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Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a quick heads up that I am going to go try out a sterling silver Selmer Series III tenor today at a small instrument fair downtown.
Any requests or questions?

I will be talking to the Japanese Selmer rep from Nonaka Boeki (Japan's sole importer and distributor for Selmer), so I can get some info today.

Thinking of a/b-ing it to my TH&C tenor or Ref 54....
 

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Try your ref neck with it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2008
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I'd like to know what the price is on one those if you wouldn't mind. Not that I'd ever buy one, but I just want to know how obscene it is.
 

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heath said:
I'd like to know what the price is on one those if you wouldn't mind. Not that I'd ever buy one, but I just want to know how obscene it is.
Kessler music has one for $7,900
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok,
Just got back from the fair and tried the sterling III tenor.

First the obscenity: $11,000 and change with a discount!:shock:

Necks tried on it:
1. Stock sterling III neck
2. Ref 54 brass
3. My sterling Series III neck that I use on my Ref 54
4. A Yani underslung, sterling neck

The Sterling III tenor is obscenely priced and it is obscenely free blowing. I was amazed at how effortless it was to play and the intonation was spot-on. It seemed to be able to take a lot of air, but remain civilized. Maybe just a tad too civilized for my Texas tenor tastes.

The necks tried produced interesting results. I played all necks with a JVW modified #12 Quantum Spoiler Delrin and 2 1/2 Alexander superial (well broken in).
Necks:
#1. Stock III sterling- effortless, smooth, yet had power enough. Very pure sound and a bit bright with a smoothness I didn't expect.
#2. Ref 54 brass- kind of dull in the upper register and lower register seemed to fatten up. Slight intonation problem.
#3. My sterling III- surprisingly fatter sound than the stock sterling....guess that shows there really is a difference from neck to neck, huh?;)
#4. Yani sterling underslung- Can you say "beast"? Drawbacks were the horn would chirp on me in the midrange and I found the intonation hard to control as I was trying to keep the horn from chirping. Very nice big, ballsy sound, though! Came close to the TH&C tenor I have, which is a sublime instrument.

Winner, the stock neck or my sterling III neck. I preferred mine, but YRMV.

Would I buy one if I were let's say someone with cash to burn? >>>>>> No.

Furthermore, I tried a gold plated III tenor that I preferred much more than the sterling. It had the sound I can go for. To be honest, I still don't know why I haven't ever invested in a III tenor after all these years. They are hot horns, with a sound I really like. I have never felt that a regular III limited me in any way.

Other horns that impressed me were the Yamaha 82Z UL tenor- amazingly good sounding horn with fantastic ergos, and spot on intonation. If you are looking for a pro tenor and have never played a variety of horns or can't, I dare say you can't go wrong with this horn. Just wonderful. Jazz horn, thru and thru.
If you are looking to play more rock or pop oriented music, you may want to look at the 82Z lacquered model. It was definitely a brighter sounding horn....although still suitable for jazz.

A big surprise to me was the IO tenor (IO is Jupiters "Pro" level brand here in Japan). I picked up a pink plated (copper?) with silver keys and inner bell. This horn is dynamite! What bang for the buck and it has a big throaty resonant sound that I immediately loved. Kind of PM meets JK, but with an edge. If you can try one of these tenors, by all means do. It was a bit pricey though....almost 3k, still a great horn and seems very solidly made.
 

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I think several people have reported back that the sterling silver III tenor isn't worth the extra cost. I consider it eye candy. I don't know where people got the idea that the more precious and valuable the metal the better the tone.

The standard series III is plenty good and can be had used at a reasonable price. Although I haven't seen too many silver plated III's on the used markets.

I have read on this forum that some people like the solid sterling III soprano, they seem convinced that it makes a noticable difference.

Randall how was the weight of the instrument. And why did they want $11K for it, is that MSRP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Heath,
To answer your questions and comments:

"I think several people have reported back that the sterling silver III tenor isn't worth the extra cost. I consider it eye candy...."

Hardly eye candy. it is plain-jane as they come and the horns get no engraving and just a two-tone finish (gold laq. keys)....But, I don't think it is worth the cost either.

