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Discussion Starter #1
As mentioned in previous posts, I have started my quest for a new tenor.
In this quest I have already noticed something while visiting two Greater NYC area, well known shops.
Instead of the usual “up sell”, I am clearly being “down sold”, and not to cheaper, better horns, but more towards “cheaper, beater, can’t seem to sell these horns” horns.
In two instances now, the salesperson said very similarly that they had “the horn for me” and directed me to horns that I would never consider buying (due to my knowledge gained mostly by this community).

In each case I told them money was no issue, I just want to fall in love with the horn and hopefully make it my last tenor purchase.
Yet instead of an up sell, I am presented with what are clearly dogs they can’t get rid of.
I would expect this at some more lesser known shops, but these are VERY well known shops.

I also got a load of jibber jabber that essentially added up to every sax myth ever laughed at hear on SOTW.
“A new horn takes years to beak in, you don’t want that”.
Two minutes later...”Old horns that haven’t been played in a while need time to cycle through wet/dry play/rest to come back to life”.
From the above, btw, logic says none of them will sound in a play test like they WILL sound later. ??!!!???

“A relacquered MK VI is cheaper because no one wants them but it’s still a great investment to resell cause there are only so many MK VIs in the world”

“This Yamaha 62 is the horn for you, it doesn’t have that Selmer Core (which I told him I wanted) but it plays great” (I told him prior I don’t care for Japanese horns).

One shop directed me to 5 horns I had zero interest in, when I specifically went there to play test 3 others. When I asked the guy why he wasn’t talking to these 3 when I specifically asked about them, his reply...”oh, I don’t like those, they are heavy”

So to all the saxophone shops out there. Hobbyist musicians are equally as important as professionals you like to tout as customers. Listen to them, guide them for sure, but listen to them. They are not targets to dump your slow moving items.
My next horn will be purchased from someone who respects me as a customer and doesn’t make me feel like I am at a used car dealership.

I won’t name names here, but if you PM me I will share my detailed stories with you.
 

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Hi John,
I’m sorry you’ve had a couple bad experiences, so far.
I fully get what you are saying when it comes to the stores trying to get rid of stuff that they are having trouble selling. My recommendation would be to take what you hear here at SOTW and what you hear from the salesmen at the shops, with a grain of salt. You can listen to everybody’s opinion, but the only one that really matters is YOURS. Your personal opinion will only be formed after YOU’VE tried all of the horns for yourself.
I would try everything the store offered, because you may be pleasantly surprised. You may go into the store with some predisposed ideas of what horns are good or not based on what you’ve heard here, but those are just other people’s people’s opinions. Trying out everything for yourself and seeing what you enjoy, is really the way to go. Yes, many modern horns are very heavy, but that may not bother one person, but will bother another. The bottom line is, will it bother you?
There are so many options out there today. If I was doing this, I would try everything I could at the store to see how I felt. I know from being in the mouthpiece business, that one flavor isn’t for everybody. I play through every mouthpiece I can and much of the time, I will try something that I have heard some people say how much they like, and I just think it’s mediocre at best. The bottom line is, I don’t need to play that mouthpiece and just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean someone else wont also. I play what I love, and everyone should have that same experience for themselves. There are different flavors out there for everyone to enjoy when it comes to everything in our lives.....something out there for everyone.
I understand that you had three horns in mind when you went into the store, and they should’ve shown you those first because that’s what you asked for. That was their mistake, and they clearly weren’t listening to the customer.
I would’ve stayed a few hours and just tried everything I could, because you just never know until you try things out for yourself. In the end, they should’ve listened to what you wanted first, and it cost them a sale, and a new happy customer. I understand how you feel for sure.

I hope you find what you are looking for, and I hope you try everything out for yourself no matter what the name or price tag is on the horn, or what you’ve read from others.
All the best, Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As far as opinions, i take them all with a grain of salt, but elevate the ones that ring true via experience. I am very mindful of that.
I also see things 'ring false' when it is clearly nonsense.
Yes, indeeed i am trying EVERYTHING i can. And, I am open to what they say.
By day, I am an engineer/scientist, so i do approach everything very methodically.
 

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It seems like you have decided that you want a Selmer, so why not just get one. I sell a few saxophones as a side business. I have had some experienced players and college Jazz students at my home trying horns. I can give them a new adjusted Taiwan horn to play and they will agree that it plays great. I can put a leaky Selmer vi in their hands and suddenly they think its the best core, tone whatever. Clearly its not, with a horn in poor condition. In two recent cases these players had never played a Vi and didn't know what it was until I told them.

In one case I gave a guy a B&S 2001 and he said immediately that he didn't like it. It didn't have the sound he liked. I put a Guardala in his hands and he thought it was great. They play nearly identical. However he had a Guardala mpc years ago and knew the name. He didn't know that they were both made by B&S.

So this same guy I told not to ask or look at the horn make until after he played it. He was looking for a backup to his s20. The horn he liked the most was an Eastman 640. However he had never heard of the company and couldn't get over it. I actually knew before this all started that he would like the 640 at his budget.

When you say you don't like Japanese horns that leaves only a few more options if you are looking at modern horns. Best selmer like sound is a B&S 2001, or Yamaha 875.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For tenor, at the moment I am leaning towards a new Selmer.
HOWEVER, I have only played the SA80 II. Not the Ref 54,36 or the Series III. Which I am still in need of play testing before I make a decision. I am still open to others but loved the SA80 II, but without comparing the others I won’t pull the trigger just yet.
Up until last week my saxes were a Jupiter bari, saxophone.com alto, tenor and sop, and a chinese curvy sop. I am not a brand snob by any chance.

