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Selmer Mark VI and Vito (Yani S-6) Comparison

3658 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  potiphar
I finally own a Mark VI and a Vito (Yani S-6) Soprano at the SAME TIME. I've taken MANY photos with the 2 horns "back to back." If interested send me your e-mail and I'll get you the photos. If someone knows how to post the photos on SOTW, it may also me interesting.

This is a basic visual comparison. Both are wonderful playing horns. My general conclusion is that Yanagisawa took the best of the VI and made slight adjustments (corrections where needed) but also simplified construction (less expensive). The Vito also happens to be for sale in the HORNS FOR SALE forum.

Serial Number (I believe both were made in 1977)

Vito (Japan) 07775XXX
Selmer 269xxx

Length (This was very surprising)

Vito: 25 3/4 inches
Selmer: 25 1/4 inches


Vito: 2 Pounds 12.5 ounces (1.26 kg)
Selmer: 2 Pounds 10 ounces (1.19 kg)

Palm Keys

Palm keys extend away from the body of the horn slightly more. Constructed with 3 posts and 1 long rod screw hold the three pakm keys. Tone holes are not in a direct line and has the additional high F# tone hole.

Palm keys sit very close to the body. My F key is built out just a bit. 5 posts and 2 rod screw construction. Tone holes are in a straight line.

Left Hand Table

Very similar in feel. Selmer has 2 rollers on Low B Key and Mother of Pearl on G# Key.

Low C# Mechanism

Vito: Has a reverse spring similar to Selmer Altos or Tenors
Selmer: C# Key has a spring - different configurations from Vito but both feel the same.

Forked F# (RH)

Vito: Plain Flat Brass touch - slightly lower than Selmer - A bit more comfortable.
Selmer: Mother of Pearl touch - slightly high - particularly in comparison to Selmer Tenor

Thumb Hook

Vito: Brass thumb hook similar to 5 Digit VI Tenors
Selmer: Plastic - (I prefer)

Right Hand Side Keys

Typical Yani Large Metal Contruction (Not Post) One flat piece of metal bent into key Bracket. One bracket holds both the Side C and Bb Key. All three RH side keys are lower with the E key molded with a flare on top. VERY COMFORTABLE.

4 Post construction. Keys are VERY high with High E almost 2 high. All keys are FLAT. Oleg makes an adapter but I found that with the adapter the side keys are too high.

Adjustment Screws

Vito: Has a high C# adjustment screw for the Pad on Pad configuration.
Selmer: No High C# adjustment. Other adjustment screws are similar.

Octave Key

Very different configurations:

Neck Strap Ring

Vito: Standard Ring soldered to body
Selmer: No Ring - Oleg makes on that fits in Lyre Holder. (I prefer)
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I've just had the opportunity to borrow a Mk VI (beautiful silverplate job) and compare with my s-6. I'd agree pretty substantially with your review, though at a pinch I'd say the playability is better on the Selmer - likely to be a function of player's shape, I guess. I found the Selmer intonation to be a little more flexible rather than less accurate.

The Selmer's palm F is ridiculously close to the body, though, and I found a riser made a difference there.

I did what I did in comparing my TT, and recorded them using the same setup. I'd have to say that with my 2 the sound was virtually indistinguishable in core tone, the Selmer being just a tad brighter, but both having the mid-range warmth I didn't find so much in the Buescher. What difference there was may very well be due to the set-up rather than anything else, but I don't think many people could guess right in a blind trial..

If somebody gave it to me I'd gladly use the Mk VI, but I'm glad to say that, at least with my examples, I can do more or less the same job and have $4K to spend on sweeties. What price cachet?
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