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Discussion Starter #1
I play with a Rafael Navarro Bop Boy 8 and I only play jazz and funk music, not classical.

This week I am going to test 2 nearby tenor horns in my area in Spain. They are private sellers. The first is a late Mark VI, a 209.xxx in excellent condition, with new pisoni shoes. It does not have a sharp F # key. The other is a Yani T991 in excellent condition as well.The shoes are older but appear to be in good condition from the photos.

I know they are both excellent horns, and I know that testing them will be the ultimate test, but I want to ask your opinion on this.

This Mark Vi is almost certainly not a top, maybe the T991 is a safer bet, or is a mark VI always a safe bet? And adapting to it? Perhaps the first impression will lead me to make a decision but the opposite would have been better even if it takes time.

Oh !!! the price, I forgot !!!, the Selmer costs € 2000 more

What is your opinion? thanks
 

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I would take the Selmer but if you can try better to decide that later. Mark Vis mantain value over time. Late ones are know for being more in tune and brighter or punchier, centered, but every horn is different. ..
Selmer would not be as easy to blow as the Yani i guess, normally on a Selmer you need to work more to get a tone.
Again, this are just general facts that can change when you try the horns, cause your feelings are important too.
I am also from Spain if you want to follow the conversation.
Good luck!
 

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The “ shoes” of a saxophone are called pads in English ;)

From an investment point of view it MAY be a better investment buying a Selmer BUT €2000 more is serious money

Safer bet under what kind of circumstances?

If the Selmer is not a top (why wouldn’t it be? It may!) the T991 may be one, who knows?

! In many cases people buy something because they want something “ special” and they may percieve the vintage item to be more special than one that is not.

So one may buy a Mustang because they wanted it all their lives while probably for their need they’d be better served by a different car more modern reliable and so on.

No way to know what plays in someone’s mid. Try and buy what your hart tells you to do, the wallet is generally kept on the other side👶
 
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Discussion Starter #4
The “ shoes” of a saxophone are called pads in English ;)
What a shame, 😰, it is the fault of the google translator that has helped me

! In many cases people buy something because they want something “ special” and they may percieve the vintage item to be more special than one that is not.
I suppose there is so much myth with the Mark VI horns that it is difficult to go against the current and everything leads to that, but I honestly have the question of whether it is myth or reality and I do not know if it is worth spending so much.

No way to know what plays in someone’s mid. Try and buy what your hart tells you to do, the wallet is generally kept on the other side👶
I will do that, although the heart sometimes plays tricks and that is why I ask for the most cerebral part
 

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Im not an expert on pricing but you might want to put the asking price of both to get a more clear opinion. You put that the Selmer is 2000 more. If the Yani is a low price then the asking price for the Selmer might be fair. For all we know, the Selmer seller is over priced for a more recent model. I think overall that would help.

Then of coures it comes down to how much 2000 matters to you and which horn you prefer. You are buying an instrument to make music so the heart does matter. If you are investing in stocks and bonds that is another story.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would take the Selmer but if you can try better to decide that later. Mark Vis mantain value over time. Late ones are know for being more in tune and brighter or punchier, centered, but every horn is different. ..
Selmer would not be as easy to blow as the Yani i guess, normally on a Selmer you need to work more to get a tone.
Again, this are just general facts that can change when you try the horns, cause your feelings are important too.
I am also from Spain if you want to follow the conversation.
Good luck!
Gracias,

Some friends have told me about the ease of blowing in modern horns, and the greater resistance of vintage horns. And that makes me think, wouldn't it be better if it was easy to blow?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Im not an expert on pricing but you might want to put the asking price of both to get a more clear opinion. You put that the Selmer is 2000 more. If the Yani is a low price then the asking price for the Selmer might be fair. For all we know, the Selmer seller is over priced for a more recent model. I think overall that would help.

Then of coures it comes down to how much 2000 matters to you and which horn you prefer. You are buying an instrument to make music so the heart does matter. If you are investing in stocks and bonds that is another story.
Of course I understand. The Selmer costs € 4,300, (One of the lowest prices in Spain for a Mark VI) The Yani € 2,300.
 

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Buying a Selmer tenor even of a late series, in great state and for that amount of money is VERY good!

The Yanagisawa is prices at a normal level.

Having said this , some myths are based on good reasons and the fact that many very good players played and play Mark VI ( and other Selmers) made a great point BUT not all mark VI are great although all Mark VI are expensive.

Resistance may be a characteristic of some horns but frankly speaking to me is all into adjustment and precision. Yanagisawa has certainly the reputation by most technicians of being one of the best made saxophone ever ( mechanically). You will be the only judge of the sound!
 

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Its so hard to decide on a horn in a case like this because a small leak in one top pad can make the whole sax play smaller, thinner and more resistant. About all you can do is go with the one you love, assuming one of them is better than what you currently play. An alternative would be to stretch your budget and get the VI (if you can get some kind of deal on it) if it is original and in fine condition, even if you don't like it that much, because there is no doubt it can be made to play better. This is a small risk because you should only buy it if the price leaves you the possibility of flipping it for a profit in case it doesn't work out. Then you would have even more cash to buy another one.
Take a tuner with you!
 

