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Discussion Starter #1
I have a line on a Mark VII and the guy has left it to me to make an offer. I'm curious what you guys think a fair price might be.

Serial N 305xxx

Almost no lacquer left, no engraving other than the selmer name, serials, patent, etc. It has USN (an old navy horn) engraved on the front. It plays well, has fluffy pads (student pads I've been told), and a bit of slop in the left hand pinky keys but other than that it seems fine.

I don't have my camera or I'd post pics.
 

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Alto VII's are starting to get more appreciated, but my guess would be that it would go for around $1,500, maybe a bit higher. All the sellers hype the M serial number VII's as either having the VI bore or the VI metal. Heck, I'd like those same sellers to tell us why the VI sopranos had the N numbers. Either way, the hype seems to work and the M number VII's, both tenors and altos, can pull in over $2,000 on Ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He sold it to me for 800$. I gave him 1000$ because I felt bad taking it for that price. I told him he could get much more but he said he'd prefer it goes to me because he knows me and knows I'll appreciate it.

Thanks for the input fellow humans!
 

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Yeah, that's a feel good deal Matt; and fair considering the shape of the horn. Though I have come to detest the VII tenors (having owned one for close to 30 years), the VII altos just might have been Selmer's best design for an alto in my book. I've always felt that VI altos rode the coattails of the superior VI tenors, just as the VII tenors unfairly dragged down the VII altos.
 

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Grumps said:
Yeah, that's a feel good deal Matt; and fair considering the shape of the horn. Though I have come to detest the VII tenors (having owned one for close to 30 years), the VII altos just might have been Selmer's best design for an alto in my book. I've always felt that VI altos rode the coattails of the superior VI tenors, just as the VII tenors unfairly dragged down the VII altos.

Well Grumps, ya finally got to me. I generally try to ignore your posts though I'll admit they're not all just hot air but you're way off on this one. I've had my VII tenor for 31 years and it doesn't drag anything down. It is equal to or better(in some aspects)than my 4 MK VI tenors. Surely equal to or better than any of Selmer's current offerings.

I'd be curious to know why you'd keep a horn for 30 years that you considered detestable or what in paticular drove you to consider it so. Thanks in advance for posting reasons other than the worn out cliches.

Matt-good luck with your new VII alto.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's for the well-wishes... I played it a few hours last night and have been shedding since 10:30am today (limping through Klose #2 and my overtone matching stuff - all to a hip hop groove).

I'm digging this horn.
 

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I like my VII tenor as well. It's got quirks that some people might not like. I can get around them, but I'll admit a VI or Ref horn fits my hands.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I've played some VII tenors that were dogs, but I love mine. Mine was played so much before I bought it that the pearls were razor sharp on the outer edges and the retainer rings had been worn all the way down. I had to glue new pearls on the horn. Some one really played this VII tenor and I can see why. Would have liked to meet the guy that played it as I've never seen a horn with pearls worn that thin, he was almost playing on the metal under the pearls.
 

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Thomas said:
I generally try to ignore your posts...
Wish you had continued. Will humor you though. My VII tenor was my first brand new sax. At that time, I was a kid and would have urinated on a VI. It had a high F# key. Wow. So for decades I played it and it did everything I needed it to do. Then, believe it or not, before I even came here, I got a hold of a stencil Martin Handcraft tenor. It had so much more flavor. So I convinced myself that the vanilla qualities of my VII were akin to a blank canvas that I could more readily color. I came here defending its honor. I had folks here play it at a local SOTW gathering, and only one (Mojo, as I recall) really hated it. The rest were pleasantly surprised. Now up until that time, I was more or less looking for a VI tenor; having played a wall of them at USA Horn and preferring each and every one to my VII tenor. But hey, a VII ain't a VI and it ain't fair to compare them (just as an alto ain't a tenor, even of the same brand, they're different animals and should be judged seperately). However, the day of that SOTW gathering, I played a vintage Conn and my path was set for eventually shelving my VII tenor and relegating it to back up duty in favor of a 10M. Since then, I've played Kings too, and also prefer such tenors over my VII. I realized this when I took my VII out a month or so ago after not using it for a while. It was alien to me. Even checked it with a leak light. Tried different mouthpieces. Everything was working. Just not a pleasing experience in any sense. Though I have big hands with long fingers, the pinky stretch to the left hand table keys was ridiculous. How did I ever play this thing I wondered. The boom of the bottom end yet the weak notes leading down to it. Hated it. The ever increasing whine of the top palm keys leading to what I now feel to be the altissimo inhibiting F#3 key (yeah, if you don't learn how to blow and finger altissimo F#3, good luck finding that bridge to A3). Anyhow, there are of course the defects in design, like the gap between the bell and bow connection, but that would be cosmetic, no? Who knows how it is between the body and bow. Tell you the truth, I'd been afraid to check all these years. But anyhow, I long ago quit lying to myself about this horn when I got the 10M. Now I'm not even comfortable with it as my back up and alas... it now belongs to another. And who knows, maybe whoever eventually ends up with it will love it. Just because it ain't my cup of tea anymore, doesn't mean it won't be another's.

