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Mark VII Tenor with V16 7M
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally bought a sax after playing a rental for about a year... a 1976 Mark VII tenor!

I went to several shops, and tried out horns. I'm really glad I did, because I didn't end up with the horn I would have expected.

Some thoughts from the different saxes I tried:

In terms of altos, I tried a purple logo Yamaha YAS-62, Yanagisawa a-992 and a-902, and a Selmer SA-80.

Really didn't like the a-902. If I had gone with an alto, I would have hesitated between the purple log and the a-992... slightly leaning towards the purple logo. I was surprised at the difference my regular YAS-480 and the purple logo.

In terms of tenors, I tried a bunch of Selmers (Series III x2, SA-80ii x2 and the Mark VII I bought), a Yanagisawa T902 and a YTS-82IIZ Custom Z. Again, the T902 (new) was a disappointment. I was pretty surprised at this because if I had bought blind, I would have likely gone with a Yanagisawa (either a 902 or 992) given all the good online press they get.

My final choice was this beauty (in my eyes at least). Its tone really spoke to me: clearly darker than the others, and with a nice core. The ergonomics weren't as bad as what I expected (again from reading other people's opinions online).

As far as I understand, all of the Mark VII were lacquered, so I guess this one just lost most of it or was delacquered at some point. 🤷‍♂️ The metallic areas (bottom of horn and near the keys) are all coppery pink. I'm unsure if this is lacquer or just the original body colour. I'll be researching ways to clean it up a bit. There is tons of wisdom here on the forms. Lemon Pledge seems to be the "go to" for this sort of thing as far as I can see.

Today's lesson: Definitely try before you buy if you have the luxury to do so. 🎷🎶

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Mark VII Tenor with V16 7M
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the kind words folks. Really loving this sax! 😎

My completely unscientific opinion is that saxes with lots of lacquer wear are great players.
I like this theory. The worn out parts of this saxes' lacquer all appear to be where you hold / touch it, so I imagine it's worn because it's been played a lot, and not from the weather. :)
 

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Mark VII Tenor with V16 7M
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Don’t start rubbing on it with anything. Leave it alone. I doubt I’d want to smell Lemon Pledge every time I pick up the sax
The bare metal has a nice patina and I don't do anything more than wipe it with a cloth.
Thanks for the tips! I was just wondering if the pledge would make it nice and a bit more shiny... but don't want a sticky horn, so I'll just wipe it with a cloth for now then.
 

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Mark VII Tenor with V16 7M
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
It's got a cleaner and maybe darker tone than my MkVI
I didn't get to compare it to a Mark VI (out of budget 🤑), but this was my experience when comparing it to the other horns I tested. It has a much darker sound, which I love. :love:

I listened to a few Youtube videos afterwards that compare both, and distinctly prefer the VII sound too. So glad I don't have as expensive tastes as others.
 

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Mark VII Tenor with V16 7M
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Interesting to hear that the horn was adapted to be louder. I didn't notice that the Mark VII was particular louder than the other horns I tried, but then again I only compared it to more modern horns. I imagine they have all been adapted in this way.

Just curious, how's your low C#?
The low C# played well. Only thing I noticed was that the low Bb didn't come out as smoohtly as the low Bb on the SA80ii I was comparing it to. With a slightly softer reed it came out fine.
 
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