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True Tone Series: Introduction


Website Home > Buescher Home > True Tone Series Intro
The major thing to know about the straight baritone is that it is NOT a production instrument.

In 1931, the Buescher company custom-made a straight baritone for vaudeville showman Benny Meroff.  This horn was featured in the Vitaphone short called
t's A Panic (copies of this short may still be available from lederman@inforamp.net).   I'll let Paul Cohen take it from here:

... So, what happened to the horn?

Well, there's a group called
"The Vitaphone Project" that's trying to restore these old band shorts.  One of the members happens to be saxman Vince Giordano (to me, and most of the US, he's probably most famous for his appearances on "A Prairie Home Companion").  Anyhow, one of the researchers of the Vitaphone Project was searching for Benny Meroff's widow and summarily found her.  He asked where the horn was: i
n an upstairs bedroom.  Mr. Giordano subsequently bought and restored the horn (see http://www.picking.com/vitaphone73.html).
Finishes, Models, Pitches and Prices (1928)

Some explanation is needed.

The Model 121 Bb Soprano is the Tipped Bell instrument. The Model 120 Eb alto is the Straight model. As you can see, there isn't a difference in prices between the alto models or soprano models, so it doesn't make too much difference. I *believe* that the curved soprano was Model 119, but I don't have anything that old that can corroborate that data.

Additionally, there was an enamel finish available, *probably* at the same time, with the same color selection and at the same rate as the Conn New Wonder instruments. Quoting myself, from the Conn pages:

CHROME FINISH was the trade name for a colored enamel finish. Available colors were red, white, blue, green, Old Rose ("dark pink") and black. This was available as an add-on for any style of plating for a mere $15 extra, in March 1922 dollars.

POLY-CHROME FINISH was the trade name for the CHROME finish, but with added "beautiful designs on bell or body of flowers, vines, etc. in various colors" and cost $25 extra, in March 1922 dollars.

This finish was brought to my attention by SAXTEK and his beautiful green enamel straight alto. He has an original factory warranty card and the original receipt, so I have no reason to doubt that this is factory original.

Snap-On Pads

Yes, "Snap-On", not "Snap-In". Hey, the former is in the Buescher documentation I've seen. Sorry to disappoint.

(Really means "Page 15". See below.)

There were two Snap-On patents:

Date Applied
Date Granted
FA Buescher
FA Buescher

The 1921 patent is the one that's actually stamped on the Snap-Ons, themselves. Also note that the Snap-Ons had the same finish that the horn did.

The good folks at Cybersax also have an article on the Snap-On pads. It's at http://www.cybersax.com/Buescher%20Resto%20Issues.html

Places like musicmedic.com (which conveniently lists your pad sizes in MM) still sell Buescher Snap-Ons and several higher-end repairmen can "remaufacture" the Snaps (see the Cybersax article, above).

A post-1921 horn without Snaps is not worth as much as a horn with Snaps and most folks that buy Bueschers look for them.

. . .



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