Saxophones Selmer Series 3 Tenor

BigDoug

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Hello all,
I've been learning to play on a Jericho Tenor. Initially, I used a Yamaha 5C mouthpiece, but for the past month or so have satisfactorily changed to a Jody Jazz HR* 7* which I love.
I'm considering the acquisition of either a Selmer Series 3 or possibly a Yanagisawa 901/991. I would be very interested to pick up any comments, hints or tips while considering my way forward.
Doug
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I think if I was considering a sax in that price range I would include the top-end Yamahas and the Trevor James Signature Custom in my list of models to try.
 
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BigDoug

BigDoug

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I think if I was considering a sax in that price range I would include the top-end Yamahas and the Trevor James Signature Custom in my list of models to try.
I'm thinking of used instruments and have identified some in the range £1200 to £1800. Any new and consequently more expensive ones, would be out of the question.
 

Stephen Howard

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From a purely mechanical perspective I'd favour the Yanagisawa over the Selmer 3. The Series 2 is a closer call, but the Yani's still ahead - as would any other top-end horn be.

I'd second the recommendation to try the high end Yamahas (especially the Z) - and if you buy a horn without trying the TJ RAW/Sig.Custom, you'll never know what you might be missing.

Edit: Just seen your budget. Might be hard to find a used RAW - but there should be a few Yamaha Z's knocking around. Don't rule out a nice Yamaha 62 Mk1 (doesn't have to be a purple logo).
 

jonf

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A few years ago I bought a tenor sax, intended as a tenor for life. I have a reasonably hearty budget thanks to a tax rebate, and I tried Yanagisawa T901, 902, 991 an 992, Yamaha YTS 62, a Keilwerth, a couple of Selmers, Mauriat 76 Trevor James Sig Custom. In my view, the Yamaha just didn't grab me, the Keilwerth felt a bit clunky, the Mauriat was very poorly finished and I liked the TJ, a lot. However, the Yanagisawas all just felt like better quality bits of kit, and ones I could make my sort of sound. Of the Yanis, the T992 was the best, so I bought it. Haven't wanted another tenor since.
 
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BigDoug

BigDoug

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A few years ago I bought a tenor sax, intended as a tenor for life. I have a reasonably hearty budget thanks to a tax rebate, and I tried Yanagisawa T901, 902, 991 an 992, Yamaha YTS 62, a Keilwerth, a couple of Selmers, Mauriat 76 Trevor James Sig Custom. In my view, the Yamaha just didn't grab me, the Keilwerth felt a bit clunky, the Mauriat was very poorly finished and I liked the TJ, a lot. However, the Yanagisawas all just felt like better quality bits of kit, and ones I could make my sort of sound. Of the Yanis, the T992 was the best, so I bought it. Haven't wanted another tenor since.
Jealous !!
 
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BigDoug

BigDoug

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I think I'll be aiming towards a Yani T901 or 991, given time.
But very appreciative of the advice so far and would welcome any others.
Incidentally ........ does anyone have any views on how good (or bad) the Jericho Tenor is. This is what I've been learning on and I really don't know how it compares with other student tenors. Do you think I'll notice a big difference between it and a 901/991 ? Should I expect the Yani to be more demanding to play ?
 

jonf

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Couple of things. Firstly, I forgot to mention in my earlier post what I thought of the Selmer when I played it. Personally it didn't suit me. Didn't feel so good under the fingers as the Yanis. Just didn't feel special enough to justify the money.

I think you'll notice some difference between the Jericho and the Yani, but not a vast amount. I haven't played a Jericho tenor, but have played the alto version and I was impressed. I'd imagine you'd find the Yani a little easier to play, not more demanding. The ergonomics are excellent. The Yani will almost certainly wear much better - mine has needed no work at all since owning it. Looking back, I think it may have been about 11 years ago since I bought it.
 

kevgermany

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I've got the T902, had it for about 18 months. Like Jon, I've lost all interest in another tenor since buying it. Main differences between the 901/991 is double key arms on some keys, underslung octave key, more/better engraving. A guy who sits next to me in orchestra has an A991. There's very ilttle in it. Doesn't seem to be any difference in quality. Do the double arms on the lower keys make a difference? Not really, I don't have any problems because of the single arms, although I'm sure @Stephen Howard has good reason to recommend them. I do envy his underslung octave key, though. Makes playing from sheet music a lot easier when you're sitting. Maybe I'll get a T992 neck one day, but I doubt it.
 

BigMartin

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does anyone have any views on how good (or bad) the Jericho Tenor is
I don't think this advice will be very popular among some of the more gear-orientated mebers here, but...

The only person whose view on that matters is you. Is it holding you back in some way (eg action too clunky, can't slide smoothly over the table keys)? Have you tried another instrument and got a sound from it you prefer? Otherwise you might want to consider delaying the upgrade until you have more playing experience and therefore more idea of what you're looking for in your next horn. And if your Jericho is giving you problems, maybe you could consider getting it serviced? Just another point of view.
 
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jonf

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Couple of other minor things. The 901 is slightly lighter than the 991/992, and the latter has medal pad reflectors, not platic. The 901 and 991 are brass, the 992 and 902 are bronze. Bronze looks nicer, I don't think in itself it sounds different. All are great.
 

sdt99

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184
With that kind of money to spend I'd go visit some shops like woodwind exchange in Bradford and try some saxes and see what you like best within your budget. You can get surprising results.

