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Selmer MK VII Opinions? (Compared to more modern saxophones)

4423 Views 28 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Paulou
Hi all, I’m about to bite the bullet on a new tenor sax, and I’ve been able to find Mk VIIs in my budget.
I am shopping used, and for around the same price I’ve found cannonball vintage reborn tenors (I’ve had the
Chance to play them and I really like them)

The only issue is, while I love the sound of mk vi and mk vii tenors, I’ve never been able to play one,
And I don’t believe there are any I can try near me, I’d be buying them online via Reverb.

Opinions? I’ve heard the mk VII is criminally underrated and are often considered by those who own them to be fantastic horns.

P.s. The ergonomics won’t bother me (coming from a 1934 King H.H. white)
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Thinking a bit more on this, VII's are modern saxophones. At least the first major brand with a standard high F#, for which everyone followed. I might have preferred a III tenor over my VII tenor, but that's about it for more modern horns. Every VI tenor I tried though, beat my VII tenor. As well as Conn, King, Buescher and Martin tenors of old. So for those with more modern preferences... and big hands... a VII tenor ain't the worst you can do.
Like I said above, one can make a case that the Mark 7 is actually MORE modern than the current crop of saxophones all derived from the Selmer Super Action 80 (in its various forms) which was a copy of the Mark 6 with a few changes, due to the poor reception of the 7. So those "more modern saxophones" really data back to the 1954 design of the Mark 6; the Mark 7 goes back to, what, about 1975? I propose that the 7 IS the modern saxophone.
I was able to play one for a week that I bought in Europe for a friend in the USA - pristine silver plated. Loved the feel under my hands, felt very natural to me. Loved the broad table. Big sound and an amazing altissimo, that is among the easiest and fullest I’ve come across. That altissimo really did it for me. If Id not already promised it to my friend I’d have kept it. Highly recommended, though I’m still so confused by the negative folklore. Obviously it’s a different sound to a Mk 6 but such an easy to play, rich toned horn and I loved it!
Okay so update:

As I am financing the the sax I buy (please don’t tear me apart) I was not approved for the amount I would need for a Mark VII (at least the offerings on Reverb)

My approval was only $2150 (the cannonball fits this used) but do you guys have any other suggestions that I could also be looking at?

I am looking for the projection and other similar characteristics found in the Mark VII (after some research I think I fell in love)
So if you guys have any other suggestions please let me know!

Also I can stretch that number just a little with cash but not by much
Here in continental Europe, Cannonball wouldn’t be an option, we don’t see them. With your budget, I’d scan the market for a Yamaha (used 62 ?) or a Yanagisawa. They pop-up regularly on classified ads.
I have two tenors: Selmer M7 and Yanagisawa T880 (Martin). Top-level saxophones of completely different sound. And the price difference is 100%. But I love both of them. Therefore, I can advise: if money is not enough, take Yanagisawa, or better save up and take Selmer.
Weighing in, the one I played in HS was velvety fast, and easy speaking. But, it had intonation challenges compared to some more modest horns and new horns in the section. I used a CS80 3* mouthpiece with 3 1/2 - 4 reeds. I now believe it was poorly adjusted. That horn was purchased used, and had never really seen a good tech. I thought poorly of MVIIs for years as a result. Based on a lot more wisdom, and testimony on SOTW and elsewhere, the MVII is a fine horn, like many horns, when properly adjusted. I'd view them as a nice cost effective option, after a trip to a suitable tech and shop that know these horns.
Update 2: I just ordered a Conn 10m Naked Lady (301,xxx) so I’ll update you guys when it gets here!
I own a Selmer MK7 since 1980 (mine was built in 1979). It is as of today still impeccable and plays vwry well. Never regrettes my purchase from day one. They are so many variable when purchasing a sax, the kind of sound you ****, the grip (how it feels in your hands), etc. One piece many tend to under estimate is probably the mouthpiece you put on it, in my opinion. Like it was said earlier, by a few, Selmer has a good value on the market.
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