Saxophone Forum


by p-apple
(49 posts)
10 years ago

Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

Hello, I was thinking about getting a selmer reference 54 alto saxophone. I've tried yamaha 62, 62 II, 82Z, and 875 EX. And to be completely honest... I think they all suck. I was really surprised because I have a YAS-23 which has served me well for over 4 years. (I'm 14 years old right now) Just today, I tried a selmer reference 54 and I just love it! Now, I realize I should try other saxophone, but I only have 2 local music stores or I have to go down to Oakland/SF. My private lesson teacher who has tried many, many saxs told me that this was his favorite (modern) saxophone model. So here are my questions: 1) Is the Selmer Reference 54 good enough if I want to become a professional saxophone player? 2) Are there any noteworthy competitors that I should try? I know there are the Yanis and the Selmers, but are they really that much better? 3) Do any of you have a used/new alto saxophone reference that you want to sell? - William Chen

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  1. by GordonGekko
    (27 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

    William, I think in the end, you have to pick out the horn that plays the best for you. People can point you in a given direction, but you are the one playing the horn. It is you that needs to be comfortable with it. It is you that needs to be able to produce a great tone. All of these things may impact your decision to pursue music as a career or as a hobby. I'm still amazed at how many 14 year olds are purchasing $3,500-$4,000 saxes. From your post it appears that you have been playing for 4 years, your playing will mature a lot by the time you are out of high school. Get what works best for you- if money is not an object do it!

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  2. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

    I guess the first question I would have to ask is, :how committed are you?" Are you serious about playing sax, or do you think you might decide to try out for football next year? I would have no problem making such an investment, if I knew that this was important to you, and something that you would stick with. The Selmer is an excellent horn; one of the best, but there are other really good horns that are not so hard on the pocketbook! I would look closely at a Keilwerth, or a Yanigasowa. Some of the better Yamaha saxes are nice, and I would also look closely at the new UMI Conns. The new Conn horns are made in the old Elkhardt, Indiana factory in the US and they play really nice! Maybe get a nice mouthpiece to go with it. My other suggestion is to look for a nice vintage horn and have it overhauled, and relaquered. I love the sound of the old pre 1955 Conn 10M Tenor's and 6M alto's. Buy a "naked lady" cheap on ebay and have her restored and looking like new, and you'll be the envy of everyone in your band!

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  3. by johnsonfromwisconsin
    (767 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------- I was thinking about getting a selmer reference 54 alto saxophone. I've tried yamaha 62, 62 II, 82Z, and 875 EX. And to be completely honest... I think they all suck. I was really surprised because I have a YAS-23 which has served me well for over 4 years. (I'm 14 years old right now) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've tried the 82Z and the 62. I really liked the 82Z and not so much the 62, but I found the Reference was better than the Z in my estimation. 1) I don't see why not. It's one of the best new horns being produced today, and I personally haven't tried better. 2) You could also try the Yanigisaw 991 or 992 and the Keilwerth Professional models.

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    1. by karebear1012
      (395 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

      yup..im in the same position as you. i tried a bunch of horns and really only liked the selmer reference. now, if ur parents r willing to pay that much for a sax then ur really lucky. keilwerth and yanigasawa are great alternatives though.

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  4. by Goldref18
    (145 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

    I think that in general, you would be a lot better off with a vintage selmer or maybe even a vintage conn because the reference really are discraces to the vintage selmers they take after. They in any event, whether you like them or not, cost as much as a mint condition Six or SBA and they by no means can compare.

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    1. by SaxMan
      (559 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

      The ref 54 tenor goes for about 4300 - a mint condition VI tenor can go for over 10 grand as well as a SBA or BA. A ref alto goes for about 3700 - a mint conditon VI alto can go for over 6 grand etc. there are even 10 grand mark VI altos out there, though not many.

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        Typically a Selmer MK VI tenor in good condition will bring between $4500-$6000 and an alto between $3500-$5000. If you shop around, you should be able to get a Reference Alto for under $4500 and a Tenor for under $5000. SBA's are usually about $250-$500 less than a MK VI. The newer models don't compare to the vintage brass though.

