Trumpet/My Buescher Trumpet


QUESTION: I have a Buescher "TrueTone" Trumpet that I've had since I was about 12. My dad gave it to me when I began playing brass. I've never used it on gigs because I always said the bore was too small for my needs. When people would come over to my home and see the trumpet, I would say that I believe it is from the 1920's. Recently, I decided to look up other Buescher trumpets and found there are a good amount out there. I always check the serial numbers if they are visible, and I have yet to see one lower than mine. I'm wondering if you can give an estimation of how old this thing is. It stills plays well, but I still think the bore is too small :-) The serial # is 107617

ANSWER: I'm surprised that you didn't come across serial number lists while doing your research. That serial number implies manufacture in 1922.

As for the bore, you can try using a more V-shaped cup and a more open backbore to compensate. These horns are very efficient; you don't need a lot of air to play them. I usually advise people to "sneak up it", playing it very softly at first and gradually getting louder. After a day or three of doing that, you might find that you can gig with it.

On the bottom of the second-valve casing is a model number, for example, 8 or 9 or 10-22. You can look up more on those horns using that model number. It's likely that your trumpet is in this catalog:

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QUESTION: Thanks so much for the info. I have another question: Is it okay to polish it with Brasso multipurpose metal polish?

It depends. The following finishes were offered:

A--Highly polished brass, handsome engraving on bell.
E--Quadruple silver plate, inside of bell and engraving gold plated, top and bottom valve caps, water keys, ends of tuning slides and valve slides, inside of bell, and outside of bell mirror finish.
J--Quadruple gold plate over silver plate, velvet finish, bell handsomely engraved, inside and outside of bell, top and bottom valve caps, water keys, ends of valve slides and tuning slides and inside of bell mirror finish.
K-- Quadruple gold plate over silver plate, beautifully engraved designed on bell. Entire instrument burnished mirror finish.
L--DeLuxe finish, quadruple gold plate over triple silver plate, beautifully engraved designs all over instrument from mouth piece to bell, entire instrument burnished all over to a mirror finish. This finish is designed for those who desire something elaborate and distinctive.

I typed all that in to say that only finish A might be cleaned with Brasso. Any of the others, you'll take the plating right off.

If you do have finish A and use Brasso, make sure that you rinse, rinse, and rinse again. Left inside the slides, you'll get corrosion that you don't want.

I would prefer you use Simichrome. Not quite so aggressive chemically, and has a little abrasive but not bad. Never use Simichrome on gold wash, though. It'll be removed.  


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Thomas Krueger


I can answer your questions about Buescher trumpets and cornets. I have been playing Buescher for 35 years and collecting for 7.


I first started playing my grandfather's Buescher 400 trumpet in 1975. Since then I have done a lot of research, including original catalogs and advertisements that I own, correspondence with other Buescher owners, and obtaining my own Buescher collection, including six trumpets and three cornets.

I am a technical writer with 15 years experience. I have also been playing trumpet since 1975 and collecting Buescher for the past 7 years.

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