Saxophone Forum

by Tracy612
(2 posts)
1 month ago

New Member - question on identifying an old Buescher

I picked up a rough old Buescher alto sax and I'm having a hard time making an exact identification. My horn says Buescher True Tone by the serial number and Aristocrat on the bell. The serial number (336xxx) seems to indicate that it was made in 1950-51. However, the design on my bell is not the top hat. It's more of a flourish or feathers with Buescher Aristocrat Elkhart IN. Also, 140 is stamped under the serial number. 

While the horn does play and actually doesn't sound too bad, it looks pretty rough. I'm not sure if it's worth paying someone to overhaul it or just move it on down the road. My kid has not expressed a lot of interest in playing it unfortunately, and I am more of a clarinet player.

Just looking for a little advice as to what I should do and/or in identifying my horn. What's the going rate for a complete (or partial) overhaul? If I opt to let it go, it would be helpful to know what it's worth. I got it for a steal at a church rummage sale so I don't really have a clear notion of its value. And it's been many years since I bought a horn on the open market. 

Many thanks in advance.

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  1. by mijderf
    (187 posts)

    1 month ago

    Re: New Member - question on identifying an old Buescher

    If you look in the Saxophone Museum tab on the upper left corner of this page, it will lead you to this:
    This horn is a well regarded professional level horn.  You can get an idea of repair costs by checking out this link:

    Full restorations are pricey, so first I would take it to a good repair tech in your area (not necessarily the local music shop) and see what it would cost to put it into good playing shape.

    Putting a price on it depends upon how playable it is, on whether the finish is original lacquer or a re-lacquer, and the general appearance of the horn.  I did see a similar alto that looked to be in good shape, fully playable with pads with plenty of service life left on them, and with original lacquer (but worn) that sold for $900.

    In general, if you are thinking of selling it, it is does not make economic sense to go for a full refurb.  But you should get it to the playable level. 

    I hope this helps. 

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    1. by Tracy612
      (2 posts)

      4 weeks ago

      Re: New Member - question on identifying an old Buescher

      Thank you. Your post is very helpful. Much appreciated.

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