Conn/Selmer 380 Series alto saxophone

Anything new from Conn/Selmer immediately draws our attention and this 380 is certainly an interesting addition to the range.

Hooked into the sling, it’s not exactly a lightweight and there’s something about the metallurgy – apart from the jaw-droppingly beautiful unlacquered finish that tells you that this is no ordinary horn. There’s something that we can’t quite pin down here: has somebody picked up an iconic instrument like a Mk6 and updated it with a couple of tweaks and a few extras?

Whatever the history, the 380 feels good all round, is very comfortable and has a solid, positive action under its abalone finger pieces. The keywork seems to be along the lines of a Series 2 with added double arms to the bottom B-flat and C keys and a brace on the back of the stack for added protection. Pads are hide with plastic reflectors. We used a Rousseau ‘jazz’ mouthpiece with a Rico 3 reed and found the intonation to be spot on. The overall sound of the 380 certainly carries an edge, although the tone is sweet and there is plenty of punch in the bottom end. This instrument also has an extraordinary capacity for dynamic depth. For our money it’s is as near as you’re going to get to a classic Selmer and it comes with all the updates and without having the hassle of a major refurbishment. Packed into a semi-rigid leatherette covered case with a three-quarter zip, a large outer zippered pouch pocket with a ‘piggy backed’ zippered face pocket, grab handles to the top and end faces, an adjustable back harness stored behind a Velcroed flap and a padded shoulder strap with heavy duty ‘D’ rings, this is some stylish case. The shaped and cushioned interior follows the same lines, laid out in lush velvet velour. It all makes for a good match for the sax.


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