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Selmer Mark VI Alto 81xxx Original Lacquer Overhauled!

Hey, here’s a beautiful 81k alto from 1959! It also has a good recent overhaul, an original set of domed metal Selmer Tone-x metal resonators, and it plays just like a good Mark VI should.

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So if you love the Selmer Mark VI, then you probably know that 1959 is one of the most popular years. The 8x,xxx serials are just about the sweet spot for these horns among connoisseurs. I play an 81xxx tenor and an 84xxx alto, so I guess I am drinking the Kool-Aid too. Or maybe they just really do have something a little bit extra-special.

This horn comes to you from the collection of a guy who bought and sold horns for over 20 years. This was one of his favorite altos. He make sure it was overhauled well with the original Selmer Tone-x resonators on the new pads. It plays very responsively. I had a jaded old pro saxophone player/collector in the shop the other day, and he played all the best altos and all the Selmers and liked this horn the best. It plays very much like my own 84xxx, and it has the same early ‘medium bow’ length that makes the bell key intonation better. As an interesting bit of trivia, it also has a longer neck tenon ferrule like many of the early medium bow Mark VI altos in the 68k-84k serial range.

Not many past repairs on this alto: one foot of the Eb key guard popped off and got resoldered. This happens all the time on vintage horns. You can see a small dent was removed on the front of the bow. It feels totally smooth and great now, but some lacquer is gone there. And the neck had a pickup plugged. It was done so well that you would almost miss it even in person without having it pointed out to you. That’s it. So quite clean for being 57 years old and having.

This horn has that characteristic 80k VI vibe going on. It’s dark but not too dark. Focused but not too focused. Edgy and a little bright when pushed, and just full of color and fun to play. The early medium bow (which is only on some Mark VI altos) is a nice plus intonation wise if you need to play low B and C in ‘exposed’ settings, especially classical ones. This comes in a new BAM case of your choosing (Cabine or Softpack, in whatever color you like) because it deserves it, and you can also keep the Selmer case if you like.

This horn ROCKS and it deserves to be played and appreciated.

Only one available!

We pay the best prices for great saxophones.


Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 4 × 2 in


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