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      2. by tenor562
        (297 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        SaxMan's right. The Reference is 4300 for tenor, and 3700 for alto. Wow, it would be awesome if I could get something like that.

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      3. by Goldref18
        (145 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        Where are you getting your horns? The only place that sells them near me are Scam Smash (Sam Ash) and a few other places that only push the new crap. That's prolly why im getting ripped off. But anyway the vintage selmers play a lot better.

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      4. by Goldref18
        (145 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        I think the problem was that they tried to go taboo and recreate the (arguably) greatest horns ever when they redid the VI's and the SBA's. I think this was maybe more of a marketing idea than anything truly benefical to us, the average musicians.

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      5. by golferguy675
        (600 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        Wow, is this like David A's third account or something? First, the Ref is a coffee gold lacuer, not brushed antique, that would be the III. Second, you got your ass RIPPED OFF if you paid that much for a Ref. I got two for about 3 grand(a little less). Second, a VI isn't mint if it has 85% lacquer. I'm not saying that lacquer makes the horn, I'm saying mint means as is out of the factory. The Ref a disgrace? I'm not a fan of mine either, I sold one. But I would still say it played very well. To answer the original question...(isn't it great how we get so off topic?) the Ref would definetly carry you into a professional career. I know some pros that play refs. Jim Carrol( psycho!) plays a ref. He's the only one I can think of off of the top of my head... To answer the origina

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      6. by Goldref18
        (145 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        I wouldn't buy one of those things btw. But yeah that's the problem with Sam Ash they rip people off and most people don't realize it. And yeah they do make matte finish Ref 54 tenors. They are really subpar and i can't believe they want me to think that that horn is supposed to be in the same league as my VI Tenor. However some people do play them i guess, idk why, and i think that since they just came out they will need some more time to get onto the scene really. I also know that at least in my area all the pros use really nice vintage selmers and that they are among the best players in the world. So to answer the original question, yes they are a lifetime investment, but you will utlimately most definately find a horn you will like better, even if you find it for a little bit more.

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      7. by golferguy675
        (600 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        Woah, wait a sec. What is you're name again? Maybe my eyes decieve me. Maybe I'm hallucinating. Goldref? Ok, why did you make the Ref your screen name, and then just bash the hell out of it, and call it a disgrace(or as you put it...discrace)? Are you implying that you are a disgrace : ) Just kidding, but seriously, calm down. And quit bragging about your damn VI. You VI that is mint with 85% lacquer, but it's great, because everyone knows that lacquer doesn't matter, that's not what makes the horn good. Right? ; )

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      8. by Goldref18
        (145 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        Dude i have had this sn since before i started playing sax. (That's a really really long time ago, third grade i think) and it has no reference to the reference. (Although right now i can't believe the irony of this situation) Laq doesn't make the horn. Anyway i in no way at all endorse the Ref series.

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      9. by golferguy675
        (600 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        I know it doesn't make the horn, it was sarcasm(a device I guess is hard to pick up in text). What does Goldref refer to then? I'm not saying I don't believe it, I just can't think of anything else, and I'm curious.

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      10. by Goldref18
        (145 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        The old Commodore 64 game Goldaxe and something else but i can't really remember.

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      11. by sa80xc3689
        (1 post)

        10 years ago

        Re: Selmer Reference - A Lifetime Investment?

        I am 15. I've played sax for over 5 years, and I play at local clubs, restaurants, etc. with pro musicians. Close to 2 years ago (when i was in 8th grade), my parents agreed to buy me a Selmer Super Action 80 Series II. We got it for $2000, which was a complete steal. There were no dings, and hardly any lacquer was gone (just a little bit rubbed off on the edge of the bell and on keys). I love it, and I think that you should look for a horn that has been used. Go for either a Selmer or an old Conn. I highly recommend the SA80s. My teacher plays a Mark VI, and I have played it on many occasions, and there is barely any difference. He told me before I bought it that it was close to equal to his sax, and that it was one of the best saxes that he has ever played. I love it, and you should definately check them out. Also, look on eBay for old Conns and other saxes. There are a bunch of great deals.

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