This is a sax with two descriptions! The first is the personal history of the horn, as written by its owner, Robert Martin. Robert is a great guy whose illustrious career as a sax player and multi-instrumentalist is also described a bit.
The second description is mine as a saxophone dealer who pays attention to the details of condition, and compares saxophones to each other. From that perspective, what we have here is a very nice, one-owner example of a Selmer Mark VI tenor from 1964 with original lacquer, that has been played a lot and well cared-for over the years. It was assembled and engraved in the USA, so it sports what Selmer people call “American engraving”, and it has the dark honey colored nitrocellulose lacquer that is typical of this vintage of Mark VI. The tone is really beautiful on this tenor. I love the early 60’s VI’s, and this is one of the best ones I’ve played. It’s medium dark, medium focused, with lots of power. It’s a lot like a late 5 digit in that way, but has a little bit brighter tone. It’s nothing like a 140k or later VI, where they get quite bright and lose the darker, more focused core of a horn like this. It’s a superb player.
Cosmetically, it’s obviously been played a fair amount, so it has some honest wear to the lacquer throughout. The neck has seen some minor flexing over the years, but only about a 1-2 on a scale of 1-10 of severity. It is still the correct angle also. The neck has the matching serial number to the body.
A dent was removed from the upper body tube near high F, and the top post there also got pushed back into alignment. The back of the bow and bottom bow have seen dents removed, and the bottom bow guard is still a little flat. The low Eb, C and chromatic F# keyguards have been resoldered, though done quite well with little evidence left of the repairs. The bell flare also had a minor crease removed at some point. All in all, these are the typical sorts of repairs that you see on a good horn that has been played a lot. Everything is nice and tidy and fixed up now, so I wouldn’t be particularly concerned about the repairs.
The overhaul on this horn feels great. It was done extremely well somewhere on the west coast, with medium firm leather pads sealed with red paint. Those sorts of pads last forever and keep their feel. I’ve played 25+ year old overhauls on similar pads that are still going strong. Resonators are slightly domed and correct for the vintage of horn. The pad work feels great – dry, snappy, and correctly balanced. You won’t be disappointed!
If you’re looking for an original lacquer VI tenor with a beautiful tone, a great overhaul, and an interesting history, this would be the one to get.
Only one available!