Selmer MK VI 81xxx original lac. US engr. Apex HT overhaul 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 1967 ‘Sanborn’ Medium Bow Model

Here, yet another in a line of reliably great 140-something thousand altos.  These 140k medium bow altos are probably the best, most versatile players they ever made for altos.  The earlier 5 digit medium bow altos are also great but not quite as loud and cutting as these.  I have had a number of these from 139-149k and I have yet to play one that was not great.

This 148xxx is a player’s horn, not a museum piece.  It has lived, had some dents, dings and scratches and lacquer wear.  The horn has had a full overhaul with fresh pads and everything else and is currently in very good playing condition. All original lacquer and US engraving.  The photos below are before the overhaul, so it’s a bit cleaner and nicer than shown.

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Selmer Super (balanced) Action ‘SBA’ 48xxx Original US Lacquer, Near Mint With Excellent Setup

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.



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Selmer MK VI Tenor 56xxx First Year Rarity

These don’t show up often and mostly not in this condition either.  This is an original US finished 56xxx tenor, 1954 first MK VI design, still something of a transitional instrument.  It has a nice pad job, all new and smooth.  Original S/c matched serial neck in very good condition, never pulled.  Bow, bell and neck all without injury, small dings here and there and some natural lac. wear.

The sound is really quite huge and unexpectedly loud and cutting.  It has what I would consider a dark fundamental with an exceptionally cutting bright edge.  It’s quite unique, not as focused as SBA, but significantly bigger booming sound as well. Sound coming out feels rather spread but behind the horn is not especially wide feeling.  This is what I consider to be a BIG horn.  It’s just a huge sound, very powerful and weighty; both darker AND brighter than most all at the same time.


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Selmer Super (Balanced) Action 49xxx relac Specialty complex player

49k SBA is the end and height of what I would call the 3rd model type of SBA; the second to last model of which the last are basically 50k-54k approximately.  The 3rd type (this one) trends towards the most power, projection and brightness before the 50ks that trend mellower and wider.  These are often phenomenal players, surprising even.

This one has been relacquered a long time ago with what is now a rather dark finish that is slowly wearing.  US engraving is fully visible and nice.  Most (maybe all) the original metal ToneX resos are present, pads are old and expired.  Pearls have some wear because this horn definitely enticed players, but they are fine just the way they are.

The neck, oddly is an earlier model from likely some version of Balanced Action.  Originally when I got this I thought “oh no” (no original neck) but after doing some pad regulation and playing this it is SHOCKINGLY good.  Among the best of any SBA/BA I have ever played and among the best sounds and feel of any horn ever, just exceptional horn.  This has the speed, even-ness, precision of the SBA with a lyrical and colorful complexity that is deeper and more nuanced than any I have ever played.  That is saying a lot.

This horn will need an overhaul, but its amazing on the world’s worst pads.  It will definitely go to a serious player and will not be undersold due to the neck as this is a bonus.  Anyone who plays it will know immediately.

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Selmer MK VI 126k Low Bb Baritone Saxophone Near New!

A nearly new 1965 Mark VI Baritone is an amazing thing to experience.  This one is 126xxx with original US lacquer and engraving, original matched neck and all in wonderful condition with no damage that baritones almost always suffer.  This has 99.999% original lacquer and the only signs of use are a few tiny scratches or scuffs and one tiny ding that I could find.  The bell, lower and upper bows, neck, body etc are all just about perfect as the day it was made.  The pads have lacquer on the edges and are all original, could use some attention after this many decades.

The sound is wonderful, equal parts edgy and warm as expected with a great VI bari.  Includes original Selmer case and case cover as well.  Such a time capsule is an extreme rarity.  Enjoy the pictures!

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Selmer MK VI 118xxx Original US Lac, excellent vibe nice condition

Here is a rather thrilling original 118k MK VI tenor, original US lacquer and engraving, in quite good played condition.  The photos illustrate it well, it has normal play wear to the finish, some minor dings etc, but is overall in very good structural condition.  The pads are not new but have been redone at some point in the past and still have life left in them, but will definitely need some adjustment.

It is a very interesting horn in that it has the sound and feel of what we might expect from the early 100k horns, (focused complex and punchy) with a response we might associate with the 120k period (more precise, stable intonation and slotted notes).  I have not experienced this exact thing before, all these horns are unique but this one really feels like a juncture between those two things and it plays and feels excellent, while needing some work.

The neck has never been pulled, it’s in very nice condition with normal speckle.  The bell flare and bow are nice as well.  This is a very good one that I personally enjoy a lot.

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Selmer MK VI 136xxx Original nr MINT Euro Engr. Amazing sound & response

Selmer MK VI 136xxx, very bright and shiny all original French lacquer and engraving. The pads are old and will need attention, but jeez this thing has an amazing sound.  I usually play five digit VI but this sound just shook me; it’s the combination of 4 factors: bright, vocal, focused and expansive.  All of these together is a wonderful rich sound.  It is very powerful and has plenty of bright yet very vocal and lyrical as well as being rather fat with a mellow quality to such a powerful sound.

This horn is very close to new.  It has a few scratches and minor dings only, one really small ding on the bow brace that a skilled tech can smooth out in the course of an overhaul, and  a slightly darkened lacquer spot on the low C key for the super picky.  The bell rim, neck and the body are all beautiful and undisturbed original.

The photos do not lie, this is in excellent near new condition, and even on the old pads it has a very impressive sound.  No matter what serial number this is one of the most interesting horns I have every played.  Some lucky person will snap this up fast.  Don’t sleep!

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Selmer MK VI Alto 145k Gold plate players horn

Selmer MK VI 145xxx gold plated player, a very interesting horn with a special sound.  This has been well loved for good reason.  It is right within the best medium bow ‘Sanborn’ popular 140k altos.  Originally a European market horn, it was aftermarket gold plated over nickel, of which plenty is now showing through.  The pearls and keys have some brass wear which could be addressed or left as is.  There are some normal past repairs and evidence of a life lived on this one.

140k altos are usually expensive and always in demand.  This one is something of a deal for someone who wants a player and put a little fixer energy into.

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Selmer MK VI 85xxx Original US engraved HT apex overhaul Beautiful Condition

Here we have the much vaunted mid-80k tenor of legend.  This is right at the apex, 85k serial, original US lacquer at about 99.5% preserved state with some age speckle.  US Elkhart engraved, original matched neck, factory sharp pearls, and a high class overhaul ready to go.

There are none of what I would call “dents” on this horn and never have been.  There were a few tiny scuffs on the horn, just tiny stuff that you would hard pressed to even find.  It’s very close to new condition.  The neck had minor flex to it, revealing that the horn has been played; the angle and contour are correct for the model period.

The horn was overhauled from the ground up; custom pad order, pad treatment, nickel plated brass mostly Tonex 5-digit selmer resos with some resotech fill-ins. Balanced approach key fitting, toneholes conservatively leveled and dressed, old school cork &felt, nice neck fit etc.  The key action is open enough but not huge, the balance between speaking and speed.

This is a horn that has the expected sound for the mid 80k period but is perhaps uncharacteristically focused and loud.  It is not what I would call a spread horn.  It has a powerful bright edge that some of the earlier mid 80k’s lack.  It is not the wide lush sofa you might find at 82k.  It is more of an edgy power puncher with a raspy edge that offers some spring to push against.

Minty (nearly new) original US 85k tenors are not easily available these days.

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