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Saxophone/selmer pro 80 super action alto sax

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Question
I have a selmer 80 super action the only type of id number on it is N379164. I think it's a II but not sure. Would like to know when it was made and about what it's worth. Also it says made in France.

thanks
Renny

Answer
Reynold,

According to the Selmer Paris "official" serial number list you should have a Super Action 80, or what is commonly referred to as a Series 1. If it was a series 2, it would say so on the bell directly under the Super Action 80 stamp. Your horn was mostly likely manufactured between 1984 and 85. The difficult thing about Selmer's serial number list is its not accurate, nor is it meant to be. I've spoken to many individuals who have purchased instruments before the serial number list indicates they were even made. So add or subtract about 18 months from the date on the list to get an idea of when the horn was actually manufactured. I believe what Selmer does is try to estimate when a horn would sell after it left the factory and that is what the serial number chart indicates. For example my personal Mark VI is an 89xxx series and according to the list it was made in 1960. But the original owner who I bought the horn from said he bought it in 1959. And I know a lady who has a horn with a serial number about 300 lower than mine and still has the receipt from her purchase in 1959. So I don't feel the "official" Selmer chart is as accurate as it should be.

The Series 1 was a great horn and a huge improvement compared to the Mark VII. It was closer to the Mark VI in design and feel. The differences in the SA80-S1 was Selmer went back to the original design of the table keys for the right and left hand pinkies that was used on the Mark VI and made an attempt to more closely simulate the bore design and tone hole placement of the MkVI. However much of the original tooling used on the Mark VI had been destroyed and to completely recreate the Mark VI would have been impossible.

The Series I was made from 1980 until 1986. So with only a 6 year run, there are not many of them out there compared to the series II which has been in production since 1986 and is still being made today. However I had a conversation in January of this year with Jerome Selmer, the great grandson of Henri Selmer and he states they plan to discontinue the all current instruments in 2013. This would include the Series II, Series III and the Reference. So the series I is relatively rare compared to the Series II and III.

Concerning it's value. That depends on several factors including, make, model, condition, finish, playability, etc. A current series II sells brand new for about $5500 to $6000. So a horn like yours that is 27 years old would most likely sell for a bit less than half of that so estimate $2000 to $3000. However if the horn has been relacquered it would reduce the price by about 40%. Also if the horn needs repairs, then you would need to reduce it's value by the cost of the repairs.

If you have not had the horn looked at by a professional repair tech, I would recommend you do so. Go to www.napbirt.org. (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians) and search for a tech in your area. Make sure they specialize in woodwinds and saxophones and they have experience working on Selmer Paris instruments. I've seen a good number of these nearly destroyed by incompetent and under experienced technicians.

I hope this helps.

Charles Harris.  

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Charles Harris

Expertise

questions regarding equipment, performance, repairs, lessons, etc. Almost all saxophone related questions.

Experience

I am a professional member of N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instruments Repair Technicians). I have been repairing saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and brass instruments since 1993. I perform in several professional groups covering genres form classical, jazz, and rock.

Organizations
N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians

Education/Credentials
St. Petersburg Junior College (AA) University of South Florida.

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