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Saxophones Selmer Mark VII Tenor

mirko01

New Member
Messages
3
Hello everyone.
I am a new member of this forum. I play sax tenor (Selmer Mark VII with P.Mauriat 66 RUL neck). What is your opinion about this model? What do you think, Selmer SA 80 Serie II is better than my Mark VII. I have never played SA 80 II tenor ?

Two months ago my friend bought Selmer Alt SA 80 II and it is great horn.

Best Regards from Poland,

Mirek
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,457
The VII was always considered to be the 'black sheep' of the Selmer family, but this was largely due to its ergonomics ( which even the most ardent fan of Selmers has to admit was something of an issue ) and the fact that it followed hard on the heels of the MkVI.

However, if the ergonomics aren't an issue for you then it's actually quite a decent horn. Best of all, they can be picked up relatively cheaply.

The SA80 II is, to my mind anyway, the best horn Selmer have made since the VI - and is by far and away the most popular modern Selmer ( at least in terms of the numbers that come into the workshop ).
Whether it's better than your horn is up to you really - you won't know until you play one.
If you get the chance, try the Mauriat 66R too - I know a number of Selmer fans who've switched to this horn.

Regards,
 
OP
M

mirko01

New Member
Messages
3
Hello Stephen.

Thanks for your quick response.
You have right, The ergonomic in Mark VII is not well. Especially in low register (B Bb)
I must try Super Action 80 II tenor.
Thanks a lot for you advice,

Mirek
 

Luluna

Señora
Subscriber
Messages
698
Location
Vermont, USA
Mirek,

I have had my Mark VII tenor since 1979, and have always been complimented on my tone and round sound, and have never noticed the ergonomics.

Maybe I just don't know any better ;} what do I know?


Best of luck :)
 
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Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
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1,822
Location
Breakfast room since '06
Mine is great.
I don't find the ergonomics difficult or awkward, especially after the first couple of hours (I have others to play with too!:D )
I have played some older horns that are far worse and no one bats an eye lid though.
Strange!
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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4,416
Location
brighton by the sea
the couple I've played sounded superb, especially the silver plated one I once got my paws on, but next to most other horns I did find the left hand pinky table very wierdly positioned next to default 'modern' horn designs (ok- after a few hours I'd certainly have got used to it but it did seem slightly odd).
 
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mirko01

New Member
Messages
3
Hello everyone again.
Many thanks for your opinion. I am very happy, that i can receive a lot of valuable advices from you.

I'm reading a lot of posts in this forum and it is very helpful during my playing.

Best Regards

:)
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,473
Location
Surrey, UK
I've just bought a MkVII tenor for about a third or a quarter of what MkVIs are going for and I'm very impressed. The sax has obviously been played a lot, but apart from the neck cork, it is all functioning well and looks pretty robust.

The sound is definitely "Selmer" to my ears and not all that different to my MkVI. I am quite tempted to use it on gigs in preference to my MkVI in case it gets knocked over or nicked.

The ergonomics aren't really a problem to me - the left and right pinky keys are reasonably comfortable (I'd say that my hands are fairly average size), but maybe the neck angle and the right hand thumb hook are not quite as comfortable as some other modern horns.

This one isn't engraved, which is a shame, and the "S" on the neck octave mechanism isn't highlighted in blue - does anyone know whether that is typical ?

Another horn added to the collection, so I am really going to have to start selling some others.

Rhys

PS I tried some other necks on it, but two necks that fit my VI have tenons that are too wide to fit in the receiver. I think that makes the VII a narrower bore than the VI, which surprised me.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
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1,822
Location
Breakfast room since '06
This one isn't engraved, which is a shame, and the "S" on the neck octave mechanism isn't highlighted in blue - does anyone know whether that is typical ?
Hi Rhys,
Congrats....join the club.
I love mine, play it for a week and the ergo's become fine then you swap back the other way and get the strange feeling again. So its just what you play most feels natural, for me it was just the low Bb that was significant and actually dare I say I ended preferring it.

Regarding the lack of blue and it being non engraved it sounds like it may have come from the states. Not just because of the lack of blue on the 'S' but I see a lot more un-engraved models when they come up for sale over there.
I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I do and it will prove a great buy.
 

Col

Member
Messages
152
Location
Petersfield, Hampshire
I've had my MK VII for just over a month or so now and I love it to bits.
I find the ergonomics fine (I have biggish hands), it's strong but not heavy, looks beautiful and best of all the tone is much richer than other horns I've had (could be it suits my mpc better). My band members love the tone as well, keep complimenting me on it.
Perhaps it's that British Underdog thing but I like that fact it gets poor reviews, means it was more affordable than a MKVI and it's like a secret gem few know about.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,352
I've had lots of Selmers and think the Selmer Serie III is there best horn since the MK6.i had a couple of serie II altos which were nice but never felt at home on my Tenor serie II.I have blew about 6 serie III tenors and they all played great,ergonomics are sweet and its very flexible.I owned a silverplated serie III and it was very nice indeed.The Reference Selmers are a tale of 2 halfs for me,the 54 Ref is 1 dull horn,very hard work blowing but the Ref 36 is much nicer,open and more free but thats my opinion but the Serie III stands king from the modern 1's.If i was in your shoes i would go for a Yamaha Z Tenor 1st choice our a 66RUL Mauriat 2nd,the Z is the closet to a MK6 of any horn but nicer all round i think,so free and it can handle any thing,Z is the way.
 

