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Selmer Balanced Action Alto from 1937 Original Lacquer Recent Overhaul

Beautiful Selmer Balanced Action Alto with original lacquer and a recent overhaul. It is in remarkably clean condition and has a recent overhaul. American-engraved and assembled, with a warm, lyrical tone that fills the room, this is the Balanced Action to have.

We pay the best prices for great saxophones.


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There are not too many original lacquer Selmer Balanced Action’s out there anymore. Here is a structurally clean, original lacquer alto SN# 24580, which is the best serial range for a Balanced Action, in my experience. It has extensive American engraving, with a beautiful cabin scene engraved on the bell. Balanced Actions have becoming justly popular in the last ten years, as modern players have realized that they have a tone that you can get nowhere else, combined with comfortable, modern keywork.

This vintage of Selmer is what Paul Desmond famously played on the classic “Take Five” with an MC Gregory mouthpiece. Here’s my quick Desmond formula for those who love that tone: (BA alto + MC Gregory mouthpiece @4-5 tip opening + stiff reed + play softly + lots of practice = Desmond sound!) I love the warm, sweet tone that these altos have. I played a very similar BA myself, and recommend this one highly.

This horn is structurally clean, without any evidence of past damage to the body or to the neck. The neck has not been pulled down and is in great shape. This horn has really been cared for. The low Eb key guard often pops loose on Selmers, and the only repair I see on this horn is that one foot of that keyguard was resoldered.  It is difficult to overemphasize how rare it is to find a Selmer this old in this clean of mechanical and cosmetic condition. I mean, 80 years without getting a dent!?! It has a recent overhaul done before I got it, and the price includes also having Matt Stohrer do a thorough setup on it pre-shipping (which usually costs in the $200-350 range for most horns).

Ergonomics and intonation are good. This is a sweet alto that will give you a more lyrical sound than you can get on modern horns, and has the modern design that made Selmer Paris edge out its stiff competition over time. This horn is currently in its old vintage (possibly original?) case, but we can discuss adding a modern case (BAM is best) for safe shipping and gigging. I will give you a great deal on a BAM to keep this safe. For international shipping, it is a must.

We pay the best prices for great saxophones.


Additional information

Weight 10 lbs
Dimensions 26 × 13 × 9 in


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