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Saxophones Buescher True Tone development

Thanks saxyjt. I'd heard of his name but hadn't come across his channel or the new project. Very interesting.
Wow, great info on the pads. What about sound differences between earlier and later models TT?

All american manufactors (Conn, Buescher, Martin, H,N. White) made changes on thier saxes during the 20's. There is a difference on an early TT's and a late one. To me they are pretty much the same soundwise but the design became better on the late TT's. I like the TT's sopranos and I think that the last versions (c 30/31) are best. If you find a Buescher soprano made after 1930/1932 it's a TT soprano even if the engraving doesn't say so. Buescher made sopranos (TT's) on request to 1969. Beside the engraving and some differnt key touches/-placement it's the same body and tone hole placement as a late TT. I got this information from Vincent Bach company back in the early 80's when I was looking for info about my Buescher sopranos. They did'nt say if the last soprano (1969) had Snap-On pads.
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I like the TT's sopranos and I think that the last versions (c 30/31) are best. If you find a Buescher soprano made after 1930/1932 it's a TT soprano even if the engraving doesn't say so.
Thanks thomsax, I will keep this in mind when looking for a TT soprano. Recently I tried a beautiful silver/gold TT soprano from around 1923. But that one was hopeless out of tune.
I'm a bit surprised that you're disappointed with the sound and intonation because generally most people are very happy with both aspects as regards the Series 4 Truetone alto - which you've got. I've owned 3 Buescher Truetone altos in my life - one lacquered and 2 silver-plated. I can't remember the year of manufacture of the lacquered alto, but it would have been circa 1928 onwards. However, both of the 2 silver-plated ones were definitely made in 1929 and are Series 4s i.e. the last model before the "New Aristocrat" came out. I've play-tested a few other Bueschers besides.

All 3 Buescher Truetone saxophones played very well without any noticeable intonation problems and had excellent tone-colours i.e. the classic "sweetness" of tone that Series 4s are renowned for. Their sound was really gorgeous! The tone-colours of the "Series 2" (there's no Front-F key and there's a circular pearl for a G# key) aren't noticeably better than the Series 4 re. the tone-colours. What you get with the Series 4 is better ergonomics and better intonation. However, a complicating factor is the neck. There were various necks for Buescher Truetones of the 1920s. Each was numbered at the back. Mine are numbered "1" or "*" and are the same. However, there were other necks available. Take a look at your sax-neck and see what's stamped on the rear near the tenon. Chances are it's a "1" in which case it's fine.

The absence of resonators will have an effect on your sax. If the surface of the pads is entirely plain leather, it will sound a bit softer and more muted than if there were metal resos in there. Bueschers of the 1920s were designed to use special "snap-in" pads with a dome-shaped metal resonator. That was their standard configuration when they left the factory in Elhart, Indiana. My saxes had all their original snap-ins. The fact that your new gold-plated alto doesn't have any type of resonators at all suggests that the key-cups could have been modified at some point i.e. the "spuds" which the snap-in pads clip onto have been removed. Buescher snap-in pads have a hole cut in the middle which slots onto the "spud" then the metal resonator is snapped into place on top.

This is what they look like:-

Buescher Snap-In

I hope this info helps.

Yesterday my latest GAS result arrived: a nice gold plated Buescher True Tone alto :). One of the later series, 250xxx, so with the new left pinky table and with a front-F. These improvements plus the gold plating were the main reasons for buying it. The later TTs are considered better than the earlier ones. Compared to my earlier 160xxx silver plated TT I noticed more ergonomical improvements and a different, probably better octave mechanism. Well, so far, so good.

I would have expected a better sound and better intonation too. However, this was a bit dissappointing. The new TT does sound more modern, more like the later Big B models but lacks the more complex, deeper and richer tone of the old TT. Intonation was also better on the old TT... So the old TT clearly outplays the new one for me. I have to say though that the new TT does not have pad resonators at all while the old TT has modern pads with plastic resonators.

So I was wondering whether these tonal differences are caused by design? So by 'normal' Buescher development over the years? Changing from an old-fashioned to a more modern sound. It could make sense to me. Or is this just because each instrument is unique and I had bad luck with my new TT? Or should I add resonators to the pads?
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Hi Tomasz, thank you very much for your reply. You exactly describe what I would have expected from the Series IV Truetone. Probably the series IV will improve after a repad + resonators and some adjustments.

My old TT neck has no marking, the new one has a "1". Supposed to be the same and ok.
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