Saxophone/value/quality of sax

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Question
I have a Buescher Aristocrat alto, numbered 389761.  I received it in 1965 when I was in grade school and just starting lessons.  I was wondering about the quality of this sax and about its approximate value.

Answer
Marlene,

Unfortunately it's going to be very difficult to determine exactly what you have without seeing some pictures of the instrument. The reason being is in 1963 Selmer U.S.A. bought the Buescher company. Within just a few years the Aristocrat was cheapened and then morphed into the original Bundy student model saxophone. According to the serial number list, your horn was made in 1963 just after the buy out, so it's possible that your horn could be one of the last true Bueschers made on the original tooling. Or it's possible it's based on the simpler design of the Bundy instruments. So without seeing pictures it's difficult to know for sure.

The good thing is regardless of the model, if you take care of that instrument it will play well for many years. What Selmer did to cheapen the Aristocrat was to simplify the key system, making it easier and less expensive to produce. Also they removed the screw in springs that were a staple of the Buescher instruments and replaced them with standard steel springs. The bodies were made from a cheaper and thinner brass. However, the basic body tube was unchanged. The tone hole placement of the early Selmer made Bueschers and Bundy's as well as the neck was nearly identical to the Aristocrats with many of the same intonation problems.

If I could see some pictures, I would be better able to determine what you have.

Please send them to my e-mail address and I will get back to you.

charles@harrisbandinstruments.com

Thanks
Charles Harris  

Saxophone

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Charles Harris

Expertise

questions regarding equipment, performance, repairs, lessons, etc. Almost all saxophone related questions.

Experience

I am a professional member of N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instruments Repair Technicians). I have been repairing saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and brass instruments since 1993. I perform in several professional groups covering genres form classical, jazz, and rock.

Organizations
N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians

Education/Credentials
St. Petersburg Junior College (AA) University of South Florida.

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