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Thread: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

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    Default Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Just bought a 346xxx tenor in mint condition, 90% or better lacquer and fresh authentic overhaul/setup by a local pro shop for, get this, $350! On top of this, the deal included a vintage Brilhart mouthpiece! The whole rig looks like a closet horn and was found in a local pawn shop. I struggled to keep a straight face as the manager asked me why I wanted that "student model" horn... The computer system doesn't go back to 1951 and therefore it was priced the same as a horribly beat up YTS-23... Lesson? Gold is often found in the mud among worthless gravel........ Just a thought.

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    You mean you could have had a Yamaha instead?!?
    Disclaimer: My opinions are not based in any way on research, knowledge, experience, talent, insight, facts, or in some cases reality. Take any advice I offer at your own risk.

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Just because the word is often misused here, I would point out that 'mint condition' should mean 100% lacquer.

    That quibble aside, congratulations on a stupendous deal; and commiserations to the anonymous player who had to leave it at the pawn shop.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    No thanks on the Yamaha, at least a 23... =).. And I appreciate the clarification in terminology!

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by BoomerKC View Post
    No thanks on the Yamaha, at least a 23... =).. And I appreciate the clarification in terminology!
    Agreed. You would be unwise to buy a beat-up 23 for $350 when you can find one in reasonably good condition for $400-500 (and I've occasionally seen decent ones at $350). I have both an Aristocrat (later than yours, S/N 560xxx) and a YTS-21, and the Yamaha wins on ergonomics but the Buescher wins on sound, at least outside of high-volume applications. The Aristocrat is NOT amenable to high baffle pieces -- it's OK with the Drake Contemporary, but that's about all it will take. The Dukoff and Saxscape are right out. In the upper octave the two horns sound remarkably similar, but the Buescher is quite a bit fatter at the bottom.
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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal 2 View Post
    Agreed. You would be unwise to buy a beat-up 23 for $350 when you can find one in reasonably good condition for $400-500 (and I've occasionally seen decent ones at $350). I have both an Aristocrat (later than yours, S/N 560xxx) and a YTS-21, and the Yamaha wins on ergonomics but the Buescher wins on sound, at least outside of high-volume applications. The Aristocrat is NOT amenable to high baffle pieces -- it's OK with the Drake Contemporary, but that's about all it will take. The Dukoff and Saxscape are right out. In the upper octave the two horns sound remarkably similar, but the Buescher is quite a bit fatter at the bottom.
    My main horn is a Yamaha 875 tenor.... but I will probably end up using the Aristocrat for some of the Big Band stuff that we do, because it gives a more period sound. Ergonomics are pretty subjective, and I find that the Buscher setup is easy to get used to and very smooth/playable when properly regulated, comparing favorably to many other pro model horns that I've owned and played. That's just me. Same for the MPC situation. Many examples from my MPC collection sound good on both horns and bring their own advantages and limitations. With so many variables involved (player, reed, ligature, setup of horn, etc...) I have seen some unusual and unlikely combinations sound great. Horns seem to have personalities that are as varied as their owners.

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal 2 View Post
    I have both an Aristocrat (later than yours, S/N 560xxx) and a YTS-21, and the Yamaha wins on ergonomics but the Buescher wins on sound, at least outside of high-volume applications. The Aristocrat is NOT amenable to high baffle pieces.....
    Ok, two things that need to be corrected here for those who may not be familiar with the run of Buescher vintage horns.

    1) The later "Aristocrat" s/n 560,xxx, while a decent horn, is not the same horn at all as the earlier Big B & 156 Aristocrat. It is post Selmer buy-out and Selmer degraded these horns significantly. So Mal 2 is comparing apples and oranges with the OP's horn.

    2) It is NOT at all true that the Aristocrat (the real one, not the post-Selmer buyout) won't play well with a high baffle mpc. It will play at least as well as any other horn with high baffle mpcs. Of course, just like every other horn, some some mpcs will be a better match, but this is more down to the player than the mpc. But I can tell you for a fact that both of my Aristocrat tenors (1940 series one, and 1950 '156') do as well as my MKVI with high baffle mpcs. And these Bueschers are a perfect match for an RPC 120B mpc.

    Just wanted to get that clear!

    edit: I should add that the RPC 120B is an even better match for my series one Aristocrat than it is for the MKVI. The baffled RPC brings out the beast in that old Buescher!

