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Just a curious post - I see a lot of people on here speaking with authority on Selmer design and manufacturing processes 50-70 years ago. Most of these people are maybe 50-60 years old at best and many of them are a lot younger and likely never have even travelled to France in their life. I get the feeling these are just a bunch of old wives tales that were made up on SOTW or similar settings. Any thoughts?
 

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Which Selmer factory? There are a lot of people that went to the Elkhart Factory, which you can still do today and watch how it works. They don't build saxes anymore though:(

I have met multiple people that went there when VIs were still being made and even 2 guys that worked there for years.

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These people know what went down. They went there, met all the important people and got all the info, and we saw and heard it all.

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... I see a lot of people on here speaking with authority on Selmer design and manufacturing processes 50-70 years ago. Most of these people are maybe 50-60 years old at best...
All the historical information has probably been captured in old reddit posts from that era.
 

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Which Selmer factory? There are a lot of people that went to the Elkhart Factory, which you can still do today and watch how it works. They don't build saxes anymore though:(

I have met multiple people that went there when VIs were still being made and even 2 guys that worked there for years.

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I don't think you really meant to imply this but Selmer Paris saxophones were not 'made' at Selmer USA. They arrived from France unfinished and were finished and assembled there. They did make saxophones in Elkhart, including Signet, Bundy, Buescher (after the buyout) and of course the Selmer USA horns. For many years they also did overhauls which are still legendary. It was quite a blow when they stopped that service. Imagine getting your Selmer Paris sax overhauled at the very place where it was originally assembled and finished, by some of the same people, using the same pads, felts, springs, parts and lacquer as the new horns.
 

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Re: How do people know "what went down" at the Selmer Factory many years ago?

I don't think you really meant to imply this but Selmer Paris saxophones were not 'made' at Selmer USA. They arrived from France unfinished and were finished and assembled there. They did make saxophones in Elkhart, including Signet, Bundy, Buescher (after the buyout) and of course the Selmer USA horns. For many years they also did overhauls which are still legendary. It was quite a blow when they stopped that service. Imagine getting your Selmer Paris sax overhauled at the very place where it was originally assembled and finished, by some of the same people, using the same pads, felts, springs, parts and lacquer as the new horns.
You are correct. Build / assemble. The assembly process was quite thorough though!

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Just a curious post - I see a lot of people on here speaking with authority on Selmer design and manufacturing processes 50-70 years ago. Most of these people are maybe 50-60 years old at best and many of them are a lot younger and likely never have even travelled to France in their life. I get the feeling these are just a bunch of old wives tales that were made up on SOTW or similar settings. Any thoughts?
I've been to the Selmer factory in Paris, what would you like to know?
 

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I've been to the Selmer factory in Paris, what would you like to know?
Horned Toad says Selmer experimented with the Mark VIs in the late 1950s. He’s not old enough to have been there and see them do it in person. Did you visit the Selmer factory in the late 1950’s and if so, can you verify that they experimented with the Mark VI? Could it be that some guy like Steve Goodson made this story up and everybody just repeats it now?
 

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I'm a time traveler and I went to the Elhard factory. Yes I can confirm they were experimenting. They put all sorts of strange ingredients in the brass at different times. They also took turns dancing around a fire naked while chanting incantations while others hand hammered the bells with tools fashioned from meteorites to help get the cosmic energy flowing into the sound, and they sacrificed virgins every full moon to the the flying Spaghetti Monster to get even more cosmic energy into the horns.
 

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I'm a time traveler and I went to the Elhard factory. Yes I can confirm they were experimenting. They put all sorts of strange ingredients in the brass at different times. They also took turns dancing around a fire naked while chanting incantations while others hand hammered the bells with tools fashioned from meteorites to help get the cosmic energy flowing into the sound, and they sacrificed virgins every full moon to the the flying Spaghetti Monster to get even more cosmic energy into the horns.
Are you sure that wasn’t a doors concert?
 

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they were blasting bombs in the courtyard to get the brass to make saxophones, at least this is what internet says.
Of course then there is the “ mysterious disappearance” of Mr. Selmer (one of the funniest thing that I have read and solved some time ago!)

What is this "Disappearance of Henri Selmer" that is stated all over the web but never explained? Can anyone shed some light on it?
Thanks
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?171887-Disappearance-of-Henri-Selmer

I think that In French the term " disparu", which, means also disappeared, is also used as ad euphemism for deceased of the same nature of the verb " to pass away" ( he was born in 1858 and " disappeared" in 1941, which is a good age to " pass away" ).
So probably this is due to bad literal translation of French texts.
 

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I'm a time traveler and I went to the Elhard factory. Yes I can confirm they were experimenting. They put all sorts of strange ingredients in the brass at different times. They also took turns dancing around a fire naked while chanting incantations while others hand hammered the bells with tools fashioned from meteorites to help get the cosmic energy flowing into the sound, and they sacrificed virgins every full moon to the the flying Spaghetti Monster to get even more cosmic energy into the horns.
The name of the 'flying spaghetti monster" was Cthulhu. They were trying to build instruments strong enough to awaken him but instead, they awakened something else.
 

