Saxophone Forum

by Tinncupp
(1 post)
4 years ago

Buescher Aristocrat Alto


I"m hoping to get some input from the experts on this forum. I've been playing sax (off and on) since grade school. When I started, my original sax was a Buescher Aristocrat Alto (Serial 601446) and I'd say it dates back to mid-70's.

The sax definitely shows its age -- scratches, a few small dents, etc. and it has not been repadded in at least 20 years.

Recently started playing with a band and decided to pull it out and start playing sax again. Amazingly, I find I still can play fairly well (skills are rusty but still there) and all things considered, the sax is very playable and doesn't sound too bad.

My question(s) are: (1) Can someone tell me about this sax - is it a student model? Is it worth much in today's market? approximate value? and (2) It is worth repairing and what would you recommend in terms of a repair (total overahaul, repads, tune-up, etc.)? Approximately what should I expect to pay to get it to where it should be?  

Also, would it make more sense given all of the above to look at a new/replacement sax vs. investing in this one and if so, given what I described about my level of play, what recommendations would you have?

I know this is a lot but I've been away from the sax scene forever and I know things have come a long way so I could really use expert advice here.


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  1. by GFC
    (710 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: Buescher Aristocrat Alto

    The '70s Buescher Aristocrats are a student model much like the Selmer Bundy.  They can be worth a few hundred in top condition.  You seem to like it, so it is worth repairing to keep in playable condition.  You will never recover the cost of a full overhaul in terms of market value, but the cost of basic repadding, cork, and felt work can be justified in terms of its value to you as a user.  Set a repair budget that is suitable for you and approach techs on the basis of maintaining playing condition.  Since you describe your horn as very playable, it doesn't sound like you're in for much of a hit on the repair costs.

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