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***Selmer Balanced Action Alto Saxophone Fresh Full Overhaul! Silver Plate$ 5,995
This is an amazing, fully restored Selmer Balanced Action alto. It just got a wonderful high-end overhaul, complete with some spot plating on some keys and by the thumb hook on the body tube where the silver had begun to wear. This is one gorgeous alto, with the rare British market two-tone finish, and gold wash bell. It plays extremely well, with a warm, powerful voice that is effortlessly lyrical and makes you not want to put it down. If you want an alto that people are going to want to listen to, this is the one. It has high-end reusable domed brass resonators and sounds very good on them. Keywork is nice and snappy, and ‘dry’ under the fingers, like it should be. This comes with a new BAM Softpack alto case, or you can swap that for a Cabine for +$100. These British market Balanced’s are my favorite finish on vintage Selmers, and they are few and far between.
There’s only one available!
Conn 26M VIII Connqueror Alto Saxophone 295759 Pre-War Original Lacquer Excellent Condition$ 3,650
This is a rare and beautiful Conn 26M “Connqueror” alto saxophone, from one of the last pre-war batches, with the “VIII” stamp on both the body and the neck. This saxophone sports what is arguably the finest craftsmanship of any model of saxophone ever made, with sterling silver key touches on the Eb/C cluster, the side F#, the side Bb-C-E keys, and the palm keys. The mechanism is complex but extremely well thought-out, and a meticulous and thoughtful repairer can overhaul these so that they last for a decade or more per overhaul with only minor adjustments to the perma-just feet over time- just as Conn intended. These saxophones are also beautiful, with a particularly elaborate version of the famous “naked lady” found on Conn 6M/10M saxophones on the bell.
This particular instrument is in extremely good condition with original finish. The engraving, which is very detailed and is particularly dense, is a good indicator of how much use these saxophones have seen, with the lacquer around the cuts tending to be the first to wear on the saxophone. The lacquer around the engraving on this saxophone is fully intact, which combined with only light evidence of playing wear elsewhere on the horn- such as small bit of lacquer wear near the thumbrest about the size of a pea, and some small scratches here and there- leads me to believe this saxophone was played for at least a few years by a meticulous and caring owner. The neck is in excellent condition, showing no evidence of past repair or pulldown.
The rollers are fully intact and in perfect condition, and the pearls and sterling silver touchpieces are largely unworn. The keys are tight and the horn plays well on what seems to be an older repad, though the it looks to have been played little and/or taken very good care of since the repad. The neck and body are both marked with the VIII stamp, which is viewed as the most desirable of the pre-war M series saxophones, although theories vary widely as to what exactly the VIII stamp means, the most popular of which being that the neck had a slightly different taper that intonates better. The microtuner on the is fully functional, leak-free, and smooth. The body shows so evidence of past damage or major repairs/resolders of any kind.
All in all, this is a beautiful and rare saxophone in uncommonly fine condition, with a unique mechanism and design that took extreme skill to manufacture- skill that only really existed for a short time, at Conn in the 1930s. They didn’t make many of these, and there probably won’t be anything like them ever made again.
Conn 6m Transitional Art Deco Alto Saxophone 249081 Gorgeous Silver Plate 1931$ 1,950
The Conn 6M transitional takes many forms, and this particular original silver plated example is from 1932. It features art deco engraving (a style which only appears for a few years), left hand bell keys, 6M style keywork everywhere except the left hand pinky table, which is New Wonder II style. This is the last iteration before the transitional becomes nearly identical to the 6M, and to my ears these have a bit more of the big tone of the New Wonder II than the transitionals just after it- and in fact around this serial range is my favorite of the transitionals, playing-wise.
This horn plays a bit on some very old pads, but it will need a repad. Physically it is in extremely good condition, with no dents or dings or evidence of past repairs that I can see. The neck is undamaged and shows no signs of past pulldown, and the microtuner is free and functional. The silver plate is thick and unworn, and will shine up unbelievably well, if my past experience is any guide (see Matt Stohrer’s guide on polishing silver saxophones to see what I mean). It comes with its original case in good condition and its original warranty card. These are great altos, built by the finest American saxophone craftsmen in their heyday, and a super clean one like this is a great place to start if you are looking for a fantastic vintage horn that will last you a lifetime for less of an overall investment than most any new horn of even middling quality that you can buy today.
Conn 6M Transitional Art Deco Burnished Gold Plate Alto Saxophone The Best!$ 3,950
Price just lowered!!
This is one of those super-rare Conn alto saxophones from when Conn was at the height of it’s manufacturing expertise. Conn had the most advanced saxophone manufacturing facility in the world, and it set the standard for quality for all other manufacturers. This alto would have been a special, top-of-the-line model. It has the most elaborate thick burnished finish that is also by far the most time consuming to apply. (Ever burnished anything by hand?) This is original (real, actual) gold plate. (People often think this can’t be real gold, but hey, welcome to the 1930’s where both gold and labor were cheap, and American craftspeople were the best in the world! And there’s the most desirable engraving pattern here also, or at least one of them. For just about a year and a half, Conn did this deluxe ‘art-deco’ geometrical engraving style on its nicer instruments. There’s a lot to see here – it’s a masterpiece of hand engraving that is no longer done at this level by any manufacturer today.
Conns from the early 1930’s are my absolute favorite There was a short burst of gold plate examples mixed in with other horns between 238k-252k, and they are the best of the best in my book.
