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Discussion Starter #1
I hope we just got a great deal on a great alto saxophone.

Selmer Paris Super Action 80 Series II Model 52, black finish, For under $3,000.

It is advertised as "mint" with about 15 hours of playing time. The guy bought it new and switched to tenor.

I'm not a sax expert, I purchased this as an upgrade for my daughter, who plays alto in high school and plans to go on to play alto in college.

Please put my mind at ease that I purchased a great horn. One that will last! I was going to buy her a cannonball. Then I browsed around on this forum. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!
 

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You bought a good horn if the particular horn is a good horn. Please tell me she got to play it first.

A Selmer will take her a lot further in college than a cannonball will.

But you got a pretty good deal. A new one will cost at least $3,000 plus taxes.
 

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Black finish will cost you a lot more.

A basic used laquer finish SA80 ii can be got for around $2-2.5k if you shop around.

They are nice horns to be sure, but you pay for the name and reputation big time.

Many people think as a pro level horn the Yanagisawa A901 is at least as good a horn as the Selmer, quite possibly better made, and can be had new for $1800, maybe $1500 or less used.

Its interesting that many of the tiawanese horns (like the antigua and the cannonball you are familiar with) are no longer copying the selmers SA80, but are copying the yani 991 instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, but he assured me if she doesn't like it or if it has problems he will give a full refund. He suggested taking it to our regular repair shop for adjustment before deciding to return it and he would cover any needed repairs. That's how sure he is that he's selling a good horn! I was satisfied with that kind of return policy.

My daughter has little hands. Like size XS gloves had to be specially ordered to wear with her band uniform. I hope this sax fits her hands.
 

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If she has small hands then maybe its worth checking out a Yamaha YAS 23 (or whatever the current yamaha student designation is) for the time being, I understand that they are made with smaller people in mind.

The chances are her current "horrible" AW horn is an exact copy of a SA80. If that doesnt fit her, then the real thing wont either.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The AW fits her hands, it just doesn't play very well. Part of that could be she wasn't as careful with it in 7th grade as she is now in 11th grade. It's had bent keys fixed and pads refitted, etc. but still doesn't play the upper and lower registers very well.

I can't wait to hear her play her new one! It's good to know that AW copied the SA80. I feel a lot better knowing it will have basically the same hand and finger placement. Like I said, I know very little about saxes. I played alto and bass clarinet through school.

Thanks for your opinions and help!
 

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I would still be tempted to pass on the black one. More money for no improvement in performance, and perhaps more likely to look old sooner as it wears. But it sounds like it is a done deal now, so hopefully she appreciates it and takes great care for it. Get the Antigua fixed up for marching duty and baby the SA.

If it was my kid looking for a step up to a pro horn, I would be talking them into trying a Yanagisawa or a B&S as they are much better value for money while still great pro level horns.

But I have to confess that I'm biased as I am waiting for my "new to me" B&S to arrive after finally deciding to upgrade from my non dropped and bent Antigua 520 (which I will be keeping for parade duty). That was less than ~$1100. The rest can go in the kids college fund;)
 

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Grumps said:
Please, please, please... don't let her march with a Series II Selmer. Hold on to the Antigua for that.

I second that! Please do not march that horn. You bought a great horn for your daughter. Good luck with it.
 

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Mom2, you picked a good sax. Considering the condition and the guarantee, you got a reasonable price. Your daughter will be able to use this sax for the rest of her life. Don't be concerned about the picky comments above. You can get a debate on this forum if you say the sun rises in the east.

And DO NOT let her march with it. It's too fine an instrument for that.
 

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Have repairs on the AW and march with that. Or, have it put right and sell it to a new fall beginner, and buy a used YAS-23 here on this forum for $350 +/- and march with that.

Whatever you do, keep the Selmer off the marching field.

Sax Magic
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have been staying away from the YAS 23's because I thought they were an inferior horn, by looking at the price. Do you say don't march with the Selmer because it's fragile? How does the YAS 23 compare to other horns? We'd like to go a little more advanced than a student horn. Thanks for writing! Your assistance in invaluable!
 

