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  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Don't go calling your post selmer buyout Bueshcer "Bundies"

    HA Bundy labeled horns were Aristocrat bodies with less "hip" keywork. So was elkhart built by Buescher horns.

    After selmer buyout there's still one good batch of buescher - buescher horns. And I've always worked primarily with Bueschers and have measured more bodies and details than I should, so here's the breakup:

    Aristocrats made out of prime production pieces: those horns will always have the rhomboid post and guard feet (flange). Top notch Buescher production on aristocrats, 400's, and mixed series (aristocrats with 400 bells and such experiments)

    Aristocrat stencils: will have the true tone style flange for posts and will have the post selmer guard feet (flange). This goes for HA bundy, Elkhart, some WINDSOR stencil horns, well, that kind of horns.

    during the early Selmer years, and up to mid 400xxx serial range, they're still using top notch details.

    After mid 400xxx serial range, you have buescher bodies with stencil keywork up to 65xxxx on tenors and up to as high as 79xxxx on altos. This means that while having the truetone side trill looking keys (the aristocrat side trill key style were destined to Signets in this period) and the New Aristocrat LH pinky table with the no-rollered G# table that says BUESCHER or BUNDY, these horns are indeed pristine buescher bodies (the necks on this horns are True Tone necks in bore and shape, while the aristocrat necks are saved for signets occasionally and buescher 400 always)

    So really your bundy I is a BUESCHER and not the other way around.

    When you play a late 30's to '50's buescher you get why Selmer bought them out and destroyed them. They produced fast keywork, and a variety of flavors for intonation and tone (spread, thick and focused, etc) way before Selmer came up with the "celebrated" MK VI. (They must be celebrating now the vast amount of money they made with marketing hype)

    I will make a point out of recording samples with my early, mid, late true tones, my New Aristocrats, My aristo I, my early Big B, my mid Big B, my 140 script aristo, my 400 THC and several so called bundy bueschers and post them. (I have all them breeds in altos, not on tenors) so you can take an educated or uneducated guess... the later aristocrats outplay my 140 and my later big B, and they're amazingly biting at my 400's ankles!

    BOTTOMLINE: tenors up to mid 600xxx serial ranges and altos up to late 700xxx serial ranges are Buescher by all means and should not be taken lightly or as cheap student horns. The nickel plate may or may not appeal to you, and on the later edge of that ranges they may look cheaper than before, but up to about the '80's the selmer american company was paying the bills with overproduction stock from the golden years. even with round post flanges!

    It's so sad learning that part of the reason why Selmer was allowed to do this is because you didn't stand up for your domestic companies and while having such fine horns made at the home of the braves you were always looking across the puddle for froggie saxophones!
    Last edited by jicaino; 12-17-2008 at 08:07 PM. Reason: add post flange detail in the bottomline
    Juan Ignacio Caino
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Here's the down and dirty on all this and yes, it is my post from last year's thread on this subject:

    At some point before 1970, the Aristocrat line and the Bundy line became the same. And it appears that most horns made in the old Buescher factory, used the same serial numbering system no matter what the brand name on the horn; Elkharts and some stencils excluded.

    You will see some confusing information on this because changes to the Buescher Aristocrat line did not take place immediately after Selmer took over in 1963. And since Selmer USA had been selling Buescher Aristocrat and/or Elkhart horns stenciled as Bundys for some years prior to 1963, it's even more confusing. And there are a few "hold-over" Buescher horns that Selmer sold after 1963.

    But by 1970, the Bundy and Aristocrat lines were interchangeable. However, the Buescher 400 line appears to have remained virtually unchanged from 1963 until about 1978-1979 and may have mostly been special order horns by 1970. That's my 63xxxx Buescher 400 in my avatar.

    By the end of the 1970's, all the Buescher-style (left bell key) horns were replaced with true Selmer USA versions or highbreds. These would include models such as the Bundy II, Aristocrat 200 and the ill-fated 1980's Buescher 400 that was actually an early Selmer Omega with an underslung neck. And as a note, there appears to have been several different models of the Bundy II over the years. Some with more Buescher-like features and later ones more similar to the modern Selmer 1244 horns.

