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The Selmer Ref 54 Alto Sax is part of a Reference series that has re-shaped the modern day perception of the Selmer brand. Produced to pay homage to their MKVI Saxophones that began production in 1954, the Reference series was designed to bring a new level of tone and ergonomics to the worlds leading Saxophone brand.
Whilst Selmer had enjoyed some commercial success with the Series II and Series III Saxophones in the 1980s and 1990s there was still a feeling amongst many of the keen Saxophonists that the modern day Selmers didnt quite hit the mark. The feeling that the Series II was perhaps a little muddy sounding and the Series III had the opposite problem of being too bright compounded this and for many neither had the amazingly slick and positive key action found on some vintage Selmers.
So, the Selmer team in Paris set about consulting top players, re-modelling the key sizes, shapes and layout, referring back to some of their old designs including the shaping of the necks and bow to bell design shape and size, and the Reference series was born. The 54 is a clear tip of the hat to 1954 when the MKVi was first produced and the look of the new instrument oozes class and character. The dark lacquer is deep and rich and the intricate hand engraving really delivers on an aesthetic level but most importantly the sound concept and intonation is spot on.
Throughout the course of instrument design the requirements of the professionals of the time have been sculpted by their musical needs. The MKVi turned up just as Saxophonists were exploring the extreme tonal possibilities of the Sax, the design brought something new to the market at the time and the more ergonomically designed key work helped facilitate better and faster techniques. In short it was revolutionary and this is what has made it live on as a mythical beast for so long, however there are differences in the tonal desires of some modern day saxophonists and a desire for better intonation and reliability. The other challenge is obviously some of the vintage Saxes out there have now seen 50 or 60 years of hard use, after all they are just mechanical equipment that gradually wears out.
In summary its a step too far to call the Reference 54 a revolution but its safe to say its certainly re-affirmed Selmers position at the top of the now very highly competitive food chain and is a serious must try for anybody looking for a new professional Alto.
All of our Selmer Saxophones come with a case and a Selmer ebonite mouthpiece of your choice. Our pre-sale set ups ensure the pad seating is spot on and the springing and venting is set up to perform at the optimal level.
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