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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to look at a relaquered 1954 SBA bari for a possible purchase later today. I've read up on these things as best as I can, both here and elsewhere, but have no personal experience with either Selmers or baritones.

Any advice or suggestions as to what to look for or to avoid, reasonable price range, etc. or other relevant considerations? I apologize in advance for the breadth of this rather general inquiry, and any and all constructive responses would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Perhaps I should have posted this in the "Advice on buying or selling a saxophone" sub-forum?

Mods, please feel free to move this attempted thread there, if more appropriate. Thanks.
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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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'but have no personal experience with either Selmers or baritones.'

You have a problem. Typically you would expect to already have a good mouthpiece for whatever sax type you are going to look at/play. Without having this, you probably won't find a mouthpiece with the horn, so you won't be able to play it. Even if you did, the mouthpiece might be crummy or ill-suited for the horn. The reed is another thing - you can't know which reed to take and there probably won't be one available where the horn is.
A Super-Action baritone, if there was such a thing (sometimes the baritones and sopranos didn't automatically follow the model changes in the altos/tenors) from 1954 should be a very desirable baritone if its in good mechanical condition. They made the low A then and one of those might be unbelievable.
I guess you'll have to depend on what you know of other saxes to judge condition, and maybe you can get the owner to play it for you. Let us know what happens and snap some pics if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response, 1s. I am bringing a friend with me to check out the Bari and he is bringing a mouthpiece and reed of his. He has some bari playing experience, but doesn't know much about older horns, etc.

The Bari comes with a mouthpiece but the seller said it was crappy.
 

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I really don’t know about the prices, but I would guess that a SBA baritone would sell for less than a mark IV and less than a series ii. SBA are primarily coveted by tenor players. Alto and baritone, not so much.

Nowadays, most baritone players want a low-A model so if this horn doesn’t have that it should be priced very well. I’ve noticed that people ask a lot of money for older Selmer baris (low Bb) but they are very slow to sell.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I’ve noticed that people ask a lot of money for older Selmer baris (low Bb) but they are very slow to sell.
It wasn't so long ago mthat even though the MKVI tenors and altos started commanding absurd prices, the baritones were still often back at the 2-3k level (sopranos even lower). That has changed since the words MKVI have become more and more equated with holyness.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
End of story: The relaquer was bad, and that was the best thing that could be said of this POS old bari.

I had asked if it was in good playable condition and had been told it was. But it wasn't.

It proved to be in bad, bad shape, in many ways, and was pretty unplayable overall. Yet he wanted $3500.

Only good thing was that the meet was only 5 minutes from my home and I didn't have to waste much time.

Sometimes these things work out, and sometimes not. Back to the Bari hunt.

Thanks for the responses.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I guess my last post wasn't the end of the story . . . . After I walked away from this mess, the guy reduced the price to $2999 on the San Diego Craigslist. It is probably worth around $1500 at most in its current crappy, unplayable condition.

But in looking at CL today, I noted the same sax is now on the LA area CL and he is asking $6400 !!!

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/msg/d/selmer-bari-sax-super-balance/6575393087.html

He must be looking for a sucker to rip off, cuz that sax is a piece of ****e. I hate people who seek to rip off unsuspecting and naive folk, though I know it's always caveat emptor.
 
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