Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys!

so i just had a gal drop off some old Sax's at the music shop i work at in New London CT, ones an old '62 Mk VI and this 1976 silver plated Bari that id like to learn some more about as i am unfamiliar with details on these old baritones, ive heard rumor that although they started making the VII's in 74 that they may have continued making the Mk VI in the baritones. is this true? there are no markings as to verify if it is a VI or VII, serial number is 251xxx so def a '76, teach me what you all know :)

thank you!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,456 Posts
There was never a Mark VII bari, so it is Mark VI. If it says "Super Action 80" on it, it's not a Mark VI.

Why does no one ever dump off a decent bari at my place? >:I

Hey Guys!

so i just had a gal drop off some old Sax's at the music shop i work at in New London CT, ones an old '62 Mk VI and this 1976 silver plated Bari that id like to learn some more about as i am unfamiliar with details on these old baritones, ive heard rumor that although they started making the VII's in 74 that they may have continued making the Mk VI in the baritones. is this true? there are no markings as to verify if it is a VI or VII, serial number is 251xxx so def a '76, teach me what you all know :)

thank you!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
41,637 Posts
officially, indeed there were never Mark VII baritones made, unofficially, some did surface

this on saxpics


“.......Alto & Tenor Only
Officially, Selmer never produced anything other than Mark 7 altos and tenors, and only low Bb versions of either. However, occasionally, you'll see people saying, "I've got a low A Mark 7 alto!" No, you don't. The low A alto was a Mark VI design: no keywork differences, no bore differences. No "Mark 7" engraving. (See my note on Selmer serial numbers, below.)
UNOFFICIALLY, I have seen pictures of at least two baritones that are labeled "Mark VII" quite clearly -- and I've heard of one soprano and sopranino, too. However, these horns do not have the ergonomic low C/Eb keys and I doubt if these horns have anything in the way of a different neck or bore.
Now, Selmer's always had custom models. While I note that the Mark 7 baris I've seen had "normal" VI keywork, I wouldn't be overly suprised to see one with the 7-style ergo keys. I've also got pics of a VI alto that has a G# trill key and forked Eb (with attendant vent), like a Modele 26, so we have some precedent.
There always is some "fudging" of Selmer models around the time that a new model comes out and you may see, for instance, a bari labeled "Super 80", but with all the features of a VI. I think the reasoning is SUPPOSED to be that "what makes the model is the bore, not the keywork".
A couple of very important things to note:
There is always variation within Selmer models. Selmer tends to both experiment a bit (e.g., bow lengths on VI's) and adds new features as they patent them. This is the reason that, for instance, a late Super Action looks more like a VI than a Balanced Action.
The official Selmer serial number chart is absolute trash, when it comes to models. NEVER look at that to determine what model Selmer you're looking at.
Now, I occasionally get e-mails from folks insisting that their (for instance) Mark 7 is really a VI, regardless of the fact that it's easily inside the serial number range for the 7. Their reasoning is, unvaryingly, that the horn has the same "look and feel" of the VI, so therefore it's a VI. I then ask for pictures. It's an obvious 7. The reader then gets mad when I tell them they have a 7.
I generally think that if there's a model name stamped on the horn, then that's what it is. However, in the case of this "Mark VII bari", I tend to think it's logically impossible that Selmer just happens to have an entirely different set of tooling for these horns lying around to have only a half-dozen or so "Mark 7" baritones -- it's just too expensive to do that. I CAN accept that the "Mark 7" bari does have a tweaked neck and/or different keywork, but I doubt if the bore is any different. I'd want someone to take a caliper to that thing to prove me wrong.
Of course, the "VII" engraving could just be a mistake, and Selmer meant "VI" :)........"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Yes, I have a 1979 MKVI Selmer baritone, serial No.277xxx, not engraved. I bought it in the late 1990s as new-old stock from a small music store in Torrance, CA together with a great Buffet clarinet 1971 R13, also new-old stock. That store was later burned up by the next door crazy bagel shop owner, from the Middle East, in an attempt to collect insurance. The police soon caught him and he was sent to jail for ten years.

For the baritone, I've smoothed the sharp edges on the pearls, added quarter moon corks to the palm key holes, and sealed the body clamps a little better. The palm key notes really were too sharp, a problem I have not had with many other saxes. I believe that I also may have had to add shellac to some of the pad cups, but that was about 15 years ago and the details are not clear at this time. Some of the tone holes probably had to be leveled also, but the details have been forgotten.

The metal in this horn may be thinner than the older American made horns as this instrument was deadened noticeably when I tried a clamp on bary stand, which was ok on an older Buescher. A Link mouthpiece with a glued on extender worked fine on the older Buescher, but this Selmer was deader sounding until I removed the extender. The neck on the older horn was short which was the reason for the extender.

Right now, the instrument sounds and looks great and feels great under the fingers. I use a Link with a slightly raised baffle or a louder refaced powerful Level Aire Brillhart 6. One has to be careful and not play too loud or you can dominate even a big band. I like the tuning and the somewhat bright character of the sound. Good luck!!
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
officially, indeed there were never Mark VII baritones made, unofficially, some did surface

this on saxpics

".......Alto & Tenor Only
Officially, Selmer never produced anything other than Mark 7 altos and tenors, and only low Bb versions of either. However, occasionally, you'll see people saying, "I've got a low A Mark 7 alto!" No, you don't. The low A alto was a Mark VI design: no keywork differences, no bore differences. No "Mark 7" engraving. (See my note on Selmer serial numbers, below.)
......"
Milandro, as always, good stuff, but would you please not write it in RED!

Very hard to read, my friend, and I so want to read it. :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,561 Posts
Quarter moon corks in the palm keys??????????? What about lower key heights?
Yes, I have a 1979 MKVI Selmer baritone, serial No.277xxx, not engraved. I bought it in the late 1990s as new-old stock from a small music store in Torrance, CA together with a great Buffet clarinet 1971 R13, also new-old stock. That store was later burned up by the next door crazy bagel shop owner, from the Middle East, in an attempt to collect insurance. The police soon caught him and he was sent to jail for ten years.

For the baritone, I've smoothed the sharp edges on the pearls, added quarter moon corks to the palm key holes, and sealed the body clamps a little better. The palm key notes really were too sharp, a problem I have not had with many other saxes. I believe that I also may have had to add shellac to some of the pad cups, but that was about 15 years ago and the details are not clear at this time. Some of the tone holes probably had to be leveled also, but the details have been forgotten.

The metal in this horn may be thinner than the older American made horns as this instrument was deadened noticeably when I tried a clamp on bary stand, which was ok on an older Buescher. A Link mouthpiece with a glued on extender worked fine on the older Buescher, but this Selmer was deader sounding until I removed the extender. The neck on the older horn was short which was the reason for the extender.

Right now, the instrument sounds and looks great and feels great under the fingers. I use a Link with a slightly raised baffle or a louder refaced powerful Level Aire Brillhart 6. One has to be careful and not play too loud or you can dominate even a big band. I like the tuning and the somewhat bright character of the sound. Good luck!!
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Yes, I had tried lower key heights but it was not enough, so the quarter, or eighth moon corks made it just great. It's the third baritone I've had, having had a great low Bb Buescher and a fine low A Buffet. The Buffet was like new and with a wonderful sound but it drove like a dump truck, with keys hard to reach. I had a two week fun road trip with the Buffet but it was physically uncomfortable, except for the built in floor peg, which I liked
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top