Written on: 27/11/2006 by chrisinmadison (1 review written)
This horn has a fat, rich and easy to sound bottom end. The rest of the range is excellent, but this was the strong point for me, and the only area in which it exceeded my '63 Selmer Mk VI.
Overall, it has something that resembles the sound of a vintage Selmer, with a little easier control with respect to intonation.
As I compared the two-back and forth all day long; the Reference 54 lacked a little of the complexity and richness of the old Selmers. To me the faux vintage effect is pure cheese and unnecessary. It seems cool at first, from a distance, but when you hold it in your hands and you see how the effect was achieved, you feel like there's something creepy and phony about it. Like Disneyland.
I tried several Selmar Reference 54 tenor saxophones, and a few Reference 36's on the same day, and it was clear to me that the 36's have a better, fatter and more complex sound. I almost bought a Ref 36 that day, but I just couldn't part with my old Mark VI, and I couldn't afford to have both. I reasoned that the grass is always greener, and that in a month I'd have deep regrets. I am glad I made that call!