The exceptionally nice thing about these
horns is, even though they were "novelty" instruments created to revive
lagging sax sales, they are said (by most) to be exceptionally good
Possibly the number one least known fact about these horns is that
there was a Tipped Bell C Soprano (see below pictures). These
are exceptionally rare, probably because Buescher didn't make too many
of them and because the C instrument craze was seriously waning by the
time these beautiful instruments came into being.
The second least known fact is that there were two varieties of these
horns: those with a one-piece body & bell and those with a
two-piece. I can't tell when this split occurred -- I don't
have that many pictures.
Is there a difference in quality between the one-piece and
two-piece? In my opinion, from a design standpoint, the
one-piece would be better: there is one less joint to leak
from. In practice, however, a two-piece is probably easier to
repair. I doubt that the bore is different, in either case.
The final least-known fact comes from SAXTEK: there were straight alto models that only extended to low B. These horns were probably made for no more than a year, or possibly as just protoypes.
For information on the straight BARITONE, check out the page HERE.
The Original 1928 Ad
"THE STRAIGHT ALTO is pitched in Eb and
fingers just like the regular model. The difference is in
design, which is unlike any other member of the saxophone
family. Instead of turning back on the body, the bell is
straight, curving outward slightly the flare or extreme end.
This straight air passage gives a big, round tone of a beautiful,
An improved positive action octave mechanism; a special high F key
(pearl inlaid) for the first finger of the left hand [which isn't shown
in the advertisement]; an improved plate and roller key for G sharp,
and a roller key for low Bb are among the new features. The
instrument is, of course, equipped with the famous Buescher Snap-on
The Bb SOPRANO is also supplied in a new design. Many players
prefer this model to the regular straight model, because when in
playing position, the bell rests comfortably on player's knee, taking
the weight of the instrument off the hands and leaving them free to
manipulate the keys.
Bb Soprano Catalogue No. 121
Low Pitch Range Bb to F Natural. Length 27 1/2 inches.
Weight 2lbs, 10 oz.
Straight Eb Alto No. 120
Low Pitch Range Bb to F Natural. Length 41 inches.
Weight 5lbs, 3 oz."
* The ads on this page are from a number of 1928 advertisements, of which I've had black-and-white originals since Dr. Paul Cohen's commentary in the Saxophone Journal magazines. These examples, however can be found at http://www.drrick.com/straightalto/getitstraight.html -- someone by his horn, OK?
Galleries (clicking on a link or picture will take you to a
gallery with more pics)