For overall playability and tone, this is one of the best sopranos ever made. The late True Tone sopranos are coveted for their unique combination of a big, warm, rich tone and very accurate, easy intonation. The modern soprano sound for some reason has not managed to recover the richness of 20’s to early 30’s soprano tone (probably because the modern sound is a development of the Mark VI soprano, whose design actually PRE-dates the advancement represented by the Buescher, Conn, and Martin sopranos of the late 20’s!). This is not to say that modern Yanagisawa, Selmer, and Yamaha sopranos are no good, but it is to say that they sadly have not yet incorporated into their design the bore characteristics that make these older sopranos sound so good. When you play an old Buescher, Martin or Conn, it’s almost like you’re playing a different instrument from what people are used to thinking of as soprano saxophone.
This is a SUPER rare BURNISHED gold plate soprano. Meaning that the gold is applied with a burnisher and is much thicker than gold plate and much more long-lasting. This was the top finish option available, and not many horns were made with no expense spared, like this one was. This horn came to me from a collector who loves these late True Tone sopranos. This is just about the pinnacle of American soprano saxophone manufacturing, which was all but wiped out in the Great Depression. So really, this is about as good as it gets in a vintage soprano.
Cosmetically, and mechanically, this is also as clean of an example of a late True Tone as you will find. It is nearly perfect with no past repairs and no current dents or dings or issues. It has a high F, which is great. It has a fresh, full overhaul done by Barnard Instrument Repair, in Iowa – one of the premiere saxophone repair shops in the USA right now. It plays great, and it has all the original snaps and spuds that you Buescher nuts look for.
It has a warm, full, powerful tone that is just so nice to play. The keywork is different from a modern horn, so if you are very picky about everything feeling like your Yamaha, then skip this one. But it is quite comfortable under the fingers and no problem at all to adjust to if you give your fingers a few weeks to learn the new pattern. If you have been looking for a special soprano for a while and not finding much to inspire you, look no further. This is it. I will include a new $450 BAM Trekking soprano case with the horn in order to keep it maximally safe and pristine down the road. This is the best soprano case made, and this horn deserves it. When you figure in a $1200 overhaul, a $450 case, and the super rare burnished gold finish, you see that this is priced quite reasonably for what it is. Get it now – there is not likely to be another one like this for sale any time soon.