2114 Cherokee St... | St. Louis, MO 63118 | 314-664-1234 | info@saxquest.com

Store Information

1937 Vintage Selmer Balanced Action Alto Sax in RARE Perma-Gold Finish - Serial # 24795

Printer Friendly Send to Friend

Our Price: $ 4,800.00

Product ID: 24795SelmerBAAlto

Calculate Shipping

Ask a Question Make a Trade Offer

This might be a true one-of-a-kind instrument: a Selmer Paris Balanced Action alto in the rare perma-gold finish. With serial number 24795, this horn dates back to 1937. It is in excellent physical condition, and is in our repair shop in line for a complete overhaul. It will ship in all new pads and material, and backed by our full year mechanical warranty.


Perma-gold involved plating the sax in zinc, and then applying the dichromate finish. It looks like gold plate, but as you can see in the photos, it ended up being much more fragile than true gold plating, and easily comes off over time. SML used this finish a lot, and I've heard of very early vintage Selmer horns having it as an option too (like in the Super Series/Cigar Cutter era). I've never seen nor heard of a Balanced Action with it, so I'm torn on if this is original or not. It certainly looks original, because the engraving is absolutely perfect, and everything looks right. If it's not original, it's the best after-factory job I've ever seen. Unfortunately there isn't much of the perma-gold finish left, and most of the horn shows the zinc plating throughout, with wear in the usual spots (octave key, thumbrest, and a couple touch points).


Outside of the cosmetic wear to the finish, this alto is in tremendous physical condition. There's some minor pings in the bottom bow from normal use, but no serious dents or signs of past dent repair. The neck strap right was “turned around” after it started to wear through, but that's the only resoldered joint I can find. Unfortunately the horn does not have its original neck, which was lost at some point. It has been matched with an original lacquer, same-era Balanced Action neck, which is in excellent shape, and has never been pulled down.


This alto was previously owned by a good serious player, who added some cool bonuses. There are some Oleg risers on the palm keys and side E, as well as a heavy mass neck screw (an original style neck screw, in lacquer, is included as an option). The risers in particular make this vintage horn feel much more comfortable if you are more used to modern ergonomics.


This alto came to us on a mismatch of pads and resonators, which had been replaced as needed over the years. It had been some time since it was completely overhauled, so we're going to do this alto up right. We'll take it apart, clean it inside and out (it's currently pretty dirty in between the keys, but will clean up well), and replace all pads and material, using premium firm leather pads and Selmer style brown nylon resonators. The greatest care will be taken to try to preserve as much of the existing gold finish as possible. We'll also replace all springs, and optimize the horn up and down, so it'll play like new when you receive it.


If you are a hunter for rare and unique instruments, this alto is right up your alley. I've never seen another, and it is as cool as they come.