Pre-Selmer Buescher?

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SirJohn
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Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by SirJohn » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:29 am

As I've been keeping an eye out for cheap used bass for my son, I have occasionally seen these vintage Buescher tenors pop up with the funky slanted braces, which sort of makes them catch your eye. I know from my clarinet days that Buescher was known for putting out some pretty cool saxes before Selmer bought them out and made them a student instrument only company. It seems Buescher has some fans of their 30s-50s trumpets, too. Since I didn't know they did trombones, I thought I would take the opportunity to further edumacate myself on the trombone world.

It seems like those pre-selmer Buescher trombones go fairly cheap. With people digging vintage small bore pea shooters for lead for jazz, why do you think the old Kings and Olds are prevalent, while the pre-selmer stuff from Buescher are not thought of in the same manner? Is the tone that much different? Is it just the case that people don't know them since they were a pretty small company and there aren't that many of them out there? Or were they just good with sax and trumpets and couldn't make a good trombone?
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PhilipEdCarlson
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Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by PhilipEdCarlson » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:28 am

I'd like to know more about them too!
I've got two, and they are BEAUTIFUL to look at! With the counter weights soldered into the tuning slide! One of them "The Buescher" really sounds great to me. the slides aren't up to snuff yet. I think my "410 Tru-Tone" still sound great too when I get a mouthpiece dialed in. the original is tiny. Both the Bueschers have extra small shank mouthpieces. "TheBuescher" has a larger slide than I would have thought. even with the small shank it might not be quite a pea shooter. I'll look closer at the size next week, but it's lots bigger than my 4H slide.
Philip Carlson
TR-181, 72H, 88HCL, 32H, 30H, 4H, 50's Super, 40's Super, Buescher True-Tone 410 & The Buescher, Constellation Euph, Getzen Severenson
SirJohn
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Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by SirJohn » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:25 am

Since you have a couple, do you mind talking a little about tone and playability in comparison to the usual suspects?
spangy
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Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by spangy » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:39 am

I have a Buescher 400 "staggerwing". Its probably one of the most stylish horns ever made; forward slanting braces, asymmetric slide and cool engraving. Its fun to play and looks great but wouldn't be a good fit in a modern setting. It has a different sound, some might say dated, due to the small bore and 7" bell. In a combo or as the only trombone sure, but blending with other bones would be tough.
I also have a Buescher grand from the 20's. Beautiful silver plated horn with incredible engraving. Very small bore and 7 inch bell. Plays and sounds great but definitely in a dated sort of way.
I think Bueschers are great and do seem to go cheap. But it depends what you want to do with them. If your looking for a cheap horn to play lead in a big band setting they are probably not a good choice. If you want a cool horn with a unique voice, then they're awesome.
Old Conn small bores can go pretty cheap and have a more modern sound. I picked up a 24 h and it is a killer. Plays way bigger than its specs would suggest.
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PhilipEdCarlson
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Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by PhilipEdCarlson » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:03 pm

SirJohn wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:25 am
Since you have a couple, do you mind talking a little about tone and playability in comparison to the usual suspects?
My True-Tone 410 looks a lot like this one:
https://www.dillonmusic.com/used-buesch ... mbone.html
(crazy price)
I've had a difficult time playing it. As I mentioned it's slide is slow. With the original mouthpiece, which is a tiny, delicate looking think, the horn sounds thin and blatty. Then I played it last week in a jam session with an XTC106C2 and it sounded all wide and mellow. I'm going to play around with the mpc setup before giving up on it.

My TheBuescher is not as small bore as it looks. Like I said the slide is larger than my 4H. It has a less delicate, less small mouthpiece with an extra-small shank. It sounds nice full round tone. With the XTC106C2s mouthpiece, I think it sounds a lot like my Super. It doesn't sizzle as much as my 4H, or even my 30H which is (a little less than the 4H) but it sounds more like the Super than my small Conns. Compared to the Super, I think it's got a little more core to it. I'm going to see what the SlideDr can do with it, then, if the slide is good, it'll likely replace the Super as my Jazz (jam session) horn. Holding the horn is different because the corkbarrel is very short. I put my pinky underneath. I've tried holding the mpc with both my index and middle finger with ring and pinky on the curved brace, but there's no way to fit 3 fingers on the brace without pinching the pinky in the slide.