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    I found the Aristocrate to work best without intonation issues on big chamber mouthpieces. Lately I was using a Buescher reafaced MPC and recently I send to Erik Greiffenhagen my Morgan 7M for a "transformation".
    He will adjust it to a true large chamber as he already did for somebody in Norway.
    Also, maybe the Aristocrate works on high bafles but it is some nervous, or not?

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by CONN-hunter View Post
    Also, maybe the Aristocrate works on high bafles but it is some nervous, or not?
    I don't understand the question. What do you mean by "it is some nervous, or not?"

    When you refer to the Aristocrat, which one do you mean? There were several Aristocrat models among the 'real' Buescher run, and the name stuck even among some post Selmer-buy out horns. Leaving those aside, here is the breakdown of models, starting from the oldest:

    'new Aristocrat' with split bell keys (very short run, I believe).

    'Series one' Aristocrat with small bell flare and art-deco engraving, bell keys on left side.

    'Big B' Aristocrat with small bell flare, ribbon key guards (probably similar to the series one).

    'Big B' Aristocrat with larger bell flare (somewhat different from the earlier small bell flare model; more 'spread' sound).

    156 Aristocrat; identical to the later Big B, but with a script engraving.

    You can lump the later Big B (larger bell flare) together with the 156. Otherwise these horns are all different. They share some characteristics, but don't sound/play the same. I have both a series one and a 156. Both of them play well with a variety of mouthpieces and they don't get 'nervous' (whatever that means) or suffer any intonation issues on a high baffle mpc. ANY horn will sound louder and brighter (depending on how high the baffle is, the tip size, and the chamber size) on a high baffle mpc, and so will the Bueschers. But that's the mpc, not the horn. You have to decide what mpc you prefer. You might prefer a larger chamber mpc, but if so, that would likely be your preference on any horn.

    Speaking of intonation, the two tenors I own (series one and 156) have superb intonation, as good as it gets on a sax. Certainly as good as my MKVI and probably better.

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Based on my experiences with my 1936 Aristo1 tenor, it can be played with small to large chambers and low to high baffles ( this is good example of an Aristo tenor with Guardala piece – have a look at the comments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boJhEdaWMBA ) But as stated by CONN-hunter it works at it’s best with a larger chamber – it is more in tune with itself, opens up, a small tendency to gurgle on low D when playing soft is reduced and a little flat high E and F are sharpened.

    I can sign on the match between a large chamber, M baffle Morgan and the Aristo tenor.

    This one is the perfect piece for my playing : http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2010/0...ece/#more-1292

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by ToreH View Post
    Based on my experiences with my 1936 Aristo1 tenor, it can be played with small to large chambers and low to high baffles ( this is good example of an Aristo tenor with Guardala piece – have a look at the comments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boJhEdaWMBA ) But as stated by CONN-hunter it works at it’s best with a larger chamber – it is more in tune with itself, opens up, a small tendency to gurgle on low D when playing soft is reduced and a little flat high E and F are sharpened.
    Well, I'm in agreement with your first statement here. And I wouldn't argue the fact that you prefer a large chamber (no baffle?) mpc. However, I haven't found the intonation issues you mention with either of my Bueschers. I've used both an RPC (large tip, high baffle) and a Tenney Jazzmaster 7* (v small rollover baffle) on my Aristo1 tenor. They both work very well, but RPC really brings out the beast in this horn as I mentioned before. Now, it's true that the RPC has a relatively large chamber and a large tip, which helps compensate for the baffle so it still has plenty of body to the sound.

    I actually think my Tenney works better on the VI than on the Buescher, but I guess it doesn't have a bigger chamber than the RPC.

    I thought your Aristo sounded fine with that Guardala! Even though that wouldn't be my choice of mpc on any horn. So you actually make the point I'm trying to make: You can use whatever mpc you want on the Bueschers, same as any other model horn. It could be that for some, a large chamber low baffle mpc will work better. I'm just saying you aren't limited to that on a Buescher.

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    Ok, two things that need to be corrected here for those who may not be familiar with the run of Buescher vintage horns.

    1) The later "Aristocrat" s/n 560,xxx, while a decent horn, is not the same horn at all as the earlier Big B & 156 Aristocrat. It is post Selmer buy-out and Selmer degraded these horns significantly. So Mal 2 is comparing apples and oranges with the OP's horn.
    That's exactly why I specified what I have.

