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Thread: Aristocrat Keywork?

  1. #1

    Default Aristocrat Keywork?

    I have been playing modern horns Professionally for some time now, and I mostly play Blues/R&B, but I can't get the Aristocrat sound out of my head, so big/resonate. I tried a pal's Aristocrat about six months ago, taking it on a club gig. (It belonged to his Grandfather who passed away, and he wanted me to check it out) I was blown away by it. My question is: I can't really remember, partly because I only played it for a short time, but how is the ease of use of Aristocrat keywork over the long haul? I have been into playing swifter passages, but I have been playing new Yamahas, which have great keywork. I wonder if I will feel slightly held back by the older vintage sax keywork over time. Bootman?

  2. #2

    Default Buescher keywork

    I find the (left pinky)spatula to be placed well, but you really have to work hard to get the tension right. I have built up the left hand palm keys with cork. The rest of the horn is quite well designed and you can tell just by holding it, that it is VERY well constructed and obviously made to last the long haul. Just get with a repair person to work out the kinks and the rest just takes getting used to, so I don't think that the keywork will hold you back in any way. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    I recently started playing an Aristocrat tenor after years on a Mark VI and I can honestly say the keywork is no problem whatsoever. In fact, it's got as smooth an action as you'd want and I haven't had any problem going back and forth with the Selmer. Of course you'll want the horn to be in good repair.

    Go for it!

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    The keywork of the Aristocrat is a non issue because you will find that once the horn has been set-up it willhave a nice even feel to the whole keyboard. Some compain about the spatula system, something I don't understand because it is the slickest, most precise feeling spatula system of any horn I have ever owned. Metal backed pads make a big difference to how a Buescher will feel and respond.

    I prefer the Buesher Aristocrat non tilting spatula system to the Selmer style, it feels more precise and has a definitive feel when depressed unlike the spongey feeling of the tilting mechanisms. It is no problem to go from one system to the other.

    It is possible to play exceptionally fast on the Buescher key work too with the added benefit of the best intonation of any saxophone ever made. All the usual intonation trouble spots of the Selmer and clone saxophones aren't there on the Buescher Aristocrat saxes.

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    I sure have to agree with Bootman on the intonation issue. Aside from the fact that I love the tone, this may be the main reason why I'm favoring the Buescher over my Selmer right now. I find that when looking at a tuner I can keep both horns in tune, but on the job with a band (where it counts) the Buescher is much easier to play in tune. I'm not sure why, but suspect it is either easier to make fine tuning adjustments on the Buescher or, alternatively, it is not as necessary to adjust it. Who knows, but I can say for sure that I am having much more success staying in tune with this Buescher.

  6. #6

    Default Aristocrat Keywork?

    Thanks you guys for the speedy replies. Now, all I have to do is find an Aristocrat tenor. I use to buy and sell these things for a living full time ten years ago with Roberto in NYC. Man.... the horns that passed through my hands in the name of money. I feel like I am at confession or something and I'm not even a Catholic. LOL. Any advice on what serial #'s and model would be good for a very working Funk/Blues/Rock player in his early 40's. living in SLC UT. (Lawton 8BBMP, MS Fibrecell reeds). I play like a white Maceo Parker with a Tenor! LOL. I'm the guy who wrote the SJ piece on him a few years back.

    Thanks again, Dave T

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    My Buescher count is three (1951 alto, 1950 tenor, 1926 soprano) and my only keywork issues were on the soprano, with the thin sleek palm keys (added risers) and the lack of a front F key (recently added as well). It is true that none of them have the modern style tilting LH pinky table, but I don't find this much of a problem. Neither my alto nor my tenor is in my house at the moment, so I cannot remember if the low C# key is articulated as on a modern sax, but I think it isn't. I agree with Bootman on the intonation thing, and am sure he'd agree with me also on the impressive evenness of scale that these horns have.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member and Great Bloke. Bootman's Avatar
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    Dave,
    Easier said than done. Finding an Aristocrat tenor in good condition is challenging but not impossible. Try Gayle or Junkdude, they go for a lot more money now than they did at one time. The cat is out of the bag.

    Remember it must have all the metal snap ins present and the Norton springs, don't muck around on these issues. The difference in playing is very noticeable.

    Best of luck in your search.

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    Dave,
    Gayle at vintagesax.com is a great source. I can't really advise you on the serial # since I've only played the one I have (331xxx, about 1949 or 50). It's a model 156 with the big bell and is a killer. I doubt you can go wrong as long as you heed Bootman's advice about the correct setup. Let us know how it all plays out and best of luck.

    John

  10. #10

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    I've got an extra Big B tenor -- needs a repad though --

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    Default Big "B"

    Please pass the details of the serial # and condition to my email.....

    Bill

  12. #12

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    I have an Aristocrat alto that I use for my R&B/Funk gigs. Keywork is one of the highlights of this horn. Intonation is also great and indeed, the horn was built to last.
    For the tone I prefer the Conn 6M since it sounds more like a tenor (my main instrument). but the keywork was just too much to adjust to since I only play alto about every other month.

  13. #13

    Default Buescher Keywork?

    Hey Morgan,
    I you don't mind, email me also the info on your Big-B tenor for sale, I am very interested

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