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Website Home > Buescher Home > True Tone Series

There are unquestionably several "series" or "groups" of horns that can be called "True Tone". There are also a couple of major things to note about each series. Hang on. Let's take a look at a chart and see if we can track the major features.

Common Name: Series I Series Ia
Lowest Serial Number: 1 5xxx
Highest Serial Number: 5xxx 30xxx (very approximate)
Dual-Octave Key: Yes No
Tone Holes: Straight Straight
Roller Color: Metal Black
Engraving: The Buescher Mfg. Co.
Elkhart, Ind.
The Buescher
Elkhart, Ind.
G# Key Picture: Metal Button Pearl Button

(Neither is the first model made by FA Buescher. The award of first is given to the Conn "Worcester" made in 1888.)

The main difference between these two "models" is the subtraction of the dual-octave key. A minor difference is that the horns acquired pearl inlay at some point.

The other reason for the division is given on a couple other websites (I've done some transliterating and added some extra info):

FA Buescher left Conn in 1894 to establish the Buescher Manufacturing Co. This was later restructured as the Buescher Band Instrument Co in 1904. In 1916, FA Buescher sold a major share of his company to six businessmen including Andrew Hubble Beardsley. FA Buescher remained president until 1919 when Beardsley assumed that title. FA Buescher was vice-president and general manager of the company until 21 January 1929, when he resigned these positions, but was retained as a consultant engineer.

In 1926/7 the Buescher Band Instrument Company was joined with the Elkhart Band Instrument Company (some claim that Buescher was bought by the Elkhart Band Instrument Company), a company founded two years previously by Beardsley with Conn's Carl Greenleaf as secretary-treasurer. When Beardsley died in 1936, the Buescher company began using the Elkhart Band Instrument trademark on a line of instruments until 1958.

FA Buescher then founded Art Musical Instruments in 1932 -- they didn't produce their own saxophones, but used Martin stencils.

FA Buescher died in 1937 and was succeded by Harry Pedler, the VP at the time, at Art Musical Instruments. Slightly after this, Art Musical Instruments had a name change to "Harry Pedler and Sons" -- and still stenciled Martin instruments.

The Harry Pedler brassworks were bought by Selmer USA in 1958. (1)

So, from this one can assume "natural" breaks in Buescher designs in 1916-ish, 1926-ish and 1929-ish. Looking at the Buescher horns, his really does appear to be the case.

What's in a Name?

Naming, naming, naming.

Some people have been very concerned that the first "series" of Buescher horns aren't "really" True Tones, either because that's not what Buescher had as an official model name and/or because some pre-1916-ish Bueschers do not have the True Tone trademark.

My opinion is that it doesn't really matter and because I haven't found a catalog or ad earlier than 1923 (and I've had other folks look for one, as well), the question is going to remain unanswered.

The construction of the Buescher does seem different after 1916-ish when the Haynes-patented horns were introduced along side horns with the "Buescher Improved System".

In any event, watch the serial number ranges I give you. Each will have different characteristics. The serial number ranges are way more important than what tyhe horns are called.

The Parabolic Bore

This is also something of a red herring. I mention it because I'm trying to be complete and because the end of the Series Ia horns is one of the theoretical possible last dates of production for the "parabolic bore".

Briefly, the bore of the Buescher saxophones, (possibly) up to, but not including the "Big B" Aristocrats and 400's, are "closely" based on the original Adolphe Sax design, which is supposed to be a "parabolic cone". To check whether your horn has a parabolic cone for a bore, you can hold the horn up to the light, look into the neck and see if the tone holes "disappear".

Ok. Sounds good. Unfortunately, you can also see this same phenomenon if you've got a horn with a bent body tube.

There is a really, really good, in-depth discussion about the "parabolic bore" at: http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=35680 and http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=77 -- the latter thread has discussion from noted saxophone authors Paul Lindemeyer, saxtek and Paul Cohen.

The conclusion is that a "parabolic bore" probably doesn't really exist. At the very least, it hasn't been proven to exist.

Summary from Dr. Cohen:

Whatever difference the parabolic cone (theorectially) makes in the sound pales in comparison to the mammoth difference in tone, pitch and response small changes to the neck and upper body bore dimensions create. Trying to find and define the mythical parabola misses the huge point of other far more signficant delineators and influences.

. .


1. See http://www.brassinstrumentworkshop.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=47

Picture Galleries: Series I (clicking on a link or picture will take you to a gallery with more pics)


Eb Alto


Picture Galleries: Series Ia (clicking on a link or picture will take you to a gallery with more pics)


Curved Bb Soprano



Eb Alto




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