Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We are wanting to buy a new/better alto sax for our son. I have tried searching for honest reviews on these models but have not found them yet. We know someone selling their Super action 80 Series I alto and we have found several listings for a SeriesIII. Is one better than another? Any other suggestions? Our son is going into 7th grade and we want a good sax that will last through high school or college. We are new to the sax field so pardon us if these sound like rudimentary questions.
Thanks for your help!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Sioux!
you're doing the right thing! I'll be eternally grateful to my Dad for having invested in a MkVII alto for me as soon as I got serious with the sax (ie within weeks after having started lessons as a teenager).
I am speaking now about my experience with tenors series I and III (the III I played being a limited edition with matte body). I believe it is transferrable to alto.
The series I are great, consistent horns. The SIII I played was great too, but I heard they may not be consistent (I mean there are lots of bad SIII from what my former sax teacher said).
I'd say go for the Series I, you can't go wrong if it is in good condition and fairly priced. No need to invest more just to get a Series III. Plus my theory is, a horn which has been played more sounds even better (provided it has been taken care of).

There are small differences in construction (eg adjustment mechanisms) between the SI and SIII and also as far as ergonomics are concerned (eg I find the left hand palm keys more comfortable on the SIII), but my view is that they are so similar that if there is a price difference for cosmetically comparable horns you'd be better off going for the SI. Have it tested by an experienced sax player (your son's teacher?) though!

Finally... if you invest in a Selmer it should go beyond college... well taken care of... till your son's old days.
Hope this helps...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
I don't know about a Series III, but my parents got me a Series I in 1982 when they first came out.

I'm 40 now and I'm still playing the horn. It has been very consistent. Matter of fact, I did not spend a dime on the horn until last year when I finally got a complete overhaul (actually a rebuild). It has lasted for 25 years and I expect it to last another 25. I play at church, in a local swing band, and a blues/rock band.

I wouldn't trade my Series I for any other horn.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
878 Posts
I had a Series I back in the 80's. I'd give anything to have that horn back. If you can find one in good shape, it's a keeper for sure.

Also, do some research on the Yamaha 82z. It's significantly less money than modern Selmers and on par or better than the SA80 II or III, in my opinion. If money is no object, try to find a good Reference 54.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
The series I is a great horn, and you can get these for a bit less depending on where you buy them.

The series III alto's are also great, and so are the series II alto's.

Basically, it's hard to miss in the Super Action 80 series. There are differences in each horn though, so it would be a good idea to have your son or his instructor, or both play any horn you consider.

Of course, regardless of the brand, it is pretty important to play the horn before it is purchased, unless there is a good return policy from the seller.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
878 Posts
joelsp said:
Of course, regardless of the brand, it is pretty important to play the horn before it is purchased, unless there is a good return policy from the seller.
Very good point which I forgot to mention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hey, thanks for all the tips! We also saw a Yahama YAS875 that looks nice.My son's tutor said that Yahama"s rods tend to bend easy. Anyone seen this problem? Any opinions about the 875? I will research the Yam 82Z you mentioned.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015
Joined
·
3,383 Posts
Honestly, you would do MORE than right by your son if you picked up ANY of the pro-level horns from Selmer France, Yamaha, Yanagisawa, or Keilworth. There's others too that would be great for him to PLAY, but those brands probably hold their value the best of the pack.

Ultimately, the most important thing you can do is to have the new horn set up by a competent technician. New horns DO NOT necessarily play well out of the box - they typically need a couple of hundred dollars of set-up to get right, regardless of the manufacturer (although some are better than others).

Especially considering he's just starting out, really ANY of the above horns would be dandy. So, if I were you, I'd go after bang-for-the buck... get him a pro Yamaha... I think they are the least expensive of the main brands, and as far as quality? Well, if it's good enough for Phil Woods, I guess it's OK for your son. But if he HAS to have a Selmer, take your pick of the Series I, II, or III... whatever you can find for a good price, IMO. But, GET IT SET UP.

My 2 cents....

