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Saxophone/tone and sound quality of Buescher soprano


dear Mr. KOELLER ; In your opinion, what gives the buescher true tone soprano, circa 1920,(1928) such a rich and warm tone and yet have power up into the high notes as well into the low notes.That model just doesn't seem to have any weak areas ,sound and tone wise. From the musicians and recordings i have had the privledge to listen to each note is true and spot on. now i realize this could get very technical and that would not be fair to you. the short answer would of coarse be that the designer/craftsmen was ,a genius. Most sopranos have that snake charmer type sound. no disrespect to the fine quality sopranos out there,this is just my opinion. i heard higher copper content and more lead in the brass are reasons,also the inside bore is a bit larger in diameter than other horns. i know from other reading that the neck and top end of a soprano are very important for tone quality.I was wondering if a true tone was heavier (denser} than other sopranos. i also wondered if Mr. Buescher used a slightly different ratio of metals in the brass. What about the taper ratio from throat to bell ? Sorry... I,m getting carried away. Any information or opinions on this matter by you Mr. Koeller would be greatly appreciated.I also just want to say . i wish i could have met you.I read your biography on the left of the page.... its a book in itself. You have enough experiences for 5 lifetimes.Someone should interview you,have you on the radio or television or something.The stories you could tell on so many subjects would be highly interesting and entertaining . Sincerely, Michael N

Hello Michael, Any of the Conn, Buescher and Martin saxophones made back in the 1920's had fantastic tone projection and beautiful timbre. Most saxophones back then used silver plated brass, and were made by the finest craftsmen in Elkhart, Indiana. I also believe that when you hear a sax played live, the player has a lot to do about the final tone production. What mouthpiece and reed combination, how many years they have been playing...You should get on "Sax On The Web"...Everything you have brought up has been discussed at length....Gus Buescher started out at the Conn Factory, so he had great mentors. In order for any sax to project, there needs to be 100% compression. (no Leaks) This can be achieved by new pads ,installed with french shellac and burned into the tone holes with high quality seats. Some repairmen recommend using Lemon oil,(OLD ENGLISH FURNITURE OIL)brushed on each and every pad with a q-tip type applicator. This will make a poor playing sax again perform with 100% COMPRESSION.  Thank you for your great question. I'm just a guy who has been lucky to serve his country playing the saxophone and making people happy. Life is really about learning. We never stop learning. Playing the sax is a life long endeavor.It truly take your whole life and then you die. I have a Conn Curved soprano,that was made in 1926. It has a true sax sound and not a snake charmer tone. Those curved sopranos are really sweet. Please have a wonderful 2013!
Good Luck!
Grant Koeller  


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Grant R. Koeller


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.


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.

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,

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

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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