This is a beautiful, original lacquer, American engraved Selmer Mark VI alto saxophone from 1962. It has the matching serial number on the neck, and it has no dents or dings. There are no resolders or other past repairs, save a couple of small dings removed from the back of the bow and a tiny one from the neck. The whole horn is in excellent condition, and it even still plays surprisingly well on the original factory pad job from Elkhart. They really did it right back in the day at the Selmer assembly shop. It feels just perfect under the fingers, and it would be a good feel to copy if you get this overhauled to play seriously.
The early 100k serial VI altos are my favorite Mark VI altos for tone. This is the exact same horn as a 95k serial alto, so it is the same as a 5-digit, but for a lower price. The tone is medium-dark, powerful, and punchy when pushed, with a good amount of focus. These are the most tenor-like of the Mark VI altos, with a depth and body to the sound that reminds me of a larger saxophone bursting out of an alto voice. This has the long bow, which means nothing really if you’re playing jazz, but if you’re buying this for classical sax, then with a small tip opening mouthpiece and hard reed you will find low B to be a little flat on your tuner. With a jazz setup, I don’t even notice it, and the tone that you get is just fantastic.
If you’re in the market for a great Selmer alto, this makes a much smarter purchase than a new Referene 54 at $6700, because the Reference will be worth 70% of that at best, as soon as you buy it, and less as time goes on, where a beautiful vintage Mark VI will still be worth what you paid for it or more when you go to sell it, if you ever need to. You’re tying up the money in a horn, but it’s money you can get back out, meaning you can own the horn nearly for free, or for the cost of upkeep, which is not the case buying most other sorts of big ticket items. Certainly not vehicles! Plus it’s satisfying to own and play, is built extremely well, and sounds better than a new one.
Just for fun, here’s Phil Woods putting a similar VI through its paces!