Selmer MK VI Tenor 103xxx Original Player’s Cherished Gigging #1 Standby

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.

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Selmer Super (Balanced) Action “SBA” Tenor 35xxx

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.

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Yusef Lateef’s amazing 45xxx Super (Balanced) Action tenor, restored!

I was very luck to be able to purchase this amazing instrument from the estate of Yusef Lateef, along with the paperwork of provenence.  I have some friends in the repair biz who were also around Rayburn’s music (in Boston) years back and remembered Lateef bringing this horn around for service more than 30 years ago as well, so we know he kept it for a long time.

This project spanned about two years as some parts of it were slow and time consuming and I was also busy with a move and some family obligations during that time.

It was in a bit of disrepair when I got it, with some kind of odd insults and injuries, but structurally it was in very fine shape.  Somehow, somewhere, the neck receiver had been sheared into three pieces two of which were broken clean off the horn.  The strangest part is that this break, did not effect the body tube in any way, in any area.  It was very straight with only some minor dings, very odd.  I have yet to understand how that happened and never will I guess.  The pads were old and crusty of course, it was not playing.  Some screws were missing or mismatched and it was at least as far as proper saxophone service is concerned, just rather insulted.

In my imagination, I can see Yusef Lateef buying this horn in Europe while on tour and either it already had the broken neck receiver or that happened while in his possession.  I can imagine him thinking “this is one of those special horns that ‘Trane was bugging Wayne Shorter to get” (see the interview with Shorter where he tells this story about Trane’s insistence on him getting just such an early SBA.) and him keeping it until he can find the right person who could handle the weird repair.
Maybe he knew what a great horn it was, generally I would trust the judgement of instrument quality to Yuself Lateef above almost anyone. I imagine he had to know what a special horn this was to keep it for so many years.

Anyhow with a lot of specific work and time I have finally restored this to very nice working order, it feels like a Ferrari now, set up with rather hard-ish pads and a set of original American-market Tone-X metal SBA resos from the 1950’s that I had here.  It just blew my mind as I just played fresh one day after the overhaul, while ti is still settling in.  It is very compact and aggressive in tone, barks, is very powerful and has an otherworldly biting bright ring to the sound that makes it sound like it is amplified.  This is what the rare and great SBA’s do.  I was a little rusty on the video but at least it was fresh and surprised me more than you who will watch it I believe.

 

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Otto Link “Double Ring” FL Transitional Original 4* Tenor

Super rare Otto Link “double ring” original traditional.  This has the short FL biteplate yet it is table stamped 4* (true Florida models were side-stamped).  This piece is in very nice shape, I have not yet played it.  Comes with original cap and ligature, slightly worn but present.  The tip, side rail, and facing finish are all of the very early NY style, very thin and beautiful!

I have not cleaned this or done anything with it, just came out of the case of a 1961 Selmer tenor!

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Selmer SBA Low Bb Baritone Unbelievable Rarity 44xxx Original, Nearly Perfect Unicorn

1951 is the year, “Super Action” (SBA) or “Super Balanced Action” baritone low Bb near perfect original US engraved masterpiece.  This horn is 100% UNMOLESTED.  It has a few TINY dings and scuffs, some honest wear, just a little and otherwise it is structurally perfect and nearly cosmetically untouched.  It is SO rare to find one of these that has survived in this state.

According to Douglass Pipher this: “Selmer 44xxx is a US-Market baritone. It shipped in March 1951 as part of a batch of 30 Saxophones. (11 Altos, 13 Tenors and 6 Baritones)”

There simply were not many of these made and far far less of them still surviving in undamaged condition!

This has ALL original pads and resonators, never had an overhaul.  The pearls are not worn, this had not been played much, but right now, it DOES PLAY, though should receive some attention.  This has not been cleaned or anything, just exactly as revealed in the 1951 case, so there are a few insignificant water or strapping stains showing. The body, neck and upper brace all share the same 44xxx serial number (that has been obscured in the photos).  This amazing jewel of Selmer model history and craftsmanship IS for sale but will not be shipped.  Drop in, and fly this treasure out.  This is for the top pro and/or collectors.  Thanks for looking!


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Beautiful 105xxx Selmer MK VI Tenor Original!

Rare nice condition 105xxx MK VI tenor, original lacquer, original pads etc, feels lovely on the hands and easy on the ears and eyes as well.  This has a wonderful punchy, crisp & sizzling, projecting live sound! Has some minor bumps & bruises from use. The original neck is great, never had any pulldown, just some normal lacquer wear from hands. Bell has never been bent. This horn really has that sparkle that many look for.  It has been used and is not perfect but still very nice looking and will be a real world class player when set up really well.  Thanks for looking!

 

 

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