Improved Selmer Saxophone Model Chart

Here is a cool chart of the serial numbers and models of Selmer Saxophones through the last 100 years.  This chart was researched by Douglas Pipher  and shared on SOTW today.  The cool aspect of this chart that I have never seen before is that Douglas has included the quantities of each type of sax with each model run.   I think this is so cool!

There is a serial number chart on the Selmer website  which breaks the serial numbers down by year but doesn’t go into detail about the types of saxophones made nor how many.  I always wondered how many Selmer Super Balanced Action (SBA) tenor saxophones there were and according to this, there were 9,100 made of which I have one. There were 83,530 Mark VI tenor saxophones made.  That gives me hope that there has to be one in someone’s garage or attic up here in Vermont somewhere……..I’ll have to keep looking and stopping at those garage sales……..Thanks for the research and chart Douglas!   Very interesting!

P.S.  I would love to see this chart broken down by year also.  Not sure if that is even possible but it would be cool to know that my sax was from 1951 and 600 tenor saxophone were made that year for example……….

Improved Selmer Saxophone Model Chart

(If you want to save the chart above, click on it so it opens in your browser. Then click on “File” and then “Save page as”)

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 25 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Interesting to learn that the overlap numbers where sometimes due to the US and Europe market switching model at different time. In fact my SBA Tenor French assembled is 55xxx while there were same Transitinal Mark VI starting at 54xxx in the US.. I’m not sure if the overlap numbers between Mark vi and VII are due to the same reason..

    Thanks for sharing Steve! And I’m sure there are plenty of Mark VIs in Vermont, the question is: even you find one, would you ever move from your amazing SBA to a Mark VI? I doubt it 🙂

  2. Douglas Pipher says:

    Steve,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Yes is is possible to break down this chart by year.
    I plan to do exactly that in an upcoming book.
    Douglas Pipher

  3. Thanks for the hard work Douglas! Looking forward to the book!

  4. I’ve never played a Mark VI I like better than my SBA but I am curious to try some 5 digit VIs as I have never tried one of those……..All the ones I have payed have been 6 digit.

  5. Scott Rutledge says:

    Steve,

    What’s been added/changed/improved to this list, beyond the existing legacy serial number list that Selmer has maintained and had available as the official list?

    Thanks!

  6. Scott,
    It’s broken down by type of saxophone. The Selmer list just says 1951 45101-48300. That it! We don’t know how many tenors, altos, sopranos, etc….. This list gives a breakdown of how many saxes of each type were made. Steve

  7. Is the quantity column the numbers of that model believed to still exist?

  8. Curtis, I believe that is the number of how many were made. It would be next to impossible to research an accurate number on how many still exist………

  9. Your site is the best, thanks so much

  10. Mats Granath says:

    Very interesting! I’ve always wondered if my 34 xxx tenor were an SA or SBA. I’ve done a lot of research on the internet trying to figure out..
    And there’s only two ways to do it I think.
    1. Checking all existing (there’s a lot of them!)s/n-charts that different people put up and trying to find out which one you believe is the most accurate. Also, if 8/10 charts tell me the same answer that’s at least something…
    2. The more funny way: Trying to learn what different features that Selmer saxes came with in that time. And when they came. More research could be published on that topic I think.
    This is the first s/n chart saying, by number, that my tenor actually IS a very early SBA (and not a late BA)
    I’ve found out six signs or features that came on the SBA. My sax happens to have all of them except one: “The long bell”. Selmer made the bell slightly longer sometime under the SBA era for better intonation of the low B and Bb I think. This included the single key guard over these two keys ( instead of one for each key as on my tenor and BA in general). It would be interesting to hear more on this subject. Sorry for the long comment, maybe I get into too much detail here..

  11. Mats, My SBA is a later one at 47…. and has the two key guards on the low Bb and B keys. I’m also curious when they switched to the single. I had always assumed it was with the Mark VI but I have seen SBA’s with the single key guard for both keys also. Steve

  12. Steve, I found a thread on SOTW saying that the single keyguard is a SBA feature to look for if you want to tell it apart from a older BA, and that it continued with the mark VI…
    Interesting then that you’re sax also got two separate key guards. Meaning, I guess, that the single key guard must be a quite late feature on the SBA. Maybe with s/n somewhere round 50xxx?
    Would be nice to hear a opinion from Douglas on the subject…

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