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I play a 153k serial number that sounds incredible and easily better than most VIs that I have played and the first I picked it up it came to life and resonated in my hands. I have played many that sound dead and several early ones that have sounded awesome. I guess the deal is I wouldn’t jump to buy a VI just because it’s a VI. There may be a reason why it’s lower priced. I had not realized they’ve (later serial) jumped up so much in price...I played a late series tenor. Didn’t stir my loins. There is also the person that does the horn. Paul Maslin will be the only guy I ever truly trust to do my horn. My alto (187k) sounded like an entirely different horn altogether after he repadded it. I’d say forget the prices. Forget the horns and just go with the sound you hear come out. I’ve heard some great horns of every brand and serial number. I’ve probably played several hundred MK VIs both alto and tenor. I even played one of Dave Sanborn’s old horns and a tenor that Michael Brecker later bought (killer early series). The facts are, the sound. That’s it. Not every horn will sound great. The pads and setup can have quite a lot to do with it too. Probably much more than people let on.


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I’ll even add to the conversation by saying that you need to know what sound you’re going for. Usually you’d want find a setup that allows you to get that sound you’re after.


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If money is not an issue I don’t think anyone can answer this question for you. You will know which you will want. These are different enough that one should speak more to you than the other.

If money is, of course the Yani has a head start. Good luck!
 

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I play with a Rafael Navarro Bop Boy 8 and I only play jazz and funk music, not classical.

This week I am going to test 2 nearby tenor horns in my area in Spain. They are private sellers. The first is a late Mark VI, a 209.xxx in excellent condition, with new pisoni shoes. It does not have a sharp F # key. The other is a Yani T991 in excellent condition as well.The shoes are older but appear to be in good condition from the photos.

I know they are both excellent horns, and I know that testing them will be the ultimate test, but I want to ask your opinion on this.

This Mark Vi is almost certainly not a top, maybe the T991 is a safer bet, or is a mark VI always a safe bet? And adapting to it? Perhaps the first impression will lead me to make a decision but the opposite would have been better even if it takes time.

Oh !!! the price, I forgot !!!, the Selmer costs € 2000 more

What is your opinion? thanks
I am glad to hear that you are able to play them both. Condition matters - if the Selmer was recently gone through by a good tech, it may be a good deal.

The horns will feel very different under the hands, and if you are a critical listener, you will hear a difference between the horns. Which is best for you is your call.

I really like the core sound of a good Selmer, but that was flavored by playing Selmers for 20+ years. I like Yanagisawa sopranos saxes (I’ve owned a couple SC-992), but don’t care for the altos and tenors as a solo/lead voice. It really does come down to personal preference.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you all for your reflections and advice. Money certainly does matter.
I do not have references of good or worse VIs, I will have to forge my experience like everyone here of course
I will do what my hearing tells me and my hands feel and if one of the 2 I love, I will take my tech a second time to review it even if I have to pay something, I think it's worth it
 

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good vs worse VIs is overhyped in my opinion. a lot of VIs people discard as 'bad' are just not properly setup.
 

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Best scenario might be that you like one or the other much better.
They could be very similar, but one twice the $$$.
 

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I've play a late VI for 40+ years and recently got a Yani 880 (should be similar to the 991). I find the ergonomics pretty much the same, but the newer horn is tighter (not as much play). Neck orientation on the Yani is a little strange. I have to rotate all the way to one side to line up the body correctly. Not a big deal. Yani has F#, but I never use it.

Both sound very similar. But I can still hear that special something in the VI. Whether that tiny difference is worth 2000 is up to you. Not worth it to me, so I'll eventually sell my VI.

Jay Metcalf of BetterSax.com did a great comparison a while back. You should check out his video.

I don't think you could go wrong with either horn.
 

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Buy the 991. It has fewer miles. Yani build quality is outstanding. The intonation will be much better. The keywork is slicker - not necessarily "better." And I think you'll find the 991 tone to be comparable to a late-series Mark VI. IMO, the 991 is (was) the best modern tenor out there.

Plus, the 991 has already depreciated and, if you pay a fair price, you'll likely be able to get your money back (same true with the VI). But it's a lower investment.
 

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I play a 153k serial number that sounds incredible and easily better than most VIs that I have played and the first I picked it up it came to life and resonated in my hands. I have played many that sound dead and several early ones that have sounded awesome. I guess the deal is I wouldn’t jump to buy a VI just because it’s a VI. There may be a reason why it’s lower priced. I had not realized they’ve (later serial) jumped up so much in price...I played a late series tenor. Didn’t stir my loins. There is also the person that does the horn. Paul Maslin will be the only guy I ever truly trust to do my horn. My alto (187k) sounded like an entirely different horn altogether after he repadded it. I’d say forget the prices. Forget the horns and just go with the sound you hear come out. I’ve heard some great horns of every brand and serial number. I’ve probably played several hundred MK VIs both alto and tenor. I even played one of Dave Sanborn’s old horns and a tenor that Michael Brecker later bought (killer early series). The facts are, the sound. That’s it. Not every horn will sound great. The pads and setup can have quite a lot to do with it too. Probably much more than people let on.


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I second the Paul Maslin! He's the absolute guru
 

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I own a later series vi, a 183,000 but I have an earlier vi neck that has been modified that I use. I’ve played other later vi’s though and I did not like any of the ones I tried 200,xxx and on. In fact, I didn’t really like my horn until I got my current neck! I’d likely go for something like the yanagisawa if I were buying a horn now, those are great.
 
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