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sax.co.uk

Saxophones Selmer GAS Attack

nickh

Senior Member
Messages
451
Location
Peak District. Uk
#1
I found myself in Woodwind Exchange in Bradford today :D

I swear i don't know how I got there :eek:

Well theres only so long you can be on the Cafe and not get GAS. It's like a war of attrition this place! So i thought there really is no substitute for playing some of these legendary horns for myself.

Up until today I had really only played one saxophone: my Hanson ST8. So I thought it might be of interest/entertainment to tell you how I got on...

I found myself in a room with a lovely cup of coffee and this bevy of beauties:

Yamaha 82Z
Buescher 400
Conn 10m
Selmer VI unlaquered
Selmer VI laquered
Selmer VII
Selmer Series II
Selmer Series II Silver

These were a mixture of the vintage and modern horns I wanted to play and some on the spot recommendations from the lovely people there.

First up was the Conn. I had it in my head that this was going to be the one. Turns out it was the opposite. A complete non starter for me due to the keywork and my total inability to play it. It just felt 'wrong'.

Pretty much the same with the Buescher.

Next up was the Selmer series VII. I immediately felt more at home on this. Perhaps due to the more modern keywork. Loved the tone of this horn too.

Inspired by this I went straight to the gorgeous looking Selmer VI unlaquered. I played Ellington's 'in a mellow tone' and felt Instant love... heavens above I can see what the fuss is about. Everything felt right except the price.

The Selmer VI lacquered was in such pristine condition i could scarcely believe it was vintage. It seemed a little brighter and less worn than the un-lacquered VI to me. Again. instant love.

Thought i'd go straight to a new horn next. The Yamaha 82z. The first Yamaha iv'e played. Great precise feeling to the keywork, I can see why people like this horn but i couldn't see me choosing this over a Selmer VI or VII.

Finally the Selmer series II horns. A recommendation and a lovely surprise. I thought the these were fantastic to play and the tone was very much to my liking. Echoes of the vintage Selmers i had played earlier. Loved the keywork. I could live with one of these for sure. I preferred the tone of the silver version. My top choice after the vintage Selmers.

This is the first time i've compared several saxophones back to back and I can highly recommend it. I went in thinking I would walk out with a Conn 10m but came out impressed by every Selmer that I played.

Interestingly though I also felt that even against this competition my Hanson ST8 still stacks up to me as a very good modern horn. And that the Hanson being based on the Selmer VI might have something to do with my tastes.

All in all it was a fun way to spend a few hours. Woodwind Exchange are very friendly and accommodating and I can see myself going back to have a Selmer only sampling session. I can see a Selmer in my future for sure.
 
Last edited:

saxyjt

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,685
Location
France
#2
Wood, wind, sel*, mer*, this story sounds like one of my favorite sailing take. The Paris boat show is on right now, but as I'm busy otherwise, I'll probably pay a visit on Friday.

I only play tested a Selmer once to check it had no obvious leaks. But had not enough time to feel it... Sadly. :(

It was a series III tenir as far as I remember. Just a quicky! :confused:


*Salt and Sea...
 

GJ77

Senior Member
Subscriber
Messages
560
Location
Dunmow, Essex.
#11
I knew it’s not cool to say it these days as everybody seems to want to put Selmer down, but for me they’ve just got that special something (when you find a great one). I play an SBA alto, a mkvii tenor and a mkvi bari. It doesn’t matter what else I play, these horns are the ones for me.
 

nickh

Senior Member
Messages
451
Location
Peak District. Uk
#16
I knew it’s not cool to say it these days as everybody seems to want to put Selmer down, but for me they’ve just got that special something (when you find a great one). I play an SBA alto, a mkvii tenor and a mkvi bari. It doesn’t matter what else I play, these horns are the ones for me.
Wow thats quite a collection.

I think it's great to read up and research horns you might be interested in on the web. But it's another thing entirely when it comes to playing one in person. Its entirely personal. I 'wanted' to walk out with a Conn but after one blow i knew it wasn't for me. Every Selmer I played seemed to feel 'right' to me. I've not played an SBA and wouldn't mind trying a Reference 54 too.
 

fibracell

Senior Member
Messages
589
#19
Quite a remarkable achievement- entering WW Ex in Bradford and not actually spending any money! As it turns out, every time I've visited the place my bank balance has gone down quite a bit.

But don't make the mistake of thinking that just because a sax costs £££ it must be better than x or y. It;s easy to talk yourself into it.
 

nickh

Senior Member
Messages
451
Location
Peak District. Uk
#20
Quite a remarkable achievement- entering WW Ex in Bradford and not actually spending any money! As it turns out, every time I've visited the place my bank balance has gone down quite a bit.

But don't make the mistake of thinking that just because a sax costs £££ it must be better than x or y. It;s easy to talk yourself into it.

Good point. Was so much choice that I felt making a purchase would be a rash. Mind you it might have been the price tags on the Mark VI's that kept my wallet firmly in my pocket. If they had been half the price i would probably have walked away with one.
incidentally I would be keen to know what other peoples thoughts are about the Selmer Series II vs Mark VI vs Mark VII. But thats maybe another thread!