buescher 400

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by mimic, May 7, 2009.

  1. mimic

    mimic Pianissimo User

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    May 3, 2009
    Pennsylvania
    I recently purchased a Buescher 400 trumpet off ebay. It's serial number dates it to 1959 or there abouts. It was completely redone with an Anderson Plating valve job. I have only played it for a couple of days and the jury is still out for me. It plays smoky like in the lower register and very bright in the high register. There does seem to be some vagueness on slotting. I was wondering if any one else has played a horn like this and their experience with it. I was wondering if a valve alignment would help the slotting issue or it this is just one of the things this horn was known for.
     
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I have a 1949 "400". They do slot loose.

    Tom
     
  3. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    526
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    May 8, 2009
    CO
    I have a Buescher trumpet at home that I purchased off eBay several years ago. I believe it is around the same age as your own, but I was never successful in locating the serial number online to get the actual date. Funny, though, because my impression of the way it plays is similar to yours. I would define it more as stuffy instead of smoky in the lower range. yet it does have somewhat of a sweet, warm sound when you get used to playing it. I a valve alignment would do some good for the 'stuffiness' i described, but I have not given much thought to having much done with it. it's in good shape and plays okay, not great.

    Where did you find Buescher serial numbers? Has someone come up with a definitive website for dating them? Back when I got mine, there was some confusion and controversy and gaps in the years and models. Buescher Trumpet
     
  4. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    526
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    May 8, 2009
    CO

    Wow. These lists were not around a few years ago when I attempted to check my serial number: Mine must be quite a bit older than I thought:
    s/n: 75684 which would mean it's around 1920-1921. This looks like the original case - I find it hard to believe it's so old. It also says on the 2nd valve: 37b.

    I've always considered this to be some type of student horn

    Glad to see you're an MF Fan. I have all of his great albums. He was at his best between 1958 - 1971. Best chops of any horn player there ever was.
     
  5. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    526
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    May 8, 2009
    CO
    Sorry for sounding dumb, but what do you guys mean by 'slot loose'?
     
  6. mimic

    mimic Pianissimo User

    159
    3
    May 3, 2009
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the info about your Buescher horn. Funny how both horns play the same. My main horn is a 1930ish Olds Super Recording. It is a fantastic horn and these are very sought after nowadays. This horn plays fantastic, very free blowing, warm and mellow in the low register and just as bright as you want in the high if you push it. I had it completely redone a couple years ago, it really wasn't in that bad of shape, and had an Anderson valve job done last year.
    I decided to purchase another horn because I want to save the Olds from wear and tear, using it for important stuff. When I bought the Buescher I was somewhat befuddled by the way it played, completely opposite from my Olds. I have adjusted to it and can make it play the way I want. As far as the slotting issue I can tell you my take on it. My Olds can hit any note in tune and sustain it anywhere in the register with very little effort on my part, always hitting the exact note I want. The Buescher I find to not be precise like that. Even a minimal amount of change on my part and I lose the note or the tuning to it.
    Of course I shouldn't blame the horn, constant practice will overcome most issues that this horn presents. The Olds makes me sound better than I am and the Buescher exposes my weak areas.
     
  7. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    526
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    May 8, 2009
    CO
    That is really interesting. I have heard a lot about the Olds Super Recording. That's what Mendez played, isn't it? My trumpet instructor used to tell me about getting my Bach trumpet out to some guy in LA who would align the valves and make it play much more freely, open and in-tune. I never did take his advice. Probably why I never sounded better than I was. ;)

    Back in the 70's I was playing a large-bore .468 Benge. I sold that to a guy, thinking maybe I would have more control with the ML Bach. I wish I had never sold that Benge. It did have a very nice brassy sound, especially in the upper register that the Bach just doesn't have.
     
  8. mimic

    mimic Pianissimo User

    159
    3
    May 3, 2009
    Pennsylvania
    I'm not sure which horns Mendez played, there were quite a few from what I've researched, although I know he played an Olds horn they built for him. This is the Olds Mendez line. I have become an Olds admirer since buying this horn 9 years ago. There are alot of Olds websites out there now, rouses.net theoldsresister to name a few. Alot of the older horns are now getting quite popular with pro players. I know Chris Botti plays an old Martin Committee, looks like it was used hard. I had a chance to talk to a brass repair tech at a leading shop in Pgh. Pa. He does alot of the work for the Pgh. symphony orc guys. Now I'm not grouping in the fine custom trumpets in this example because there are alot of stellar horn makers out there now, but I'm going to discuss the mass produced big names. He was very derisive of alot of modern horns, especially anything coming out of the big Selmer plant in Elkhart In. They fired their workers who went on strike in 2007 and the replacements are now making their horns. He said he has had people bring in brand new Strads right out of the box and he has had to fix some really poor craftsmanship. What a shame but economic conditions probably led to this. I prefer to stay with older pro horns but thats just my opinion.
     
  9. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    526
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    May 8, 2009
    CO
    That's funny, but it makes sense about older horns. Throughout trumpet making history, these kinds of changes have happened on and off: Plant moves, plant catches fire, MFG is bought and sold.. What was once a pro-line instrument becomes a dog..

    The older trumpets have history and industry knowledge of horn collectors to endorse their quality. I guess I can't consider my Strad so new anymore. S/N is 197329 which dates it between 1980 and 1981. Personally....I don't think it's a great horn.
     

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