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More modifications to the a Buescher Alto

After I posted the Buescher Alto modifications, I received a bunch of Emails asking for more modifications. It's too bad we don't take more pictures here at! Maybe this new blog will change that. I'll try and take more pictures of our work as we finish. It may keep others from having to reinvent the wheel.

Here are some Buescher mods that we did to an Alto a little while back. This Alto is a Transitional.

Clyde the Glyde

Clyde the Glyde is the name we have affectionately given to a mechanism that lowers the pitch of the second octave open C#. This little mechanism is miraculous. When the octave key is pressed Clyde closes the C# pad the proper amount to allow the tone to play in tune. Because this mechanism is adjustable, it also takes any play from the octave key that might be introduced when the mechanism is installed.

There are two screws on Clyde, one on top and one on the side. The screw on the top allows Clyde to glide back and forth between the fulcrums of the C# pad and the octave touch. This changes the amount of movement in the small C# pad.

The second screw is tightened down to keep two parts in constant contact.

Although much more difficult to manufacture than a simple attachment and adjustment screw, Clyde works so seamlessly it makes it worth the effort.

Neck Brace

This is a simple mod, but since it was done to this same instrument I thought it noteworthy. Here, a piece of guard wire was soldered to the bottom of the neck to reduce "pull down" that is common on so many saxophones.

Bumper added to low Eb.

On Bueschers there is often a problem with noise in the low Eb key when pressed. This is slight but when the entire instrument is super quiet, it is noticeable. Even if these keys are swedged to perfection, there can still be a little bit of noise as the pad cup vibrates when open. Here we added a bumper to the low Eb and the problem is solved.

Side Key Contact Points

This is a mod that I do to most horns coming in the shop. When a horn is set up perfectly, all the play is gone, cork is replaced with more appropriate materials and things are generally tight, any lost motion or imperfect feel in the keys is quickly noticed by the player.

Here we added contact to the side C and side E keys. If you look closely, you will see the side C key now contacts the body under the key touch. The side E key has an added part near the post to contact the post and reduce flex in the key. If these parts are hard to see in the picture, good. This means the modification is a success!

Good luck with your Bueschers!