Selmer MK VI 110xxx Beautiful original player

Wonderful rare 110xxx MK VI soprano, this is getting very close to the 99xxx mark of Coltrane’s soprano and is the same design point; having the earlier bore of the late 5 digits yet with the articulated c# regulator (a double “donut” pad assembly) that was prototyped in the mid 80xxx but did not come into production until the 90xxx period.

The condition of this horn is excellent, all original lacquer (a few very minor blemishes) and original pads and resonators with the exception of maybe 2. It plays quite well, but given that most of the pads have lacquer on them from 1962 I would suggest it will be better with an overhaul eventually.  It is just not in dire need.

The sound is focused, buzzy as these are, rich and quite loud with a vocal quality.  This has a ‘something’ that definitely disappears by the mid-100-teen numbers.  It is near impossible to find this serial number and design these days, and it is preferred by a set of folks who know.  I kept this one for years, and may yet keep it, but for the moment here it is for the ambitious!

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King Silversonic 454xxx original 1970 Relic

This King Silversonic is exceptionally well preserved, it has been played very little.  The pads are original along with everything else including the original packing label, factory inspection tag and King Instruments catalog 1970 with a price of $835.00!  It currently plays, fairly well but being original pads it will need an overhaul for sure.  It’s in very nice condition and plays with a rather huge muscular and flexible tone. Many people would say that this mid 400-serial is the best period for King Silversonic.

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Selmer MK VI 98xxx Orig. US Lac Super Clean HT Overhaul Apex player (SOLD)

Selmer MK VI tenor 98xxx one very special horn.  Everyone who has tried this one has loved it.  It is a very powerful, balanced and full player. It has plenty of weight to the sound as well as a forceful edge and depth.  The US lacquer and engraving are all original and in show several color variations, seems to be still darkening over time.  The neck, bell, bow all are structurally spotless with no previous damage nor repair of any kind. There is minor lacquer speckle on some keys but thats all really. It’s a near mint original, the pearls are quite sharp.

I’ve given this the absolute excellent setup with custom treated pads and large 5-digit original Selmer ToneX resos. It plays exactly as great as it should. This horn is special enough that the listing may be removed – quite likely, but its here for the moment. It is for the treasure seeker and will not be cheap as it is very hard to find a player like this in this condition as well.  I honestly don’t know what to write- its among the best.

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Selmer Balanced Action 21xxx original US engraved masterpiece with high end HT overhaul-super rarity.

Here is a wonderful and extremely rare original 21xxx Balanced Action tenor.  The vast majority of remaining Balanced Actions have all been refinished, as they are just quite old.  Some of those very early 1950’s relacquers were done at the factory and are stunningly good, many will fool many wish-to-be experts.  Actual originals though, are extremely elusive, probably nocturnal, reclusive and nearly extinct, not adapting to human civilized expansion.

This one is a very rare find in that it is in excellent condition, minimal repairs and plays exceptionally well.  It has all the early mechanisms, and extensive artistic engraving that is still very sharp and crisp.  It plays with a huge, wide and rather brash on-stage type of sound that was engineered for a time when microphones were not common.

It has an added strap ring in the modern position for much more comfortable playing and arthritis prevention protocol, one resoldered guard foot at the low C, and some repair to perfection of the neck angle. It has had everything done to set it up to tight tolerance and optimization, fitted with original (if I remember correctly) Selmer ToneX resos hoarded from SBA’s.  Original Balanced Actions had no resos (true).  It plays like a million$$ under the fingers and is a super flexible and expressive.  It won’t cost a million but if it seems like this should be a bargain it’s probably best not to ask.  It’s been decades since original Balanced Action were freely galavanting the countryside and it’s never going to happen again.

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Selmer Super (Balanced) Action 39xxx beautiful refinished Coltrane model period

Here is a very nice example of the earlier ‘long bell’ SBA in the same model period as Coltrane was known to have used up until maybe 1965. This SBA has a serial number of 39xxx right on the cusp of the desired 40k mark.  The neck is original to the horn and shares the serial number.  It was originally US engraved and lacquered.  Having been refinished at some point, the engraving is still visible.

The original Selmer ‘Tone-X’ resonators are still (mostly) present and, oddly, are some of the largest sized examples I have seen. The pads are without any doubt, OLD and will need replacing.  This horn will play just a bit now, with effort.  Based on my experience playing so many leaky horns over the years I believe the sound and response even on the old dried pads with this one reveals that this is an absolutely wonderful and very promising SBA. If I have time to overhaul I will but that remains to be seen.

