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Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a chance to get a nice 1 owner Balanced Action alto sax for a good amount. It needs a complete overhaul whic i'm willing to do but I was curious what the current market $$ are for these horns.

It's all original with about 70% lacquer. original neck, case etc. great overall physical condition, keys are nice snappy & smooth. pads are shot though - so playing provides no real feedback.

For those that have played them extensively how are their intonation? any particular quirks?

Thanks
 

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I've been playing a 22 xxx BA alto for a year and a half, I paid $5000 for it (it was $5500 initialy). I bought it from a tech and it was newly overhauled. I auditioned it for 2 weeks before buying it.
You will likely get some conflicting info regarding BA intonation but in my case the intonation is nearly perfect, even in the palm keys, low B and Bb are slightly sharp thought.
Besides the tone I especially like the key action and response, very agile.
My only complaint with ergos is the low Bb/Db passage, little finger gets caught.
Every player who has tried my BA has said " It's worth $5000 ".
 

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Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
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prob.
 

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go for an SBA, not a BA. In the altos, these have better tuning, better tone, and a bit more modern keywork.
Plus, it's possible to find these with high F# keys.
 

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Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
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Discussion Starter #9
5k would be extremely way out of my price range. The horn i'm (hopefully) would be getting would be significantly less than that.

I'll have to do a complete overhaul from top to bottom but the keywork is tight and smooth. I know the mechanical differences between the BA and SBA but the engraving on this horn i spectacular. I'm only getting it as a backup so it would be sitting in the case most of the time with my 30s Selmer clarinet in the traypack case.

I've always wanted a horn with the boat on the lake engraving, this one has it, and for fairly cheap but right for it's condition. F# doesn't matter to me, I used the alternate fingerings most of the time anyways for easier transition to altissimo
 

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I have a #20,xxx BA alto. Best Selmer alto I've ever owned, second only to my #27,xxx silverplated BA. No problem with tuning, no problem with keywork ergos.

I've also had 2 mk6 altos and a Yanigasawa. The BA is the sh*t! You can find good ones for under $3k. There is a smokin' BA at USA horn right now!
 

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Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
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When is the Ref36 alto coming out? :D
 

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Prodigal Son and Forum Contributor 2008
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I know I wrote this in another thread somewhere, but the best alto I ever played was a Gold plated BA that Emilio lent me once for a recording session.

About 10 years ago, that was ~$4000 horn. I wish I had the money for it back then.

I was at Rayburns a few weeks ago and heard Kenny Garret trying a BA alto. I'm not sure if he's buying one, but he seemed to like it.
 

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Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
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No need to take any credit, Steve.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member and Great Bloke.
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They are nice horns but if you can hang out and get an SBA, these horns will knock you out! I have played some very nice BA altos, a few great SBA altos.

My advice would be to go for the horn you can get because you can always resell it if you find a good SBA. You wont lose money by buying one of these horns.
 

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selmer ba

Hi,
My BA was stolen some years ago... a 1938 BA alto, with 'boat on lake' engraving... been looking for it ever since! It was the best alto I've ever had, in every regard.... they are very sensitive to different mp's, btw.
Robin Howell
 

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Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
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Wow. The silver one is beautious, eh?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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I see it as not making a difference whether it is a BA, SBA or even a VI. Every horn has a different character to it and go for the horn you like. I had a VI tenor that was horrible and one from about a year and a half later that was fantastic. I had an SBA Tenor that was probably better than either.
Look in ebay as there is an SBA alto from 1952 that is stunning. Original case and great. I bid $2,000 to get it started and I bet it goes over $7K. No ghosts of a VI but nice indeed.
 

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EZ said:
Wow. The silver one is beautious, eh?

Looks like it -may- be a replate/after-manufactured replate.
Pic at botton of serial/wreath looks buffed, stamping on side of bell may be a bit faint.
 
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