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Sonny Rollins Play-Along Book and CD
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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 switched from a Super Action 80 Series II to the R54 and I can't believe how much better I liked it. I also compared it to an old Mark VI and I prefered the R54. I'm using a metal Otto Link 8 and a Lavoz med. reed and I'm getting the best tone I've ever gotten from any instrument. This is my fifth alto. I spent years switching from horn to horn trying to find the right one for me and I finally found it. It's awsome. I've tried older Selmers, newer Selmers, Yamahas. I even played on a Borgani for a while because I liked the tone. But that one took a beating on the road gigs. And the R54 is fragile so be careful with them. It's not a cheap plastic case. It's made from carbon fiber the same thing they make mountain bikes out if. It's very sturdy and extremely light weight. Who could ask for more?
I started playing R&R in 1956. I spent 20 years in night clubs and have played just about all types of music including classical and big band. These days I am with party bands playing party music for wedding receptions and private parties. I have played and owned several altos including the VI but needed a horn that would scream and went to the VII. It kicks and has the volume that I need. That was until I tried the ref 54 alto this year. I have never played an alto that responds like this horn. I use a Rover "Deep V" gold model 40 #9 m/p and Rico tenor plasticover reed. However, I just purchased the Rovner "mass-loaded" metal ligature and that has done the trick. With this setup there is nothing that will get in the way of some enjoyable playing. Intense volume when needed and sweet sounds when required. Fat tone from top to bottom! Selmer has done it again and the trick is to find the m/p and lig that takes it to another level.
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.
This saxophone is amazing. I used to play an Olds, and moving to this is like a dream come true. I tried many Saxes, like the Series III, Yamaha Custom and Professional, and few Cannonballs. None of them measured up to this one. This sax has an amazing altissimo range. I play on a Jody Jazz 7 and ZZ reeds. For classical I play on a Selmer S-80 and GCS reeds. It produces an amazing sound throughout the whole range of the sax. Even my private instructor is jealous. Aside from the price, this sax is a must. It is amazing, and will last me through college.