More fun with Selmer serial numbers


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
I'm starting to think they do this on purpose.

So, I was cruisin' eBay and downloading pics. I came across a very nice looking Reference 54 Kookaburra, one of the limited edition horns made as a tribute to Charlie "Bird" Parker. Here's the ad. Here's the gallery on my website. You can plainly see the serial number: 596982. Cool. Let me check the official serial number list. Wait a sec. 596982 = 2001. I'm pretty sure that the Kookaburra came out in '06. I re-checked the website (which is mainly Flash, so I can't link to it). Confirmed. OK, let's check the Conn-Selmer website for serials. Only goes up to 1992, s/n 490000.

Wait a second.

The serial number chart on for 1992 says 486000. In other words, the French and US serial number charts don't match. OK. It's just one year and 4000 horns, but still. Heck, that's what, 6 to 10 years or more of SML sax production?
Here's the second thing. This Kookaburra, limited edition, painstakingly crafted, hand-made showpiece of Selmer that they only made a couple hundred of (total), has the wrong serial number stamped. Oops. It probably should be 696982. Scroll down on this thread a bit to see the justification for the 696xxx number. If you don't think this is a big deal, let's just change the horn mentioned:

Some Guy: I've got a Selmer Mark VI Eb alto I inherited from my father, s/n 233976. I don't know anything about saxophones, but these are selling for $1.8 million on eBay.
Music Shop: Dude. That's not a Mark VI serial number.
SG: I don't believe you.
MS: Here's the serial number chart. Read it and weep. There are a lot of counterfeit Selmers out there. You just have one of 'em. Tell ya what. I'll give you $150 for it.

In 50 years, you might be substituting "Kookaburra Reference 54" in that conversation.
Why don't you send them an email? I got told my 762xxx was manufactured in May 2013, so they must have a detailed list somewhere if they can pinpoint it down to the month.

I hope you're all well !

Do you know what is the difference between the Kookaburra Standard and Limited Alto edition ?

Thanks !
I got some information from It seems that the difference are only cosmetic.
The limited edition got :
- one bird instead of 2
- Engraving neck
- Shaped case
- production of 90 instead of 330 for the standard.
I used Kessler's data quite a bit for my Tribute to Bird galleries. Full quote:

The "Limited Collector's" Alto model had only 90 made for the entire USA. The "Standard" model was only made for the 12 month period and it is estimated that around 330 were made for the USA.
The "Limited Collector's" Tenor model is a Reference 54 tenor and had only 50 made for the entire USA (we sold 10% of them). There was no "Standard" Tenor model made.
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