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Selmer Paris Reference 54 Alto SaxophoneInspired by the legendary Selmer Mark VI, which was released in 1954, the Selmer Paris 72 Reference 54 alto is a professional saxophone that integrates the Mark VI's legendary acoustic characteristics with innovative modern key work and better intonation. Since its introduction, the Selmer Paris 72 Reference 54 has become a favorite among jazz saxophonists. The Reference 54 alto saxophone offers a rich, throaty sound that even "barks" well in the lower register. The keywork of the Selmer 72 alto saxophone is extremely fluid and reacts well to even the most brisk, nimble playing.The Reference 54 comes with a shaped flight case, Selmer Paris Super Session mouthpiece, cap and ligature, and care products. Join the jazz saxophonists who have rediscovered the sound of the legendary Mark VI, and have made the Selmer 72 Reference 54 alto saxophone their horn of choice. The Reference 54 alto takes its inspiration from a 1958 mid-70,000 serial number Mark VI. It plays, feels, and looks like a vintage Selmer, but includes a longer bell to improve intonation, and a dark lacquer finish. It is a very special instrument. If you are seeking a primary professional horn, you owe it to yourself to consider the Reference 54.
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I went down to WWBW headquarter just about 2 years ago to pick up one of these. A senior in my college sax studio had a Selmer Series II, but ended up going to the Reference 54. After playing on hers, I needed to get one of my own. The keys are a little loud at times (as mentioned in others reviews, clacking and such), but the sound is beautiful. I primarily play classical, but am getting more into jazz, and it possesses a beautifully warm and rich sonority. Overall, I have had only a few issues, high register being out of tune along with the middle D, but I've seen that on just about every saxophone. Other than that, it has been a great horn to me! I absolutely love this saxophone and would recommend it to anybody who is serious about continuing there education or experience on the saxophone.
the selmer reference 54 alto saxophone is selmer's attempt to remake the selmer mark VI, but with the action and advancements of a new modern horn. I have played a couple selmer reference 54 altos and have to say that some of them are amazing and have all the characteristics you would want in a new saxophone. The one thing I would recommend to anyone who is going to buy this saxophone or who plans on ordering one is that the necks that come with the selmers are not consistent in being very free blowing with each reference horn. I found that yamahas, keilwerths, and yanagisawas are very consistent and have there own unique sound. Even though these other horn companys may be more consistent with each horn they make, the selmer saxophones will produce a sound that will just blow the competitors away. I would recommend this horn to any serious musician mainly based on the price of the horn and because I feel that he or she will most appreciate this horn if they are a advanced player.
First off i would like to say that i bought a Reference two years ago and it plays better than anything i ever played. (and believe me Ive tried a lot) Right off the bat the horn responds amazingly, the horn was built with an enlarged bow and body to improve the response and projection, which is important especially for jazz work. The key work is light and "snappy" and fits right under your hands. The palm keys are slightly different so you have to adjust. The side keys are flat like a mark vi as opposed to the raised keys on most modern horns. It is overall a very vintage feeling and sounding horn. The weight and tone and projection is parallel to the mark vi. It was patterned after a great 5-digit Mark VI and was designed by Selmer in conjunction with Pierrick Pedron. The one down side is the price, but if u r willing to go the extra mile for an amazing horn that is completely made in France, then the Reference is right for you.
I bought this horn at the WWBW last June for college and it still amazes me...The intonation and tonal color are simply amazing on the 54. I tried out the Keilwerth shadow, Yamaha 875ex and custom z, and the Selmer series 2 and 3. The closest runners up were the Custom z and the Selmer Paris 2. I felt that the sound of the reference was much darker than the super action 80 so it got put back. The Custom z took some time to bust through; I liked the key work of it until I picked up the reference again.
I bought this horn in 2005 and have used it as my main horn ever since. I love the velvety tone, smooth action and overall superior performance of this horn. I don't experience the normal intonation quirks of most altos, either. Resistance is even throughout the horn, making the low end and high end very easy to play in tune and at all volumes from ppp to FFF without issue.
This horn, you will not be disappointed in. If you're a vintage only player, I don't know if this could lure you away from your Mark VI, but you'll definitely be tempted. As for modern horns, it beats the majority of what is out there on the market in modern horns.
The super session mouthpiece that comes with the horn works well with the horn, which surprised me. I usually opt for an after market piece, but I actually like the super session with this horn.
(I have overly large hands, so I installed the usual key risers on the left stack, a simple/cheap/reversible modification.)
The Reference Flight case however, is junk as for as any serious protection goes. Sure it looks cool, but it's just an overpriced, glorified gig bag. It offers little protection, other than scratch protection. With the case empty, you can actually TWIST the thing and with little effort, you can cave the case in, not good for such an investment. Also, the plastic accessories compartment cover and compartment itself are a botch job. Placed under the body of the horn... if there is ever any substantial pressure placed on the case the hard plastic cover could easily bend/dent/harm the horn. Don't get me started on if you would ever drop your horn while it's in this case... Repair headaches, to say the least.
The case is flimsy and not worthy the horn that's placed inside it!!!
I never understood Selmer putting this great horn in such a junker of a case. Go with a Selmer Light, Selmer Vanguard, Pro Tec or another hard shell case.
If you have the money to drop on this horn, it's well worth it and if you're buying this horn as an investment in your college/professional career you won't be disappointed.