Added After Following Post (Friday, July 20, 7:00pm mtn):
Philip - Do you have any pictures of what "The Buescher" looks like and can you date the serial number?[/size]
I'll try to snap some pics when I get home tonight. I'd looked up the serial numbers some years ago, but forgot what years they were, seems they were both from the '30s. Did you notice one of those catalogs listed Jack Teagarden as a Buescher Artist!
Last edited by PhilipEdCarlson on Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Philip Carlson
TR-181, 72H, 88HCL, 32H, 30H, 4H, 50's Super, 40's Super, Buescher True-Tone 410 & The Buescher, Constellation Euph, Getzen Severenson
SirJohn
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Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by SirJohn » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:30 pm

Thanks for the contributions everyone. I think I'll make this an information thread should anyone want to find out anything in the future. All contributions on Buescher trombones, good and bad are welcome. I've been poking around a little and found links to old catalogs at the following sites. You can find some of the trombones in the catalogs but far from all models.
https://www.saxophone.org/museum/public ... acturer/16
http://horn-u-copia.net/Reference/display.php

They seemed to change designs and model numbers quite frequently, but after WWII, they seemed to run most of their instrument lines under three main model lines: Aristocrat, Custom Built, 400. Here's a link to some of the trombone models though the years.
http://www.horn-u-copia.net/show.php?se ... uescher%22

Here's the list of serial numbers.
http://www.buescherloyalist.com/serial.html
It included all instruments and not just trombones. This seems to be an approximation of numbers and will probably just ball park the instrument. I was reading some of the old literature at the sites and in it, Buescher state that they were not allowed to produce any instruments during the period of 42 to 45, except limited runs for military use. The military bought all their existing stock in 42 asked for small special batches as needed and then had them make altimeters for the duration of the war. The 400 model line (not to be confused with the trombone model numbers that were mostly 4xx) was a set of all new instruments introduced in 1939 so they saved those designs as the basis of the post WWII return to manufacture. It is unclear whether instruments that have serial numbers corresponding to that 42-45 period were the military issue horns or whether they were carry over 41 or actually late 45 stock. In any case 42-45 output was very small.

Philip - Do you have any pictures of what "The Buescher" looks like and can you date the serial number?
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PhilipEdCarlson
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Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by PhilipEdCarlson » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:25 pm

SirJohn wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:30 pm
Philip - Do you have any pictures of what "The Buescher" looks like and can you date the serial number?
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Philip Carlson
TR-181, 72H, 88HCL, 32H, 30H, 4H, 50's Super, 40's Super, Buescher True-Tone 410 & The Buescher, Constellation Euph, Getzen Severenson
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PhilipEdCarlson
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Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by PhilipEdCarlson » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:37 pm

SirJohn wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:30 pm

Philip - Do you have any pictures of what "The Buescher" looks like and can you date the serial number?
1931
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Philip Carlson
TR-181, 72H, 88HCL, 32H, 30H, 4H, 50's Super, 40's Super, Buescher True-Tone 410 & The Buescher, Constellation Euph, Getzen Severenson
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PhilipEdCarlson
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Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by PhilipEdCarlson » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:03 pm

SirJohn wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:30 pm
Philip - Do you have any pictures of what "The Buescher" looks like and can you date the serial number?
1927
This one also says "The Buescher" but it also has "410" on it. both of them are True-Tone
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Philip Carlson
TR-181, 72H, 88HCL, 32H, 30H, 4H, 50's Super, 40's Super, Buescher True-Tone 410 & The Buescher, Constellation Euph, Getzen Severenson
SirJohn
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:11 pm

Re: Pre-Selmer Buescher?

Post by SirJohn » Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:04 am

Those are really cool looking. Thanks for sharing.
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