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Sax on the Web Archive / Buffet Archive / Buffet S-1 vs Mark VI

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User ID: 1376304
Mar 1st 8:42 PM
So anyone ever done a one-on-one research on this one? I might be buying a S1 and I wonder if it's worth the investment when it's only half price of a MKVI.
User ID: 8931733
Mar 1st 8:53 PM
I used to own a Buffet S1 alto - it was a great horn, especially for classical playing. The action had a very precise, solid feel. Sound was great.
User ID: 8938823
Mar 2nd 1:37 AM
A lot of people feel Buffet S1 doesn't project like a VI and has a more polite kind of sound. Nice construction though and good for classical,
User ID: 2456014
Mar 2nd 8:37 AM
Thanks a lot guys. But I was wondering how it would compare against a VI in keywork, tone color, intonation and etc..
Steve Goodson
User ID: 9760743
Mar 2nd 8:58 AM
you can find the original patents for the S-1 keywork (which is very unique) on my site
Matt K
User ID: 2581794
Mar 2nd 10:20 AM
I have an S1, SDA, and mark VI 137xxx. All tenors. The S1 and the SDA both rip the VI a new one. The S1 is louder than the VI, has much better response esp. in the low end and a much richer tone but not as rich as the SDA.
Now that I am used to the Buffet keywork, I like it better than the Selmer. I'm not saying it is better, but it fits me better.
The holy grail for me would be my SDA with selmer spatula keys, which is why I bought an S1, but it doesn't have that swirling resonant sound of the SDA. I love that sound. I've never heard anything like it.

To answer your query, yes- an S1 is most definitely worth the investment. Especially since the alternative is feeding the selmer scalpers. I'm so glad I'm not a slave to that keywork anymore. Anybody know what I mean?
User ID: 8938823
Mar 2nd 10:24 AM
I have a mint SDA on ebay noe complete with swirling resonant sound ;-)
User ID: 8109723
Mar 2nd 10:11 PM
Matt, is your SDA one of those early 70's? I heard they have a keywork similar to S1. I only saw the SDA on a picture and the left palm keys and pinky clusters seem a little odd to me.
Subtone Sam
User ID: 1432154
Mar 3rd 3:43 PM
Troy,I have both,S1 (1981) and MKVI (1966) tenors.In my experience,S1 has better response,bigger tone and better keywork than MKVI.MKVI has the "MKVI-sound",Im sure you are familiar with that,maybe a bit warmer sound than S1.If I had to choose between S1 and MKVI,my choice would be S1.Im aware that many people feel that S1 is more of a classical horn,I have to disagree with them.The best words I can describe its sound would be "tough" and "raunchy".If you are not a Selmer fanatic and would get the S1 for half of the price,I would DEFINITELY check that S1 out.PS.but the fact is,neither of these horns are comparable with my JK.
Matt K
User ID: 2581794
Mar 3rd 9:57 PM
Troy, My SDA is a 1959, serial #64xx.

SATB, I've been drooling over that horn all week! Man that thing is sweet.

It's my understanding that Buffet redesigned the neck on the SDA in 1966. Made it a little brighter. The S1 retained the same body and neck as the SDA. With the exception of offset tone holes.

At least that's what I was told. My S1 however has thinner/softer metal in the body than my SDA.
You can feel the difference in weight.

I was also told that all S1's have a high F#.
Well mine doesn't.

Subtone, I second everything you said.
User ID: 8311743
Mar 9th 8:30 PM
I finally got a SDA. Can't wait till it arrives :) (Guess I'll have to let go of my 'ol Yani for this)
User ID: 1411674
Mar 12th 3:00 PM
SDA gone, S1 arrived. As above, it feels like softer and thinner metal, has a brighter sound and lightning fast keywork. I feel it will suit me better .
User ID: 1098134
Mar 15th 1:42 AM
Now here's an interesting thing; whilst this S1 tenor needs a little work to get it to its best (a few leaks and some sloppy action due to worn corks and felts), it has an uncanny resemblence to the sound of Paul Desmond up in the top register. It can sound amazingly sweet and blows effortlessly, I am going to love this.

My S1 alto doesn't sound that way at all, having a typical French classical sound when soft and more of a jazz vibe when you open up and blast.
User ID: 9461303
Mar 19th 9:07 AM
Finally got the SDA alto and had few hours to test it out. Well it wasn't heavy as I expected - unlike what many other people said and infact, it felt lighter than my Yani 990.

Indeed, it did have a dark, sweet tone, something that I have always missed from my Yani. At first the left spatula simply didn't work for me, but after 2-3 hours I was kickin' in myself playing 'four brothers' at 220 tempo. The action's pretty good, and it actually felt more comfortable than my Yani! (except the left spatula).

I think I'm getting addicted to Buffet ;-)
User ID: 8959213
Mar 19th 10:13 AM
The SDA weight must have varied from one to the next - mine weighed a ton, lots more than the S1 which has just replaced it. However, I too found that the SDA played great once I got used to it, give it time and you may forget that awkward G#, its partly because its a bit different.
User ID: 9461303
Mar 19th 10:47 AM
By the way, mine has that sparkling lacquer but I believe not all SDA's has this. I wonder if there's any difference in sound, with and without sparkling lacquer.
User ID: 0714654
Mar 19th 2:21 PM
Only have played one S1 and it sounded very weeny
compared to the VI. All this talk gets me curious
though--they do go cheap.
User ID: 8959213
Mar 19th 3:24 PM
Mine was a sparkler. My SDA sounded and played a lot better than the two Mk VI's I played it against, both belonging to serious players so they were not 'lemons' either.
User ID: 9461303
Mar 20th 10:44 AM
I finallly got the G# key working. Bent it a little with a plier so my pinky can reach it faster. Then I attached a piece of cardboard on it so to make it a little soft and slippery. Moves like a charm. The G# key felt so clumbsy and 'sticky' but it works great now.
Matt K
User ID: 0032624
Mar 20th 11:30 PM
I have that sticky G# key problem too. That black touch is really grabby. That carboard idea is good. I'm going to try to find some other material to do the same thing. I'll let you know what I come up with...
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