20 years ago I tried a Selmer series II, Yanigasawa (don't know model) and Yamaha 62 tenor - expecting to like the Selmer the most I ended up liking Yamaha then Yanigasawa then Selmer a distant 3rd. Ended up not buying anything.

5 years ago I tried a bunch more saxes and ended up with a 1968 King Super 20, which I preferred to any of the new horns.


You won't go wrong with a Selmer or a Yani, but you also might never know what you've been missing elsewhere :)
And it makes for a fun day out.
 

Stephen Howard

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I don't think this advice will be very popular among some of the more gear-orientated mebers here, but...

The only person whose view on that matters is you. Is it holding you back in some way (eg action too clunky, can't slide smoothly over the table keys)? Have you tried another instrument and got a sound from it you prefer? Otherwise you might want to consider delaying the upgrade until you have more playing experience and therefore more idea of what you're looking for in your next horn. And if your Jericho is giving you problems, maybe you could consider getting it serviced? Just another point of view.
Wise words.
Being brutally honest (with extra brut, and a double helping of ally), if you've only been playing for less than a year you really aren't going to have the chops to distinguish the subtleties between the various horns.
Sure, you'll get the big(gish) picture, but when you're looking for 'the horn to rule them all, for all time', you kinda need a bit more than "Ooh, I can play Summertime much easier on this horn".

That said, any horn over - say - £1500 new is going to be more than a match for the sort of standard that most of us ever achieve, so you're unlikely to end up with a proper lemon.
And hey, sometimes it's just nice to blow a shedload of money on a new gadget. Ain't no crime (as long as you got it).

But BigMartin raises an excellent point in that it's important to be clear about what it is you want from a new horn. More oomph? More brightness? More depth? More of everything??

As for the Jericho - it's reasonably cheep, it's very cheerful...and it punches way above its weight. Doesn't have anywhere near the build quality of a Yamaha or Yanagisawa etc. - but has a surprisingly large percentage of the performance. Back in my day I'd have given two arms, a spleen AND half a liver (possibly not mine) to have learned to play on a horn like that.

If you buy a posh horn, keep the Jericho as a spare...you won't ever regret it.
 

sdt99

Member
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184
Just to add to what Stephen said above go and try a bunch of saxes but try not to fall into the trap of expectation bias / shiny new horn bias and be honest with yourself about
- whether the new horn sounds any better
- whether it plays any better (assuming your Jericho has been recently checked for leaks and is playing well)
- whether it feels better ergonomically
That was why I walked away with nothing 20 years ago when demoing the big 3 horns. My (well setup) old MexiConn was only marginally less comfortable to play and to me sounded just as good as any of the big 3. In short - I was (by far) the limiting factor.
 

Reed Warbler

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Budget for an overhaul if you do buy second hand. Jerichos play really well but mine had bits dropping off within a couple of years. I would say if it ain't bust don't change it. Enjoy.
 
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BigDoug

BigDoug

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Wise words.
Being brutally honest (with extra brut, and a double helping of ally), if you've only been playing for less than a year you really aren't going to have the chops to distinguish the subtleties between the various horns.
Sure, you'll get the big(gish) picture, but when you're looking for 'the horn to rule them all, for all time', you kinda need a bit more than "Ooh, I can play Summertime much easier on this horn".

That said, any horn over - say - £1500 new is going to be more than a match for the sort of standard that most of us ever achieve, so you're unlikely to end up with a proper lemon.
And hey, sometimes it's just nice to blow a shedload of money on a new gadget. Ain't no crime (as long as you got it).

But BigMartin raises an excellent point in that it's important to be clear about what it is you want from a new horn. More oomph? More brightness? More depth? More of everything??

As for the Jericho - it's reasonably cheep, it's very cheerful...and it punches way above its weight. Doesn't have anywhere near the build quality of a Yamaha or Yanagisawa etc. - but has a surprisingly large percentage of the performance. Back in my day I'd have given two arms, a spleen AND half a liver (possibly not mine) to have learned to play on a horn like that.

If you buy a posh horn, keep the Jericho as a spare...you won't ever regret it.
I've decided to hang on to the Jericho for another few years, ( if it remains intact), until I'm more able to make a more sensible and reasoned decision myself. It's just such a shame that Jericho's aren't marketed any longer.
 
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Guenne

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Austria
I don't think in itself it sounds different.
In my opinion, it does (I played the whole series of the "old" Yanis).
But I think this is very much a neck thing.
Yani makes Bronce necks, they are available used from time to time.

Cheers
 

sizzzzler

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London
Only a selmer has the selmer sound.
There comes a point in playing when it’s time to move up, when progress requires a better instrument. Should we take the intermediate step or move straight on to a professional instrument is an important decision and opinions vary. I take the view that a professional instrument is for at least a decade, and probably for life so go straight there.
As Stephen Howard says in his reviews “no one sells a good selmer”. The same can be said for most of the true professional level modern instruments. If one is limited to secondhand, avoid eBay etc, buy from someone you know, a specialist shop or repairer with a rep to protect.
 
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