Selmer MK VI Tenor 87xxx 1960 Original Package Find

Here is a 1960 Selmer MK VI tenor saxophone serial no. 87xxx with original case, mouthpiece (Brilhart was included at this time) and Boosey & Hawkes Edgeware Clarinet. This is the original package from 1960.

This is very few numbers from my own 87k tenor and this has been kept for a future overhaul but we are setting some horns free.  This is a near mint 87k tenor, the find of a lifetime and a player to match.  The lacquer is all original, US engraving, pads all original, nothing has been done to this one.  It currently plays on original pads very nice but of course a little bit stuffy.

The neck is in perfect condition, the horn has most of its lacquer as can be seen in the photos.  There are a few imperfections; there is a tiny ding on the bell flare, one resoldered guard-foot at low C, and a slightly dinged upper post at Eb/C.  That is all, otherwise it is gorgeous.

This horn particularly plays bright and warm and loud.  it has both the aggressive edgy quality and full richness we would expect from a late 80k tenor.  Among this serial number this is undoubtably one of the absolute best one can find, which is why it was kept for years (by myself).  This horn is for the most discerning player or vintage collector who knows exactly what these are and what they are looking for. This is not cheap, you have been warned.

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Selmer MK VI 98xxx US near Mint Original Tenor Saxophone

This 98xxx tenor is everything is should be.  It is all original and on original pads as well. Nothing has every been done to this horn and it still plays great.  There are no dents of consequence, nor any solders or repairs that I found.  it has some normal lacquer speckling from age but not even much play wear.  The pearls are sharp, the original neck is perfect condition.

It currently plays very well, but would be amazing with a fresh set of pads.  The sound is HUGE, very organic and complex sounding with a lot of power and edge as well, exactly as it should be.  This is very easily one of the best MK VI’s I have ever played.

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Selmer MK VI Soprano Saxophone 1964 113xxx Awesome Player!

Absolutely beautiful MK VI soprano, 1964, 113xxx, this is one of my personal finds during some years of searching for the perfect MK VI of which this IS one. Although the five digit early selmers are great, the early six digit sopranos have special advantages.  The intonation tends to be a bit more reliable partially due to bore changes as well as the articulated octave/c# mechanism that was added right around late 90k-100k.

The body seems straight, never had any major trauma that I was able to identify.  Bell looks in nice shape too.  The lyre holder was removed which is nice in that it makes the horn a little lighter. The pads are not new but it plays pretty good at the moment, could definitely use adjustment, and maybe a pro setup if you choose.

This horn has a very strong and compact sound, slightly brighter and more focused than 5 digit sopranos and very very obviously more colorful and sonically rich and complex than later 6 digit horns.  This is one of the BEST, and it was not an accident that I bought it for myself.  I have a number of them now, and need to let one go. Lucky you, maybe!

 

 

 

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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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Mystery 40k SBA Original just arrived

This is an excellent Coltrane year/model SBA 40k that just arrived.  This one will definitely need a complete overhaul but it’s going to be that magical creature when done.  Wow! and look at that rare and excellent original case!

This has original US engraving and dark lacquer.  The neck is in beautiful condition and the bell as well.  This horn HAS been played and it has two repairs: the lower guard foot at Eb had a dent and the foot was damaged and the area repaired.  The tonehole is fine and the bow is nice and round, it is just cosmetic at this point.  The upper G rib was slightly unattached at the front and this was tacked down.

Now, the pads on this horn are currently horrible, YUCK! They are degrading, soft, rotten and covered in some kind of wax-like substance, maybe it is polish of some kind?  Anyhow they are disgusting and they are also leaking like a vintage British motorcycle, leaking horribly.  I was prepared to have a miserable feeling when playing it because honestly there is not a single pad that is not leaking and rotten, yet it has a truly amazing response.  This actually annoyed me.  It is better than many other horns, and with these pads it really should not be.

 

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Selmer Balanced Action Tenor 23k Unique Curiosity

This is a very interesting horn.  Serial number 23xxx, an earlier Balanced Action, it is set up with metal resonators and is in pretty good playing condition.  The pads could at least do with a bit of reseating and adjusting.  I have not looked deeply into it yet.  It has a wonderful crisp and rich response.

The unique thing about this horn (besides its sound) is that it appears to have been made without engraving and then sent to the Selmer factory to be relacquered and engraved with the current engraving of the late 1940’s-early 1950’s (SBA) Super Action style.  It is quite obvious to me that this had to have been done at the factory.  The lacquer color is also appropriate to the SBA time period.  The horn does not appear to have been buffed and there is no evidence (in any way) of prior engraving under the SBA pattern, so it is just very unusual and interesting.

This horn is beautiful and just has a phenomenal sound that will never be recreated. It is a joy to play.

 

 

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Otto Link Straight Sig. FL Marinated Masterpiece

This is a piece I optimized in 2010 for myself and then gigged on for a number of years. It is a Straight signature Link Florida originally stamped 7 and restored to .101.  There was a small nick in the tip that I repaired.  It is a VERY LOUD piece with a tonal color right in the middle between dark and bright (relative to what these piece might usually be) and is exceptionally smooth and comfortable to blow.

Horned Toad’s Select Collection Vintage Reproductions

I am working on a new project of small batch high quality reproduction of the best and personal favorite tenor mouthpieces out of my decades long acquired collection, most of which are very rare and hard to find, some of which are impossible to find.   In many years of mouthpiece hunting, collecting, selling and restoring vintage pieces I have gathered a unique and special array of some of the best pieces in the world from the perspective of someone who really likes vintage Links and Bergs.  I never had a super modern sound and still tend to gravitate to my vintage Links and Bergs.  I have collected, played and sold a huge number of them but I kept the pieces that worked best for me and at this point some of them need to be shared, and at least preserved as in some cases I only have one and will never see another.

