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Saxophone/Buescher True Tone Alto saxophone

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Question
Hi Grant, I have a Buescher True Tone alto sax with serial 210403, can you tell me some information about this instrument's "pedigree" (for lack of a better word)? The intent is to have it fully overhauled so I can play it NOT sell, but want to make sure I don't spend too much more than the instrument would be worth, if it comes to that. Thanks very much for your help. Best regards...

Answer
Hello Laura, You have asked a good question for the All-Experts website. By the serial number it would be a Buescher True Tone Series III. The Buescher True Tones were made from 1905 until 1932. Your Alto saxophone,(by looking at the serial number records), was made in late 1926. The 1914 date is a patent date. Buescher is the same top brand of sax that the eminent saxophonist Sigurd Raschèr (1907-2001) played in his Raschèr Saxophone Ensemble, and it's featured exclusively during his classical saxophone career. These are wonderful handmade saxophones from the glory days of the American Saxophone Craze(1915-1930). Finishes available were: bare brass, silver plated (satin body, bright keys and accents, most common],
silver plated body (satin) with gold plated keys, gold plate (satin body, bright keys and accents), thick quadruple gold plate, all hand burnished (shiny), Same as above but engraved from the underside of the bell rim to the neck, with Ivory rollers.
Elkhart Industries, refers to the town of Elkhart, Indiana where the Conn, Selmer USA, Martin, and Buescher factories all were located. Here's some history for you... The Buescher Manufacturing Company was founded by Ferdinand August "Gus" Buescher in 1894. In 1926, the Buescher Band Instrument Company was joined with the Elkhart Band Instrument Company. Some people even claim that Buescher was bought out by the Elkhart Band Instrument. In 1963, Buescher was finally sold to H.& A. SELMER, USA, and all Bueschers became student horns. After the sale, Selmer restricted the use of the Buescher trademark to only selected products. Here's the good part..Laura, your Buescher is the real deal, a very collectible wonderful saxophone from 1926 with lots of character. The value will continue to rise. Depending on the condition, it could be worth anywhere from $430(old junky beater) to  about $1100 for a fully reconditioned silver or gold plated mint condition saxophone with original case, mouthpiece, neck, ligature and original lyre Screw. It's worth it to get it fixed up if it's not in bad shape, but sometimes you find these saxes totally trashed, hanging on the wall of the local "Thanks Gods It's Fridays" restaurants. In that case, it's up to you to decide if it worth it to spend anywhere from $350 to $950 on a total overhaul. But keep in mind that the later examples have snap in pads and Norton springs make sure your repairman knows this fact. Your sax should be overhauled with original type snap on pads. Do not let him grind out the snaps!!!  It's a great sax with vintage vibe and it's perfect for jazz or classical! One of a kind! The best looking finish is the silver plate when it's shined up but don't go crazy, use care, or have it professionally polished. I wish you much happiness with your sax.
Good Luck!
Grant "King" Koeller

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Grant R. Koeller

Expertise

I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.

Experience

Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

Organizations
USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Publications
Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

Education/Credentials
North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

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