Are you wondering to yourself, "How much does a Selmer Paris tenor saxophone cost?" When you buy a tenor saxophone made by Selmer Paris, you are buying from a company that has been in the business of making musical instruments for over 100 years.
The Selmer Paris company was started by Henri Selmer and his brother, Alexandre. Both were accomplished clarinetists and graduated from the Paris Conservatory in the late 1800s. Alexandre went to the United States and was the principal clarinetist with leading symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic. Meanwhile, Henri stayed in Paris. In addition to playing the clarinet, he was in demand for his handmade reeds and mouthpieces. By the early 1900s, he opened a shop that also included instrument repair and customization and made clarinets. After the opening of the shop in Paris, a small Selmer Paris retail store opened in New York City. Selmer Paris clarinets won a gold medal at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.
When Alexandre returned to Paris to help Henri with the family business, he gave an employee, George Bundy, the U.S. distribution rights of all Selmer Paris products. George Bundy expanded the company to include flutes, and later all wind instruments. Through the acquisition of several companies that focused on specific areas of instrument manufacturing, Selmer continues to be a leader in today's music industry, even making tenor saxophones.
There are four models of Selmer Paris B-flat tenor saxophones available: Reference 54, Reference 36, Serie III and Super Action 80 Serie II. The Reference 54 tenor saxophone was named and modeled after the Mark IV, which Selmer first produced in 1954. The tone quality is dark and rich, whereas Selmer's Serie III tenor saxophone is bright. It's color is an antique brushed bronze matte with a lacquered finish. It is priced at $6,129. There is also a Reference 54 Limited Edition available which has a lot of elaborate hand engraving on it. This tenor saxophone is also $6,129.
The Reference 36 tenor saxophone is named and designed to sound like the Balanced Action tenor saxophone first produced in 1936. The tone quality is dark and rich, equal to that of the Reference 54. It comes in polished brass that has been covered by a rose gold lacquer. It is priced at $5,820. There is also a Reference 36 Enhanced Limited Edition Flamingo available, which is elaborately engraved and priced at $6,299.
The Serie III is designed to make saxophone playing easier by having a new scale design and quick response. It comes in a variety of finishes. Prices range from $4,799 to $5,929. The Super Action 80 Serie II was first produced in 1986; this was the forerunner of the Serie III. It also comes in a variety of finishes. Prices range from $4,449 to $5,549. Both the Super Action 80 Serie II and the Serie III are available in a gold-plated finish. This is available only by special factory order. The price for a gold-plated Super Action 80 Serie II is $13,829. The price for a gold-plated Serie III is $14,429.
Always make sure you are buying from an authorized Selmer Paris dealer or a reputable collector.