Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,150 Posts
There has been some activity on the "Why can't Selmer remake the Mark VI" thread lately. My opinion is this - the actual reason people prefer their Mark VI is that they are lighter. They mostly don't have a high F# key, the ribs are smaller, it's just an overall leaner instrument.

This video is correct in one area - Jay mentions the neck as being the key to a great horn. My Mark VI (a middle of the road horn, TBH) has been vastly improved by an aftermarket neck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
I do think for the most part the Mark VI is overpriced and overhyped but I do believe that it is the Gold Standard to compare all modern horns to since it is the 1st modern horn. Are there better horns out there? It depends greatly on the criteria we are using to measure as better? Sound and tone is extremely important but so is build Quality. The Mark VI because they vary so much should be treated on a horn by horn basis. I suggest buying them only after trying them against other mark VI's. I also have found that when they are set up properly many of the bad to ok VI's take a big leap forward. it is an imperfect horn but maybe that is precisely why it is soo great. The tone is IMO second to none, the keywork and action are amazing and to top it off it might be one of the most versatile horns ever made. If you are patient and any good at haggling you can get a players horn Alto from $3000-$4000 depending on many different factors and a tenor $4300-$5300. Private sales are another ball park entirely and if you really want to get one on the cheap then estate and garage sales are your best bet. I haven't found a whole lot of Mark VI's at either but I have found 8 Martins, 5 Beuschers, 4Conns, 2 Kings but only 1 Mark VI and I don't get to these estate Sales very often. It does help I live in Florida.
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,247 Posts
The funny thing is that the A lister jazz players are all switching from MkVIs to SBAs...and they sound GREAT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,519 Posts
The interesting thing to me is that a VI "locks you in" to the VI sound way more than people are willing to discuss from my experience. I suppose it's because people hear that sound in their head as "the sax sound" considering all of the heavies that have played it. I'm a 10M guy and after 30 something years of playing, playing countless horns, I can tell you that a 10M has a far wider tonal palette than a VI. I suppose most people just want that VI sound.

It does make me chuckle when I hear folks complaining how "one dimensional" a Yamaha is tonally, and how a VI is not so. But again, the heavies are going to BAs, SBAs for a reason. They sound better. A more complex and rich tone that far surpasses the nasal punch of a VI to my ear. (At least on tenor)

Has anyone else (I'm addressing equally adept classical AND jazz players) noticed that the jazz tenor tone is going in the "classical" direction related to tone, inflection, and frankly....ideas. Straight Bop is (and has been) on the way out and this new breed....with more conceptual ideas and improvisations placed above "bop lines" are creating colors and ideas that are almost third stream. I personally love it! Jazz is growing in new and unexpected ways.

Ben Wendel, Melissa Aldana, Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, etc.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
923 Posts
Ben Wendel, Melissa Aldana, Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, etc.....
Interesting, that all four of those that you highlight are now playing on SBAs.

Maybe the days of cheap mark sixes is just around the corner....but I don’t think so, somehow. Onwards and upwards, I expect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
I do think for the most part the Mark VI is overpriced and overhyped but I do believe that it is the Gold Standard to compare all modern horns to since it is the 1st modern horn. Are there better horns out there? It depends greatly on the criteria we are using to measure as better? Sound and tone is extremely important but so is build Quality. The Mark VI because they vary so much should be treated on a horn by horn basis. I suggest buying them only after trying them against other mark VI's. I also have found that when they are set up properly many of the bad to ok VI's take a big leap forward. it is an imperfect horn but maybe that is precisely why it is soo great. The tone is IMO second to none, the keywork and action are amazing and to top it off it might be one of the most versatile horns ever made. If you are patient and any good at haggling you can get a players horn Alto from $3000-$4000 depending on many different factors and a tenor $4300-$5300. Private sales are another ball park entirely and if you really want to get one on the cheap then estate and garage sales are your best bet. I haven't found a whole lot of Mark VI's at either but I have found 8 Martins, 5 Beuschers, 4Conns, 2 Kings but only 1 Mark VI and I don't get to these estate Sales very often. It does help I live in Florida.
Well, there are a couple of things in your statement I disagree with. One being the Mark VI as the first modern horn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfdAVy3ef9g&t=372s . I also don't agree on the second to none tone statement. But, when it comes to sound everybody has a distinct opinion what that is, so I will not make any comparisons. As an alto player I can say there are a few alto players that play the MKIV that I really dig, one being Kenny Garrett. And while I really dig his sound, mine is at the total opposite end of the spectrum. But, I have no doubt that if Kenny started playing a Yamaha tomorrow, he'd sound pretty much the same. Anyway, I think what's frustrating to most non MKVI players is all the hype about it being the greatest. If people think that their "holy grail" justify's overpaying for a saxophone, have at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Just to put it into perspective:

