|Dimensions||26 × 13 × 8 in|
This is a great playing Selmer Reference 54 Alto overhauled not too long ago by Ken Beason. If you’ve read around on this site much, you’ll know that I think almost any modern Selmer needs a full repad, at the least, if it’s going to play up to its potential. This one got a complete overhaul of everything, which is the best case scenario. You can buy a new Ref 54 for way more money, and it won’t play this well either right out of the case, or especially a few months later after the factory pad job starts to fall apart on you in a hundred little ways. Harsh, I know, but that’s why used modern Selmers tend to sell so much lower than new ones. However, once you fix everything on one of these, they are EXCELLENT instruments. They’re built to play GREAT, but just need to be setup to play their best after the fact.
So that’s what you’re getting. Ken Beason is an experienced saxophone repairman and designer, with a great reputation. He makes his own large slightly domed resonators, which is what you get on this instrument. They’re a lot like vintage Selmer resonators, but they give you a bit more punch and volume out of the horn.
The Reference 54 is my favorite modern Selmer without any question. It’s the only alto Selmer currently makes that tunes easily with a Meyer or other typical jazz mouthpiece. The Series II’s and III’s can be quite frustrating in the mouthpiece department. The Ref 54 is billed as inspired by the Mark VI. It plays beautifully, with a lyrical French core like a good Mark VI, but with a tone that is its own thing. Warm, rich, and full. Tuning is excellent. Ergonomics are hard to beat on any saxophone. It’s well worth the money at this price. This example has some lacquer wear on the neck from use. If that bothers you, you can swap out the neck for a few hundred dollars, and it will look new again, and then sell the old neck for not much less! But it plays great with this neck and this setup, so I’m not messing with success.
Only one available!