    Baritone Bueschers and Bundy's are a whole other story. On the bari side of the house, it appears that the pre-1963 Buescher 400 model was continued after the Selmer buy out and eventually merged with the Bundy Baritone.

    I've never had any to compare, but I have always heard that 50's and 60's Buescher 400 bari's are almost the same as the 70's Bundy bari's. That may make the 70's Bundy Baritone the best Selmer Bundy (non-Special) of them all.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
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    Buescher 400 Tenor, Pre-War Big-B Aristocrat Tenor, True Tone Alto, Conn New Wonder Bari, Antigua 590 Soprano

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010 harmonizerNJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Enviroguy View Post
    ......I've never had any to compare, but I have always heard that 50's and 60's Buescher 400 bari's are almost the same as the 70's Bundy bari's. That may make the 70's Bundy Baritone the best Selmer Bundy (non-Special) of them all.
    I saw some neglected, dented, forgotten old-looking Bundy bari saxes at my son's school. The kids are not using them; instead the kids are using a couple of new Jupiter student baris, which appear to be in good shape.

    How could one recognize one of these 70's Bundy baris, that might be a decent horn? By serial number range? By recognizing specific keywork?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Many have the bell keys on the inside facing the main body keys.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Quote Originally Posted by harmonizerNJ View Post
    I saw some neglected, dented, forgotten old-looking Bundy bari saxes at my son's school. The kids are not using them; instead the kids are using a couple of new Jupiter student baris, which appear to be in good shape.

    How could one recognize one of these 70's Bundy baris, that might be a decent horn? By serial number range? By recognizing specific keywork?
    Yep,

    They will have the back bell-keys.

    Also, if you are looking to buy one of these, I would be interested too. I need a bari sax badly but cannot find one I can affort. I would love to have an old school Bundy bari to rebuild.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
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    Buescher 400 Tenor, Pre-War Big-B Aristocrat Tenor, True Tone Alto, Conn New Wonder Bari, Antigua 590 Soprano

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010 harmonizerNJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Enviroguy View Post
    Yep,

    They will have the back bell-keys.......
    By "back bell-keys", does that mean the low Bb1 and B1 keys will be on the left side of the bell from the player's perspective when holding the horn?

  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008 Mope's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Like this one?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Quote Originally Posted by harmonizerNJ View Post
    By "back bell-keys", does that mean the low Bb1 and B1 keys will be on the left side of the bell from the player's perspective when holding the horn?
    No,

    Like in Mope's picture, the B1 and Bb1 keys are between the bell and the body. Maybe at the 4:00 o'clock position to the right from the players position.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
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    Buescher 400 Tenor, Pre-War Big-B Aristocrat Tenor, True Tone Alto, Conn New Wonder Bari, Antigua 590 Soprano

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    i have a 65xxx all brass bundy(KEYS TOO) alto that is an awesume horn. it plays like a vintage buescher should . i have had people come up to the stage to check it ouy and always say-he is playing on a bundy?
    runyon mouthpeices-no need to look elsewhere

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    that's what I'm talking about super20dan... I'd even go as far as saying that a good "stencil" HA bundy, or an elkhart, or even a post selmer aristocrat, can put a good 140 or 156 in a compromised situation some of them may be even be preferred to 140's and 156's. My guess is that "second line" horns used vintage (at the time!) bore configurations due to being built on "leftover" parts (not precisely leftover from QC but maybe they tooled up for new ergos or something and they stashed away tons of key sets, or they changed an alloy component and did the same with body parts and such)
    Juan Ignacio Caino
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  11. #11

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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Thank you, jicaino!! Great info--encouraging, insightful, and useful for all Bundy players.

    I have a H&A Selmer Bundy tenor, serial 379xxx, that is almost identical to the horn for sale right now at Junkdude, who lists it as a Buescher Bundy, serial 383xxx: https://www.junkdude.com/ProductDeta...d_product=1317

    When I got mine and took it in for an overhaul, the neck had a little evidence of pull-down. My technician, Eric Beach of Chuck Levins near DC, said that he loved working on those necks because there was plenty of thick metal to work with, as compared with some other necks. He didn't recommend a replacement neck or anything, which surprised me. He seemed really enthusiastic about the horn overall, and ranked it far above any "student" model out there made recently--good vintage horn, well built, great tone, they don't make them like this anymore, etc etc.

