Beautiful US assembled early 1950’s example of a Super Action tenor.
The Lacquer finish is all original and the engraving is deep and sharp and original as well. The engraving on this one is particularly nice and a bit unique. I believe someone at Selmer got a little bit creative with this one, because it differs slightly in pattern from the normal pattern for this period, it is very nice.
The neck is original as well. I bought this horn from a friend of the original owner. The serial number is 47xxx putting this on the cusp of the desirable third phase of the SBA run. The first being around 34xxx-37xxx, with the either short bell or lowered bell tone-holes. The second phase was approx. 38xxx-47xxx with the separate low B and Bb key guards, and this is the third phase with the solid bell key guards, but before they changed the engraving pattern to the later style that can also be found on MK VI’s up to no. 564xx. the later SBA’s begin to respond a little bit like early VI’s and that can be good, but this one is right in the middle of SBA. It plays a little more open than some earlier ones, but it does not sound like a VI. It is a very good SBA.
This is right after the change at 47xxx and the response is very big and slightly focused. Some of the SBA’s can be very dark and resistant, not this one. It is neither resistant nor overly dark. In fact it has quite a bright edge to it though the core of the sound is warm and colorful. This particular horn has a focused powerful punch to it, I think it is very very loud and due to being a bit focused, has a pop to it that is hard to find in SBA’s. This is a very live horn and works well with a very broad array of mouthpiece types.
In terms of condition, it has been played, and it shows. It was owned by a professional musician. The lacquer is original and there is a lot of it in shiny nice shape, however there is normal wear. There are clearly, scratches and some minor dings, some past minor ding repairs. One foot on the low Eb key guard has been reattached. I have seen these particular feet just pop off after a number of years on many SBA’s, not sure why but it is very common. This job was done very nicely and discreetly, it is not easy to notice. The clothing guard is missing and can be replaced with a MK VI guard or SBA guard if you can find one. I don’t have the time to hunt around for it at the moment, but it is not an important issue to me.
The neck is nearly perfect. It has never been bent nor flexed at all. There are some tiny nicks on it, that’s all. The neck has not had any damage what so ever, and it plays excellently. It is probably the best SBA neck I have ever played.
The pads are a mix of old and new with all of the original metal “tone-x” resonators. I replaced a few pads, and did a lot of adjustment to the action, so it feels nice, and it plays fine and sounds just excellent, however it will need a pad job to be up to a pro’s standards.
The case is not original, the original has long since worn to shreds. This is a good quality hard shell case that comes with it.