I have an old Buescher Aristocrat Elkhart-Ind USA saxophone. The serial no. is 267988; it is in need of repairs and or refurbish. My question is:Do you think it is worth the wile to refurbish this instrument? I am also trying to determine the age of this Saxophone.
Any help you can offer will be appreciated!
According to the "official" Buescher serial number list, your horn was made around 1933-34. This is a very early Aristocrat. I would like to see some pictures of it to be sure but what I believe you have is the "New Aristocrat" and it should say "New Aristocrat" on the bell. This was a transitional model as Buescher was transitioning from the older True-Tone model to the Aristocrat. This horn should have the bell keys on opposite sides of the bell like the True-Tones. If they are on the same side, (players left) than you have one of the first true aristocrats.
The value of this can be difficult to pin down if it's one of the "New" Aristocrats as they don't come up for sale that often. However they are a bit less valuable than the true Aristocrats that came after. So I would estimate anywhere between $350 to $1200 depending on the condition, finish, alto or tenor, and lastly how bad someone wants it and how much your want to part with it.
Is it worth it to fix it? That depends on how much you want to put in to it. If you want it to be re-furbished and look like it did new, than you are going to put a great deal of money into it and if your are looking to make a profit, I would not recommend this. But if you want a beautiful and well playing instrument than by all means. It would be worth it to a player. However if you just have it brought up to playing condition and do a mechanical overhaul than it may be all it needs if you just want to turn a profit.
I don't know which area of Florida you are in but if you are near the Tampa Bay area, or plan to be anytime soon, I would recommend you take it to Steve Bockus at the Brass and Woodwind Shop. 813-971-2120. He is my mentor and I worked under him for 3 years. He could easily look at it and recommend what direction to take. And if you are going to be near Atlanta anytime soon, I would love to take a look at it. Just shoot me a message and let me know and I'll give you directions to my shop.
My e-mail is