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Today I went to The String and Horn Shop in Bryan, TX to go pick up some reeds. Finding some reeds was "an experience" but I finally settled on some La Voz Mediums. I asked the owner if he had any Selmers in the back and he told me he had a couple, including a Mark VI. I told him I had never even seen a Mark VI much less played one. The closest I've come to seeing one was a guy playing a Mark VII at a competition (way back in the day). A minute later he comes out with a Mark VI alto and a Series III alto. Not only did he let me play the horns, he gave me a reed and let me use a C* S80 to try them out. I played the Mark VI for about 10 minute. It was the GREATEST 10 minutes of my life. This thing sang! It had no resistance, and had great tone. It was in need of repair, I'm sure it had a leak in the lower stack somewhere. However, this did not hinder it's amazing sound. I put it down and moved on to the Series III. I played it for less than a minute before I switched back to the Mark VI. The Series III felt heavy and had not-as-good ergonomics. It had a lot of resistance compared to the Mark VI. I played the Mark VI a little longer and put them away and returned them to the shop owner. He laughed and asked "Are you in love?", to which my prompt reply was "Oh yeah." I am definitely going to buy a Mark VI in the near future (after I sell my 83 911...). Anyone else do a side-by-side with a new Paris horn?
 

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Glad to see people are actually reading this, lol
 

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Yeah, my personal experience is that the new Selmers, although great horns, don't match up to the Mark VI. I guess it depends on what you're looking for in a horn.
 

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I did a side by side with a VI, a series III and a Mauriat alto. (I'm no alto player) The VI was SO much better sounding and better playing than the III. (Both were set up fine). It was really no contest. (I'm not even speaking of the Mauriat)
 

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I did do a side by side with a Series III and my VI, though this was years back (like 10 years ago). Wasn't very impressed with the Series III. Action is quicker on the VI, but what bugged me about the III was its tone. Seemed more mellow and slightly darker than Series I/II horns, but it didn't feel like it had a beefy core like the VI, and was less tonally flexible. Felt like both the Yamaha and Yanagisawa pro horns had more character than the III.
 

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I am definitely going to buy a Mark VI in the near future (after I sell my 83 911...). Anyone else do a side-by-side with a new Paris horn?
Many times.

However I would suggest you don't just buy any MKVI because you liked that one. They can be very very different to each other. Buy the one you try.
 

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Yes absolutely. If you really liked the one you tried, find the money and go back and buy it before someone else does. I would say that your experience is fairly typical, but if you wait you may not find the next one you try is as good.
 

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I just want to second the last two posts. I have no experience with the VI altos, but have owned a VI tenor for nearly 30 years. I've tried several other VI tenors (other player's horns) and every single one of them was different. I found it very surprising to find such difference among the same brand, but it's there. I don't know if this is as true with other brands, but it's certainly true for the MKVI.
 

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I did do a side by side with a Series III and my VI, though this was years back (like 10 years ago). Wasn't very impressed with the Series III. Action is quicker on the VI, but what bugged me about the III was its tone. Seemed more mellow and slightly darker than Series I/II horns, but it didn't feel like it had a beefy core like the VI, and was less tonally flexible.
If you tried a III that seemed mellow, it must have had packing material in the bell or a bunch o' leaks (likely the latter).

The Serie III is anything but a mellow and dark horn.
 

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Ditto about each VI sounding very different. I wouldn't buy one based on the name/brand alone.

The Serie III is anything but a mellow and dark horn.
Oh I wasn't saying it's not a dark horn at all, I was saying it seemed slightly darker with respect to the Series II horn (which I find are even brighter). It felt middle-of-the-road to me--Yamaha is brighter (YAS62), Yanagisawa (992) darker. None of the newer horns I've played had a vintage sound, but I've yet to touch a reference 54.
 

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You would probably need about another $5000 after you sell the 911. Or you could keep the 911 and spend the $5000 keeping it running.
As much as (almost) everyone on here seems to not want to admit it. I think we all have that opinion after playing a MarkVI compared to other horns.
 

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I learned to play the saxophone on a Mark VI low-A bari. I had no idea what I was playing at the time, other than it was "really expensive" and to be careful with it...needless to say, nothing has ever matched that.

The intonation was so good on that horn -- I'd tune to G and everything was perfect, all the way down to low A. I was totally dumbfounded when I started on my next horn - a 50's Conn stencil (Wurlitzer) Alto. I couldn't understand why my low notes were going flat.
 

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I did a side by side with a VI, a series III and a Mauriat alto. (I'm no alto player) The VI was SO much better sounding and better playing than the III. (Both were set up fine). It was really no contest. (I'm not even speaking of the Mauriat)
Forgot to mention that the VI, as great as it was, could not hold a candle to a Conn 6M I played a few days later. THAT was a proper alto.
 

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You would probably need about another $5000 after you sell the 911. Or you could keep the 911 and spend the $5000 keeping it running.
As much as (almost) everyone on here seems to not want to admit it. I think we all have that opinion after playing a MarkVI compared to other horns.
Or you could call 911 and tell them you're a 5150 and would like to sell the 911 for $5150 and go get yourself a nice new Reference 36.

Or just call 5 0 and tell them another 5150 told you to sell the 911 or keep it and keep the motor running. Or something like that. And tell them the other 5150 got you to admit that we all get that feeling after comparing the new ( old ) VI to the 911 and to other horns that weren't even there.

And tell them you got that opinion after playing a VI.

Don't we all?

10 4 over and out.
 

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None of the newer horns I've played had a vintage sound....
Just curious, but what is a vintage sound? I'll admit that the vintage horns (including the VI) I've played are different to any modern horn I've tried, but I'm not sure I can say exactly what that difference is. Is there a generic "vintage sound??"
 

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Just curious, but what is a vintage sound? I'll admit that the vintage horns (including the VI) I've played are different to any modern horn I've tried, but I'm not sure I can say exactly what that difference is. Is there a generic "vintage sound??"
This is a vintage sound.


 

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Superba,
One of the cruelist things ever done to me, was when I was put in a rehersal room and told "Hey man, try whatever you want!". My friend, who has a lot of $ to spend on horns, has a private rehersal room containing no less than 3 MK VI altos, 2 tenors, 1 bari, and several other very nice horns of various models.
So, side-by-side. Yes. Did I also go home to my little shack and cry.........you bet.
 

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It's amazing that these sweeping generalizations are made about models after playing one or two horns.
I find that newer horns are a lot more consistent in how they sound. I pick up a Yamaha, I know it's not going to sound like a Buffet.

Just curious, but what is a vintage sound? I'll admit that the vintage horns (including the VI) I've played are different to any modern horn I've tried, but I'm not sure I can say exactly what that difference is. Is there a generic "vintage sound??"
Granted it's subjective and people will differ on this, but I find it's the fatness of the sound.
 
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