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Raymond Castillo
Raymond Castillo

Selmer Baritone Saxophone Serial Number

Although, as the chart below illustrates, the Mark VI was produced until (roughly) serial #378000, this applies only to the Sopranino model. The Soprano, Baritone and Bass Mark VI saxophones were produced until serial #365000 in 1984, and Alto and Tenor Mark VI production ended (approximately) in 1975 at serial #239,595 .

selmer baritone saxophone serial number

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As far as age goes, the Selmer Paris saxophones have a different serial number chart than Selmer USA like you have. You can search eBay SOLD listings to get an idea of value on an AS-100 in similar shape to yours.

HiI have a silver plate selmer with two numbers. One on the bell (No 14234) and one on lower body (6424 C)Which is the serial number and what is this horn please ?Thanks for info and helpRegardsEd

I just picked up a Series III, serial number 645147. The previous owner says it was bought new in 2013/14, but what I found says 2003/04. Looed at the neck but could not find any numbers. Only on the bottom of bell. Is this standard?

They were all made in France (and have French-assigned serial numbers), but about half of them were then assembled in the USA and have different lacquer and engraving. You can use the same serial chart for any Selmer Paris saxophone.

The Selmer Mark VI is a saxophone produced from 1954 to 1981. Production shifted to the Mark VII for the tenor and alto in the mid-1970s (see discussion of serial numbers below), and to the Super Action 80 for the soprano and baritone saxophones in 1981. The sopranino saw limited production until about 1985.

Selmer debuted the Mark VI in 1954 with sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass saxophones, until the introduction of the Mark VII model in 1975. Since the Mark VI design continued for sopraninos, sopranos, baritones, or bass saxes, they did not have a Mark VII model. There are reports of a limited number of baritone saxophones labeled as Mark VIIs, but these horns were of the same design as the Mark VI.

The design of the Mark VI evolved over time. Switching over from its predecessor, officially named the Super Action but commonly called the Super Balanced Action, Selmer's earliest Mark VI models were transitional, incorporating design elements from the preceding model. Tonally, early examples are considered to have a "dark" tone, while later examples are thought of as having a "bright" sound. The bore taper, bow, neck designs, and some mechanical features changed throughout the history of the Mark VI.[1] The changes were not documented by Selmer. The length of the bow was increased on altos during the 85K serial number range to address certain intonation issues. In subsequent years the short bow was reintroduced. Some altos had baffles soldered into the bow to correct intonation issues. At least three changes to neck design were made on the tenor during the 1950s and 1960s, and once again in the 1970s. Some contend that the neck design changes account for the different tonal and playing qualities between earlier and later Mark VIs. Others contend that Mark VIs produced after about SN 180,000 had harder metal as a result of a change in the metalworking process, however, that SN corresponds to a known change in neck design so differing characteristics before and after can not definitely be ascribed to metallurgy.

Latter-year Mark VIs gained a reputation of being lower quality than early versions (possibly due to Selmer's higher annual production output of the popular saxophone), leading to a greater demand of early-year Mark VIs with a five-digit serial number. An employee's description of the assembly and quality control process at Selmer USA during the 1960s indicated that different quality Mark VIs were sold through different channels; the top tier was offered to musicians under contract to Selmer ("Selmer Artists"), the second tier went to pro dealers in major markets, and the third tier went to the general market. Hence, the best assurance of the quality of a Mark VI may be its sale history, as more variability could be expected in the quality of horns initially sold in the general market.[citation needed]

The "Official" Serial number guide issued by Selmer was not exact and Selmer never meant for it to be so. There can be as much as an 18-month (+/-) variation in actual production dates. This has been verified by original owners with receipts of their instruments showing purchase dates earlier than they would have been produced according to this chart. An example exists of an 89,000 series instrument sold in 1959. The actual timing of the transition from Mark VI to Mark VII altos and tenors is unclear--Mark VIs exist in the 236,000 (1975) serial number range, contrary to the purported 231,000 Mark VII change-over. One hypothesis is that the announcement of the transition in Selmer's 1974 literature was premature. Another is that Selmer produced both the Mark VI design and early Mark VII horns concurrently, or possibly until the existing parts for the Mark VI were used up. Reported early Mark VII examples have Mark VII keywork on Mark VI type body tubes.