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your 2 cents! I did not realize that the saxes needed to be "serviced" when you first get them. We are new to this. The rest of the family are percussionists. We know drums but a little green on sax. We are learning though, thanks to everyone on this website.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
siouxgang said:
Hey, thanks for all the tips! We also saw a Yahama YAS875 that looks nice.My son's tutor said that Yahama"s rods tend to bend easy. Anyone seen this problem? Any opinions about the 875? I will research the Yam 82Z you mentioned.
The Yami Custom 875 is a pro-level instrument, sometimes labelled as "classical" while the 82z is "for jazz". I think this is just a marketing strategy (like the Bueschers in their day). Consider this:

Friend of mine has been playing intensively on a 875 (tenor) since they came out (pro dance band). Bought his 2nd one 2 yrs ago. Claims that the lacquer holds much better than on Selmers.

Guest jazz pro on our end-of-semester big band concert played on 875 (alto). Wouldn't change it for the world.

Friend of mine pro jazz player bought a 875 as back up to his MkVI. It was the best modern horn for him.

Now I am not a pro but had a 875 tenor for a while before it became an overkill to keep it (I switched to bari). I found it had the same tonal/mechanical qualities of the Yanagisawa T992 (bronze) for several hundred $ less.

In conclusion the 875 is one of the best modern horns around, period. Note that the recent 875-EX may not be as good (it seems they are not as sturdy...time will tell).

About rod bending easily, I had this experience with early (1960s built) Yanagisawas, not Yamahas. I don't think the modern Yamahas (or Yanagisawas) have this problem.

All your options (Selmer SI, SIII, Yami 875) are Pro level horns. It's a matter of checking how much additional $work is needed now or in the near future (eg if pads are very worn).
Again, pls get them test played by an experienced player (who is not prejudiced against a particular brand), and get the best deal of the 3...

Good luck!
 

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2008-2017
Joined
·
2,244 Posts
No way going wrong.

You already may have found a lot of referals to the difference in sound, projection, but honestly the mouthpiece and reed have a lot to do too.

Selmer? No way going wrong. If it comes to me, I would pick the Series III because it is a modern horn and has some features the Series I does not. My favourite one? Not the Mark VI that I own, but the Series II.

Anyway you go you'll go right.

All the best,

JI
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
I will just add that I saw you mention a Yamaha horn. Again, the 875, the 62, the 82z, all great, but the same advice on making sure it plays well applies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
Selmer Paris saxes are very well engineered and should last many decades with proper handling. Are you sure a 12 year old can take care of it? These horns have always been expensive even back in the day when a new one could command 300 USD, so I've been told. Don't be surprised to spend a little extra, but realistically not hundreds extra, to have it looked at much the same way as a new automobile is serviced before it's driven off the lot. It should be no surprise when your 7th grader doesn't automatically sound like a pro. I've heard some people manage to make a Selmer Paris sound hideous (to put it mildly). :?

Edited by DXCamp: I have owned a SA 80 II since 1994. When I could access the internet I found customer reviews giving this make and model 5 stars out of 5 across the board by folks of many backgrounds. The only make and model saxophone I've seen to be rated so highly by the end user. :)
A past co-worker who had a background in banking referred to my saxophone as a "capital asset."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
It really depends, i used to have a Series I alto which was really good. On 2006 i went IAJE and I had some time to go to Robertos store and started playing some horns. I tried a Series II which I totally fell in love with, I felt it more confortable than my Series I, the Mark VIs i tried and even the new Reference.

I bought the Series II and im really satisfied, gives me that sexy warm, dark sound sort of like maceo parker! which is great for me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
I own a series 3 alto - I find it very responsive and it has many uses - I know people play them alot for classical here. Alot of my Jazz friends make fun of me for my series 3 but they all know I have the better sound (even when they own fancy vintage horns) - which isn't nescesarrily because I'm playing this horn I think the horn i sounded best on was an SBA I fell in love with but couldn't afford without losing a few organs and my soul to the devil.

anyways I found that the series one was a bit too stuffy and unresponsive - I tried a second hand one in a shop and it really didn't suit me. However like everyone has been saying - you really have to get the horns set up yourself. The horn itself felt nice to play.

I will say this - have your son try the horns out just like everyone else is saying. which ever one feels better for him will be the better bet.

also - the best part of influence to the sound comes from your son's technique. Then it will be the mouthpiece. Then it will be the horn.

Good Luck
--Ben
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top