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Saxophones Did Selmer offer a factory nickelplate finish?

jourard

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Seattle
I have a Selmer Mk VI tenor, 229xxx, circa 1974, almost a Mk VII by serial number. I bought it at The Sax Shop in L.A. in 1985, it has a nickel plated body and normal keywork. Does anyone know if this was a factory option? I've not seen another nickel plated (or dark metal of some sort) Selmer from this era.
 

rhysonsax

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Surrey, UK
Interesting. When you say "or dark metal of some sort" does that mean that the plating on your Selmer is black nickel like some of the Keilwerth saxophones ?

I have never heard of a Selmer Paris (i.e. not Selmer USA) saxophone where the body was plated in nickel (black or shiny silver coloured). They did and do plate some saxes in gold and silver (at immense cost) and they have in the past nickel-plated keywork. They also have used coloured lacquer finishes on bodies, including black, white and some special pastel colours.

My MkVI tenor and one alto both have normal lacquered bodies with silver-coloured keywork which I thought was nickel plate but some people online say that it is silver plate.

Rhys
 

jourard

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Seattle
Thanks for your comments. Here is the sax finish, it's shiny silver black. I don't know if that is the same as nickel plate. I bought the (1974) horn in 1983 so maybe someone took the trouble to have the horn replated but to what purpose I don't know, it can't have any effect on the sound as would gold...I haven't seen anyone else with this particular combo of normal keywork and replated body.

tenorsax.jpg
 

rhysonsax

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Looks nice but it does look aftermarket to me. Sort of Stealthy.

The Selmer coloured lacquers, including black, can look good when new but then wear really badly, unlike say the Keilwerth black nickel plate.

Rhys
 

jourard

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Location
Seattle
Looks nice but it does look aftermarket to me. Sort of Stealthy.

The Selmer coloured lacquers, including black, can look good when new but then wear really badly, unlike say the Keilwerth black nickel plate.

Rhys
You're right, the neck is turning silverish on the top from wear.
 

jourard

New Member
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Location
Seattle
I remember when I was looking at the sax, Lew Tabackin was in the shop, he was interested in selling his Mk VII tenor. This one sounded better.
 

Stephen Howard

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UK
Never seen a black nickel Selmer. Seems to me that if it was a factory option it would surely have been more popular than standard nickel.
 

squeak

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179
Contact Doug Pipher to learn whether this was the finish on your horn when it left the factory.
I am not sure his info is correct 100% of the time, not because of Doug Pipher, but because Selmer perhaps wasn't always 100% diligent about keeping the records in order. That said, I do believe the OPs horn sports aftermarket finish.
 

Phil

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Commercial Supporter
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France
They might not be completely accurate but I dont think they would be completely unaware of what finishes they offered.
 

Dr G

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Location
Northern California
Never seen a black nickel Selmer. Seems to me that if it was a factory option it would surely have been more popular than standard nickel.
Fulfilling a special order or producing a one-off ”prototype” (or marketing demo) does not require that a finish be a factory option. They may have determined post facto that it was not something they wanted to sustain.
 

squeak

Member
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179
They might not be completely accurate but I dont think they would be completely unaware of what finishes they offered.
I never invoked that; merely that the records likely aren't perfect and that Doug Pipher only can share the information he has access to. I will assume matters are better in France, but if I have been shocked to find major health care providers struggle when it comes to record keeping in spite of advanced IT systems. So can I imagine Selmers records being less than perfect? Yes, absolutely and it is not something I would fault them for.
 
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Stephen Howard

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Location
UK
Fulfilling a special order or producing a one-off ”prototype” (or marketing demo) does not require that a finish be a factory option. They may have determined post facto that it was not something they wanted to sustain.
Yep, that's certainly possible - but given it's Selmer I'd be surprised.
 

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