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.