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Discussion Starter #1
I just wanted to share on this forum my total enthusiasm about the Selmer Serie III tenor.
I had the opportunity to play most of the modern Selmer tenor saxophones during the recent years, along with some MarkVI and a Balanced Action. I also played the new Yanagisawa TW10 and the P.Mauriat 66RX.
For very stranger reasons I never considered the Serie III as an option ... don't ask me why ... I don't know :)
I played the new Ref horns, both the Ref54 and the Ref36. These are, without any doubt, excellent horns but I found difficult to build a solid connection with them .. lack of character?
I also had the opportunity to play a Yanagisawa TWO10. I must confess that this sax was a dream to play but I did not care about the tone.
Now let's talk about the Serie III tenor that I bought recently from a pro swiss player ...
This is a second hand tenor model from 2008 in pristine condition. From the first notes I did connect with this wonderful instrument. It is light, the mechanics is super fast and the keys offer a very nice resistance.
Tone wise, the Serie III has this super nice compactness and crispness of Selmer and it gives a feeling of direct and immediate response with great clarity.
What impressed me also was the projection and the response in both the altissimo and low register (super rich). A real tenor on steroïds IMO.
I am perhaps gifted to own a Serie III perfectly maintained and regulated but for me, the Serie III is by far the best modern Selmer available today and even perhaps the best modern tenor on the market today.
Buying a Serie III second hand is a very good deal, as there is no (crazy) speculation about them like the MarkVI.
 

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I've heard good things from many people. I plan to take a look at all of them at NAMM in January. Depending on what you mean by character, that could be the opposite of what someone wants in a II rather than the III, probably preferring a horn that is super versatile that gets out of the way. The IIIs I've heard definitely have more punch. Either way, all of the modern ones are good, and definitely reasonably priced on the second hand market. I don't see why anyone wouldn't get a recent Selmer and then pay a tech for a decent setup.
 

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I have owned one s3 tenor and while it was a nice professional instrument it lacked character. What is character? To me it is a certain twist, a buzz in the tone...my s3 was a bit bland in the tone department especially in the upper register. But as I said, a good pro horn overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I see what you mean Roger.
What is specific to the S3 for me is this very direct feedback from the horn and the punch of it. A kind of horn that will take all what you throw at it, without any feeling of saturation. This is for me the quality of a great horn, you don't need to compromise on anything, it is super versatile. This "in your face" feeling is really addictive, especially for funk. In addition I am very much surprised on the richness of the low register, considering that the S3 can be classified as a "bright" horn.

I have owned one s3 tenor and while it was a nice professional instrument it lacked character. What is character? To me it is a certain twist, a buzz in the tone...my s3 was a bit bland in the tone department especially in the upper register. But as I said, a good pro horn overall.
 

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Marc, I like the TWO1 better than the TWO10.
Similar to a Serie III compared to a Serie II maybe.
 

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Threads like these make me wonder... many stores will have one of each model to try, like one YTS-62 or Custom Z or Series III etc. So many of them aren't setup well, then you leave thinking "Wow YTS-62's are crap!" Or you play one that's setup well and think it's the best model horn ever made... or you happen to try one that's a dog etc.

Wouldn't someone have to try, I don't know, 3-5 of each model (setup well) to really get a feel for what a certain model of sax brings to the table? I hesitate to laud or damn an entire model based on one horn I've tried.
 

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Threads like these make me wonder... many stores will have one of each model to try, like one YTS-62 or Custom Z or Series III etc. So many of them aren't setup well, then you leave thinking "Wow YTS-62's are crap!" Or you play one that's setup well and think it's the best model horn ever made... or you happen to try one that's a dog etc.

Wouldn't someone have to try, I don't know, 3-5 of each model (setup well) to really get a feel for what a certain model of sax brings to the table? I hesitate to laud or damn an entire model based on one horn I've tried.
I guess that would depend on the size and focus of the business.

I know that was certainly true with a lot of the horns hanging on the walls at L&M when I worked there. They were always having to go to the back to get tweaked when people wanted to play them.

But at a local brass and woodwind shop my bet is that all the horns on display are players or are at least not in need of fixing right there on the spot.

I know that's the case for a couple of the smaller shops around here.
 

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I was looking at both tenors and altos this past spring and I also was surprised by how good the Series III horns were. I went in thinking that I would like the Reference 54 (alto) and 36 (tenor) but came out thinking that the Series III was the best current model Selmer. I ended up with the Yanigasawa AWO10 though because I felt they were really close overall and the AWO10 was less than half the price. On tenor, I actually preferred the Yamaha 875EX which I actually hadn't even considered previously. The particular horn I played just knocked my socks off.

