Selmer MK VI 81xxx original lac. US engr. Apex HT overhaul and Pretty condition

This is a wonderful special vintage original 81xxx 1959 tenor.  I’ve given this the complete restoration treatment, a full overhaul.  It is original US lacquer and engraved, and setup with a slightly harder treated pad and mostly original nickel plated brass Tone-x resonator set as well.  The tone is in the middle on the dark-bright spectrum, slightly on the focused side in the context of 80k tenors, and features an exceptionally fast and commanding airspeed and projection, with a significant edge on the sound.  It has both power and a great capacity for beauty.  The key action is tight, fast, and exceptionally comfortable.  This is an apex MK VI for the discerning pro player, and the condition is on the edge of minty as well.

It HAS lived a bit, some brass smoothing has been done on the side of the bow and left side (chair area) of the body.  The neck is completely free of any pulldown or significant damage, tiny pings only.  The bell flare, bow cap etc very very nice. Old horns are mostly not 100% perfect but this one is in quite nice condition with normal scratches and signs of professional preference and use.

It is a highly enjoyable player and ready to make works of art in music at the highest level.  Below the seductively pretty pics are the stages of the overhaul process as well.

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Selmer MK VI 76xxx players treasure

This 76k tenor is all original.  US engraving, original lacquer, most of the original resos.  A few pads were missing so I put in a few cheap pads and a bit of regulation to get it running.  It will need a full overhaul and a bath, but at the moment it plays huge with a somewhat dark core and a very loud mid range cutting edge.  It has no resistance (other than the stuffy old pads) and is a real joy to play.

There is (obviously) some play wear on the left side, the bell flare has a very minor repaired crease.  Expect that this horn will need some normal work  but it is a wonderfully colorful, rich, and punchy original 1958 tenor, very very promising for a setup.



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Comparison & Review; Yamaha 82Z vs. Some Vintage Selmer Tenors

This is a fairly casual review/comparison of the 82Z vs a number of different vintage Selmer tenors. I really made this video for myself to hear the differences (which are not hard to notice) and because I have a number of folks who seem to appreciate my viewpoint. As usual I am rambling a bit and blowing probably too much noise but I did clear up a few of my ideas at least for myself and maybe someone else.

0:04 intro and 82Z comparison discussion
1:34 82Z playtest
3:37 SBA 45k playtest
5:33 MK VI 87k playtest
7:27 SBA 41k playtest
9:45 MK VI 70k
12:06 82Z more playtest
13:13 82Z discussion/comparison/conclusions
24:21 82Z left/right hand examination
25:19 MK VI 87k left/right comparison
26:02 conclusion etc

Horned Toad’s Vintage Otto Link Survey Videos!

Marin Spivack, veteran restorer of vintage mouthpieces takes an in-depth journey through the different models of vintage Otto Link tenor (because they are a lot less famous for alto) saxophone mouthpieces. We will cover the 1940’s to the 1970’s. Not ALL models and examples will be featured but plenty of detail based on what is available. Be prepared for corny humor and some time wasting, it’s a bit long, but you may learn to identify and understand the differences in the models. There may be mistakes and contradictions, we do our best. This is for the true nerds and enthusiasts.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Indepth Discussion on Realities of the MK VI and Vintage Selmers

Long and detailed discussion of a kind of common strawman overly hyped discussion of the “The MK VI” saxophone based on years of experience.

This was initially made in response to a video that is posted in the description
( ) .  Many hunters of such vintage Selmers, students and just those wanting to learn more may find this helpful.

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.

And here in a less boomy room:



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Unbelievable Original Selmer Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone

This is the story of an exceptionally rare and wonderful all original balanced action 29xxx that I was lucky enough to get.  I got it in raw condition with all original pads, case and a bunch of original case accessories.  I did a full restoration from the ground up and it is a truly phenomenal horn, now with original Tone-X resonators on a horn made when there were very few microphones, so this is very loud.  A real original balanced action like this is just about impossible to find, most were relacquered long ago. This is in apex playing condition and it’s stunning as well.  Read and see below.

As found:


Original article (pre-restoration):
This just came in here and required immediate photographing.  An original intact Selmer Balanced Action is a very very rare creature.  This particular horn has had no significant damage or alteration, has original pads and is basically a used version of exactly as it came from Selmer in the 1940’s.

This has as well, the original Selmer case, the first version of the trey-pack design, with original keys and “Balanced Action” tag as well.  The original “table B” mouthpiece is also in mint condition.

The horn obviously has some wear and some more on the left side, but there are really very few original examples to be found anywhere at this point, especially with American engraving pattern and lacquer.  I have not played it yet, requires some key adjustments and it will surely be a moldy experience with this old pads but I am curious.  It will need a full restoration but It is sure to be great.

What a feast for the eyes!

These pics are about as close to the actual color as I could get them-





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