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Thread: Buescher Double Bell - Help Please!

  1. Buescher Double Bell - Help Please!

    Hi Everybody! My father recently passed, but prior handed down to me his instrument collection. One of the instruments is a Buescher Double Bell Euphonium (imgur picture link below)! I never became musically inclined myself, but he was a very eclectic collector and I need some help...I've searched the forums here, and online, generally finding that these are fairly rare and don't trade often. I would really like for this to go to a nice home at a fair and reasonable price, but don't have any clue on pricing or listing. I assume I can list it here, for a fee which I'm more than happy to pay for the assistance. Any help is greatly appreciated, it's so nice to find these communities (the trombone community is great as well!). Sincerely thank you for any time and assistance.

    Picture link: https://imgur.com/a/FVV4ylq

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    We'll try to help. Looks to me like this was made in 1911. Some of our members with more antique experiences might be able to say if it is likely to be tuned for modern ensembles (there were "high pitch" and "low pitch" instruments that don't match today's bands and pianos).

    The overall condition looks pretty good to me. The uneven color of the silver is probably just tarnish. You might spend some elbow-grease time with some Haggerty silver polish - that will make it look way better, which can be an aid to selling it. If you do polish it, watch for any gold inlay around the engraving. Buescher used that on some horns, but I can't be sure from the photo if this one does. Gold is much softer than silver, so you would not want to use silver polish on any gold inlay (plating).

    So with good condition, and if the pitch is to modern spec, the other big thing is the mechanical action. You can tell much of this for yourself.

    Each valve has a sliding tube attached, and there is also main tuning slide. There may be another "main" slide for the little bell, but I can't tell for sure. If you remove all those, put some Vaseline on them (there are better greases, but most folks have Vaseline in the house and it will do for now) and make sure they move fairly smoothly in and out without feeling so loose that they might fall out.

    Then you need to be able to say if they valves work smoothly. Remove the knurled-edge fitting atop each cylinder. carefully take out the piston, and put some valve oil on it. For that, you need to use actual valve oil, not 3-in-1 or anything like that. Put the piston back in and see if it goes up and down smoothly. Do that for all 4 (counting the sideways valve that switches to the little bell). KEEP TRACK of which piston goes in which cylinder - they are not interchangeable. (Usually there is a number on the top side of the piston to guide you.)

    Then I would suggest, while you have the pistons out and before oiling, that you take a couple photos of them. That would be a guide to their condition. This is a big deal; if they are badly worn, getting them rebuilt is hundreds & hundreds of dollars of work. Buyers will want to know if they are facing that expense.

    Take a look at this listing. It is a similar instrument, only a few years newer, but it has been refurbished. The buy-it-now price is about $2k. If yours were cleaned up and is fully functional, that would be a possible price to hope for. The one below has been on the market at 2k for several weeks, so patience may be necessary. That price is probably top dollar for a 3 valve (plus the side valve) double-bell.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Holton-Doub...9/264536989191

    When you are ready to list it, please look at this post in the For Sale section. It explains things a bit. You'll see there is no set fee. People who have contributed after a sale tend to do between 5% and 10%, but it is up to each person.

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...Items-for-Sale
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. Wow, this is incredible information! This is why I really love these communities, such great information and knowledge with super helpful people.

    -I wasn't sure if polishing the silver would be detrimental to it's value, some assets polished i.e. a rolex are worth way more in original form. I'll grab some polish and see what I can do!

    Everything mechanically, to my amateur eye works perfectly. I know my Dad played it up until a few years ago, Tuba Christmas!! But I will take apart everything you mentioned, take pictures for the listing.

    Listing here seems to be the best option to get it into a good home, that's what is really most important. The money is one thing, but this was a very sentimental item to him and a good home is critical.

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