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I don't have a lot of experience playing the Mark VII tenor, but I was curious and searched YouTube for a bunch of clips and comparisons and I love the way the Mark VII sounds. This horn is full and has loads of soul. Maybe this horn is like the Ford Edsel in that it's actually very good, but nobody wants one. At some point I'll add one to my collection if I can find a good one!
 

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This horn is full and has loads of soul. Maybe this horn is like the Ford Edsel in that it's actually very good, but nobody wants one. At some point I'll add one to my collection if I can find a good one!
I love your Edsel comparison. I have had a VII alto for 40 years and it's great; the altos seem to be "accepted" but tenors not. I'd like to try a tenor too but definitely would try before buying.
 

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Let’s start saying that the VII is a great, misunderstood, saxophone which only fault is not to be a VI and it will be forever lagging behind this fact that has nothing to do with its inherent quality.

The prices of Mark VII ( tenors and even more altos) have shot up recently. Probably because the same happened to the VI ( which I was able to find until some time ago for decent prices but that is no longer the case) and by sheer analogy if the VI goes up it carries the price of the VII with it.

At the moment you can call yourself lucky if you can buy a VII tenor for €2500 but in all likelihood in a shop you are more likely to buy one for in excess of €3000

In the NL there is quite a following within the classical player’s community because the principal of classical saxophone at the Amsterdam conservatory plays (when he plays tenor) a VII.

I have had a couple and sold them mostly to conservatory students.

This here just to all whom think this is a loud and in your face horn (it was developed like all famous Selmers by and for classical musicians)

 

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Discussion Starter #5
I love your Edsel comparison. I have had a VII alto for 40 years and it's great; the altos seem to be "accepted" but tenors not. I'd like to try a tenor too but definitely would try before buying.
When I met Dale Underwood back in the mid 1990s, he was playing on a VII Alto. He's the best legit player I've ever heard, so it must ba alright. I owned a VII Alto for a little while and it was great....but your right, the tenor gets a bad rap. The videos I was listening to were tenors. I was hearing the sound, not feeling the ergos. I'm sure the ergos aren't as good as a VI, but I doubt they are worse than a Conn!
 

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The right hand comes in second to an old conn.

The reach for low C is quite significant and really kind of silly. If you have normal to big hands its ok. If you have small hands its more likely to become a deal breaker.

To me that was more uncomfortable than the left hand table.

EDIT: Ive only played tenors...not the alto VII
 

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The right hand comes in second to an old conn.

The reach for low C is quite significant and really kind of silly. If you have normal to big hands its ok. If you have small hands its more likely to become a deal breaker.

To me that was more uncomfortable than the left hand table.
Based on my alto experience this makes sense. Going back to my VII after playing Conn Tranny it's like everything got stretched further apart...luckily that low C key feels about as large as a dinner plate.
 

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The Mark VII tenors have rocketed to well over $2,500 for one in vgc. At that price point there are too many other options, Probably better to skip over it and invest in a newer Selmer, if that's the brand you like.

The mention of Conns having difficult ergonomics is strange to me. I've owned quite a few and I find the 10M action to be rather compact, and especially like the 3-in-line left pinky table of the old USA horns. I just loaned a '63 10M for a few weeks to a player who mentioned he had never played one. He said he found it difficult to play because he has large hands, but he found the left table "interesting."
 

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I had a Mark VII tenor and think it was one of the best-sounding tenors I've ever owned...but the ergo's got me, especially the left-hand pinky table.
 

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Pre 10M and Pre Transitional the keywork can be pretty spread out across the range of the horn. Ive played some that felt that way. I cant recall which models but they were not especially comfortable.
 

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My P. Mauriat System 76 tenor blows the two Mk Vll tenors I compared it to completely away. A vastly superior tenor saxophone. It's not even remotely close.
 

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I currently own a VII tenor and had an alto for several years as well. Love my tenor and loved the alto. For me the left pinky table is rather large and can be a little difficult to travel around, mainly for me going from C# to Bb was always a challenge. However, the sound on both the horns for me at least made it worth the struggle. I did sell the alto for a Series III when I was considering getting my masters in performance (at the recommendation of my professor) and while I do love my Series III, I still think about that VII every now and then.
 

