i agree the later models are fine horns, the sound i feel is still there!..definitely worth considering.Contrary to all the hype about Selmer serial numbers, especially the 5 digit ones, I think the later models are excellent horns also, In some cases, on an individual horn vs horn basis, it could be better. I own 2, so I'm prejudiced, I suppose. Of course you should try it first. You'll get a lot of comments, but how it works for you is what's important. As long as it's not a re-laquer, the price is fair for one that's had a complete repad and mechanical overhaul. From a value standpoint, even though a relacquer may have been well done and not had any ill effects, the market has determined that it's worth less.
My experience is probably a little more limited, but it seem that the later models worked and played better for me also.I've owned three VIs and have played quite a few others over the 30+ years of playing. The later horns are flat out better!!
This is the absolute truth of the matter!! And it's true for any brand, especially vintage horns.I sell saxes at my shop here in Rahway, NJ and I tell everybody, "you have to try the horns out". It doesn't matter if it's late model, early model, etc. Try the horns out and see what YOU think......cuz serial number hype ain't helping you on a gig. If you're at your best on a certain horn, get it. I've repaired many horns and they all have their own personality and feel to them.
186640! I'm very glad I got this one from Sax Alley back in '98. It was my third MK VI. After number two, I played a Super 80 II for ten years until I got this. My previous VI was 130491, and before that was one I bought new in '63 but never remembered the number. They're all good if you get a good one, and I think perhaps there were more good ones after the final major revisions around 140000. For the real purists, the pre-140000 would be the ones to have, and the 80000 range seems to be the all-time favorites.
This was right after I got it, took it apart, re-did the set-up and hand polished:
This is now with the Series III Sterling neck. It still has about 85% of it's original lacquer:
The original neck is great but needs a small tweaking between the pip and end to put more up angle on it. I think it may have been damaged and repaired but they didn't get that curve just right. It affects my playing like that but any MK VI-style neck in the correct configuration plays great for me.
Actually, $5800 sounds kind of rich to me. The tenor would have to be near-mint and in perfect shape to be worth that much to me. I wouldn't expect to get anywhere near that for mine, but maybe I'm just out of touch with the marketplace.