wasn't the sax repair person, but he does know a lot about instruments. he said that it would cost about $400 to fix up the entire horn, and it will play nicely once done. he did say though that my beginner horn would be more consistent and in tune, so there wouldnt be much of a point. then he told us where we could turn it into a lamp..lol. so we arent sure what to do.. we might just sell it....and keep lookin for a nice keilwerth in the budget.

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        13. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Kara, What your repair tech told you is true of a lot of the horns made in the same era as the Bruno, but the intonation on the Bueschers is exceptional for their time period. It's still a vintage horn. Old horns are like old people. Sometimes tempermental. Sometimes they need a little extra care, or they need to know that they're loved and appreciated! I can promise you though that this old Bruno will sound a whole lot sweeter that your beginning model, and as you get to know the horn better, you'll see what I mean. I would encourage you to spend the money and have it restored. Give it a try for a while and see what you think. If you're not happy with it, you can either sell it or possibly trade it in on a new Keilwerth or Selmer. I'm sure you'll be able to get your money out of it and then some if you have it restored to playing condition. I really think that once you start playing it, you won't wnat to put it down! Jim

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        14. by eman19
          (131 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          Hey my tenor is a true tone, and I checked it out against a tuner and it beat out most of the horns that I tried before I bought it, both modern and vintage. I don't know the quality of your stencil, but if its anywhere close to the real company's, you're going to love the sound you get out of it.

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        15. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!! Royal Artist of Bruno??

          yeah..im just debating whether or not to fix it up. because if i do and it isnt what i expected, then ill have less money to buy a pro keilwerth with... we'll probably just end up going for it...

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