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Mom2Saxy said:
Do you say don't march with the Selmer because it's fragile?
No, we say it because marching usually turns into saxual abuse. They get dropped, banged into, stepped on, etc. Keep the beater horn for marching. Music is the least important part of most school marching events, and anyway, brass and drums are the only instruments the audience can hear.

I misunderstood you. I thought you had already purchased the Selmer. If you are still shopping, don't overlook Yanagisawa and Yamaha. The Yamaha 23 is considered to be an excellent and sturdy beginner sax. The Yanagisawa 901 and Yamaha 62 are quality professional saxes that are very reasonably priced.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We have purchased the Selmer. But I guess we need to find a second one she can march with that I won't have an anxiety attack over!

I can call around and see if there's a music store where we can go and try them out. Of course the best deals are going to be from places like this forum, but she'll be able to try some out.

So, the Yana's & Yamaha's. What do you think of Cannonballs? I found one I believe was ID'd as a Knight on another page of this forum. Is that one good to march with? I'm not going to get it if I'm looking at several repairs due to soft metal, which is what I've heard.
 

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Mom2Saxy said:
We have purchased the Selmer. But I guess we need to find a second one she can march with that I won't have an anxiety attack over!

I can call around and see if there's a music store where we can go and try them out. Of course the best deals are going to be from places like this forum, but she'll be able to try some out.

So, the Yana's & Yamaha's. What do you think of Cannonballs? I found one I believe was ID'd as a Knight on another page of this forum. Is that one good to march with? I'm not going to get it if I'm looking at several repairs due to soft metal, which is what I've heard.
You dont need a pro horn or any other new horn to march with. Just get the Antigua you already have fixed up.

In good shape it will play damn near as well as the Selmer anyway, certainly well enough to march with. They are not made of "soft metal" and are full ribbed construction, but like any horn, if you drop it, with dozens of moving parts something will get bent out of shape.

The only reason she thinks its "horrible" is because its been abused in the past and is probably still leaking as a result. Its intrincically a good horn, ideal for marching.

Save your money. Get the Antigua fixed up.
 

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Mom2Saxy said:
We have purchased the Selmer. But I guess we need to find a second one she can march with that I won't have an anxiety attack over!
The primary requirement for a marching sax is that it be cheap and able to play most of the notes. Remember, no one, not even her doting parents, will be able to hear her over the brass and drums. Musicality doesn't really enter into it. A used, ugly, but playable Yamaha 23, or old 21, would be ideal, but a lot of others would work.

Please don't buy a Yanagisawa and subject it to marching. They deserve better.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yep, I'm a doting parent! LOL

There are only 40 kids in band this year and 6 of them are alto players. The brass players are all freshman and so the band director gave the lead parts to the greatest players, the altos!

I'm going to take her Antigua back to the shop as soon as the Selmer gets here. We're going to have to cross our fingers that the Selmer survives a football game or two while the Antigua is getting repaired. I'll be in the stands right next to the band to hold the Selmer while she's not in the stands.

Thanks for all of your advice! If it turns out the Antigua isn't fixable, I'll know what to look for.
 

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I'll tell you a story Mom2Saxy about when I was in marching band, way back when...

I had a Selmer Signet alto, and because it said "Selmer" and also didn't have "Bundy" on the bell, I thought I really had something decent, so I didn't want to march with it. I ended up picking out a long forgotten alto from the band room closet. A real junker, but solid as a rock. Well, I marched with that old piece of junk for two years, though for some strange reason it did seem to have a nice sound. Well, that old junker was a King Super 20 which can go for about two grand on Ebay these days. The Signet? Oh, I still have it, and my son used it for years as well. Great horn... but worth about $200 tops.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Grumps, that's a great story! Some of those older saxes were built like tanks but sounded oh, so pretty. I remember being in elementary school band class and this kid brought in an old sax. It was tarnished and worn and I still remember the smell, like old musty metal. You could smell it across the room every time he opened his case. The band director complained until he got a good look at it and asked the kid where he got it. He said his grandpa was so and so and this was his horn he played. It turned out his grandpa was a very well known jazz musician and the band director changed his tune quick! I don't remember what the horn was, only that everyone was very impressed.

I've placed a WTB in that section of this forum for an alto in the $350-400 range. Hopefully we'll get a gem!
 
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