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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys :)

Sorry in advanced if this becomes long...

After playing my series II for 7 years, I've found that it has a stuffy, generic quality to the sound. I didn't notice this much in high school (I mean, any professional horn was amazing compared to my student horn :p), but over the years, as I've developed as a player, I've noticed that my sound on alto is super generic and stuffy! I'm a jazz player and I'm really getting tired of sounding so...I don't know...classical I guess? Not to say that classical players sound generic (because they absolutely do not lol), but it's the best way I can honestly describe my sound.

I've tried and owned a number of different mouthpieces, facings, and chambers to no effect. I've spent many hours trying to improve my sound with longtones, and transcribing my jazz sax idols. Needless to say, nothing has helped! At one point I came to the conclusion that this was just "my sound", but I can't accept that anymore. I really do think that it may have something to do with my horn.

Has anyone else experienced this with the series II? I'm so frustrated and tired. I know getting a great jazz alto sound is difficult, but I'm at such a loss. I feel like it's impossible :cry:

P.S. Don't know if this means anything but I don't have this sound problem playing bari. I absolutely LOVE playing bari and I have a great sound on it. Maybe I was meant to play bari?? I don't know:dontknow:, but I'm not ready to give up on alto just yet, especially since that's the only horn I own at the moment...

Please help:help:
 

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Get the leaks out. The Serie II is a great alto.
 

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At one point I came to the conclusion that this was just "my sound", but I can't accept that anymore. I really do think that it may have something to do with my horn.
The easy way to answer this question is play other altos with your standard mouthpiece(s) and see how you sound. You need to isolate the horn as a variable.

Fwiw, I have found that my Series II alto has slightly more resistance than my Yanagisawa alto, especially on the topmost notes, but I haven't found the sound to be stuffy.
 

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I agree with Dr G. Have it adjusted before you decide it's the horn. Have you played other altos with your mp set up? And a tough question. Are you blowing from your gut. I mean really blowing. Your gut should act like a bellows and push the air out in a constant intense flow. I get it, no one wants to be corrected ... It's just something to think about.
 

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You said you don't have the problem on bari- is your bari also a Selmer Series II?
 

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Series II alto is by no mean a stuffy horn. Get a good tech to analyze it. That is arguably one of the best altos that you can put your hands on.
 

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The series ii tenors I've tried felt stuffy to me, but not the altos.
 

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Probably the mentioned leaks. Sometimes even pressing hard will not show a leak to be present. If a palm key is leaking, the whole horn will be hard to play.
Also have someone else try it and if possible, try another II to see how it plays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I really appreciate it :)

zorroperro: the bari I play is a series II actually!

I haven't gotten the horn serviced in a really long time *shame on me*, so it's most definitely is leaking. Come to think of it, my sax prof says horns are always leaking :p I should have taken that into account!

Anyways, I plan on taking it to get serviced in a few weeks! I'm hoping that getting those leaks out will do the trick. I am also going to talk to my tech about possibly heightening the keys. He's played my horn many times, so his opinion will help me make my decision. For now I'll just keep on practicing :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also, have any of you tried a Reference 54 neck on a series II alto? If so, does it change anything?
 

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I have both horns. The Ref and the Series II. In my experience, what some players have done, is to put a Series III neck on a Series II with good results. Not my case. In my opinion the Series II neck fits perfectly the Series II and I have not used the Reference neck because in my opinion, the Reference neck is not as good. I know different results can come through experimentation.

Have it checked by a technician, your Series II this is. In my point of view, which is somehow shared by many members around, the Series II is an awesome alto, and as I stated, arguably one of the best around.

Also, have any of you tried a Reference 54 neck on a series II alto? If so, does it change anything?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Have it checked by a technician, your Series II this is. In my point of view, which is somehow shared by many members around, the Series II is an awesome alto, and as I stated, arguably one of the best around.
I am definitely going to get it checked out very soon! I agree, the Series II is a really great horn. The ergonomics are fantastic; I just haven't been able to get the sound that I want from it. Maybe "stuffy" isn't quite the right descriptor. I think my sound is better described as "bright with no edge". I think it's kind of weird personally. Definitely not a jazz sound, but not classical either lol

Maybe I can upload a sound clip somehow?
 

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I am definitely going to get it checked out very soon! I agree, the Series II is a really great horn. The ergonomics are fantastic; I just haven't been able to get the sound that I want from it. Maybe "stuffy" isn't quite the right descriptor. I think my sound is better described as "bright with no edge". I think it's kind of weird personally. Definitely not a jazz sound, but not classical either lol
The fault does NOT correlate to the horn - assuming good working condition.

Look to your set (mpc/reed) or <gasp> yourself (embouchure, air stream, air support, etc.).
 

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Also, as we all think has not to do with the horn, as long it is in good shape, the Series II is a "play against" horn, if I can explain myself. It has IMO more resistance than many other horns, which many of us like a lot. It challenges you to form your sound, like a blank canvass. That resistance is very much appreciated in many Selmer horns.
 

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Sell the Serie II and buy yourself a Serie I (SA-80).
 

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Sell the Serie II and buy yourself a Serie I (SA-80).
Hmmm, the OP may not know how often you change horns... :twisted:

OP, get the II dialed in and never look back. :bluewink:
 

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What is wrong with changing horns, Dr. G? I have played some fantastic Serie I's and some stuffy Serie II's. I have been playing and keeping my pair of silversonic Super 20 alto and tenor for the past few years, but I want to lay my hands on as many horns as I can while I am on planet Earth.
 

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What is wrong with changing horns, Dr. G? I have played some fantastic Serie I's and some stuffy Serie II's. I have been playing and keeping my pair of silversonic Super 20 alto and tenor for the past few years, but I want to lay my hands on as many horns as I can while I am on planet Earth.
Absolutely nothing wrong with changing horns, Yellowhorn. Go for it. Enjoy YOUR quest.
 
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