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Vintage Trumpets / Cornets Discuss BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400 in the Equipment forums; . For the circa 1940s/1950s horns, is there a noticeable difference in quality as you move from Aristocrat to Custom-Built ...
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    BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    .
    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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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    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.
    1950 Buescher model 217 Lightweight 400 Trumpet
    1910 Holton Couturier Model Cornet
    1950 Holton Model 28 Cornet
    1972 Holton Galaxy Trumpet
    1970 Conn 17A Cornet
    1948 Holton Model 79 Mellophone
    ...and a lot of woodwinds.

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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    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
    Buescher Lightweight 400
    Other Buescher horns 1939--1955
    GR65M, GR65 Cor #1

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    Fortissimo User barliman2001's Avatar
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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    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.

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    Mezzo Piano User Claude Gnocchi's Avatar
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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    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?

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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    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
    Buescher Lightweight 400
    Other Buescher horns 1939--1955
    GR65M, GR65 Cor #1

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    Mezzo Piano User Claude Gnocchi's Avatar
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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

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

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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Gnocchi View Post
    Well...I might just have to get me one of those 400s.........
    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.
    1950 Buescher model 217 Lightweight 400 Trumpet
    1910 Holton Couturier Model Cornet
    1950 Holton Model 28 Cornet
    1972 Holton Galaxy Trumpet
    1970 Conn 17A Cornet
    1948 Holton Model 79 Mellophone
    ...and a lot of woodwinds.

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    Mezzo Piano User Claude Gnocchi's Avatar
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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    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!
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    Re: BUESCHER - Aristocrat versus Custom-Built versus 400

    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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    Buescher Lightweight 400
    Other Buescher horns 1939--1955
    GR65M, GR65 Cor #1

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