But as for the coattails and such remarks; it's just my take on known preferences/prejudices and I really do dig the VII altos. Should it anger you so, you can go back to ignoring me. Please.
 

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I recently bought a Mark VII tenor serial 276K because I wanted to get back into the Selmer sound again - used to own a Mark VI. I also have a black nickel Couf Superba 1 and Conn 10m from 1941. The Mark VII has that compact Selmer sound and after playing big bore horns for years it takes a lot of getting used to, certainly a lot more resistance than the other horns. I do like a lot of characteristics of the sweet Selmer sound and love the action, but the Couf and Conn really are better players, in my opinion. The sound just seems unrestrained from those horns, but the Couf still has some focus. My wife, who is also a musician and is recording an album where I have used the Conn, does like the sweetness of the Selmer sound. The VII is a good horn and it certainly isn't what I would call thin sounding, just more compact.
 

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Unfortunately, I know what Grumps is talking about.

I bought a unused early M VII last year from a retired pro player. he used it maybe 3 times - it's absolutely beautiful with a factory gold plated neck. I A/B'd it against my Couf Superba 1 and a couple of other horns. I loved the Selmer core and tone AND ergonomics - okay, not 100% but much much better for me than the Couf. (i have fused bones in my wrist so flexibility/reach is an issue - much more worse with the Couf compared to the VII in the RH)

I also noticed that the palm notes are 'thin' in a sense (but I use the Front F for E and up mostly). I also noticed that the body pip opening is absolutely gigantic much bigger than other recommended Selmer sizes .. which creates certain pressure situations in octave changes.

I actually plan on reducing the size of the body pip opening this weekend which should make it a much easier playing instrument during the body octave and neck octave changes. Right now i use a large opening mpc so that pressure changes does not affect the reed as much - with small tip openings it affects it greatly unless I use a harder reed. I'm curious whether it will affect the 'thin' sounding palm keys

I have not checked other VIIs body pip opening sizes in the past - but if i come across more it certainly will be on my list to review

btw, everything else with the horn is magnificient sounding in my opinion ... just when that body pip opening seems opened ....
 

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mattbutler said:
He sold it to me for 800$. I gave him 1000$ because I felt bad taking it for that price. I told him he could get much more but he said he'd prefer it goes to me because he knows me and knows I'll appreciate it.

Matt,
I think it is cool that you told him it was worth more and even kicked in the extra $$. I really believe that the good Karma is going to come back and reward you.
 

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I forgot to mention that I also play a VII alto and some friend VI players love the tone from my VII

great price on that VII alto. I'm sure you appreciated not having to may top $$ for it. and he was sending it along the way to someone who will play it vs sell it. I've gotten lucky like that with some instruments (and I still have them)
 

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circling the wagons again, Grumps? lol

having never owned nor played a VII tenor I can't from any experience defend them, but I have heard them played by several guys who sounded quite good on them....of course they might have sounded good on a piece of pipe with holes drilled in it too. now when it comes to VII altos I have to agree with Grumps completely, they are really good.

VII tenors were never well received by VI players, most just didn't like the key work, the neck angle & it's heavier construction, but that's not to say there aren't some good VII tenors....there are, and they have their fans. even Grumps has been complimented on the sound of his VII tenor (as I recall), but alas! he was seduced by the siren's song...a silver Conn 10M & vintage Bueschers completed his journey to the dark side. I recently bought a Buescher Aristocrat alto (model 140) and am rather impressed with it . my true love though is my Mark VII alto M255XXX (1976).....I will never part with that horn, bought 7 yrs ago as new/old stock still in the plastic, fully engraved, blue S on neck, would never find another; it sounds fantastic....to me anyway....
so Matt, enjoy that alto, I think you got a great deal on a good horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
rsclosson said:
Matt,
I think it is cool that you told him it was worth more and even kicked in the extra $$. I really believe that the good Karma is going to come back and reward you.

I still feel a bit goofy about it. I asked a repairman how much he would have paid for it yesterday and he said up to 1500$, tweaked it and sent it on it's way for 2k. That might be approaching the high side but I'm considering dropping 100$ a month by the guys house until I hit 1300$ or something. It's not a burden on my wallet and I'm completely in love with the horn.

This horn affair is proportionately more expensive than my guitar marriage was... ole' hag that she be.
 

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mattbutler said:
This horn affair is proportionately more expensive than my guitar marriage was... ole' hag that she be.

Oh! You are also a guitarist? Me too! G.A.S. problems are doubled with us. I have 3 seven string archtops and several handmade classicals along with a couple of solid bodies. Add to that 4 tenors 3 altos and a soprano (not to mention a flute, clarinet and a bag of irish whistles) My wife is thinking about trading me in for a lower maintenance model. I am going to have to start whittling down my collection. :D
 
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