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Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
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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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Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
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7,153 Posts
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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Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian
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7,153 Posts
Maybe not, given the typical mouthpiece design in 1934 vs. today. It's also become common to open up pad heights for more volume.

BTW, Radio-Improved really meant microphone-tested. The engineers made tests over a closed circuit in a studio, in addition to live up-close playing. The idea was apparently to make the best possible saxophone and clarinet for broadcasting work.

However, strobe tuning wasn't part of the tests. It was a few years before Conn invented the Stroboconn.
 
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