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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My alto is a Selmer Radio Improved model. I know what the words mean but what did Selmer really intend it to mean?

Keith
 

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As far as I know it was a marketing ploy. Radio was one of the biggest sources of entertainment at the time. Most people listened to jazz and big bands by using a radio. Selmer marketing comes up with a new model called the "Radio Improved" to make saxophonists think, "If I have one of these, maybe my music will be heard on the radio".

Media that reached an audience of a large scale was still a fairly new concept. The first radio station KDKA (in Pittsburgh) was only established several years prior to this saxophone. Musicians (and the still developing recording industry) were astonished that it was possible to broadcast their music to thousands of people simultaniously. It's still exciting to hear your music played through the radio...even if it is a very local station.

Well, this is the best reasoning that I can think of anyway.
 

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Fender Telecaster (1951)
Gibson "TV" finish (1955)

Same story for a new medium. Hooray for marketeers - they never change.
 

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Well, I'll be. Seems as if Selmer worked with Pannasonic on this horn and it is in fact "Radio Improved" after all.:twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your comments.

Keith
 

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Radio flyer wagon

Radio flyer trike

Radio improved sax

No stinking radios
 

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i almost screwed up and sold mine...thank god i didnt!!!
 

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I think that the idea which was implied was that the intonation was improved to fit the more stringent requirements of the new radio performances , perhaps they wanted to balance the fact that early Selmer were not particularly known for their intonation to be the greatest............ snake oil in the industry created fluidity back then as it does now.
 

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thats bunk-early selmers were light years ahead of any horn from that era -in all departments
 

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Well, one expert opinion might not mean that all experts are in agreement but that's what, for example, Pet Hales had to say about some early Selmers, the model 22 :

"....... I still think that the Modele 22 is overvalued because Conns or Bueschers of approximately the same era are superior horns - and the Buffet horns from the same era are equivalent in tone to the Selmers and surpass them in construction and intonation -- but are worth less. However, the Modele 22 does have a very nice tone and has its fans, but even they mention some issues... "
 

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Opinion in the UK in the early 30s, according to my father, was that Selmers were the gold standard. He definitely considered Conns of the time to be lesser horns - and didn't consider Bueschers at all - when he bought his Selmer. But there does seem to have been a leap forward in prestige around 1929-30.
 

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Well considering that Rasher liked the Bueschers........a lot! (And endorsed them too!)
 

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It produces radio waves.......
 

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I agree it does sound a bit of a hype but, around that time the "Selmer Sound" started to emerge as distinct to the other more 'spread tones' of the era. Radio was THE most powerful medium of the age, what people heard on the radio affected their whole outlook on the World, entertainment ,politics etc.
Selmer horns do record very well, they project straight into the mic. far better than the 'spread sound' horns. Remember back in the day everything was recorded 'live'-- technology compared with today was non-existent.
Bear in mind also, these developments in instruments 'projecting' and being 'Radio Friendly' were taking place in trumpet and brass manufacture, resulting in horns gradually becoming louder and more 'focused' Going back to Selmer saxophones---I suppose the zenith of these developments resulted in the Mk VI, the most focused sax and most copied by everything that came after.
These comments in no way reflect my own preferences, sometimes it's useful to reflect on the attitudes and perceptions of bygone times in that way we increase our understanding of the present.
 

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I always figured something was lost during the translation from French to English. :bluewink:
 
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