You can see the LH pinky keys in photo 13 if you zoom in, although at high magnification it's not very clear. As far as I remember the keywork was pure MkVI. I played it with S80 mouthpieces and I can categorically state that from a player's point of view the bore was not that of a MkVI or a SA80, so very definitely a transitional prototype.That's fascinating information and good photographs, although I couldn't see the style of the LH pinky keys. Did you get a look at the soprano as played by JM Londeix and do you remember any particular features such as the style of its pinky keys and palm keys ?
On my Mk7 alto and tenor the intonation is pretty good and better than my MkVIs - I wonder what Selmer could have done to make the bari so sensitive to mouthpiece position. Did you play it with a Soloist mouthpiece ?
I wonder whether Selmer would have records of the number of bari and sop Mk7s that were made. Probably Douglas Pipher over on SOTW could answer that question.
I guess you are right.And it's EXTREMELY bad form to buy any item with removed or altered serial number. Reputable dealers won't have anything to do with such an item.
This is no Stephenhouser Bari ,though they are versitile and decent horns I am sure.I guess you are right.
But practicaly speaking, I doubt if most people looking for a second hand sax (for playing it, not as collectors) would look at the serial number.
I know I didn't look at the serial number of the Stephanhouser bari sax that I bought last year.
Of course it's a very valuable sax, and once you know that the serial number has been "deleted" you can't pretend that all is OK.This is no Stephenhouser Bari ,though they are versitile and decent horns I am sure.
This is a very valuable french Selmer mkvi?mkvii?With buffed off serial number as shown in the ist photo, David kindly posted. Worth at least as much as decent 2nd hand runaround car in the Uk. Or put another way what some unfortunate people perhaps receive in 6 months to live on in the way of pension or welfare.
There is evidence that this is a piece of valuable Stolen property being openly discussed while the real question that should be being answered. Is who does this belong to?
OK, but again all of what you are saying is based on a presumption that a VII Bari would have the same Spat key shapes (you call them right pinky...the common tech term is spatula key) as the Tenors and Altos, and you presume the pinky table of the Bari would, like the VII Tenors and Altos, be sorta odd and oversized.I'm not sure what you mean by "spat".
The Mk7 alto and tenor had much larger RH pinky key touches than did the MkVI. The pictures provided by the OP are small (like a VI) and NOT large (like a tenor/alto 7) The low C touch piece on a 7 was shaped like an ear but on a VI it was half round.
Fair enough, so perhaps you would be in the camp which leans towards saying there was no VII design in Baritone. So ones marked VII are actually VI's.@rhysonsax was referring to RH pinky (low C/Eb) which are rounded like on a Mark VI.
On my MK7 brochure, there is no mention of MK7 nino,sop, bari (lowBb or low A) or bass. The photos show what look like MKVIs, as the pics are from the side I cannot tell whether they were stamped MK VII or not, but safe to say they look like MKVI.
Well, all I know is that every authority agrees that the design of the Mark 6 baritone continued clear through to the introduction of the Super Action 80 - and that a small number of instruments were labeled "Mark 7" - and that other than the labeling they were the same thing as Mark 6s.
Fair enough.Well, you claim 'every authority' agrees on this, yet a bona fide former owner of a VII right here says his wasn't a VI, with an extra I added. And given their rarity, I would ask how many of the 'every authority' group ever played one ???
And Selmer, from the site quote noted in Helen's article, notes it made some VII bighorns (or the line 'started'...room for interpretation there).
Interesting comments. Having worked up a few VII's, I have to say I did not find them squirrelly intonation-wise, nor odd in blowing response nor any of that. I have only serviced maybe 4 or 5, both altos and tenors...but in that dept they never struck me as bad.The whole MKVII thing is fascinating viewed from 2021. Most of the problem was that players who were used to MkVIs could not get their heads around the intonation curve of the MkVII, and no real explanation or guidance was ever forthcoming from Selmer or their reps or endorsers. There are so many stories of pro players in London selling MkVIs and buying MkVIIs, loving them when playing at home only to find themselves in real trouble when playing with others. With hindsight and the experience of playing SA80s people have really starting to appreciate the good qualities of the MKVII. I have one friend who is an excellent player and teacher who relatively recently swapped from his MkVI to a MKVII for a time and loved it. But, to be fair the quality of production was extremely variable: I think you'd have to look very carefully for a good one.
