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Flex-Lite at work in alto body ...

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The Selmer Padless Saxophones
Q.  I was hoping you could tell me something about a horn I was thinking about buying.  It is described as an H & A Selmer alto, Elkhart, Indiana, Serial #29163.  Is this horn worth the work it will take to bring it back in to shape?  I’ve attached a small photo.  Your expert opinion is always appreciated. Thanks and best regards, John …

A. John, you obviously still have material on our site to cover. That’s a Selmer Padless, made by Buescher in the pre WWII period. The horns are more like a Buescher True Tone with two left bell holes than a Selmer. The only real Selmer content is the experimental padless tone hole/keywork interface. Here is a link to our feature page on one we own. The padless seals that go on the tone hole rims are no longer available, so guys try all sorts of ways to make the interfaces seal. We know of no way to make these horns playable in a serious way, so if you figure it out please share what you come up with. As for valuations, there are so few that there is no orderly market. I have seen them go around $1,000 on eBay, but it’s questionable how well the buyer & seller knew what they were dealing in. Ours is near perfect – playing condition notwithstanding – and there’s no way we would consider $1,000 to part with it.
Additional Comments
We would welcome any suggestions on how to rehabilitate the padless seals on these very interesting snippets of saxophilia, or a lead on a tenor of this design in excellent or better original condition.

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