ATG

Member
Messages
36
Location
East Texas area
The Mark VII was never intended to be a VI in any way, it is an entirely different model designed by leon Selmer & Michael Nouaux, premier solo saxophonist of the Guard Republicaine Band, Paris. Fred Hemke did NOT design the Mark VII as many would have you believe although he may have given advice when asked & no doubt he was as a Selmer clinician. I have his reviews of the VII alto when it came out & they were quite good. However, we're talking tenors here, not altos.

The VII tenor was not well received as it was compared to a VI by VI players; they didn't like the keywork, mainly the spatula or table keys & the low C & Eb keys. If you had smaller hands those keys could be a stretch & perhaps awkward to some. the neck angle was changed too & many didn't like that plus it is a heavier horn but very well built with many improvements. The acoustics were/are very good, it has a different taper to facilitate higher altissimo, plays better in tune, louder more powerful horn with a very core Selmer sound. Personally I think them good horns, the VII tenors, and I do not find the keywork any more difficult than a vintage Buescher, Conn or Martin. In fact the VII keywork even on the tenors to me is easier to work than a vintage horn with the older keywork, and many folks love their vintage horns. A silverplated or better still sterling silver Serie III Selmer neck makes a big difference on a VII tenor as far as the angle is concerned and the sound. I really like the results on my VII alto with a sterling III neck although the orig VII alto neck works quite well too. In any case the VII tenors I have heard played and the one I got to play once were very good horns & sounded quite good. They are being re-discovered & going up in price especially the earlier production VII's as they are generally engraved horns & thought to be among the better ones made which is not to say a later one can't be just as good. production errors tend to be more prevalent as the run goes on.

Were I to run up on a good early VII, an engraved one to match my early VII alto and it was reasonably priced I would be sorely tempted to buy it even if I had to hock something, lol. They sound very good or at least a good one will, and you can get good & not so good horns in every model.

The alto VII's are very different from the tenors in that the keywork is far less a problem (if at all) and I like the keywork, fits my hands like a glove. I've had a long bow VI alto in the M119XXX range and the VII alto I have now M254XXX (1975) in my opinion out plays it completely. I was lucky enough to find it (the VII alto) as new/old stock still in the plastic back in 2000 at a local Selmer dealer that had been around for nearly 60 yrs. It came in a treypac case, fully engraved, dark blue around the S in honey gold lacquer. I bought it on the spot and have never regretted it and will part with it when it's pried from my cold dead hands. The VII altos are great horns, but they too got an "assumption" bad rep early on from the complaints on the tenor. Folks assumed the altos were like the tenors and they weren't, and the tenors weren't near as deserving of the rep either.

As for the engraving & the blue S.....you'll find it on all the European Selmer VII's but not on many of the American assembled ones at Elkhart. In fact even the later VI's had no blue around the S at Elkhart. the blue wasn't put on in Elkhart as a cost saving measure as was the lack of engraving, but it continued to be done at the Selmer factory for the European horns.

The VII tenor would not be my first choice for a tenor had I excess funds to spare, I'd rather have a good VI for a tenor, BUT....I certainly wouldn't turn down a good VII tenor either if the price was right & would be deeeee-lighted were one given to me (which will never happen alas) However, the VII alto is my very favorite, there may indeed be an earlier VI (and I like the early VI altos) that might supplant the VII in my affections but to date I haven't found it yet.
 

ATG

Member
Messages
36
Location
East Texas area
rofl.......Texas & both. I sleep with the horn, wife is on the couch in the living room; feel free to take her........leave the dog.
 

Larn

Member
Messages
67
Location
shropshire
Had both a series 111 and MkV11 both tenors sold the 111 still use the V11 everyday. love the sound, ergo's not a problem built like a battleship and still fantastic value, but for how long as people are starting to relalise that they aren't the horn they are painted to be?
if you can find one you won't be disapointed.

Larn.
 

Pete C

Member
Messages
346
Location
Exeter
Must agree with ATG about mkVII altos - mine is also fantastic. I used to play a SAII then a ref 54 tenor, now on a Muariat 66RUL which is a much more open, though less focussed, horn. On balance, think I preferred the ref 54 to the SA80 but it was very "shut down" at the top end. I did borrow a mk VII for a set a couple of years ago and was impressed with the sound and action - I didn't notice any ergonomic problems and would certainly look at one if it came along at the right price.

Pete
 

andyb1970

Member
Messages
437
Location
Bournemouth
I played a Mk VII Tenor for around 2 years. I loved the tone, and construction was solid, beautifully built. I struggled a lot with the ergonomics and this was enough for me to change, possibly I'd think about going vintage again when I get to be a more advanced player. I also found it very heavy, but I'm only 5 ft 6 in and Col who bought it from me loves it, the weight and ergonomics aren't an issue but he's a lot bigger than me :)
 
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Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
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1,822
Location
Breakfast room since '06
possibly I'd think about going vintage again when I get to be a more advanced player.
it does make a big difference when you've been playing a while, I remember trying many vintage horns in the early 90's and I just couldn't handle them.
In fact further more I wondered how the hell any one could affection for them when modern horns were so superior in this respect (and of course, so was the MKVI).
It went a long way to shaping my interest (or lack of it) in certain models.
But I've come through the other side now and love some of those I frowned upon. I'm not saying the problems go away but they are not any where near as significant to me as they were then and in hind sight I understand the affection.
OK I'll go one further than that....I'm hooked :w00t:
Andy and I have already had the discussion a while back that for me the MKVII is way ahead of King Supers, Buescher TH&C, The Martin e.t.c. in modern comfortable ergo's as I tried to talk him out of selling (sorry Col>:)).

I also found it very heavy
That is true, no getting away from that one. A decent weight bearing strap is required.
 
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