Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Series II vs. Series III

Lind
User ID: 0150524
Jul 15th 9:25 PM
I'm a tenor player, ready to try alto. Could someone tell me the difference between the Selmer II and the Selmer III (other than price of course)
I played both in a store the other day and felt more comfy with the II. But it might just have been my mood (hard to concentrate fully under "in store" conditions).
Also, the horns I played had the standard gold color finish but I love the look of the silver. Any significant diff in the sound?
Any feedback will be appreciated.
stevew
User ID: 8868883
Jul 16th 3:14 AM
There is quite a good comparison of the II and III on Jason Du Mars' saxophone site ('what sax to buy or something similar' - think there's a link form this site) and also on saxophones.co.uk website.

The II is quite established as for quite a few years it was Selmer's only sax, so you see many players of all persuasions using them - especially in classical. There are one or two noticeably out of tune notes to watch out for on this model, though.

When I have tested altos, I never felt comfortable with the II, whereas the feel and response of the III instantly felt at home for me. I own a 'flat matte' finish one, which for some reason has a wonderfully rich sound, akin to my Ref 54 tenor, and the good news is that as an unengraved and fairly plain finish, it is one of the cheaper options too.

I haven't played a silver one, but I agree the look, and the feel of silver in the hands is great.
Lind
User ID: 0150524
Jul 16th 5:58 AM
Thanks Steve. Interestingly enough, I too play a Ref 54 tenor. I'm looking for something different in the alto though, to provide contrast. I'll take your comments into consideration and try the Du Mars site. I too have heard about the intonation problems with the II but never noticed it when I played the horn at the store. I understand that's why they put that extra C-sharp tuning key on the III.
Brice B.
User ID: 0763414
Jul 16th 6:58 AM
Hey Stevew, my flatte matte finally came in! I should have it in about a week. I'm sooo thrilled to get it!

Lind, the silver might be a good idea for you. I've owned several silver altos, and the sound is a little different. It has a more brilliant, or somewhat brighter sound. I really like the tonal range accomplished by silver. It is also an easier finish to take care of, and will age quite well. If you can afford it, it's a very good option!
stevew
User ID: 8868883
Jul 16th 7:47 AM
Brice, did you get yours from saxophones.co.uk? My teacher used to work there and put me on to the first of those that they had in, officially it wasn't available at the time but just turned up in a consignment. Lucky me.

Lind, I also play a Keilwerth alto (an Anniversary) and if you really want a contrast, maybe that's worth a look, like the Ref 54 tenor it has a big sound, but the overall timbre is very different.
Brice B.
User ID: 0763414
Jul 16th 5:01 PM
Yeah, I bought from them. They have a huge waiting list, so I guess i'm lucky to get one!