How much difference do you hear???

jbtsax

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Before I have to give a customer back her beautiful 1958 Mark VI alto that I did a C.O.A, on I thought it would be fun to record the same songs back to back on both the VI and my SBA using the same set-up to see (or hear) the difference. The SBA has white roo pads with silver domed resos and the VI has a top quality waterproofed "moo" pads with Selmer plastic resos. On each tune the silver plated SBA is first followed by the lacquered Mark VI.

After reading some of the reader's comments (if any) I will try to describe the difference in the sonic "feel" when the saxes are played. If I just fingered the keys, the ergonomics are quite the same and would be hard to tell apart.

https://soundcloud.com/jbtsax%2Fsba-mark-vi-comparison View: https://soundcloud.com/jbtsax/sba-mark-vi-comparison
 

Guenne

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Hi,

both sound good, as your sound is good :)

I wouldn't want to judge which one sounds "better", as "better" is always a thing of taste and what you need the horn for.
As I compromiss, I'd buy both.

The differences are quite noticeable, though they wouldn't play any role in real life, as audiences often can't even tell a trumpet from a sax.

What I personally love about these pre-Mark VI horns (not only Selmer) is, that you sense that they were built for huge volume. If you play very loud (and I have to most of the time) they don't get piercing or shrill (which could also be a bad thing if you play with electronic instruments).

Cheers, Guenne
 
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Phil

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Both sound great. I personally like the SBA a litte more. Seems just a little fatter with a touch more color. Neither is a slouch by any means.
 

Colin the Bear

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Second one every time. It seems to have easier articulation and a more expressive feel. I can't think why if the ergonomics aren't noticeably different. Perhaps it suits you and the set up more, or maybe you like it more.
 

Veggie Dave

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Tonally they're almost identical and yet the second one seems a little cleaner. If I was thinking of buying one of them I'd go for the second as I think it would be tonally more flexible.

Of course I'm talking purely about the tone as I haven't enjoyed playing any Selmer tenor that I've tried up to now, assuming the second one is a Selmer and you're not also testing people's prejudices. ;)
 
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jbtsax

jbtsax

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Very interesting comments all. Thanks for your contributions to this exercise. The SBA has been my "baby" for nearly 30 years so I am intimately familiar with how it feels and sounds. The VI I have only played for a few hours and it has a sort of familiarity about it. Just the acoustic feedback when playing, the VI gives more feeling of "roundness" to the tone up to about the high C and above and then the notes seem to jump out more. If I were to buy this and play it, I would lower the palm keys a bit to try to tone it down in that register.

The main thing I discovered doing this test is how difficult it is to play exactly the same on different instruments. I found myself wanting to blow into or back off certain notes and change the voicing in my oral cavity to produce my concept of sound rather than let the sax be itself, if that makes any sense.

If you are in the U.S. my customer is selling the 1958 Mark VI ser.# 78XXX shown in the picture. It is a one owner sax with original dark gold lacquer. PM me for details if you might be interested.
 

Colin the Bear

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It takes time to find where the best of an instrument is. Heck! It takes time to find the best in a reed. Sometimes a little unfamiliarity makes us pay attention to what we're doing and brings something different.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I would happily take either off your hands for a fiver, or possibly even a tenner, as long as some of the player’s skill could be transferred with the horn, But for me, the Mk VI was the winner - it seemed to have a more complex tone.
 
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