Saxophone/True Tone Saxophone


Hello, I am in possession of my grandfather's True Tone low pitch Saxophone. The serial number is 109726. None of my family members play the saxophone so we are considering selling or donating it, but would like to know more about it first, ie: value etc. It is in the velvet lined case and other than some dust seems to be in good shape. Can you give me any information about this instrument?  Thank you so much!


Thank you for the question.

The True-Tone series was manufactured by the Buescher company in the early 20th century. According to the serial number the sax you have was made circa 1922-23. This time is what we refer to as the "Sax Craze" as the saxophone was as popular then as the electric guitar is now. This was due to the introduction and popularity of Jazz in the 1920's. This resulted in a large number of saxophones being produced. When the craze ended in the 1930's, due to the great depression, the market was flooded with a large number of used saxophones. Not just from Buescher as there were many companies making saxophones at that time including, Conn, Martin, Buffet, Selmer, to name a few. This drove the price of saxophones down a great deal. As a result horns from this era are still fairly common. You would think after 80 to 90 years most would have been destroyed or recycled but they were produced in such great numbers it's still common to find them in flea markets, pawn shops, garage sales, atics, and just about anywhere someone can store a used sax. Often over priced as the sellers don't realize how old and antiquated the horn is.  

Saxophones from the 1920's were designed a bit differently than horns made after WWII. There are a few extra keys not found on modern horns and in the case of this piticular serial number range there are a few keys missing compared to modern horns. Later True Tones would have more modern key work but your horn is about 3 or 4 years to early. However these differences would have no effect on a beginning player, more experienced players would have to compensate for the missing keys and the extra ones would just "get in the way".

So what is it worth. Unfortunantly you didn't give me quite enough information to nail down a good estimate. For that I would need to know what type of saxophone you have. #Alto, Tenor, etc.# The finish and if it's playable. If you can send me some photos I can get a better idea as to exactly what you have. I would need to see photos of the neck, keys cluster for the right and left hands as well as the pinkies. If you can get some photos of the pads, that would help me determine the condition and what repairs will be necessary. Photos of the engraving "if any" would be a big help.

My E-mail address is

Charles Harris  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Charles Harris


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


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.

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

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

©2017 All rights reserved.