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The Mark VII tenors have rocketed to well over $2,500 for one in vgc. At that price point there are too many other options, Probably better to skip over it and invest in a newer Selmer, if that's the brand you like.
I actually disagree with that assessment and suggestion.

After reading years of comments about the much-maligned VII, I finally had a few cross my bench in the past couple of years. It is NOT a horn which deserves to be dismissed.

I mean, look, $2600-2800 for a Selmer, Paris Tenor in good shape. THAT is NOT a bad deal by ANY means.

It puts you in the Super 20, 10M RTH, Yani 9XX, and Yama 82Z price neighborhood....and it's more than fair to say that the VII may well suit a wide number of players just as well, and appeal to some even more, than any of those other horns....

Is it fair to say that a used SA80, at only a few hundred dollars more than a VII, would be a 'better' option ? Yeah, probably for many.

But IMHO I could see why folks would prefer the VII over the SA, myself...
 

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I started playing tenor on a mkVII a friend lent to me. I was an absolute beginner and could not get a sound out for the low notes. My teacher advised me to return the horn and get a YTS 475. This was great advice and had this horn for about 4 years. Always been a Selmer fan and now have a Ref 54 and love it
 

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FWIW to the OP: years ago I borrowed my buddy's Mark VII tenor for a gig while my horn, a VI, was in the shop. I thought the VII was GREAT. I actually liked the sound of it better than my VI, which I eventually sold (to get the Yamaha 82z I've been playing for over a decade now). The VII reminded me in some ways of my old Buffet Super Dynaction, which I also loved, but had sold to buy that VI... And wished in retrospect that I hadn't! Like the Buffet, the ergonomics were a bit different and took some getting used to but the sound was strong and solid as hell. Great instruments for sure, they got a bum rap for way too long.

...All that being said, I'm pretty spoiled for ergonomics thanks to that Yamaha... I doubt there's a better-feeling horn in the world than an 82z, to me, anyway.
 

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I don't have a lot of experience playing the Mark VII tenor, but I was curious and searched YouTube for a bunch of clips and comparisons and I love the way the Mark VII sounds. This horn is full and has loads of soul. Maybe this horn is like the Ford Edsel in that it's actually very good, but nobody wants one. At some point I'll add one to my collection if I can find a good one!
The Edsel? Really? I remember that car new in '58 as being quite the dog. The Mark VII is really not that bad. (I owned one and thought it was great, and sold it to buy an SA-80 because I believed at the time it would be so much better and that all the crap the "experts" wrote here held grains of truth.) But, apart from the purpose being an addition to complete a collection, as the price nears three grand I still say look around for other options.

People say "wow ... a Paris horn!" Like, so what? It plays in French?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Edsel? Really? I remember that car new in '58 as being quite the dog. The Mark VII is really not that bad. (I owned one and thought it was great, and sold it to buy an SA-80 because I believed at the time it would be so much better and that all the crap the "experts" wrote here held grains of truth.) But, apart from the purpose being an addition to complete a collection, as the price nears three grand I still say look around for other options.

People say "wow ... a Paris horn!" Like, so what? It plays in French?
When I was an engineer at Ford the older engineers all talked about how the Edsel was one of the best cars Ford ever made. They said the issue was that the Marketing folks were hands off and let the Engineers build the car exactly how they wanted. What you got was a solid car that nobody wanted to buy.
 

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Well, the advertising for the car began around a year before it was in showrooms; that's Ford's marketing mistake. When the car came out the public was surprised by its ugliness and its price. But some folks, like my neighbor who was a friend of my father, had ordered one. It was over $3,500, about what he made in a year as a union laborer in a meat-packing plant. He ordered a 3-color paint job, a popular option in the late-'50s. Within 2 years it was a 4-color, with reddish-brown around its wheel wells and rocker panels.

Described as the "Flop Heard 'Round the World" and one of the top-worst cars of all time, it was its design engineers that really killed it, no offense. They wanted a vertical grille for some inane reason, which had to be enormous to render its still inadequate engine cooling. It's prized now due to its rarity, although it's a dog of a car. But we digress.

So unlike the Edsel as a car (you don't own one, do you?) the Mark VII is a very good horn. I'm actually looking for a fairly-priced one now, as you are. But over $2,500-$3,000? Uh-uh.
 
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