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Saxophones 1939 Selmer Balanced Action

TomMapfumo

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Skabertawe, South Wales
Model has a pretty good write up. Providing you have someone who can check it over etc. that knows their stuff it could be good.

Only thing about Selmer vintage saxes is that they can command quite high prices. In your position I might just go for a current model or look for something less common/pricey, such as a Conn Connstellation 28M Alto Sax (can get one for about $2500/£1600).

I play a Selmer Ref54 and am a very happy Bunny! So bit wary of vintage stuff/parts etc. and personally would play it safe.

Good luck with your hunt!
Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

TomMapfumo

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Skabertawe, South Wales
I notice that Howarth's ( www.howarth.uk.com ) have several older Selmer Alto's on their secondhand list (Super Balanced, Balanced and Cigar Cutter) which might be worth enquiring about. At least you could try them, and Howarth also have a huge selection of mouthpieces that you might want to access.

Just a thought
Tom:w00t:
 

Pete Thomas

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IMO that is not worth the money.

I played one of these for a while and it gave me no end of tuning problems, and not such a good sound as later Selmers.

I also borrowed one a few years ago that was for sale at £1400. I passed because it confirmed my thoughts on the one I had originally.

It's the SBA that is really good (but only my opinion, beware!) Other people do love the BA.
 

AdamBradley

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134
There's an overhauled sba in howarth's, £2500. Does that sound about right? I assume howarth's wouldn't sell a sax that wasn't up to scratch?
 

AdamBradley

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Well I'll be poking about here for help with buying my own sax closer to march, until then I just have to drool :)

Roughly speaking though pete, if someone was spending up to £2500 on a sax, would you advise someone include such vintage saxes in their list of things to check out?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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You spend that much on a horn and you'd better be able to play it.... Otherwise someone's going to come along with a crummy no name jobbie and blow you off the stage.... >:) Could be embarassing.:w00t:
 

Pete Thomas

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Roughly speaking though pete, if someone was spending up to £2500 on a sax, would you advise someone include such vintage saxes in their list of things to check out?
The advice I always give about vintage instruments is that if you need advice on whether to buy one, maybe you aren't yet ready to buy one. If you have the confidence to play test an instrument and make a decision, then that is the time to buy. I would never advise anyone to buy a used instrument from ebay unless they are aware of what a total gamble it is.

The same really applies when spending that amount of money. If you know what you want, and it costs that much then fine. It's a little difficult for me to advise because if probably wouldn't spend £2500 on an instruments, as the ones I like tend to be either less or more than that.
 

Pete Thomas

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Hi Pete!

Are you still attracted to the Rampone & Cazzani Alto ;}?
Yes, but it's a tossup between that and a BW M2. The thing about R & C is I have been meaning to visit the factory. I like the idea of trying a few, choosing one and maybe get a custom engraving.

Anyway, I'll get the chance to try these again (and Inderbinens) at frankfurt Musikmesse. I believe bauhaus walstein will have a stand there so I can do a direct comparison.

Hey, I can record on my iphone and upload here via tapatalk. Maybe.
 

AdamBradley

Member
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134
Ah. I suppose I meant ‘do you really have to know what you’re looking for, if you’re looking at Vintage saxes’. Do they measure up to modern saxes, or are you always sacrificing something in order to have the ‘whatever it is’ you get from a vintage instrument.

Generally speaking, I have no idea what I’m after. My current plan of attack for buying a sax is to list every single model that is recommended to me to try, by sax players I know and hopefully some folks here will have plenty of suggestions (I’ll be making a thread about it all in a few weeks). Then go and try them :D I guess I’m just doing a little preliminary checking to see whether I can expect to have some old models in that list of saxes to look for, I don’t have any hard set aim to buy one.

I agree with you about ebay too - I wouldn't touch anything costing over £100 on ebay, unless I could physically check whatever it is out before buying. I'll be getting an experienced sax player I know to check any instrument I do eventually go for, too.

I think subconsciously my question might have been motivated by that SBA in Howarth’s –I remember seeing it the first time I went in there looking for saxes, it’s a truly gorgeous instrument. Bit of a pipe dream if you like.

It’s always a bit depressing when you get a reality check from someone talking sense though. It’s worse when you know they’re right! :)
 

dooce

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1,406
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Daventry
Thanks for that link Tom.....hmmmm looks like a shop worth visiting, now that I'm heading to your part of the world soon..
A shop of legend, Jimu. Run by a somewhat eccentric and controversial character but definitely an experience.
 

thomsax

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3,356
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Sweden
I think Selmer MKVI and SA 80 II are the best Selmers. You can get a SA 80 II in good condition for the same money (here in Sweden) as the ebay BA went for

..... but the Selmer BA is a milestone when it comes to saxophone history and it's a collector sax. It was introduced ca 1935 and after that the saxophone world changed. The BA had better ergonomics and keydesign. The bell keys on right side .... . According to Selmer catalogue the BA:
- played faster.
- powerful and modern "voice".
- better intonation.
compared to other saxes from that era.

Without the BA, no SBA, no MKVI .... .

Beside SA 80 II, I think Yamaha 62 and Jupiter XO are good allround saxes. Even the Yanagisawas are good, but expensive.
 
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