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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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Yea, the neck could be totally junked and you would never know...
 

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He has like 10 questions about the neck and he gives out the same unclear answer !?!?!
 

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My guess is that the neck is junked, or doesn't exist at all. Still though, just pick the horn up for 5k and get a ref 36 neck or whatever works on these things...
 

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From what I can see the only thing about this horn that says SBA is the right hand action key guard. Absolutely everything else is Balanced Action I think. The solder on the bell looks suspiciously like a serial number cover-up, did the BAs have the number elsewhere on the body?
 

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BarrySachs said:
It's a late BA/early SBA crossover. It has the narrower rings that hold the bow and bell, and it's got the guard on the inside of the bell. The regular BAs lacked these features.
The SN is 18,xxx, that wouldn't make it a late BA...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
daigle65 said:
He has like 10 questions about the neck and he gives out the same unclear answer !?!?!
Yeah, you would think they would have added a picture of the neck by the 3rd time the question was asked.
 

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Adam said:
The SN is 18,xxx, that wouldn't make it a late BA...
18,xxx would make it a "Super", 38,XXX would make it an SBA. I've got a 28,XXX and it is your everyday, garden variety BA.

Something is strange about this horn. First of all, it's NOT a "Super". It looks like a late BA, but it's got the SBA joint rings and inside leg trowser guard. The BA tenors had the serial # on the bell just under the Selmer logo and address. If you examine these photos, you'll notice the spot where the serial # is supposed to be is messed up. Buffed out, perhaps? It was common to see a "part #" on the body of a Selmer from that vintage.

Is this a stolen horn? Has this been "photo-shopped" in some manner?

I'd stay away from this thing.
 

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This horn looks nice and everything, but I too would pass. It does look suspiciously like a stolen horn. Be wary!
 

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IMO this is a BA and the serial number (which is on the bell on my original 1940 BA) has been either ground down and filled with solder...or just plain filled with solder. I would guess that this is stolen. why else would someone cover a serial number? My original 1940 BA also has an 18XXX number below the thumbrest as this one does (in addition to the 29XXX S/N on the bell) and I do not know what the 18XXX number is...but it is NOT the serial number...
 

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Well, realizing we'll probably never know for sure, here's my thoughts on this one:

* serial number placement on the BAs were mixed - some were on the bell, some were on the lower back. No set standard - I've seen back serials on early BAs, bell serials on late, altho all BAs >= 30,000 I've encountered always had the serial on the lower back, so I'd guess by 30,000 Selmer had standardized this to be on the back.

* I've seen pics of a few horns like this. They've all been tenors. My -guess- is that Selmer had some Super bodies left over that they outfitted with BA keywork/bell/neck and moved 'em out the door. I have a 1939 Selmer catalog that mentions changes to the alto, but specifically says the BA tenors have 'the same great sound & tuning' carried over, due to popular demand. So, use some left over parts, stick on a new bell, use a BA neck...presto, you've got a new horn going out the door.

* If the above is correct, these Super bodies were probably stored with the serials stamped on the body to keep track, and may have in fact been used for any special requests that came on for a Super/Radio Improved tenor(ala the Dorsey type thing).

* I know for a fact that there was a lot of overlap on the Super/BA transition, as I have a BA tenor, #22,19x, and used to have a Radio Improved tenor, #22,112, about 80 serials apart. As best I recall, the horns played the same, just had different keywork. However, I was not into serials, etc much way back then, and do not recall if there was a serial on the lower back of the RI horn. It did have the 22,112 serial stamped on the bell and had BA type engraving all over the bell. Wish I'd kept it :)
 

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This horn looks a lot like my 20,xxx alto, which by S# is technically a Radio Improved, but bears no resemblance to the Super/RI design. It has RH bell keys and a somewhat modern LH spatula, among other BA features.

Weren't BA style features available special order before the BA itself was marketed?

I'll get some pics of my alto up soon for comparison.
 
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