Are they still the best in the world and worth the money or have they been overtaken by the likes of yamaha
Well OK, yes I will. It's a fabulous instrument and has lost none of its allure 3 months on from buying it. But then I've never played a Selmer so I wouldn't get into the comparison game.I think Dooce will agree with you regarding Canonball saxes,
I tried several Ref 54 altos back in the autumn last year and fell for the Flamingo - it was fantastic. I would have bought one but decided to move to tenor instead. I've heard nothing good about the Ref 54 tenor though I never tried one in the end as the cost was above what I was prepared to pay. I kind of figured that Andy Sheppard sound quite good and so i'd try out the Mauriat 66RUL which I love.Love my Selmer Ref54 Alto, despite lots of people not being keen on them - If its good enough for Gilad Atzmon its good enough for me - amazing complexity of sound to my ears.
Do seem overpriced, and the case thing seems unnecessary. If you are ever down my way you are more than welcome to have a go and see what you think. My teacher far prefers it to a Mauriat (his words).
Dodgy area. In Trumpet circles, for example, Vincent Bach (Selmer owned) seem to be commonly the most highly rated horns (or Yamaha) but lots of horns seem to put them in the shade (often specialised manufactures - such as Eclipse, Taylor or Geneva in UK).
Good question, controversial topic, but I've got one, with a case, and love them both!