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1953 Vintage Selmer Super Balanced Action Alto Sax with Newer Pads - Serial # 51917

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Our Price: $ 5,250.00

Product ID: 51917SBAAlto

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Selmer SBA

This is a late vintage Selmer Paris Super Balanced Action alto sax, serial number 51917. This alto comes in a set of newer pads and is playing up a storm. It is a wonderful instrument if you are looking for that late SBA/early Mark VI kind of tone.


As you can see in the photos, this horn is a very old relacquer, but done very well. The color is right for this vintage, and there are signs of only minor buffing from the work. The engraving remains deep and detailed. Physically, it looks like there was a previous minor dent in the bell, which has been removed, and maybe a resolder or two under the “newer” lacquer, but hard to say for sure. The lacquer shows excellent coverage, with only minor acid bleed here and there (purely cosmetic) and no major wear of note. The original neck (with matching serial number) has never been pulled down or damaged.


This horn was repadded 2 years ago, using firm leather pads and brown nylon resonators. Proper tech cork was used in all the right spots, and the horn feels great. It has that nice “broken in” kind of feel, with a lighter spring tension and very fluid, effortless touch.


This alto plays just as you'd expect from a Selmer Paris of this vintage. It has a darker, colorful tone, and overall is maybe just a bit less focused than the Mark VI that would be introduced just a year later. Warmth oozes out of its sound; this alto exceeds at giving that smokey jazz bar vibe. Great horn, and a lot of fun to play.