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Horned Toad says Selmer experimented with the Mark VIs in the late 1950s. He’s not old enough to have been there and see them do it in person. Did you visit the Selmer factory in the late 1950’s and if so, can you verify that they experimented with the Mark VI? Could it be that some guy like Steve Goodson made this story up and everybody just repeats it now?
I wasn't there way back then, I'm only 60 now (only) but I'm not sure what you mean by "experimented". In the course of R & D I'm sure they experimented a lot. You can always email Jerome Selmer. Phil
 

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Just a curious post - I see a lot of people on here speaking with authority on Selmer design and manufacturing processes 50-70 years ago. Most of these people are maybe 50-60 years old at best and many of them are a lot younger and likely never have even travelled to France in their life. I get the feeling these are just a bunch of old wives tales that were made up on SOTW or similar settings. Any thoughts?
I don't know if you're thinking of any of my posts, but I have often speculated (and clearly marked it as speculation). After a lifetime of working in factories, designing products for mass production and bringing them to mass production, I have some knowledge about how things are made, and saxophones aren't particularly difficult or complex things to make.

So when someone says something that implies Selmer had a brass foundry and rolling mill, instead of buying sheet brass in standard alloys from local metals distributors, I call BS. No, I don't know FOR SURE that Selmer never had a brass foundry and rolling mill, melting and re-refining old artillery shells and making their own super-special alloys; but it's a damn sight less likely than the alternative. When someone suggests that "only the best horns had such and such an engraving" implying that the thing was completely assembled and tested, then stripped completely down and engraved, then completely re-assembled and re-tested; my knowledge of plant managers tells me that anyone who suggested that to the plant managers I've known would have gotten a tongue lashing like only an experienced plant manager or a drill instructor can deliver. And so on.
 

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Horned Toad says Selmer experimented with the Mark VIs in the late 1950s. He’s not old enough to have been there and see them do it in person. Did you visit the Selmer factory in the late 1950’s and if so, can you verify that they experimented with the Mark VI? Could it be that some guy like Steve Goodson made this story up and everybody just repeats it now?
While I really do appreciate the fact that I have become a legendary expert celebrity personality in your private life, I am (a little) sad that you have to start entire threads just to chafe against your admiration of me in public.

As far as the damning charge of a claim of 'experimentation', what a HORRIBLE thing to say!! it's such an insult! :D
Innovation requires experimentation, which is also commonly called R&D. All model advances would have certainly required trial and error AKA (the evil) 'experimentation'. Now, if Selmer could have innovated the great designs they did without experimenting I would love to hear how that was done. I am all ears, and laptop screens.. and towels for my drool that cannot be controlled due to extreme excitement. Yes, do educate us, but make sure to disparage us for rationally thinking about things that happened in the past. We should not do that, ever.

Logical thinking about Selmer production in my case is based on the ability to examine, play, and own a pretty large number and variety of original vintage Selmers, and discussion with others who also have had that access. When you have had access to a lot of vintage Selmers you can pretty much see and track their design changes as well as their experimentation. In my case I created the opportunity for access to all those instruments and that is a nice situation but it took a lot of work. It has one really serious drawback though; it creates a strange kind of internet jealousy amongst those who did not create such opportunity for themselves, one of the great regrets of my life.. most likely.
 

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Horned Toad says Selmer experimented with the Mark VIs in the late 1950s. He’s not old enough to have been there and see them do it in person. Did you visit the Selmer factory in the late 1950’s and if so, can you verify that they experimented with the Mark VI? Could it be that some guy like Steve Goodson made this story up and everybody just repeats it now?

Or more likely Horny created this story and knowledge, so he could claim he was selling the Apex Predator to fleece the buyer.
 

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Or more likely Horny created this story and knowledge, so he could claim he was selling the Apex Predator to fleece the buyer.
:D :D that is very funny.

Sure, Selmer did not experiment at all! You guys! Too funny!

Ask anyone who studied their horns. Selmer is infamous for selling their experiments, successful or not. This was entertaining but that attempt was pretty weak. I have to get back to full time fleecing now. Funny, thanks.
 

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The Selmer offices in Paris have some repair facilities and can sell you nice souvenirs (I have a Selmer bench apron). The actual factory is out towards Mantes and doesn't allow visitors, although I was told that tours could be arranged for groups. But don't expect to get the birdseye lowdown from anybody at either facility. Like the present employees at JJ Babbitt, Conn, Riffault, VanDoren, etc., their interest is in a paycheck, not historical lore, and that is understandable. Sometimes the corporate officers, in collaboration with their advertising agency, will concoct a company history, but that is usually geared towards self-promotion rather than historical fact.

People don't know "what went down" at various musical instrument suppliers in the past. Teachers, technicians, wholesalers, Ebay flippers, etc., are more than willing to fabricate elaborate histories. Musicians seem to be more gullible than most in accepting the stories.

Have to stop here. A rainbow just appeared in the back alley and I need to be the first one there and get the pot of gold.

Mark
 
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