Vintage Saxophones

Buescher True-Tone Soprano (Very Custom)

Modern Keywork / Serial #228,XXX

No longer available

I don't think this has ever been done before, although it makes perfect sense: the best vintage soprano ever made, combined with the most solid and comfortable modern keywork design ever made. I have never seen or heard of any one else with a soprano like this, and I believe this is the first ever to have been completed (in the history of saxophones). It is not only a one of a kind instrument, but when I am done it is going to be about as close to a perfect soprano as can be found or made: deeper tone than any other model ever made, more accurate intonation than any soprano ever made, and ergonomics to rival anything ever made. Being a True-Tone, acoustically, its scale is more even than other sopranos, and its voice is freer than other sopranos (as fans of True-Tone sopranos would expect).

Even when it comes to repair considerations, most of the keywork can readily be made from parts widely available for years. Yanagisawa parts may be altered without too much trouble to replace any parts, including mounting hardware.

This is, in short, a late 1920s era Buescher True-Tone soprano with:

  • Modern keywork: taken from my Just Saxes Crescent soprano -- this keywork is very closely inspired by Yanagisawa, regarded by most as the most comfortable and ergonomic keywork layout ever made.
  • Bare brass body with light coat of lacquer; probably originally bare brass, restored by Just Saxes
  • Goldplated keys
  • Front F
  • Modern high C# mechanism (corrects sharp C#2 issue of Buescher True-Tone sopranos)
  • Forked Eb active, and incorporated into custom keywork design
  • No lead solder used throughout (a tiny bit of tin-lead solder was used in only two spots: front F rib, G# keytube extension)
  • See-saw low-B-to-low-C linkage -- the slickest left hand pinky table design ever conceived
  • Rocker Bb LH pinky table design
  • Ribbed construction
  • Brass thumbrests and thumbhook, both top and bottom (both gold plated), bottom hook adjustable;
  • Super smooth, sure footed right hand pinky table with scooped, winged keytouches
  • Modern strap ring
  • Complete Just Saxes pad and resonator set-up, with mildly domed, medium sized metal resonators (emulation of original Buescher snap-in resonators kept in mind, slightly enlarged to enhance response)

How it's made, mechanically: (1) first, all hardware except for the chromatic F# key (which functions on the completed conversion just as it would on an original True-Tone soprano) is removed from the body. The body is then cut between the low C# and low B tone holds on a lathe, the bell turned slightly (this is to accomodate the modern LH pinky table design, with a minimum of mechanical changes to the modern mechanism), and then the body and bell are resoldered together. I would rather not make public my choices in how the body and bell are conjoined, as this is one of the major important considerations that separate how I have done this from how others are likely to do it in the future, if they "copycat" this work. There is really only one right way to do this, and that is how I've done it; the joint is completely secure, airtight, and structurally reinforced with a solid brass collar; (2) second, all hardware is removed from the Just Saxes Crescent (save the high F# and high G keys, which the True-Tone does not employ), and the keys and mounting hardware are customized to fit the True-Tone, with all ergonomics being adjusted with a combination of best mechanics and feel in mind; (3) lastly, once the saxophone is mechanically complete, a full overhaul is performed. As part of this work, I have remade nearly all of the screws to ensure the snuggest possible, smoothest possible, and most lasting and durable result. Three saxophones went into the making of this one, very custom, one-of-a-kind vintage-modern soprano, along with 10 years of know-how and experience with fine saxophones.

The long and short of it is that, if you have the chance to play it, you'll likely agree this is the most perfect soprano you have ever played or seen. The saxophone itself -- toneholes and bore -- are on a par with any True-Tone sopranos (because that is what they are), and the keywork is as comfortable, firm-footed, and fast as anything ever made.

I want to make a few mechanical tweaks to linkages, and possibly add a few epoxy extensions, and time is not in great supply lately, so this will probably not be available for purchase for a few weeks. It is ready to play, though, and if you're in the area you are welcome to come by and take her for a spin. If I did not intend to make more of these, this one would not

(for photos, please visit the Services area, under customizations)

~ no longer available - staying here, but you can visit and play it if you're in the area ~

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