If I ever upgraded my bari I would move to a Yamaha, but for tenor,
Looking for something different, the SA80 was amazing to me. Amazing enough to make me question how the other 3 sellers sound before making a final decision.

Last week I nabbed a Conn 6M tranny alto. The only reason I had an alto prior was to help my daughter who is learning it. I was not an alto fan. The 6M changed that for me in an instant and I knew I didn’t have to look anywhere else.
Not there yet with tenor.
 

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"I don't care for Japanese horns"? Really? Not any of them? Well, ok, it's a personal choice, but there's a lot of great Yamas and Yanis out there ...

I think salepersons' behavior, as you describe it, is totally unacceptable. If I go to a shop to try a certain horn, I expect to try that horn. Suggestions are welcome, but first, let's try the one I want to try.
 

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Do not give any additional information... I am going to purchase a new tenor, but not sure what I'm looking for..... I just need to try out some NEW horns....
 

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I’m confused by much of this.

If you’re convinced you want the core “Selmer sound” and have only played an SA80II- honestly would not consider that horn, fine as it is to be the standard bearer for the Selmer signature sound. My Selmers all sound and feel different to me. My SA80III is pretty in your face while my VI is darker and more resistant with more complexity to my ears. The only SA80II I played almost felt too easy to play and wasn’t as flexible as my VI. Of course with a sample size of one that doesn’t mean much but a sample size of zero means a whole lot less.

If you don’t like Japanese horns but have no idea what you sound like on a good one - that seems awfully short sighted.

And if I’m running a high end saxophone store my bread and butter is going to be hobbyists.

Simply put they have the money.
 

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You may have been down sold on purchase price, but perhaps you were being up-sold based on the dealer’s profit margin?
 

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your experience is strange. If you came to me Id show you the 12000 dollar Mk6 and let you buy that. Seriously I'd go to the horn connection in Los Angeles and try out anything you want. they have a great selection and like others have said for me the best tenor I tried was a silver yamaha 875. It was the tenor that made everyone in the store turn their head and say wow But I was stupid and passed it up. so try a bunch and if you have to have a selmer, spend the money and buy one. I have a tenor mk 6 but I'd rather play my yas 82Z alto. Just my preferanc.e Ksaxman.com
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I’m confused by much of this.

If you’re convinced you want the core “Selmer sound” and have only played an SA80II- honestly would not consider that horn, fine as it is to be the standard bearer for the Selmer signature sound. My Selmers all sound and feel different to me. My SA80III is pretty in your face while my VI is darker and more resistant with more complexity to my ears. The only SA80II I played almost felt too easy to play and wasn’t as flexible as my VI. Of course with a sample size of one that doesn’t mean much but a sample size of zero means a whole lot less.

If you don’t like Japanese horns but have no idea what you sound like on a good one - that seems awfully short sighted.

And if I’m running a high end saxophone store my bread and butter is going to be hobbyists.

Simply put they have the money.
I have tried all the high end Yanis and Yammy tenors. Not for me
 

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Discussion Starter #14
"I don't care for Japanese horns"? Really? Not any of them? Well, ok, it's a personal choice, but there's a lot of great Yamas and Yanis out there ...

I think salepersons' behavior, as you describe it, is totally unacceptable. If I go to a shop to try a certain horn, I expect to try that horn. Suggestions are welcome, but first, let's try the one I want to try.
I guess I should have stated it differently.
For my new tenor the Japanese horns did not hit the mark. Not they they are not awesome in lots of ways. Just not what I’m looking for.
 

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You may have been down sold on purchase price, but perhaps you were being up-sold based on the dealer’s profit margin?
Bingo.
 

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We all have our ideas about which brands are best, etc., etc., but I'll caution not to generalize and to keep an open mind. By preliminarily eliminating all Japanese saxophones before the fact, you may be passing up a truly great horn (like Keith's experience with the Yamaha in post 11). I've held similar notions only to be proven wrong. DAVE
 

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I didn’t really care for the new Yanagisawa tenors when I gave them a play test.
That was until I tried the simple 901 model.
The more expensive and flashy models were quite ordinary in comparison.
I wasn’t actually looking for a tenor at the time, but if I had the money, I’d have grabbed it anyways.
The Selmers didn’t really ignite my fires either at the time, especially given the ridiculous difference in price.
Particularly the VI they had with a $13000 price tag on it.
The cheap Trevor James horn was a far better player.
 

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If you have your heart set on that Selmer sound, then it seems you need to buy a Selmer. My tenor journey took me through Buffet and Yamaha and Cannonball and Conn and Martin and Yanagisawa (and others) but until I owned a Mark VII and then a Mark VI there was always that question in my mind. I answered that question finally, and it seems you need to answer it also. Have fun!
 

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So to all the saxophone shops out there. Hobbyist musicians are equally as important as professionals you like to tout as customers. Listen to them, guide them for sure, but listen to them.
What they don't get in your case is that a hobbyist in his 50s or older probably has a lot more disposable income than a twenty-something young pro. For many of us old guys a couple thousand extra bucks isn't a deal breaker. I don' t know how it old you are but I assume you are not a kid starting out.

I think I told the story of how I trialed five or six instruments last spring and by the time I finished I was surrounded by 4 or 5 salespeople including the owner. Come to think of it, as I was drooling over the Super 20 and the Keilwerth he was pushing the Chateau, which was a really nice horn by the way.
 

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You may have been down sold on purchase price, but perhaps you were being up-sold based on the dealer';s profit margin?
very good point. I think that was the case in my previous point about being pushed toward the Chateau. More profit margin in the new Vietnamese horn.
 
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