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VINTAGE SAXOPHONE VALUE GUIDE When I set out to prepare a reference guide for pricing vintage horns, I did so with the clear understanding that it’s not a perfect world, and that the preparation of a perfect value guide would be impossible.I have based my research on actual selling prices by recognized dealers.
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Relacquers are generally worth 25% less than 100% originals.
BUESCHER TRUE TONE 5XXX – 254XXX These are very common horns, which play rather nicely when set up properly.
The later examples have snap in pads and Norton springs. Most of the examples you will find will be in a satin silver finish. Sopranino $ 2100 Straight soprano $ 2000 Curved soprano $ 2200 deduct 20% if keyed to Eb only C soprano $1000 MUST have original mouthpiece!! These horns are much more desirable than any of their ancestors. Some had sterling silver necks (add 20%), very few were silver plated (add 20%), I’ve seen a gold one, although I was not totally convinced it was original. Brown rollers always, as well as snap in pads and Norton springs.
C melody $ 800 Alto $ 900 Straight Alto $10,000 Tenor $1200 Baritone $ 2500 Bass $ 7000 NEW ARISTOCRAT 255XXX – 270XXX There are only alto and tenor horns in this series. Physical appearance is similar to the True Tone, but the neck is different, the keyguards are more deluxe. They will always have snap in pads and Norton springs. You’ll be unlikely to find them in anything but lacquer. Alto $ 1800 Tenor $ 2300 ARISTOCRAT 290XXX – 325XXX “BIG B” The name comes from the bell engraving. Alto $1800 Tenor $ 2200 Baritone $2800 ARISTOCRAT 330XXX – 360XXX I think these are often overlooked and underpriced. Toward the high end of the serial number range you begin to see some examples that look like 400 bells on Aristocrat bodies.
I am well aware that some will question my figures and criticize my findings.
I would encourage those critics to do their own research and publish their own findings.
I have based my valuations upon the following assumptions: (1) the instrument is in perfect playing condition and needs nothing in terms of repair (2) the finish is original and completely intact (3) the original case is intact (4) the instrument has not been altered or modified from its original condition, having the correct style pads, springs, no neck pickups etc.
Deduct for needed repairs and/or restoration to original condition.
The other members of the family still had the True Tone label. Alto $ 2100 Tenor $ 2300 ARISTOCRAT 270XXX – 290XXX Tenors and alto horns only. Alto $ 000 Tenor 00 400 SERIES 291XXX – 381XXX These are the Top Hat and Cane horns, the best of the Bueschers.
They will always have a raised silver logo on the bell; brown rollers; a silver resonance ring under the bell rim; snap in pads and Norton springs, and an underslung octave key.
There are a few silver (add 20%) plated ones, and a very few (add 30%) gold ones. Later ones have sculpted low Eb/C keys like the legendary S-1.