"I don't know where people got the idea that the more precious and valuable the metal the better the tone."

I too don't worry about the "preciousness" of the metal; however metal composition IS a factor in tone. And it is a difference that is UNmeasurable. You can take this argument to Kymarto and crew, and find lots of people who agree that it makes no difference, but I am certain that metal composition is a factor in a horns sound.
I politely invite all who believe otherwise to take a flying leap!:D

"The standard series III is plenty good and can be had used at a reasonable price."

Yes indeed, it is and can!

"Although I haven't seen too many silver plated III's on the used markets."

I have seen them here in Japan occasionally, but mostly I see laq models for sale on auction, leading me to believe that people hold onto their silver-plated ones, more. I personally like the sound of the plated horns and the matte laq. model, having played numerous examples in top playing condition and set up by the same tech.

"I have read on this forum that some people like the solid sterling III soprano, they seem convinced that it makes a noticable difference."

Yes, it does, but the III soprano is definitely not my cup of tea.

"Randall how was the weight of the instrument. And why did they want $11K for it, is that MSRP."

I have never really overtly noticed weight differences in sterling altos and tenors and brass ones, although several people have commented that my sterling B&S Medusa is heavier than they are used to. When I have switched off with my TH&C in concert, I did notice a difference because I was experiencing an immediate thing, but it wasn't uncomfortable to me.

Why did they want 11k+ ?
Partially because the Euro is soaring against the Yen, and partially because the Japanese customers will bend over and lube up.

I am not kidding about the last part. :twisted:

Can you say "greed"?
 

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Yeah I just downloaded pics of the sterling III tenor on Kesslers site. I think it needs some engraving and I'm not big on two toned horns. They should heavily silver plate the keys. How much is Sterling Silver worth anyway? If I buy the silver and send it to selmer will they give me a sharp discount? :)

I also priced the silver plated III tenor and they ain't exactly cheap, actually pretty dang close to the ref prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
heath, silver is around $12 or $13 a troy ounce, I think.

The costs of the horn are definitely not justifiable, based on metal price alone.
 

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When my daughters and I tried a Yanagisawa A-9937(solid silver) alto at USA horn we were impressed w/ the reponse,projection and crystal clear sound(less edge/more smoothness). At 5300 used(mint) it was a expensive alto. Was it better than my daughter's A-901 that cost 1798. Absolutely!!!!Is it worth paying $3500 over a standard 901 or 991. No!!!But if money were no object solid silver saxes have alot to offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
sycc,
Here Here!

The A 9937 is the best production alto on the market. It is one of my all time favs.
 

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Randall said:
sycc,
Here Here!

The A 9937 is the best production alto on the market. It is one of my all time favs.
It was a kick *ss sax. It's just alot more than than most saxes. The $3500 saved helped finance her older sis's Keilwerth SX-90 tenor($2500) and Cannonball A1E big bell alto($1299{1/2 price due to lac'q blemish on rt side of bell/bow-looks hazy like oversprsay}). I have GAS for myself and my 2 daughters. After we get our Yani SN-981,We are going to cool itw/ buying saxes for a very long time!!!!
 

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I've had my Silver (plate) Selmer III tenor for about 6 weeks now....I think I like it more and more every week!

My girlfriend's Dad was just in town and he thinks he likes the sound of it more than his Ref 36....I disagree....I think they are just different...both great in their own way!

We did some neck swapping (plus with another 36 neck) and the only big difference was my III neck on his Ref 36 horn really turned it loose. A big difference in how the horn played more than sounded...to me it turned it into (even a bigger) monster!

Thanks for the review!
 

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What did you pay for you silver plated III tenor if you don't mind me asking.
 

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I played the Sterling Series III Tenor at NAMM last year and at Kessler's recently. Not impressed. I prefer the regular Brass Series III Tenor. The regular SIII has a richer more resonant sound. For Sterling Tenors, the Yani 9937 is far superior as far as sound is concerned. Still I find the Reference 54 with the Sterling 54 neck even better. The Sterling 54 Neck adds fullness, richness, slightly brighter BIG sound. It's an awesome combo.
 
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