In the weeks since we got our first shipment of Selmer Supreme Altos, I've had a few opportunities to sit down and spend some time with them. They are interesting horns, for sure; they feature a number of design elements that seem to be unique to the Supreme (such as an interesting configuration to left hand c) while also blending in popular aspects from horns of the past.
One such of these features is the neck tenon, which is a loose ring with a screw (akin to a hose clamp) over a receiver that has been cut four ways - an arguably more secure way to handle neck fitting that I’ve only ever seen on vintage SML saxophones.
Other tweaks from the Ref 54 include a longer bell, and slightly tweaked touch pieces which kind of feel like a perfected mix between the MKVI and MKVII, in the sense that they feel more solid like the MKVII but are not so big as to feel cumbersome. In fact, it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what changes they made, but the Supreme might be one of the most comfortable saxophones to use that I can readily think of.
Overall, the Supreme is a saxophone that pays homage to the past, while bringing in enough new that the horn as a whole feels like a solid leap forward for Selmer.