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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of selling a Balanced Action Tenor on Ebay. I've received a few of inquiries stating that the bell keys are on the opposite side in the same way the Radio Improved model from years earlier, something I've never noticed or thought about. The SN is 25XXX. Can anyone tell me if they've seen a tenor BA like this before or have some other kind of information why the bell keys are seemingly on the opposite side? Could this be a transition model or special order of some kind? Here's a link to the auction if you want to see pictures:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230489505681&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT
 

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It does look like a super series Radio Improved from the pics I have seen on Saxpics. There is one online with a 24XXX serial number. Sax pics has a serial number list showing Super Series horns with serial numbers as high as 28xxx

But.... it seems that BA's WERE available special order with left handed bell keys.

from saxpics.com "By the bye, I believe these later horns with the "Balanced Action" engraving are special-order models from people who liked the Super keywork and thought the left-hand bell key arrangement was faster."

http://www.saxpics.com/model/9/Selmer-Super-Series.html?v=mod&modID=11

Cool Stuff
 

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The wire low-C keyguard and the button G# are also both R.I. features not found on the B.A.
It seems like a VERY late R.I., made after the introduction of the B.A., and concurrent with that production.
Here's another quite late example that shares these features.
Even on the Conn-Selmer serial chart, there's only a difference of two years between this 1937 example and the purported 1935 end of the R.I. run.
I would argue strongly that your horn is a (very nice) Radio Improved tenor.
 

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It is not a BA but one of the variants of the 'SSS' (Selmer Super Sax) line up. I agree that the serial number indicates that it was made at the time period that should be BA production...but it this horn is not a BA. I'm guessing that a customer wanted to 'special order' a 'SSS' and they had parts to make it...so they did.

Some better pictures of the bell / logo engraving might help unravel the mystery.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What about the Dorsey Model? Is there anything that would indicate if it is or isn't one of these? If not, is there a "foremost authority" I can contact who can figure this out? I do want to sell it but I need to get an idea of its value first.

Edit: It does not say "Radio Improved" anywhere on the bell....can it be an RI anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The Dorsey horns had a sheet metal guard on the bell keys.
Well then that's out. So far you may have the best explanation, being a special order with LH bell keys, but I know the guy who originally bought it and for the life of me I can't figure out why he'd do that. (he's deceased)
 

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What about the Dorsey Model? Is there anything that would indicate if it is or isn't one of these? If not, is there a "foremost authority" I can contact who can figure this out? I do want to sell it but I need to get an idea of its value first.

Edit: It does not say "Radio Improved" anywhere on the bell....can it be an RI anyway?
I would try to contact Randy Jones at Tenor Madness. If anybody knows he might. I think it's an oddball custom thing because it's a BA serial number but it sure looks like an RI
 

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The other thing is that the g sharp key is a pearl oval like the BA keys.

No expert here. I just go look at pics I can find and read what I can read. Very interested in seeing what this thing is.

HUTMO
 

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The serial number is right for a BA but that is no BA.
I've seen early BAs which have a different key system on the RH.
It looks like a Radio Improved or could even be a New Large Bore. That might make the serial wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Can you post some better photos of the bell logo and stampings ?
I have a few other pictures of the engraving, but the area around the logo/SN is too rough to get a good picture. I could copy all of the text though...there are quite a few lines.
 

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Don't be fooled by the serial charts that you find--they do not reflect the very fluid reality of overlapping models, slight variations within models, etc.
BA and RI could have been concurrently produced for a brief period, just as Serie II and Serie III horns are currently.
As an example of the small changes, my just-purchased new SIII has several slight changes from my 2000 SIII, including re-configured palm key layout, new style thumbhook, and several mechanical changes. Your horn has more in common with the R.I. than with any other model Selmer produced. Go with features, and more or less ignore the false serial distinctions.
 

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The Dorsey horns had a sheet metal guard on the bell keys.
This one doesn't. If the # is 25k it was produced during the BA run. Obviously it looks just like a Super, therefor it must be a Jimmy Dorsey. A BA neck, tube, bell and bow with Super keywork. The tone-holes must have been drawn on the old Super era tooling. The early Dorsey's were produced at 25k and the later ones with stamped key guards are from the 27k or 28k range.

This, I believe, must be an early Dorsey model.
 

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Isn't 5,800 dollars an insane amount of money for a radio improved/BA
 

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It is not an insane price if it is a early balanced action with balanced action features. But maybe after learning that it is a hybrid of some kind, the value is not as well known?
Maybe to a collector it is 25,000.
But then again, I am really no expert!
 

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Jimmy Dorsey Models are, generally, for what was known until now, altos (200 ever made!) but it is not unlikely that this was a VERY RARE TENOR , in any case, if everything is original, I think that, yes, this miight be a custom made (as many dorsey were considered) and exceedingly rare horn, in that case pull the auction because you might want to reconsider the price
 
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