    Anyway, Eric was great, and although I know the horn is sweet and plays beautifully, it is encouraging to know that there are many out there who agree that an H&A Bundy built up to 1962 or thereabouts is a wonderful bargain late Aristocrat.

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Hey django!

    yes, not only HA Bundies, but up to a very high serial number, bundies are downlooked bueschers. Plus buescher aristocrats after the buyout are really nice too. I'd say that if they hadn't nickel plated keys this discussion would be pointless, people tends to think every nickel plated keys sax is cheap or students. 20 years ago I had a couple of customers selling their Handcraft imperials for peanuts for this reason!

    Your HABundy is really something, I also love them. They have a little more focus than some 156's script or B's. I like that a lot...!
    Juan Ignacio Caino
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    mine suffered from neck pulldown as well. when i replaced it with another later bundy neck-it really came to life!
    runyon mouthpeices-no need to look elsewhere

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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Jicaino,

    I have long suspected that the 1964 - 1970 HA Selmer Signets (the ones with the S for a bell brace) are built from the 140/156 tooling. They had all brass keys like 140/156 or came occasionally in silver plate. Have you worked on or played any of these?

    Sax Magic
    Last edited by Sax Magic; 01-30-2009 at 04:19 AM. Reason: typo

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Unlike when someone brings in a Bundy II they got off ebay for $400, I always enjoy telling people that the Bundy I they just picked up for a couple hundred bucks is really a stencil version of a 1930s professional horn.
    matt stohrer

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    All of this is just like, my opinion, man.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Hi guys;
    I'm new here, I just bought a Buescher Aristocrat Alto Saxophone 4545**, I'm still wating they delivere it. I've got it for $200
    Is it good?
    and please what is its history? I see you really know about this.
    thanks a lot

  17. #17

    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Quote Originally Posted by rolandof View Post
    Hi guys;
    I'm new here, I just bought a Buescher Aristocrat Alto Saxophone 4545**, I'm still wating they delivere it. I've got it for $200
    Is it good?
    and please what is its history? I see you really know about this.
    thanks a lot
    If you are happy with it, it is good! I purchased a Buescher Aristocrat tenor for $300 and it is outstanding... Do not buy into the brand hype...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    Quote Originally Posted by rolandof View Post
    Hi guys;
    I'm new here, I just bought a Buescher Aristocrat Alto Saxophone 4545**, I'm still wating they delivere it. I've got it for $200
    Is it good?
    and please what is its history? I see you really know about this.
    thanks a lot
    Your horn was made around 1966 by Selmer USA at the old Buescher factory in Elkhart, IN.

    The design and bore of the horn should be the same on the pre-1962 pro model Aristocrat. However, some features have been slightly simplified or cheapened to aid in mass production. The major visible differences will be the use of Selmer-style pads with plastic resonators and stainless steel springs.

    As to the matter of this horn being a Bundy. In reality, its the other way around. The Bundy is actually this horn, but with a cheaper engraving. And some pro saxophone players have been seen and photographed playing Bundy's from this era. So the Bundy connection is not that bad a thing.

    The good news in that the tone and general performance of these horns can be close to their pro model predecessors. The bad news is a possible intonation problem and possible sub-par setup from the factory. But if you are lucky and your horn is one of the "good ones" it may in fact be a very good horn can be equal to many present-day intermediate models. And due to its very durable design, it has the potential to hold up under very heavy use like a pro model.

    So enjoy your horn and congratulations on your purchase.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
    _____________________________________________
    Buescher 400 Tenor, Pre-War Big-B Aristocrat Tenor, True Tone Alto, Conn New Wonder Bari, Antigua 590 Soprano

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    yes, I can in fact show you a weird Buescher Bundy stencil, my Getzen Capri has features common on both brands present at the same time on the horn. I do not have an original neck though but I think that any Bundy would fit


  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bueschers aren't Bundies!

    That's a Buescher-Buescher stencil. I love the railroad guards!
    Juan Ignacio Caino
    "The more you sweat during practice, the less you bleed during combat"
    I prefer e-mail messages to PM
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