Stradivarius violin in pristine condition sold for $15.9 million

Fender Stratocaster, which sold for $2.7 million in 2015

Steinway Alma Tadema; it sold for $1.2 million in 1997


Still complaining?

:]
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,047 Posts
I think what's frustrating to most non MKVI players is all the hype about it being the greatest. If people think that their "holy grail" justify's overpaying for a saxophone, have at it.
Why should it frustrate a non-Mk VI player? Sheesh, I would think they'd just point and laugh. So people with VI's dig their horns. That no skin off anyone. It's the people that are just now buying into the hoax that get crushed - no one else.

FWIW, I played Selmers for a couple decades, then discovered another brand that I prefer. I still listen to people that play, whether on horns by Selmer, Buescher, Conn, King, etc., ad nauseum. I really don't care what they use as long as their sound doesn't suck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,528 Posts
Why should it frustrate a non-Mk VI player? Sheesh, I would think they'd just point and laugh. So people with VI's dig their horns. That no skin off anyone. It's the people that are just now buying into the hoax that get crushed - no one else.

FWIW, I played Selmers for a couple decades, then discovered another brand that I prefer. I still listen to people that play, whether on horns by Selmer, Buescher, Conn, King, etc., ad nauseum. I really don't care what they use as long as their sound doesn't suck.
Well Dr.G I do agree, in the fact that I don't care what anyone plays. If they sound good on whatever horn they play kudos to them. I guess what I find frustrating is that people keep buying into this crap. I wouldn't tell anyone not to buy a MKIV if they could get one at the right price and they truly found their dream horn. But, when it come to saxophones I think the old golf adage holds true. It ain't the arrow, it's the Indian. Charlie Parker played horns held together with rubber-bands. There are a thousand guys out there with MKIV's that are never gonna sound like Bird.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,047 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
The interesting thing to me is that a VI "locks you in" to the VI sound way more than people are willing to discuss from my experience. I suppose it's because people hear that sound in their head as "the sax sound" considering all of the heavies that have played it. I'm a 10M guy and after 30 something years of playing, playing countless horns, I can tell you that a 10M has a far wider tonal palette than a VI. I suppose most people just want that VI sound.

It does make me chuckle when I hear folks complaining how "one dimensional" a Yamaha is tonally, and how a VI is not so. But again, the heavies are going to BAs, SBAs for a reason. They sound better. A more complex and rich tone that far surpasses the nasal punch of a VI to my ear. (At least on tenor)

Has anyone else (I'm addressing equally adept classical AND jazz players) noticed that the jazz tenor tone is going in the "classical" direction related to tone, inflection, and frankly....ideas. Straight Bop is (and has been) on the way out and this new breed....with more conceptual ideas and improvisations placed above "bop lines" are creating colors and ideas that are almost third stream. I personally love it! Jazz is growing in new and unexpected ways.

Ben Wendel, Melissa Aldana, Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, etc.....
Interesting. I've never played an SBA - partly because I'm scared I would like it and know I couldn't afford one! But I've played some great Conn, and I'd agree they have a different sound. Bigger, more spread, less focussed, darkish with punch.

Genuine question, do you really think a VI locks you into a sound when Joe Henderson, Getz, Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Sonny, Brecker, Dex, all played one (for atleast some of their playing career) and sound totally different?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,519 Posts
A VI sounds like a VI is all I’m saying.

Of course they all sound different because the input is different. It’s the player, not the horn.

I can personally get a wider variety of colors out of a 10M than a VI.

Interesting. I've never played an SBA - partly because I'm scared I would like it and know I couldn't afford one! But I've played some great Conn, and I'd agree they have a different sound. Bigger, more spread, less focussed, darkish with punch.

Genuine question, do you really think a VI locks you into a sound when Joe Henderson, Getz, Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Sonny, Brecker, Dex, all played one (for atleast some of their playing career) and sound totally different?
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top