Référence 36
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I.A.J.E. Jan 2005

All text and images on this site copyright saxforte (2003)

The Référence 36 was released in the fall of 2000. It is designed to mimic the classic sound of the Balanced Action tenor which was produced between 1936 and 1947, hence the "36" in the name.

The Référence 36 uses a Serie III body and bow, with a larger volume bell. The metal responators on the Serie III are swapped for plastic resonators on the Référence 36. The neck bend of the Référence 36 is identical to that of the Mark VI and is different form the Serie III which terminates higher.

Selmer have acheived the darker, richer tone they were after and it should please anyone looking for the sound of a vintage horn. While not identical to any specific vintage horn, the Référence 36 speaks with its own wonderful complex voice. It delivers the surprising combination of power and playing ease typified by both new Référence horns. And this specific characteristic is what sets the Référence saxophones apart from all other horns, present or past.  The 36 is identical to the 54 in overall tonal quality. Both Référence horns are very different from the brighter, punchier Serie III tenor.

The Référence 36 employs modern Serie III keywork except for certain modified keys that mimic the Balanced Action classic horns. The fact that Selmer has decided to stick with modern Serie III keywork tells you something about the reliability of it. The small changes that are made to the Référence horns are mostly for sentimental reasons. They are:

  • Alternate high F left hand key in mother of pearl versus metal
  • High D and E, left hand palm keys are closer to the body of the instrument
  • Low B-flat sliding screw adjustment not present. Adjustment is performed by bending the metal tab under the key as has been done for decades.
  • Body to bell brace made of circular cross-section material

The 36 has a fully engraved bell and bow and is offered in only one finish. The 36 has a polished brass body covered by a wonderful warm rose gold lacquer reminiscent of the old horns. The difference is obvious when compared to Serie III clear lacquered horns which are significantly lighter in color.


Click here for pictures of the
Selmer (Paris) Référence 36 tenor


Click here for the saxƒorte take on
Mark VI versus Serie III versus Référence tenor saxophones

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Référence Tenor Saxophone Page

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Selmer (Paris) Tenor Saxophone Page

Available Saxophones
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in the USA

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