By the way, nearly all the horns I tried out were new and well adjusted or vintage and completely ready to go (I looked in NJ and NY and there were some great shops).
 

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I see what you mean Roger.
What is specific to the S3 for me is this very direct feedback from the horn and the punch of it. A kind of horn that will take all what you throw at it, without any feeling of saturation. This is for me the quality of a great horn, you don't need to compromise on anything, it is super versatile. This "in your face" feeling is really addictive, especially for funk. In addition I am very much surprised on the richness of the low register, considering that the S3 can be classified as a "bright" horn.
Yeah get what you say, i did not find it especially bright either. Enjoy your horn, it sounds like you found the right tool for you!
 

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I agree -the Serie 111 is the best modern Selmer. If this horn had come after the V1 -no MK V11- then H Selmer would without doubt, have continued to rule the saxophone world . Basically, they are V1's on steroids. Back in the '70's saxophone players would have been 'wetting themselves' with excitement and anticipation for these horns,especially the tenors.
I suppose many of the younger guys on here think the above statement is crazy but, it's true. Apart from King Super 20's -which were mostly unheard of in Europe/UK- Selmer Paris horns were the gold standard for the 'boomer' generation. The Japanese had yet to make even a ripple on the market,amplification was rudimentary compared to now -it was a modern forward thinking age-players were looking forward not back, the Serie 111 with it's immediate response and solid altissimo ,slick keywork and reliable intonation was or would have been THE saxophone for many years to come-unfortunately, it came 25 years too late-such is life!
 

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Depending on what you mean by character, that could be the opposite of what someone wants in a II rather than the III, probably preferring a horn that is super versatile that gets out of the way.
Saxophones don't have character. Players have character. Maybe some saxophones have such a dominant tone they stop you getting your own tone across a bit, but to me that still has nothing to do with "character" which is more about sound than it is about tone.
 

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I was looking at both tenors and altos this past spring and I also was surprised by how good the Series III horns were. I went in thinking that I would like the Reference 54 (alto) and 36 (tenor) but came out thinking that the Series III was the best current model Selmer. I ended up with the Yanigasawa AWO10 though because I felt they were really close overall and the AWO10 was less than half the price.
I mentioned in my thread comparing the Series III and Series II altos that I think the Series III shows definite Japanese design influence. My Series III alto and my Yany A990μ share key desirable traits: great response up and down the horn, excellent intonation, spot-on ergonomics, and a flexible tone. I'm not surprised that you noticed a similarity.
 

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Interesting comparison. My tech said they had excellent ergonomics and intonation even though he went for a reference for what sounds like similar reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Interesting comparison. My tech said they had excellent ergonomics and intonation even though he went for a reference for what sounds like similar reasons.
Indeed, I checked today and the intonation is super accurate through the range. Impressive compared to my BA.
 

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I'm of the same mind as the OP. I feel like there's a wider frequency range potential that saxes such as the SIII capture well. If they have that, you can push the tone you want towards either extreme with your tone concept, or with the aid of mouthpiece and reed setup. I feel some saxes have a truncated frequency response, that can't get the same extreme [basically brighter]. Which is fine, if you want an airy, smokey, "complex", restrained tone. I'm enjoying an SIII neck on a MVI for a brighter sound, and its easier blowing too, so maybe it is all about the neck. the SIII is highest on my list for a next sax - if I ever need a next sax. I'm content with my collection at the moment.
 

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This comparison is not with the most hq sound but it sums up my experience with the s3 tenor

https://youtu.be/fDr5HZ4bqkY
The comparison might be a little favored, as it sounds to me, he pushed his tone concept brighter progressively as time went on. I was expecting the Martin to be less bright, but by the time he got there, maybe he was going brighter? The Super 20 sounded forced, like it needed some setup or something? He didn't sound comfortable with it imo. Also, I liked the SIII best until the last horn, the 87, which sounded loudest and brightest to me, free-est blowing, more comfortable. I toggled back and forth with it and the SIII. But, he could have just been fully warmed up by the last horn, lol. Nice video, thanks for posting.
 

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I have us friend who dumped his clunky Super 20 for a Series III. His playing took a huge leap forward and he was already a good player.
 

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I've got one which I haven't played for a while, perhaps its time to let it go. I'd tried to sell it some time ago with no success. But if anyone is interested........
 
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