From a recent for sale ad: A rare alto from 2005, … this limited edition saxophone commemorates the 50th anniversary of the passing of Charlie “Bird” Parker and features an iconic hummingbird engraving on the bell. The Reference 54 series was designed to capture the tone of the much sought after Mark VI saxophones, with this series known especially for projection and a powerful sound. ~ MusicMedic
I saw this ad and thought I would put some information out there because there were so many conflicting reports from some people. Here I will concentrate on the ‘Limited Edition’ alto sax as I own one but by clicking on the links in this article you can find out more about the other alto and tenor saxes in the Selmer ‘bird’ release.
Coming first in 2005, the Hummingbird series was only available as a Reference 54 alto sax. (Later bird releases included the tenor sax.) The standard and limited models both featured honey gold lacquer (similar to the traditional tenor Reference 36 color). Approximately 300 of the standard were made for the USA market, and only about 70 of the limited model. ~ Sax Org Museum
Here is the Selmer Ad that came out (click on picture for bigger picture):
I really like the limited edition better because of the darker lacquer and the extra engravings. If you have one of these and wonder if it is a limited looking at the neck engraving is one of the best ways to tell. It looks like this:
The neck of the other (not limited version) doesn’t have this engraving. I love my very special instrument and it is my primary alto sax ride.