BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Tarh331_Dad, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Tarh331_Dad

    Tarh331_Dad Piano User

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    For the circa 1940s/1950s horns, is there a noticeable difference in quality as you move from Aristocrat to Custom-Built to 400?

    This hierarchy seems to have persisted across all of their horn lines - for instance, Horn-u-Copia has a picture of a Buescher French Horn which appears to have a "400" on it, and there was also a "Custom Built" French Horn, even though the catalogs and the price lists only mention a Model 337 French Horn.


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  2. True Tone

    True Tone Piano User

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    They're all good horns, just differing in design some.
    I'll let VetPsychWars chime in more on this, as he's more experienced in Buescher brasses.
    I'll add, however that the Aristocrat after Selmer USA bought them is a different design, though you're only asking about 40s and 50s horns.
     
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    No change in quality whatsoever. They just play differently in that they have a different sound, and the Model 215 Custom Built has a much free-er blow (some might say too free).

    The 205 Aristocrat and 215 Custom Built are almost exactly the same horn in construction, though the tapers are different, and they play and sound different. The 400 and the Lightweight 400 are radically-different construction but they sound nearly the same, with the caveat that they play differently.

    The 400 cost a lot more to build, so it should cost more to sell. The difference in price between the other horns is mostly marketing and business psychology rather than an indicator of difference in quality.

    As for your other question, not every instrument in the catalog necessarily appeared in all three grades at any given time. That price list, about 1950, is an example of that.

    Tom
     
  4. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    And, of course, there are Buescher horns out there that have both "Aristocrat" and "Custom Built" engraved on their bells... all of them are superb playing horns.
     
  5. Claude Gnocchi

    Claude Gnocchi Mezzo Forte User

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    Indeed they are....I'm starting to realize what great horns they were! I have a 205 from the 1940s and I love it; the further surprise is that I just received a somewhat banged up more modern (46K serial #) aristocrat (blue logo on bell) exactly as one that Chet played in a video & am amazed at how easy & extremely well it plays. Very in tune w/lightning fast valves. I prefer playing this horn than my much more expensive Hub Van Laar B6......and the Van Laar is a great horn, but to me, it just doesn't have that "magic it factor" that the Aristocrat has in spades.....Tom, what say you?
     
  6. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    Never played a Hub Van Laar... but I play Lightweight 400s for a reason. You just can't match that tone.

    The later Aristocrats aren't bad. The earlier ones, though... :-)

    Tom
     
  7. Claude Gnocchi

    Claude Gnocchi Mezzo Forte User

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    Well...I might just have to get me one of those 400s.........
     
  8. True Tone

    True Tone Piano User

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    I'd reccomend them, they're great horns. Only problem can be getting one in good shape, considering they all are older than about 60, now.
     
  9. Claude Gnocchi

    Claude Gnocchi Mezzo Forte User

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    True, but the 1940s Aristocrat I just got is all banged up, but even so the valves are perfect and it sounds fantastic! Actually, I must say that for me, it is a more open/clear sound but w/core than the older 205.....now, I must get a 400!
     
  10. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    I just sold my Model 205... stellar valves. I think the long piston has a lot to do with that.

    Tom
     

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