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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious as to whether anyone knows how many Super series Tenors were made?
Including Cigar Cutter, Super and Radio improved models.
 

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Just guessing - about 10.000. I had a Super tenor s/n 13079 (might have been NLB), and I have an early BA alto 22,xxx, so allowing for overlap - about 10,000.
Dave
 

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way less than VI's or SBA's. I've always wondered why VI's are commanding more $$$ than, say, radio improveds... those are GREAT horns.
 

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way less than VI's or SBA's. I've always wondered why VI's are commanding more $$$ than, say, radio improveds... those are GREAT horns.
The Myth !
 

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Whatever figure you accept, you need to contemplate all horns (sopranos, altos, tenors, baritones, Selmer even made C mels on that period)

My guess is around 3000 "SSS" tenors up to 20xxx wich is when Balanced Action starts.
 

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Wouldn't all Selmer Paris products be included in the serial numbers like Clarinets, oboes, etc.? If so (like Conn), there may be half the number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So out of approx 3000 at between 70 and 80 years of age, how many would you imagine are still around
and still playable today?
Does anyone have any experience with these horns?
My only experience is through listening to my favourite tenor man "Zoot".
Judging by his playing the keywork must be more managable than most people tend to think.
And the sound certainly doesn't seem to be lacking either. At least in the hands of this Master.
 

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So out of approx 3000 at between 70 and 80 years of age, how many would you imagine are still around
and still playable today?
Does anyone have any experience with these horns?
My only experience is through listening to my favourite tenor man "Zoot".
Judging by his playing the keywork must be more managable than most people tend to think.
And the sound certainly doesn't seem to be lacking either. At least in the hands of this Master.
I play a 1931 super at the moment and the keywork is perfectly workable but obviously harder work than a post balanced action horn. However the keywork is worth the compromise as it has a better/bigger sound than any other selmer I've played (including BA, SBA, MVI).
 

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way less than VI's or SBA's. I've always wondered why VI's are commanding more $$$ than, say, radio improveds... those are GREAT horns.
People want saxes played by their heroes, in their prime. A lot more people are focused on the 50s and later - the time the VI has reigned supreme among jazz saxophonists.

Not only are fewer people interested in pre-50s jazz, but during that pre-VI era, a smaller percentage of the greats played Selmers as compared to the various US makes.

This was especially true of tenor players. Selmer established itself first on alto, as "the" choice for section leaders.
 

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Coleman Hawkins recorded Body and Soul on a 19.9XX Radio Improved (Quad Gold Plate)
Don Byas (what a tenorist!) used a RI too up until the late 40's when he moved on to the SML
Zoot Sims, all his life a RI
Some of the best Parker recordings (tonewise) were made on a Cigar Cutter Super alto

Many of the "heroes" sounded better on older BA's and SBA's than on VI's... that's why I don't get the VI fever.
 

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Check the octave mechanism on that picture, there's no way it could be an earlier super. If it's not a RI then it's between the cigar cutter and the RI stamped horns (serial range around 18XXX)
 

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Check the octave mechanism on that picture, there's no way it could be an earlier super. If it's not a RI then it's between the cigar cutter and the RI stamped horns (serial range around 18XXX)
Yeah, your right... BA style octave mechanism.

If any one else has photos of Don Byas playing his SSS please post!
 

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I did let go of a 19923 RI and that tenor was "sumthin" :mrgreen: a great horn. Never cared much for the pearl G# but it was more playable than american horns with the pearl G# key. Also get the blues somedays when I'm thinking of all of the nice horns I had and let go.
 

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The rising tide of VI market prices lifted all boats as far as earlier models were concerned.

Early 30s tenors are pushing USD3,000 a lot of the time lately. They can't possibly be that much better than US makes of that era - people just have to have that Selmer-Paris pedigree.

For example, Buescher probably made less than 3,000 New Aristocrat tenors, making them as rare as the Super - if not rarer. And they're great horns. But they have no mystique or cult value (only the altos have that). So they remain a good deal.
 

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New Aristocrats sucks for me and I'm a buescher nut. I'd say that supers are well worth the money, they're definitely better ergos than most american horns, better neck angle, slicker mechanism, only "fault" is sharp low end and some of them have weak palm notes... except maybe for early aristocrat tenors (280~300k) I do believe supers are superior to most american makers horns of the time
 
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