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Hey all, I unexpectedly had the opportunity to borrow a Supreme for a few days this week. Here's a video I made with some comparisons with my normal Series III as well as other thoughts:
Excellent demonstration and commentary, as usual. The first thing that occurred to me when I heard your comparison is that the Supreme sounds like a Series III with a dollop of Series II added back in, so I was pleased that you came to essentially the same conclusion. I have to admit that, even as a Series III player myself, I liked the sound of the Supreme a little better in this close-up listening context. The Series III has a tiny bit of edge here and there, whereas the Supreme is uniformly sweet and mellow. They are certainly quite close, however. You're probably right about the III's having a slight advantage for things like concertos (but my problem is that I don't play saxophone concertos, except as reductions :)).

The reason that jazz players don't like the Series III alto is that they typically test it with a bright or even brash jazz mouthpiece. Such mouthpieces can "open up" darkish altos, but are usually overkill on something as free-blowing and sensitive as a Series III. The common result is, "Wow, too bright!" Your S90 doesn't create that problem.

I've said from the launch that based on the description of the Supreme, it would be a much bigger advance for a Series II player than for a Series III player, since many of the Supreme's intonational and ergonomic upgrades were pioneered on the III. Your review made that point clear as well. However, I will add that the Supreme's engraving is not as impressive to someone with a Jubilee Series III (or Series II) as to a pre-Jubilee player. I think the Jubilee engraving is more elegant and more coherent than the Supreme's engraving.

Finally, thanks for helping to rebut the recent spate of threads in SOTW about how it's purportedly impossible to sound that good on a synthetic reed. :)
 

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Hey all, I unexpectedly had the opportunity to borrow a Supreme for a few days this week. Here's a video I made with some comparisons with my normal Series III as well as other thoughts:
Thanks very much for the review. Very informative!
 

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[Corrected: Donna SCHWARTZ. Sorry, Donna.]
Ep 105 – Jaleel Shaw; An influential saxophonist for this generation (skip to 36:20)
Not much Selmer promotion of Supreme as an instrument for jazz players.
Here is Jaleel Shaw discussing the horn on Donna Schwartz's Everything Saxphone Podcast.
Take-aways:
1. Charlie Parker often didn't own a horn, and you can't really identify specific gear on various recordings. He sounds like Bird!
2. Supreme may be a bit brighter than Jaleel's Mk VI.
3. Intonation of the Supreme is fantastic.
 

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Ep 105 – Jaleel Shaw; An influential saxophonist for this generation (skip to 36:20)
Not much Selmer promotion of Supreme as an instrument for jazz players.
Here is Jaleel Shaw discussing the horn on Donna Schwatz's Everything Saxphone Podcast.
Take-aways:
1. Charlie Parker often didn't own a horn, and you can't really identify specific gear on various recordings. He sounds like Bird!
2. Supreme may be a bit brighter than Jaleel's Mk VI.
3. Intonation of the Supreme is fantastic.
I really appreciate the summary! Thank you.
 

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Funny how Jaleel describes after having played a Mark VI for his whole life, he was approached by Selmer to endorse the Supreme. He said at first he was reluctant because his Mark VI was part of the musician he is and he was very happy with it. And he goes on to say he's still getting used to playing the Supreme, a quite different experience than his Mark VI.

Shouldn't endorsement be the other way around? First you like a horn so much that you make it your primary instrument, then you'd become an endorser? Maybe I'm too naive.
 

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Funny how Jaleel describes after having played a Mark VI for his whole life, he was approached by Selmer to endorse the Supreme. He said at first he was reluctant because his Mark VI was part of the musician he is and he was very happy with it. And he goes on to say he's still getting used to playing the Supreme, a quite different experience than his Mark VI.

Shouldn't endorsement be the other way around? First you like a horn so much that you make it your primary instrument, then you'd become an endorser? Maybe I'm too naive.
It can work both ways with established products, but with a brand-new product, obviously it can work only the first way. Selmer Paris wanted the authority of well-known players behind the Supreme, so it had to solicit them.

I think Selmer would be delighted if Mark VI players switched to the Supreme, but I don't think that's an important objective for the company. What Selmer wants is for prospective Reference 54 buyers to choose the Supreme instead. Giving the new horn some VI-related cachet will help in that regard.
 

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Funny how Jaleel describes after having played a Mark VI for his whole life, he was approached by Selmer to endorse the Supreme. He said at first he was reluctant because his Mark VI was part of the musician he is and he was very happy with it. And he goes on to say he's still getting used to playing the Supreme, a quite different experience than his Mark VI.
Shouldn't endorsement be the other way around? First you like a horn so much that you make it your primary instrument, then you'd become an endorser? Maybe I'm too naive.
I don't know a lot, but I did buy a Selmer Paris horn not-available-to-gen-pub from a Selmer endorsee.
As I understand it, becoming a Selmer endorsee entitles the ARTIST to obtain new Selmer horns on some kind of schedule, not annual, but possibly periodic. And if desired, those horns can be highly customized within the limits of current factory production possibilities. My silver-plate Ref 36 had factory key touch substitutions, different resonators, non-standard engraving, and more.
So it makes perfect sense to me that 1. Selmer sees Jaleel playing a Mk VI, likes his music AND his attitude and contribution to jazz including teaching; 2. Selmer reaches out to Jaleel, asks him to become an endorsee; 3. Jaleel uses his endorsement to get a new Supreme.
Selmer doesn't demand Jaleel play the Supreme exclusively. They trust that he will evaluate it, discuss it honestly, and if an organic fit incorporate it into his music.
I don't think this is sinister in any way. Listen to the interview. He certainly is NOT shilling the Supreme.
 

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of course, but he's also being very careful about what he says.
I agree, but I've seen that in other artists I respect. They are cautious and almost seem to be suppressing any possible ebullience or joy with a new instrument because they may not think such expression is professional behavior, or understand that if their feelings change over months or years they may look silly from their early gleeful comments, or correctly believe their music comes from their mind and heart and fingers and not beholden to a specific mechanical steampunk pipe.
I don't know and don't really care what are the terms and benefits of a Selmer endorsement deal, but the standards clause would probably include not portraying the company and products in a bad light.
I think the honorable behavior by Selmer would be to choose endorsees wisely, put best work into their hands, hope it delights, and trust them to express their delight appropriately and believably.
 
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