All of that is interesting....but somewhat ancillary, because the question remains really simple:I first started getting interested in saxophones about the time of the Mk7 and I picked up an interesting Selmer leaflet on their new Mark 7. It includes colour photographs of the Mk7 alto and tenor and then on the back has pictures of all the other sizes (nino, sop, bari to low Bb, bari to low A and bass) but without saying whether they should be called MkVI or something else. They are clearly MkVI in style.
The text inside the folded leaflet is interesting as it describes what makes a Mk7 what it is. Here is a quick extract:
The "MARK 7"
The increasing importance given by SELMER Paris to research, allied to close cooperation with many professional players, who together with our technical advisor have made it possible for us to create a new MARK 7 dynasty. This new model is the result of many years development and endeavour to achieve the ultimate both in quality and performance.
The most important new development of the MARK 7 is the improved quality of sound which incoporates these features:
To these acoustical qualities, improvements in mechanisms and keys have been added which, thanks to even smoother operation, increases still further the player's ease on the instrument and subsequently will improve his technical possibilities.
- Rich, full tone
- Improved exactness and balance
- Easy and consistent blowing
- Great sound volume
The three Mk7 baritones pictured on/from this thread so far seem not to have any of the improvements to mechanisms and keys stated by Selmer to be relevant to their "new Mark 7 dynasty". So even with M7 on the neck shield and/or Mk VII on the bow ring, they seem not to be fully qualified members of the dynasty.
- New octave key mechanism, making its operation even more precise
- C and Bb bridge keys (fork driven)
- Functional location of the stack left hand little finger spatulas allowing easier shifting from B to Bb and low Bb
- Modification in the height of the D, D# and high F spatulas
- F and high F# spatulas allowing quicker fingering techniques
- New shape for the C/Eb Right hand little finger spatulas
- Brace ring strengthening the rigidity of the body-bell assembly. (Three screw mounting pictured)
I have tried contacting Douglas Pipher over on SOTW about these horns as he has access to Selmer factory records so may be able to provide some more information. Unfortunately he hasn't been sighted on SOTW for some months, so there may be no reply.
All of that is interesting....but somewhat ancillary, because the question remains really simple:
Is the body and/or neck of the labeled Mark VII Baritones...different from the body and necks of the Mark VI's ?
That is all that matters.
Accessing a company's records, interpreting marketing pitches, etc...while perhaps a worthwhile endeavor to a degree....seems a more indirect path towards that answer than simply measuring up one....particularly when there IS one accessible at the moment....
Isn't there a web site for stolen saxes? I'm sure I've come across something, somewhere.
Rumour has it that they (Selmer) measured Johnny Griffin’s hands because he was the fastest saxophone player at the time ...I asked someone in the know and he confirmed the fact as he knew and played with him .What I remember about the Mark 7s is that my school got an alto and a tenor when they came out and we all had a go at them. They were freaking beautiful with that dark lacquer, and they gave off the sense of being really well made instruments. The absurdly oversized left hand little finger keys made it damn near impossible to play the low notes; and our lead alto player, a really very fine player, was NEVER able to get the alto to play properly in tune and he gave it up and went back to whatever he had been playing (I expect something like a "Evette" or King Cleveland or something like that).
The only person I've ever seen really getting around well on a Mark 7 in the low register was a tenor player I knew with hands like two bunches of bananas, and even he had had to have the ridiculous tilting low Bb disconnected and fixed in place (no tilt) in order to hit the key reliably.
I also remember very well, being there at the time, many players buying them and lamenting their weirdness; and I also remember very well that when the Super Action 80 came out it was immediately recognized as a return to the general design philosophy of the Mark 6, and greeted with sighs of relief.