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Selmer Paris Reference 54 Tenor SaxophoneThis gorgeously crafted instrument incorporates some of the finest acoustic and ergonomic characteristics of earlier Selmer Paris models. These are combined with modern design and manufacturing enhancements. One major feature making the Reference 54 popular is its centered tone based on the legendary 1954 Mark VI. The keywork is superb and positioned closer to the body for enhanced playability and comfort.
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My fellow saxophonists, if your looking at pro horns to buy please take the time to play through all the major brands before making your final decision. I spent 2 days at the WWBW showroom in South Bend playing 11 different horns. We got great customer service from Mark our salesman. My top three came down to Selmer Ref 54, Yamaha Custom Z and Yani 9930 (Keilwerth's, P. Mauriats were terrible). Response, intonation and sound were great for all three. But the Selmer Reference 54 had a soul and unmistakable character that pulled at my heartstrings like no other(think 65 shelby mustang). Everyone has to find their own horn, but this one found me. I love it!
I'd highly recommend this horn. It has a very solid center and is incredibly free blowing. It doesn't have the same "something" that the old VI's have but it definitely comes close. Great horn.
I tried this horn a few days ago and I was very skeptical. I've heard it was suppose to emmulate the mark IV. When I first played on it, I was sort of disappointed. I was also trying out different mouthpieces as well. The real beauty came out of this horn when I used a Guardala studio line. The horn became a beast. At first, I was like "O MY GOD"! This horn is great. With this setup up with a guardala, it has a Michael Brecker type of sound. I think all the great tenor players would agree that the reference 54 is just as good as the mark IV or better.
Both in looks and more importantly sound, this horn is incredible. I spent two days play testing horns of all makes and models but none compared to the Reference 54. It has the signature Selmer quality and beautiful tone, especially in the low end. It is also incredibly free blowing. You can make this horn sing no matter what you're playing: a lush ballad subtoning the low end, or screaming hard bop in the altissimo register. It has everything, and the matte finish is just one very nice extra touch.
I recently bought a new Reference 54, and I have to say that this is the most amazing horn I've ever played. While searching for a new horn I tried all different types of horns. I tried the Yamaha Z-series, the Yanagisawa T-922, the Reference 36, and the mythical Mark VI. None, and I mean none, played as well as the 54. The evenness of tone throughout the range of the horn was remarkable, even into the altissimo register, the horn stayed under control and couldn't be beat. I highly recommend this horn to anybody who is looking to play an amazing horn with a great dark tone.