Product ID: 24128DorseyAlto
This is a premium, custom restored Selmer “Dorsey Model” alto sax, serial number 24128. The mythic Dorsey model is one of the most rare Selmer horns around. Featuring a Selmer Balanced Action body tube with retrofit Radio Improved style keywork. This is one of the first series of Dorsey's, made in 1937. It has been completely restored in our shop and is in tremendous shape.
What makes a Dorsey model a Dorsey is the combination of a Balanced Action body tube and Radio Improved keywork and bell (with bell keys on the left side instead of on the right). These horns will have a serial number stamped on the tube at the bottom like a Balanced Action from this vintage (this one is # 240xx), but when it was picked to be a Dorsey, a new serial number was stamped on the bell (# 24128). A second series of Dorsey's made in 1938 had Balanced Action style keyguards and other changes, but this first series of horns look a lot more like a Radio Improved. A very cool instrument!
This horn had a lot of lacquer wear when we got it, and had sat for a number of years, so we decided to something special with it. We removed what remained of the previous lacquer (chemically, so as to not remove any metal from the horn) and sent it to Anderson's for new silver plating, with gold wash in the bell. As you can see in the photos, I think it was the right call! The horn looks beautiful. All of the detail in the engraving still pops and the horn is just stunning. A previous owner somewhere did purposefully buff off the Selmer “shield” on the neck for some reason, but otherwise the horn shows no sign of buffing. There are no dents or dings and no signs of previous repairs.
After the plating, we repadded the instrument using premium Valentino Pro pads and oversized, slightly domed metal resonators. It has all new springs and material. It has been adjusted carefully to ideal specs, with a medium-light spring tension and medium-open key heights, just as a horn from this vintage should be. This is a sweet playing vintage Selmer Paris with looks to kill, a great find for players and collectors alike.