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Selmer Balanced Action Tenor from 1939 Matt Stohrer Overhaul!

This is a great deal on a world-class Balanced Action tenor sax, with a full mechanical restoration by Matt Stohrer. It sold the first day I listed it to a Conn player on trial. Like I expected, he likes his Conns better. (No surprise there! Conns are great!) But now it’s available again, so if you emailed me about it, here it is.

We pay the best prices for great saxophones.


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If you are looking for a world-class jazz tenor, this is it! This is a 1939 Selmer Balanced Action tenor with a top-quality overhaul by Matt Stohrer, and for less than a new ‘Reference’ 36 costs.  This BA has been relacquered though it looks original in the photos, because they put on the new coat of lacquer without removing any metal or buffing. So it’s the best kind of relacquer – just the same as original mechanically, but it got a new ‘coat of paint’ at some point (probably late 1940’s judging by the color/style).

I am tempted to keep this horn to play on, because it is the perfect gigging jazz tenor. It isn’t so perfect-looking that you need to be afraid to play it, but where it counts, it’s a 10/10. This was a one-owner horn, and the original owner’s daughter was concerned that the horn was to be restored to top condition and sold to someone who would care for it. The original neck is perfect and undamaged, and there is no actual past damage, resolders, or other repairs. Matt Stohrer describes this horn and its interesting history on his website here. Matt did a “full mechanical restoration” on this horn, which means that it is mechanically set for the next fifty years or so, with just regular maintenance and pads changed periodically. This work costs about $2000 to have done by Matt typically, so that’s a ton of added value. Plus you do not have to wonder whether this horn has anything wrong with it (it doesn’t) or might play better with more work done (it won’t). It’s giving you 100% of its potential, which is not something you can say about most saxophones out there, unfortunately.

It has this big, rich, wide tone that reminds you of a Selmer-Conn love child, but it has the more ‘modern’ feeling Selmer keywork. It easily does the 30’s and 40’s big band tenor tone (Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins etc) but it can also sound modern with a different playing style, and gives a modern tenor sound a kind of warmth and richness missing on most modern tenors.

It also includes a new BAM Classic tenor case, which is great for gigging and will protect the horn in shipping and other travel and is light to carry around. Any more questions, feel free to ask, but whoever gets this horn is not going to be disappointed, I think!

Only one available.

We pay the best prices for great saxophones.


Additional information

Weight 19.5 lbs
Dimensions 34 × 14 × 9 in


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