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Saxophone/Selmer Paris 28 alto sax 'cigar cutter'

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Question
Mr. Harris- I'm considering purchasing a Selmer Paris 28 alto sax 'cigar cutter' for my daughter.  I'd like to ask your opinion on whether or not this is a good playing and good sounding alto. Also, I'm not sure what a fair price would be. It's in excellent condition (no dents,dings or broken parts),50-70% laquer wear - original finish.  
-automatic octive key revolutionary (built-spring set, which work against reaction).
-all keys work perfectly and slippers
-Mouthpiece Selmer S 80 C*
-Original hard case included
-SN 11,xxx
I read your helpful comments (July 1012)regarding the Selmer 22 and look forward to your reply.
Thank you, Barbara

Answer
Barbara,

The info you gave me is a bit contradictory as you say you have a Model 28, Cigar Cutter, serial # 11xxx. First Selmer never made a model 28. The first horn made under the Selmer Paris name was the Model 22 in 1922. That was succeeded by the model 26 in 1926. After these came the Super Sax series in 1931 which the Cigar Cutter was the first of a series of horns with the official name "Selmer Super Sax". The model 28, is a nickname applied to a transitional series between the two. In the 1920's and 30's when a model was discontinued and a new one introduced, it was not uncommon for the factory to use the remaining parts until they ran out. This causes many slight variations in the design of the instruments. What is sometimes called a Model 28, is really a model 26, but with a slightly larger bore.  However I believe the horn you are referencing is a bit early to be a transnational model. I would need to see the horn and measure the bore to be sure.

If the horn is a real cigar cutter, than the octave mechanism where it engages the octave vent on the neck will have a small hole in it that resembles a cigar cutter. If it does not have the hole, it's not a cigar cutter, and it is a model 26.

As far as this being a good horn for your daughter? You didn't tell me how old she is, so I'm assuming she is starting school this year and playing in band. If she is still in grade school than this would not be a good horn for her. Mainly due to it's age and potential value. A model 26 may sell for $800 to $1500 depending on condition, play-ability etc. Sometimes sellers try to inflate their value as they are "Selmer Paris" saxophones. However the bore on these is usually smaller and tend to sound "tinny" Even if it's transitional it will not have the sound of the horns that proceeded it. Now if your daughter is grown and has played professionally, this would be a good collectors instrument. There are saxophone collectors who would love to have this instrument, but it would not be one that they would play on a day to day basis.

If it is a cigar cutter than its value would be in the $1500 to $3000 range and there are a high number of variables that determine it's value.

So if your daughter is still in school, I would look at some of the more common names, like Bundy, Conn, Jupiter, Yamaha, and Selmer U.S.A. (not Paris), etc. If she is a more experienced player and knows what the horn is and can appreciate it, than by all means it would be a nice horn to have.

If you still believe you have a cigar cutter, please send me some photos. Especially on the octave mechanism that activates the lever on the neck. My e-mail is charles@harrisbandinstruments.com

Thanks
Charles Harris

Saxophone

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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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