    The Dukoff (and now the Saxscape) work great on both the Mercury and the Yamaha. The Mercury particularly benefits from them -- it plays in tune with itself, and doesn't sound stuffy. It seems as though the horn was DESIGNED for bright, aggressive pieces -- and maybe it was. On the Buescher, they sound like I'm trying to play a chainsaw.
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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal 2 View Post
    That's exactly why I specified what I have..
    Right. I just wanted to be sure no one, especially the OP, confused the horn you are referring to with the one the OP has.

    Sometimes people jump to unwarranted conclusions, based on one innocent comment. Also, of course, all high baffle mpcs are not the same. I've played a few high baffle mpcs that will make any horn sound like a high-pitched chainsaw or worse. And it may be that a Dukoff doesn't work well on certain horns that an RPC or Berg would sound fine on, and vice versa. So it can be misleading to over-generalize.

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    JL,

    I think we agree on most.

    The youtube clip is not me, I just included it to prove your point that an Aristocrat tenor works fine with even a Guardala. But in my experience and as stated by a few of the comments to that clip, it works even better with a larger chamber.

    I know the Morgan MLL piece in Steve's review quite well and it has a chamber size like vintage Link HR and a medium roll over baffle. I find it to be the perfect acustic match to the Aristo - and it gives me a very, very special playing experience.

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Quote Originally Posted by ToreH View Post
    JL,

    I think we agree on most.

    The youtube clip is not me, I just included it to prove your point that an Aristocrat tenor works fine with even a Guardala. But in my experience and as stated by a few of the comments to that clip, it works even better with a larger chamber.

    I know the Morgan MLL piece in Steve's review quite well and it has a chamber size like vintage Link HR and a medium roll over baffle. I find it to be the perfect acustic match to the Aristo - and it gives me a very, very special playing experience.
    Then the odds are, you simply like large-chambered mpcs.

    I haven't played a Morgan, but I've heard it is a very good match for a Buescher (and many other tenors as well). A Link would also be an excellent match. I don't deny that. As to whether these would be a better match than a high-baffle mpc, it depends on what you are looking for. Certainly they'd be a better match than some high-baffle mpcs, but you can say that for any model horn. I'm not really partial to high baffle mpcs, but I do like the RPC, maybe because it has a relatively large chamber. As I mentioned above, I like my Tenney Jazzmaster (rollover baffle) on the Buescher, but I think it fits the MKVI even better. However, I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that the VI plays best with a rollover baffle.

    All of this is more a mpc issue than anything to do with Bueschers in particular. The two Aristocrats I have, spanning the era from the late '30s to the early '50s (not the horn Mal refers to) are just as mpc-friendly as most other tenors. That's all I'm saying.

    edit: I might have to check out that Morgan MLL mpc! Thanks for the tip.

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Hello all. Just came back from my night shift.

    I have a Aristocrate Tenor and ALto Series one.

    Tne intonation is also a factor that an experienced player can compensate and the more intimacy you have with the Crate 1 the more control you will have on it with different MPC´s.
    I said "bit nervous". It´s probably a bad explanation. Indeed I´ve been playing it even with a New Vintage HR which has a Medium- small chamber with good results but with a large chamber and specially the Buescher MPC it sounds as the sax had found its old mate again.
    It sounds much natural, full sound and the intonation is almost perfect without efforts.

    My Morgan 7M worked also well but I sent it to Erik for a customization. it will turn to a 8LL,I think.

    cheers

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    CONN-hunter,

    hopefully it will turn out as a 8*MLL (0.105) - medium baffle/large chamber.
    Please check out Steve's review of the resulting piece that I refered to in my earlier post ( http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2010/0...ece/#more-1292 )

  18. #18

    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Love and miss mine, haven't been able to play it for 3 weeks!! If this goes on much longer I'll have to write it a poem.......'Ode to my Saxophone..........'

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Hi ToreH.

    Hey! wasn´t you the guy whom Erik made one for using the Crate?

    As I talked to Erik he mentioned somebody in Norway.

    yes, I asked for a 0.105 opening and since its a M modell it will turn to a MLL, thats right.

    I should have bought a 8L ages ago as Dave from Junkdude advised me so, but know the piece is on its way in the USA and surely it will be the best MPC in arsenal.

    cheers

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    Default Re: Buescher Aristocrat Tenor....

    Yes, as I signed my earlier posting “somebody in Norway” - and the piece in Steve's review is mine.

    I also have a C and a L chamber Morgan tenor and they are both fine with the Aristo, but this 8*MLL is something very special. I play it with a 3 Java Green just like in Steve's review.

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