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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Selmer Super Action 80 Alto (series i) Who plays one and why did you choose this model Selmer, what are the pros and cons compared to other Selmer models?
 

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I have owned two this decade (just sold the last one in December.) I chose this model because I could afford it - they can be found at prices significantly cheaper than a Mark VI alto and even cheaper than the plentiful Series II alto. I was drawn to the SA 80 phat tone, slick keywork and modern sound, but in both instances I didn't fall in love with the horn - same thing has happened when I've had Mark VII altos. Close but no cigar - they weren't able to dampen or satisfy my Mark VI lust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was drawn to the SA 80 phat tone, slick keywork and modern sound, but in both instances they weren't able to dampen or satisfy my Mark VI lust.
Do you now play a Mk vi that is fatter sounding with better key work? Is there much intonation difference between an super action 80 i and a Mark vi?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I went ahead an purchased a very clean original Selmer Super Action 80 (series i) manufactured in 1984. It has the original Selmer pads so it is maybe needing a re-padding. This horn has only one tiny ping on the left hand side of the neck, that's all, no other dents or pings anywhere to be found. Quite a rarity to find one in such original unscathed condition. The person who owned it was the original owner and he said that he only played it for 2 years and then put it under the bed and never played it again. Once it is serviced will know what this little gem is really about.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012
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Excellent horn. I owned one back in the 90s, switched to an SA-II for snobism, had 2 MkVIs, more snobism, and am back on an SA-II for quite a while. SA80 and SA-II altos share the same tube and acoustics. Main differences are keywork and assembly related.
IMHO, one of the best altos for the cash. Intonation, low and high end playability, better than most MkVI I could try so far. And soundwise, you can go in any direction, from a “classical” dark to the brightest screamer, depending mp, reed and technique. Again, a really good alto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Excellent horn. I owned one back in the 90s, switched to an SA-II for snobism, had 2 MkVIs, more snobism, and am back on an SA-II for quite a while. SA80 and SA-II altos share the same tube and acoustics. Main differences are keywork and assembly related.
IMHO, one of the best altos for the cash. Intonation, low and high end playability, better than most MkVI I could try so far. And soundwise, you can go in any direction, from a “classical” dark to the brightest screamer, depending mp, reed and technique. Again, a really good alto.
I did some minor adjustments and regulation to the SA-I and had an extensive play on it yesterday afternoon and into the evening. Very surprised with the evenness of tone and how open the 2nd register and palm keys are compared to my mk vi I'm extremely impressed with this horn.

By the way, you sound really really great on this "Hear them on The Groove Merchant (satb)" recording, a lot of happiness and joy comes through.
 

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I did some minor adjustments and regulation to the SA-I and had an extensive play on it yesterday afternoon and into the evening. Very surprised with the evenness of tone and how open the 2nd register and palm keys are compared to my mk vi I'm extremely impressed with this horn.

By the way, you sound really really great on this "Hear them on The Groove Merchant (satb)" recording, a lot of happiness and joy comes through.
Thanks for your kind comment.
 

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I have owned 2 SA80 Alto's (Mk1) one from new in 1982 then sold it to buy a YAS 62 in 1986 I wish I'd stayed with the Selmer ......I have owned a Keilworth SX90R, Dark with a big sound but lacked SOUL ..and a Trevor James signiture RAW not bad ,great key work and action, but 1 dimensional...and so back to an SA80 (mk1) it's lived a busy life one, but blows great from soft n sweet to screaming ,but always at the heart is that selmer sound ...

They respond well to different MPs I've used a Dukoff D6 in my wilder moments along with a TW Durga 7 metal ....I now play a Phil Tone Rift 0.81 with Marca 2 1/2reeds or Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 both work great....
I play a few standards with a pianist and then of to RnB gigs I also play with a horn section in a 70s 80s funk covers band ...this sax does it all, and in my opinion is overlooked by many players, it wasn't around very long before all the key work was upgraded on the (mk2) But it's still the same sax body as a Mk2 ...they just don't command the same price and go under the radar somewhat ...but the prices will only go 1 way .This SA 80 Horn is a keeper and after trying a couple of Ref 54 Alto....lets just say I knew that sticking with the SA80 was a no Brainer .....Enjoy your playing and smile when realise you have a great horn without breaking the BANK....
 

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I had an original SA80 original series alto it wax round 320,xxx. I think that one was just a lemon, it sucked a matter what I did to it. Maybe the neck was defective. Anyway, the old SA80 series 2 I play now is WAY better .
 

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I had an original SA80 original series alto it wax round 320,xxx. I think that one was just a lemon, it sucked a matter what I did to it. Maybe the neck was defective. Anyway, the old SA80 series 2 I play now is WAY better .
Hey How you doing LateNight? Still have the Serie III?
 
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