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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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"Wonderful Saxophone"

by Lyndsay - 5/27/2010 6:37:46 PM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
College Music Major Jazz and Classical Anna, OH
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I love this saxophone. I've had it for over a year now and I can't believe how well I can get it to play. It still amazes me when I get it out to play how beautiful the tone is. HOWEVER, I do have a few problems with this horn. The pads are so sticky especially during the hot weather. I took it to Florida in the winter and I couldn't believe how sticky the pads got. It's also very bad in the summer and is almost impossible to play. Also, I have had several felts fall off already. I would definitely still have gotten this horn while knowing these things, I just wish that I would've known that it would have been this big of a problem to get my pads treated. I was told that I would get reimbursed for any problems it had during the first year or two I had the saxophone. I have yet to receive that money or someone who can help me or give me an answer to my question.

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"An Amazing Find"

by Matthew - 9/2/2009 4:49:40 PM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Hobbyist and Active All styles of Music Lincoln, Illinois
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

The Reference 54 saxophone by Selmer Paris i s a remake of the earlier Mark VI instrument. The Best Saxophone of its time. My story is simple. I went to Woodwind and Brasswind. The company staff set me up with a practice room and some saxophones for me to try out. After about 4 i found this model. I loved how it sounded. The voice is deep and rich. The sound projection is magnificent. You can go from loud to soft on this horn as if you were talking. The keys are perfect for maneuverabiltiy when there are those spots in your music when you just can't move fast enough. The tone is set easily. I thought that i should try another horn but i always came back to that one. Eventually i ended up just buying it and taking it home with me. I have tried it in every style of playing. From Jazz to classical. From Boroque to Blues and it adjusts to anything. I thought I might have just picked a lucky horn but no. I played the horn of a teacher of mine and it was just the same. The horn has a wonderful way to allow you to speak through the horn. It does what you want it to with absolutely no resistance and with a finess that can only be described as angelic. If that is what you want and more then this is the Saxophone for you.

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"Sweet Sound"

by Greg Harberts - 3/15/2011 11:24:48 PM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Active Classical, and blues. Houston, Texas
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Finally, a response and sound like I had when I was in college with a Mark VI. The Reference 54 has a wonderful response all over the range of the instrument. I previously played a Serie III but, have always been disappointed with the response in the lower range, and intonation problems in the upper range. The Ref 54 solves all of those issues, with a smooth sound top to bottom. I use the Selmer Super Session D mouthpiece, Rovner ligature, and a Vandoren V16 3 1/2 strength reed for a great tone and intonation that rivals all others.

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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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