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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was given an alto saxophone five years ago from a friend. He had inherited it from a family friend, so neither of us really know anything about the horn. I knew it was a Selmer USA from the engraving and case, and the serial number is 822421. Tonight, I looked up "selmer usa alto saxophones" on google images and found this:

[click here]

If you view the image of the saxophone on this page, the horn you see is extremely similar to mine. Mine looks a little more worn, but the case, engraving, neck, keys, body, etc. all look the same. Her serial number is 821591A, so I would assume her saxophone is older. After finding this source, I have become almost certain that I have the same saxophone. However, I would like a second opinion from someone who has more insight than me.

For comparison, here are a few photos of my horn:


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh wow! I had spent about two hours just one here looking for a page with information to confirm my horn as a Model 162 Omega, but I couldn't find one.

Thanks for the link, I found what I was looking for on that thread (the range of serial numbers) =)
 

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:) you are welcome! Really , although it isn’t always easy ( some words give you lots of false positive results) and despite what some people say , using the Search function is very useful, it is just not what most people want to hear........and that is: before posting yet a new thread (which will dilute information even more in the long run) exhaust the search function (and be creative with it!) :)
 

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I have a Selmer tenor model 164 and would say that they are great horns for the money. You can get them for a lot less than the Chinese junk and they are very well made. Not quite the ergonomics of a Mark VI but a nice big sound.
 

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Now the obligitory "Terrible horn! Please send to me for proper disposal. To help you out, I will even pay the shipping."

Seriously, these are outstanding horns and some have actually preferred them over some of the Selmer Paris models. I have owned played several and never found a bad one in the bunch. Some call them a 'poor man's Mark VI' and I am prone to agree.
 

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I actually like to think of them as the MkVI's "American Cousin." I own both the Model 162 alto and the 164 tenor (which is currently undergoing the Überhaul) which are very nice instruments. Going on some advice that I received here on SOTW, I replaced the necks of both saxes with MkVI's which really opened them up! With the set-ups that I now have maybe my GAS will be satisfied (at least for alto and tenor!) Seriously, these are excellent saxophones! Are they as good as a MkVI? Uhmm.......... let's just say that I would have to play it first!
 

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they were Selmer USA's attempt to make an American Mark VI, a pro horn. it's a good horn all in all, not a Mark VI, but still a good horn. had someone given it to me I would have said "thank you very much", kept it & played it. obviously you did. I think it's probably the best pro alto Selmer USA made & you don't really see a lot of those early ones either anymore in the 800XXX range......lot better than the Chinese stuff they have now IMHO.
 

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they were Selmer USA's attempt to make an American Mark VI, a pro horn. it's a good horn all in all, not a Mark VI, but still a good horn. had someone given it to me I would have said "thank you very much", kept it & played it. obviously you did. I think it's probably the best pro alto Selmer USA made & you don't really see a lot of those early ones either anymore in the 800XXX range......lot better than the Chinese stuff they have now IMHO.
I have a tenor in that range that I will sell for a good offer. Say 1350
 

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they were Selmer USA's attempt to make an American Mark VI, a pro horn. it's a good horn all in all, not a Mark VI, but still a good horn. had someone given it to me I would have said "thank you very much", kept it & played it. obviously you did. I think it's probably the best pro alto Selmer USA made & you don't really see a lot of those early ones either anymore in the 800XXX range......lot better than the Chinese stuff they have now IMHO.
I *think* they started with 820xxx. I've never seen an Omega/162/164 with an 800xxx or 810xxx serial number.
 

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I actually like to think of them as the MkVI's "American Cousin." I own both the Model 162 alto and the 164 tenor (which is currently undergoing the Überhaul) which are very nice instruments. Going on some advice that I received here on SOTW, I replaced the necks of both saxes with MkVI's which really opened them up! With the set-ups that I now have maybe my GAS will be satisfied (at least for alto and tenor!) Seriously, these are excellent saxophones! Are they as good as a MkVI? Uhmm.......... let's just say that I would have to play it first!
WOW! The VI necks will fit on my Omega????? I gotta try it! I wasn't sure and was afraid to spend hundreds of dollars on a neck that wouldn't fit.

Going for it!
 

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'Gasser',

Regarding necks fitting dfferent models...I think that most neck tenons / sockets of any brand of horn are not 'that far off' in terms of sizing (like maybe 15 - 20 thousandths of an inch or closer) and it is relatively inexpensive to get a neck tenon re-sized (either shrunk or expanded) to fit the socket of a particular horn. I happened to buy a Mark VI 'Varitone' neck (for Tenor) about 10 or 15 years ago for a pretty reasonable price even though I didn't (still don't) have a Mark VI. At some point in time I was having an overhaul done on my Tenor (1940 Balanced Action) and I asked the repair guy to 'fit' the tenon of the Varitone neck to the BA. I can't remember now whether it had to made bigger or smaller even though I was standing there watching him do the work.

Long story short...I have not gone back to using the original BA neck since having the Mark VI neck fitted to the BA. My BA is silver plated and the Varitone neck is brass, so I have a 'two tone' effect going on but it doesn't bother me...I suppose that I could have the neck plated to match the rest of the horn but so far, that hasn't been a financial priority for me...it just allows this particular horn to play 'better' in this case.

I was somewhat concerned about altering the Varitone neck, but in the end the result was very good. I don't think that anyone could say universally that a Mark VI neck fitted to any other horn will allow it to play better...it is a roll of the dice...
 

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WOW! The VI necks will fit on my Omega????? I gotta try it! I wasn't sure and was afraid to spend hundreds of dollars on a neck that wouldn't fit.

Going for it!
So you bought the neckless "Omega" on ebay a few weeks back? I think I bid on that horn!
 

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itsagasser: Basically any Selmer Paris or good copy neck will work on your USA alto. You don't have to spend the dinero for anything with 'MK VI' on it. A MK 7 or Super Action 80 would be ideal. If you want to cut to the chase and just order a new neck today, look at Kessler's site and consider a Series III. These have the advantage of coming in many metals/finishes. A Ref 54 or 36 in 'gold lacquer' will have a very close color to the original. Every so often you'll find a USA neck for sale too.

Salteater: Your USA alto is the 'pro-line' model 162, but has some changes from the original 'Omega'. The oval pearl F#3 key for example was a plain brass bar on the 'Omega'. Doesn't matter, I think these horns are better than any Asian sax available. Typically both the alto and tenor have deeper, slightly broader sounds than Selmer Paris, remindful of the great American saxes of yesteryear but with modern keywork. I use a first-run 'Omega' alto (821009) and a later tenor (825569) frequently. I bought the alto new in '83 and have had the tenor for about ten years. The alto is my only alto, and the tenor is my alternate with a MK VI.
These are great horns although build quality is sometimes sketchy; for example, on my tenor, the palm keys attaching rib is about 1/16" too low, so the pads barely make it to cover the tone holes - various levers had to be bent to make things work, etc. Also, the tenor is my second one - the first one I bought didn't seem to have what I needed, so I sold it to a band mate. Later, I bought another one that incidentally was in the same number range. This was a keeper, but in comparing the two, mine has a smaller bell flare. So, one day they didn't have the right bell, so they grabbed one from another USA model and made it work. The thing is,this did not make the bell tones thin - it actually has deeper bell tones than my MK VI. Whatever, this is one horn that I'm keeping. BTW, I use a MK VI replacement neck on it - really wakes it up.
 
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