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Item# 463115
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4.92 based on 13 Customer Reviews13 Customer Reviews Write a Review
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The essence of the legendary Mark VI alto saxophone with the comforts of a modern mechanism.

Selmer Paris Reference 54 Alto Saxophone
Inspired 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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  • Level: Professional
    Key: Eb
    Neck: Reference Series
    Neck Material: Yellow brass
    Body Material: Yellow brass
    Bell Material: Yellow brass
    Key Material: Power hammered yellow brass
    Finish: Vintage Dark Gold Lacquer
    Range Up to: High F#
    Springs: Blue steel
    Pads: Leather
    Resonators: Plastic
    Engraving: Selmer Paris Reference engraving
    Thumb Rest: Adjustable metal
    Pivot Screw: Tapered
    Includes: Flight-style case, Selmer Paris Super Session E mouthpiece, ligature, cap, and care products
    Crafted in: France

Customer Reviews
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"Great Horn."

by Azrayl - 8/9/2009 11:15:09 PM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Been playing since 1990. Jazz, classical, rock, blues, newgrass, small ensemble, etc. Cinci, Ohio
11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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.

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"selmer's attempt to copy the mark VI"

by Zachary - 8/15/2009 6:38:13 PM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
play in college Jazz Fort Lauderdale, Florida
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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.

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by Don Rogerson - 1/28/2009 9:45:19 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Professional Jazz and rock. Utah
56 people out of 60 found this review helpful

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?

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by Brant Poindexter - 1/28/2009 9:45:19 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
High School Sophomore Jazz, classical, big band Tennessee
14 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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.

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"Truly Spectacular!"

by MIke T. - 6/1/2009 8:15:27 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
12 years; High school junior Jazz, funk, classical Oceanside, CA
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

The matchup involved with my new sax purchase came down to the Yamaha YAS-875EX and the Ref 54. I played the Yamaha first, followed by the Ref... NO CONTEST! The Ref sang beautifully throughout the entire range - especially altissimo. It's got a rich, full tone throughout, no matter if you're playing fortissimo or pianissimo, with a bit of blowing resistance (I'm a fan of it). And on the fortissimo subject, the Ref can get loud. I mean crazy, why-are-you-using-a-mic loud. I've used a Berg Larsen ebonite mpc w/ Rico Select Jazz 3S reeds for all my jazz playing, and I've never heard a horn this well-playing. The only (miniscule) downsides are the height of the Front F key, and the factory-set height of the action (easily adjustible by a tech). Overall - the best horn I've ever played (and seen - the lacquer is beautiful!). Period.

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