This piece is a work of art. It was originally a 4* facing and I opened it to a 6** facing while retaining the original table and executing what I call a heart transplant, filling in the concave table (so-called French Curve). By doing this I avoided losing any more height on the facing from the table flattening that would have otherwise been required. The mouthpiece has not had the table reduced, nor has it had the tip shortened at all and I reached .097.
I also maintained a very original baffle and tip rail configuration. The piece plays exceptionally concisely with a very popping bebop articulation. The tone is characteristically thick as Slants are yet is also thrillingly compact with plenty of sizzle on top.
This is as rare as it gets, Otto Link Original mint condition 7 untouched facing and table. Good luck finding this type of thing anywhere. Beautiful original tip, baffle and original milling on table. This is very very fun to play and a ridiculous find.
This is a once in a lifetime find, Otto Link Florida W.T. (Wolfe “Tayne” Tanenbaum) facing mint original condition tenor piece with original box. original milling marks visible on table and facing completely original and untouched without damage. There is nothing really needed to say about this piece, everyone knows, the WT facings were designed for extra bright and power at a smaller facing, they are brighter. It’s a super rare facing and a FL like this in mint condition, very few around.
One of a kind 1960 tenor Mark VI, serial 87xxx in original US lacquer and engraving. This horn is the top, as it is one of the best periods of the MK VI but is also a totally unique and special instrument of this variety as well. There is no damage past nor present that I could find on this horn, structurally excellent and sound. There is normal lacquer wear on the body and most is gone from the neck yet the neck is physically perfect and wonderfully responsive.
This pads are not old, and set up with what I think are original Selmer plastic resonators it plays very well, but I think the setup could be a bit better when the right player determines it is time to address. I found no solders nor dents on the this horn, but of course there going to be normal scratches and small dings perhaps, nothing that caught my eye and I am meticulous.
Now for the most important part, the sound and response: There is simply nothing like this horn, anywhere. I have only ever played a few like this one. It is very loud and exceptionally lively, which is different than just being loud. It has what those in the know would call a kind of boldness to the sound, almost like a physical impact of sound.
This horn is quite edgy and cutting though it has an underlying warmth and color to the sound that makes it not what I would call excessively bright. It has a very aggressive, colorful and complex kind of edge to it. It is probably in the middle between dark and bright, has a mid-tone quality to the very loud cutting edge that is very hard to find along with the physically impacting fundamental bass. I can only wonder how it would function with metal resonators.
This is a very rare and special horn, I have only ever played one or two others that came close to it. I waiting a decade to buy it.
SBA 48xxx as rare as it gets. This horn is in 99-100% original US lacquer and Elkhart engraving. It has original resonators and a truly wonderful playing setup with quite new pads etc. It needs nothing and is ready for the gig out of the case. There are only minor dings and scratches to be found, no repairs that I could find, wonderful responsive neck with original matching number.
The pearls are brand-new sharp, the case is old and the zipper does not work but it is sturdy.
The response is exceptionally fast and fluid and the sound is very warm and kind of bouncy and expansive while still being focused as SBA’s are. This is a very loud and open feeling SBA, yet definitely not of the later design that feels a bit more like a MK VI, this is not at all like a MK VI.
I could keep writing but in the end, anyone looking for the SBA of a lifetime find would run with this after playing it for 2 minutes. It IS that good, best SBA I have ever played, no contest. Of course these are very rare, desirable and expensive, just the way things are now. No complaints, this horn sounds and plays that great.
This is a very very special piece, one which I ‘Marinated” and set up to perfection some decades back. I used it as a main piece for gigging and recording on early MK VI and SBA which I was using at the time in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. I hand faced this to .095 to optimize its response and used it exclusively for a number of years. This piece can be heard here, on 64xxx and 62xxx MK VI tenors for all except one or two tracks:
For those who like the larger sizes we have two examples of an earlier FL 9*. The one on the left is an original no USA 9* at .115 tip and the one on the right has been refaced by SK at .117 (on my measurements). Snap them up!
This is an excellent prime period MK VI tenor serial 103xxx from 1963. The model period, just after 100xxx has a very special character. They tend to play slightly more compact than the late five digits yet still retain much of the early resonance and vocality. These add just a touch more bright edge and punch to the sound, slightly more compact and a huge amount of fun. I believe this particular design was inspired by the demands of emerging “hard bop” styles of jazz and amplified rhythm and blues and respond with power and edge it surely does. I personally love this period and prefer them myself. Within this range, 100k-115l (or something like that) I have literally never played anything but great and extremely satisfying horns.
This is a wonderful old player’s horn made in 1948. The serial number is 35xxx and it is a very interesting one in that it is a transitional or experimental design model. This is a true SBA as indicated by the improved bow to body band that has screws and is removable for better ease of bow repair. However, early SBA’s usually have the lower foot of the low B guard attached to the bow to bell ring, as they had a slightly shorter bell than the later design starting at usually around 38xxx. This long bell version starting around 38xxx was the model played by Coltrane, somewhere around 40xxx and has superior intonation to the early SBA models, resolving a slightly sharp set of bell notes.
Interesting here is that this is clearly an experimental or transitional model that would be replicated consistently in the later SBA models. This early 35xxx has the long bell of the later 38xxx as can be seen by the position of the low B guard foot. This means some intonation issues will be better and also the tone may be altered. I would love to know myself but I don’t have time to overhaul this horn to get a clear idea of it’s character. What I do know for sure is that early SBA’s have the most excellent tone in general and can be even more vocal, warm and organic sounding than the post 38xxx models. The tone is just very poetic.