I am going to try to keep these as affordable as I can considering manufacturing costs. There is some investment required and all hand finish will be done by myself.  I have at the moment 6 models I am considering.  In the first run all pieces will be produced in the exact facings they are current set at, as this is really were they play best, although customization will be possible.  At the moment I will be likely be producing in brass, stainless, resin/plastic or hard rubber.  

#1 “Missing Link” quad-ring transitional Otto Link Super Tonemaster.  

This is a one-of-a-kind mouthpiece that I searched for for like 30 years, finally got one.  I will never see another and it is safe to say most everyone will not have a chance to ever play one not to mention buy one.  I got lucky to obtain this one.  It had a minor amount of work done to it, I improved it greatly and although I never intended to return to an early Link this one demanded my attention because it plays in a very special and great way; compact with a lot of sizzle/bright for an early Link, still very fat but crisp deliver.  it is not SUPER loud, but it has nuance for years and it is also satisfyingly bright.  It is punchier than a Tonemaster, more compact that a NY double ring, and more lyrical/nuanced than a FL.  This is truly a unique and great playing early Link that I want to make available.  I think a LOT of folks will love this, but if you are really looking for a Guardala with the appearance of a Link this is not that.   This is a singular opportunity to own a really impossible to find piece.  It will be cast in brass or silver depending on interest.  The initial run will be the exact piece that I have as currently set up with a facing of around .097 which is really the outer range of where these types of pieces are designed to play their best. Finding this piece is what compelled me to start this project.  

#2 Serial numbered FL Link Super Tonemaster 7*.  This is the best metal FL Link I have ever played, without exception and it is the facing that everyone wants.  Many people have asked me to sell this but I only have one, and this will solve that problem.  It is a 100% original mouthpiece and it screams, very loud and very complex.  I will only produce this piece in 7* and it will be high detail replica.

#3 Straight Signature FL Link Tone Edge.  This was originally marked as a 6 but was already .097.  It is a daily player of mine with a tip size of about .098 and a rather large original flat baffle.  I have optimized this piece because (all) straight sig FL HR Links have table concavity that makes them inhospitable to reeds etc. I have optimized this for my own use with very detailed and gentle work. It is amazing; aggressive, bright, subtle fat and very very fast.  I have never listed this piece for sale and certainly never would but I will make the reproduction available in resin/plastic or hard rubber depending on process.  

 

#4 Marin Spivack “Orphan Slant” (Otto Link Slant Sig).  This is an Otto Link late FL slant sig blank, unmarked yet with original Otto Link table milling faced to around 5 that I received in a box of junk. I faced and set up this piece from the ground up to .100.  It is the best late Slant Sig possible to find in my experience, very detailed shimmering fat and efficient sound delivering very fast and clear note cutting. Just a touch fatter and colored compared to the speed and aggression of the straight sig (#3.) Never offered for sale. Hard rubber or resin.

#5 Berg Larsen 1960’s Type Font .099 denim offset bullet chamber duckbill hard rubber.  This is one of the absolute best most efficient playing Berg models they made.  This is my personal player that you can see in many of my videos.  I am mainly reproducing this for myself as it is is simply my BEST HR Berg and personal go to mouthpiece all the time and I am not happy with only having this one example that could break etc.  I am also happy to be able to offer it to my own customers and friends.  It is amazing.  Hard rubber or resin.

#6 Berg Larsen Slant Signature 110/3 SMS Stainless denim table 1940’s.  This is the super long “very vintage” Berg Larsen. I have had a number of slant bergs over the years and got this one in trade from a customer just this year and it shocked me.  It is the best metal Berg I have ever played, better than the Charlie Ventura and others as well.  Although it is a 3 baffle it is very loud and bright actually.  It is all original and plays amazing, loudest mouthpiece I own, very easy to play and very full and consistent through the range.  Although it is very powerful it is also extremely nuanced and complex.  It gets a TYPE of brightness that I can only associate with ‘Trane’s sound on Blue Trane for some reason.  This piece has not been for sale and won’t ever be.  I will make stainless models for this.  I may raise the bite a bit as it is so low, depending on the response of those interested.

These are my 6 daily mouthpieces and my best.  I have a number of others models also worth of consideration but for at least this first run I want to make the pieces I personally play available.  I am not looking at mass production but small batch production depending on demand.  I am pretty well known for honesty and integrity with my customers and that will apply here.  Facings will be checked and finished my myself only.  I strive to produce the same quality I demand.

I am just starting this project so I need input from interested folks.  The Metal Links can be made in Brass or silver (silver is quite pricey).  The Stainless Berg can be done in stainless or brass.  The hard rubber pieces will be done in resin/plastic or if in hard rubber they will be machined to a high standard (because I do not have an ebonite curing facility here).

Prices I hope to contain between $350-$650 depending on models, interest, materials and process required, but I will know more when I have an idea of demand and numbers.  For now I would ask that folks interested in having any of these pieces to send an email through the contact form and put “Select Collection” in the subject line so I can make a list.  Talk to me about what pieces you might want and in what material etc so we can decide which production runs to prioritize and at what numbers. You can be part of the process of what actually gets made.  No commitment or money is involved at this time.  These are the best vintage Links and Bergs in the world as far as I am concerned and I am very picky.  This is really not a big business venture but to the possibly small group of folks that want these it will be very satisfying.  Thanks for reading.

Marin

Selmer MK VI 1966 ‘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 pads are old and will need attention but it is a serious player with a thick, projecting sound.  It is very aggressive and bright enough, not not shrill.  Wide enough but not overly spread.  it is going to be amazing with some pad tweaking or a complete setup as you choose.  All original lacquer and US engraving.

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