The Mark VI Soprano, Baritone, and Bass models were produced from 1954-1981. It is possible to find confirmed examples of these instruments in the serial range of # 55201-365000. The Mark VI Sopranino model was produced from 1954-1985 and can be found within the serial number range of # 55201-378000.The Mark VI was succeeded by the Mark VII, which was produced as alto and tenor saxophones only.

For companies such as Buescher, Conn, Martin and King who today mainly produce stencil and/or student models, knowing the serial number can tell you if you are looking at a potentially great instrument or something that is aimed at less experienced players.

Firstly, they are some of the most well-documented saxophone manufacturers in the world. There is also a big difference in quality between their models so knowing the best serial numbers will prevent you from picking out a poor-quality horn.

The Big B engraving on the bell is an obvious sign that we are looking at an Aristocrat model, not a Super 400. As you can see there is an overlap with the serial numbers, but the above-mentioned differences between these two instruments should help you recognise whether you are dealing with the 400 or the Big B.

The best Martin Magna horns are those produced between 1956 and 1963 with serial numbers ranging from 196213 to 218854. After 1964 Wurlitzer bought the rights to Martin and slowly shifted the focus to student and intermediate horns.

Despite purchasing all of the assets of the Adolphe Sax Company in 1928, Selmer did not start selling saxophones bearing the Adolphe Sax name until 1931. The last Adolphe Sax saxophone recorded in the Selmer Paris archives was sold in 1944. Its likely that production of Adolphe Sax instruments ceased at the onset of WWII sometime after May of 1940. Any Adolphe Sax instrument sold after this date was most likely already made or assemble from pre-existing parts. For example, the record shows that all of the recorded Adolphe Sax instrument sales between 1940-1941 were from instruments already manufactued between 1931-36. There is a fairly detailed record of these instruments recorded in a log book in the Selmer archives in Paris up to 1936 through serial number 1364. The record is much less complete after 1936. Instruments manufactured after 1936 range in serial number from 1350-3600. The log book shows the serial numbers jumping around quite a bit for the Selmer/Adolphe Sax saxophones. Even so, its possible from this record to assemble a basic serial number chart for these instruments. Some instruments were stamped H. Selmer and some were not. All were stamped Adolphe Sax 84 Rue Myrha. By comparing early verses later instruments, it becomes clear that some Adolphe Sax Selmer saxophones were assembled from the old Adolphe Sax tooling and other were put togther using parts and tooling from the Selmer St. Louis Gold Metal model instruments.

In the spring of 1954, March 19, to be exact, a single saxophone was packed up and shipped to Selmer US. This instrument number 53,727, was the first Mark VI to be sent. This number was later used in an advertising campaign which said something to the effect of: if your saxophone has a serial number lower than 53,727 you are missing out on many of the great features that the Mark VI offers. And there was a lovely picture of a tenor saxophone. This is great, it's a terrific advertising campaign, but this is a perfect example of why there is so much confusion about Selmer history.

First of all, 53,727 was an Alto, not a tenor. Secondly, 53,727 was not the earliest serial number, just the first one sent to the US. Thirdly, 53,727 was not the last of the super actions. In the next 1000 instruments, only about 56 of them were Mark VI. The other 944 were super actions.

In 1952, around the 49,000 serial number Mark, some Mark VI prototypes started appearing. In the early 54,000, small production test runs start appearing. By 55,000 Mark VI is running pretty well, full stream. So in general the Mark VI tenors got running around 54,500, the Altos around 55,000, the baritones closer to 56,000, and the Sopranos actually didn't take on the Mark VI aspects until almost 70,000, the very late 69,000 range.

The name Mark VI was actually an American marketing idea, much like the balanced action and the super action which were both American names. The Mark VI seems to have come from and it makes sense to think of it as the 6th generation of selmer saxophone: the 22, the 26, we'll conveniently ignore the Large Bore which was kind of in there, the Super series, the Balanced Action, the Super Action, and the Mark VI.

Henri SELMER Paris did not put any Mark VI identification on their instruments for the first eight years or so. There's a really interesting way to tell if your saxophone is a US market instrument or not. If it has the Mark VI engraved, not stamped, but engraved on the instrument, that engraving would have happened in Elkhart, Indiana. If you have a Mark VI between serial number 55,140 thousand, that doesn't say Mark VI at all anywhere, it is a non US market. It could be Canadian, it could be British, it could be European, it could be South American, but those are non US markets.


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