Conn 6M VIII Alto Saxophone Pre-War Original Lacquer Excellent Condition 282496$ 2,100
Full description coming, but this is a beautiful Conn 6M VIII alto with great original lacquer. This is pre-war, original pads, needs a good overhaul, but besides that, man, this is the one you want.
Conn Early 10M Tenor Fresh Overhaul Original Lacquer 269461 BIG Player$ 4,250
This is this kind of Conn 10M tenor saxophone that makes people ditch their Selmers and Yamahas. Keywork is comfortable, intonation is excellent, and the tone is to die for. Wide, dark, but still punchy and with a good amount of focus. Palm key tone is gorgeous and full, not a bit thin. Priced to sell quickly. Only one available.
Conn Pan-American Baritone Saxophone New Wonder II Style Recent Full Overhaul!$ 3,000
Well here’s something of a unicorn. A well overhauled vintage baritone in good shape without any gremlins hiding around the corner, and although it has the 12M body tube AND is keyed to high F, because it is a Pan-American (Conn’s second line brand) it is cheap, baritonely speaking. Plus, this horn is just so fun to play. The overhaul was done with black kangaroo skin pads and domed resonators, the key heights are correct (12Ms like fairly open key heights) and even the neck tenon receiver has been replaced with a very well done custom replacement- which is amazing and excellent because those neck receivers are a major pain point, almost always leaking or cracked and not easy to replace well and impossible to replace cheap.
Physically, the horn has seen a good bit of use and has the scratches and dings to prove it, but it has no major damage, the neck is in good shape, the keywork is tight, and its ready to play reliably for years out of the box. The lacquer looks to be original, though I find it harder to tell with Pan-Americans since they sprayed it over the engraving a lot of the time. At least it certainly doesn’t look to have been buffed to my eyes. The toneholes are straight, not rolled, but other than that this is basically a Conn 12M and it plays just like one- that is to say with an enormous, rich tone that makes playing a joy and listening a treat.
Curiously, at some point in the past, somebody installed adjustment screws on the bar for the C# and F# in the upper and lower stacks, like a modern Yamaha. It was well done, and would not have been cheap. Combined with the neck tenon receiver replacement and professional quality overhaul, the person who owned this before I did clearly cared a great deal about it and spent a lot of well-aimed money with a talented repairer making it an exceptional baritone- and they succeeded. This baritone is worth more than it will sell for, and the next owner is a very lucky person.
Selmer Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone from 1939 Original Lacquer American Engraved 27589$ 12,500
One of the best vintage Selmers to come through the shop this year, which is actually saying a lot. Maybe the best. This plays easily as well as my personal BA tenor, which was made the same year. This horn had some past repairs done as you can see: bell flare has a couple of dents that were removed, and the neck was pulled down. Some small dents were removed from the back of the body tube, and some lacquer is missing from where the bell/bow ring was soldered. The horn is now straight and feels new under the fingers. The bell flare is nice, the neck is correct, and the dents are removed from the back of the body. Even the lacquer burn on the bell ring is mostly gone and the brass aged to match the lacquer color.
The overhaul on this horn is top notch. You’re not going to find a better setup on a Balanced Action or Super Balanced Action tenor. It is light but snappy and ‘dry’ under the fingers. Response is instant. The horn resonates like crazy under the fingers. The tone is rich and velvety, medium dark, but with a brighter edge when pushed. Resonators are the nice hand-machined TenorMadness slightly domed brass reusable ones, that are incidentally also authentic for vintage Selmer.
I’m including a BAM Cabine tenor case with this to keep it safe in shipping and gigging. This is one of those horns you DON’T ever sell, and that you don’t want to put down. It’s the sort of saxophone you don’t let your saxophone-playing friends play, in order to protect them from a lifetime of envy. Not kidding.
Selmer ORIGINAL Gold Plate Tenor Sax 16164B Coleman Hawkins Al Cohn Sal Nistico$ 14,999
This tenor is an exceptionally rare original gold-plated Selmer Super Sax in very good physical condition. Sporting ornate engraving down to the bottom of the bow in a burnished background, the body of the sax is a matte gold plate finish while the keys and interior of the bell are burnished. Factory gold-plated Selmers are not common, and this is one the few original gold-plated Selmer tenors from this early Super Sax era ever made, and likely one of the nicest still surviving, if there are indeed others still out there. The keywork is tight and shows very little wear- although this horn shows signs of being used, it was well cared-for and well loved.
This horn has recently been given a thorough check-up and plays well. I am a big fan of these Super saxes, and this instrument is a good example of why. It plays with what is arguably the biggest voice of any Selmer, and is one of the few instruments that can give a good Conn of the same period a run for its money in richness. But the velvety Selmer tone is there along with the fatness, making for a uniquely broad and ballsy-sounding Selmer with a lot more power than most horns. The keywork is quite nice and although of an older style ergonomically, those that play these do not find them difficult or an impediment to technical facility.
The serial number is also interesting: although infrequently seen, the B at the end of the serial (sometimes it would actually say “bis”) is Selmer’s way of denoting that they struck the same serial twice on two different instruments! So this is Selmer #16164… B. All in all, a uniquely beautiful and rare instrument with the bonus of a historical quirk.
The last 7 photos are of some of the tenor greats playing similar horns to this.