The horn has had some normal wear and tear over the years; pearls don’t show much wear.  Most of the refinish is still present with some speckle here and there. There has been some rather normal issues addressed, body is now straight and shows one resolder.  The neck is at the proper SBA angle and fitted exceptionally well.  This horn will definitely come out great.  Given how rare SBA are in any shape these days this is actually in very good condition and a great candidate to turn into an apex classic.

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Selmer MK VI 119xxx Original US Engraved Player’s Tenor

This horn was made right in the most reliably good and consistent period of Selmer MK VI manufacturing, early 100k-120-something.  That is the model period of Coltrane’s MK VI (122+/-) tenor that he used throughout the mid-1960s.

Owned by an active player, this horn was definitely used, though it is in quite good condition compared to common examples. The body still has a lot of original gold lacquer finish that has a very nice color.  There are no resolders that I could find, and no significant dent repairs.  It does show normal scuffs and some minor dings and smoothing out of some past dings etc, normal stuff. Structurally it is in quite good condition.  The neck has a past pulldown that has been very nicely corrected and is now at the optimal angle for this model and is not only round but also a great player, that is also fitted wonderfully to the receiver.

What WILL need to be done eventually is pads.  The pads are old, they will need replacing along with felts/corks etc.  It has not been updated in quite some time. I’ve played it, it is currently playing well enough to know exactly how good it is, which is very good, the tone and response are great, but it will need work eventually, and some cleaning.

Someone is going to get a nice one though.  I love the way it plays.

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Selmer MK VI 60xxx Original British Model Expresssive Magic

A beautiful old horn made in 1955 for sale in UK, this has original lacquer and engraving.  It has that warm gold color finish that has not darkened much. The body and neck are in very good condition with no apparent repairs.  The lacquer where present is in very good shape, some spots of wear in normal areas.  Included is the original British Selmer case that looks absolutely fab along with the original sales guarantee from Selmer.

I’ve just done an extensive restoration on this horn, soldered the body to bow joint (as the American models had) all new custom treated pads with a set of vintage 1950’s Selmer US ToneX nickel plated brass resos from SBA and early MK VI, and full tonehole dressing and key fitting.  This now plays very precise, fast and tight.

It’s got the tonal poetry, the subtle super expressive quality that sort of disappears after the very early VI’s.  In this case, possibly uniquely this horn turned out really edgy, focused and powerful, a bit unexpected for sure.  This has a focused air column that really makes me think it has an SBA body, but it has more elasticity and spread than SBA normally has, basically the stretch of an early VI.  I feel this horn is really a transitional model of come kind.  Be warned, although it has a lot of richness of tone that may be specific to 60k and earlier models, it is really aggressive and cutting.  If anyone was holding the fantasy that really earlier Selmers were spread, dark and mellow this one will surely shatter that.

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Selmer MK VI 87xxx original US engraved Vintage Player

This horn exudes character and lyricism.  It has the ‘that look’ in droves and it sounds pretty much like it looks in my opinion- just one of those horns.  The serial number is 87xxx, US engraved and lacquered and it is has lived a lot.  It has dings, dents, repairs, blemishes etc.  If you are looking for a mint collector’s item this is definitely not it, but it IS a player.  It very much has a certain complex sound, I would say a darker core and then a shimmering warm edge on top of the sound, and the very quick response that is typical of this model period.


The neck is not the original but is an earlier VI model with the low octave saddle, possibly European market earlier VI.  That is what came with the horn and by the look of it, it has likely been with this horn a long time.  I have experimented with late 80k necks on this horn and so far I still like this neck best on this one; it has a certain focus and speed that is beneficial and somehow seems to let the proper character shine.  With this neck it absolutely sounds like an 87k would be expected to, and I think it can even be heard on the video.

I am not enamored of the pads and resos, but I’ve gone through the horn and got it playing quite smoothly.  I can only imagine how amazing it would be with a proper treatment, but it’s going well at the moment and the pads are not old at all.  These mid-late 80k horns are very rarely available now, most who have them are not willing to sell them and everyone is looking for just this serial number.  Collector’s condition examples are extremely expensive, so this, given the serial number is a serious bargain these days.  If this is what you are hunting, don’t sleep.

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Selmer MK VI 142xxx ‘Sanborn’ range original player

This is a prime serial number in the medium bow “Sanborn” popular model period and plays with the normal aggressive cutting quality that these are known for while also having the benefit of the medium bow tuning. It is a consignment horn, a player’s horn with obvious signs of use, showing some cosmetic blemishes but as a player will be fully functional and great.  More info available upon request.

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