BUESCHER - BUNDY
The first Buescher horns (pronounced more like "Bisher" as the name was originally spelled with an umlaut over the "u") were manufactured in 1888. Serial numbers up to approximately 4000 were produced prior to the fire at the Elkhart, IN
Buescher plant in 1905, when all records are believed to have been destroyed. The "TrueTone" model was one of the most popular saxophones of the
1920's and one of the few saxes of it's day with very good intonation.
The TrueTone was updated in 1926 with the addition of a front F key. These saxes are mostly seen in satin silver plate but there are quite
a few in gold plate. 1930 marked the introduction of the "New Aristocrat" which was also mostly done in silver. It was replaced by the
"Aristocrat" and then the Aristocrat commonly known as the "Big B" Aristocrat in 1940. The "Buescher 400" was their most advanced
professional entry into the saxophone market and was the highlight of their resumption of production after WWII. They also continued to make
"The Aristocrat" at the same time. What distinguished the Buescher 400 from the Aristocrat was a larger bell, silver plated key mechanism
with a lacquered brass body, highly ornate raised engraving, and options of silver or gold plating for the body and key mechanism the patented
"Norton" threaded gold-plated springs, and, the underslung octave key on the neckpiece. This model had slightly larger inner bore dimensions
than other models of the period which gave them a bigger sound more conducive to Jazz. The "Aristocrat", on the other hand, was a decidedly
"sweeter" sounding instrument, yet still very powerful. After 1960 the Aristocrat became a student model. The earlier "Top Hat and Cane"
versions of the "400" are preferable to the latter, less ornate, entries. Most believe that the Buescher models make by the Selmer Co.
(after they purchased Buescher in 1963) were not up the quality of the earlier versions. After Buescher was purchased by Selmer,
the "400" eventually became the "Signet" and the "Aristocrat" became the "Bundy"; same looks but drastically different bore dimensions.
The original Bueschers were each "handmade" instruments, and incorporated Adolphe Sax's unique design of a parabolically curved bore design.
Buescher saxes of the late 20's, thru early 50's are among the best saxophones ever made in America.
If you note any discrepancies, or have additional information concerning this company, we would appreciate it VERY much if you would pass it on to The Music
Trader. Thank you!
Note: Much of the above history was provided by Mick Boudreau.