Great avatar JI!
I've never played a Series II so take what I'm about to say (which I realize isn't much help) with a grain of salt....
I know the table keys were changed. Prior to buying my SA80, I was looking at a Super Balanced Action and when I mentioned I was also looking at a Series I the owner of the SBA kind of poo-poo'd them saying the table keys (low B-flat in particular) were too far away and "the series II was a better horn". Well.... he was trying to sell me his SBA, and I hardly think the series II is "better". The whole "better" thing with horns bothers me, it's so overblown (yuk yuk!). Getting back to the table keys, it was a minor adjustment for my pinky at first, but now I actually like the placement, the keys feel very "positive" and "non-mushy".
As far as sound, I've heard it said the Series I's are a little more "freer" sounding but still with a good resistance to blow against. I have no idea if this is true or not. I suspect there's probably more sound and tonal variation between two Series II of different years, for example, than between a given Series I and II. Who knows....I'm guessing. Let's let someone who's played them both chime in.....
EDIT: oh and the necks. There's supposed to be something about the Series I necks people aren't crazy about. I dunno....I like the neck and I like my horn, no issues whatsoever!
do you have a photo?Hello, I realize you posted some years ago but I have a question for you. I bought a series "1" last year it was made in the 80's, and overall I'm very pleased with it . There's just one thing which remains a mystery to me there is an extra key next to the octave key which operates a small pad near the base of the neck, yes that's right, the neck! No one seems to know what it's for, not even my teacher. I tried it of course in several combinations but it just seems to make it more difficult to play. It appears to an option as I've never seen anything like it on other saxophones. Have you an idea? I would appreciate a reply. Anyhow I'm very pleased with it.
Thanks a lot, MB