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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter started band 2 1/2 years ago, and I figured i'd buy her a nice student sax to start her out with. I started on a crappy conn with the shooting starts that was in bad disrepair and was very discouraged and almost quit till i played on a good horn, it made all the difference in the world, so I wanted to give her a good start. I bought her a selmer 400 series new with an S90 C* mouthpiece. I played it after she received it and was surprised at how much I didn't like it (I'd played many varieties of selmers in the past, including student horns and always thought they were great previously). I found the spatula keys very cumbersome and just no personality to the sound whatsoever, not freeblowing at all. She liked it however (I think because it was shiny and new and most kids had pre-used rental horns, she didn't know enough at that point to have an opinion on tone) so she has played it since starting 6th grade, now in 8th. I've played it a few times while helping her with practice when I didn't feel like getting my own sax out and hated it every time. She told me the other day the thumb hook was loose and needed tightened. When i got down there to tighten it, I noticed below the thumb hook it said "Made in Vietnam". When did selmer start making horns in Vietnam? I wouldn't have ever thought selmer would be producing horns there so never checked. I'm very disappointed in the quality of this horn still after 2+ years. We had a pad fall out, a mother of pearl inlay fall out, cork came off the neck 2 months in, and now the thumbhook won't stay tight. Just curious if anyone knows when this change happened and if all their horns are produced there or just student models? I could've saved a lot of money and bought her a taiwanese sax of much better quality. The deed is done, but just looking to learn a little more at this point.

Thanks!
Kristy
 

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Kristy, Conn-Selmer is U.S. based and yes, they most definitely have their 400 and 600 (probably others as well) series horns manufactured in........Vietnam. Many people confuse Selmer Paris with Conn-Selmer in the U.S. Is it deceptive? Perhaps, but unfortunately, it's not illegal either. I've done repair work on both 400 and 600's. Some of them aren't bad at all, while others are pretty.......craptacular. Can't tell you why.
Obviously, you could unload the 400, but don't expect to get ANYTHING near what you paid for it. You probably are already aware of that!
Good luck!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kristy, Conn-Selmer is U.S. based and yes, they most definitely have their 400 and 600 (probably others as well) series horns manufactured in........Vietnam. Many people confuse Selmer Paris with Conn-Selmer in the U.S. Is it deceptive? Perhaps, but unfortunately, it's not illegal either. I've done repair work on both 400 and 600's. Some of them aren't bad at all, while others are pretty.......craptacular. Can't tell you why.
Obviously, you could unload the 400, but don't expect to get ANYTHING near what you paid for it. You probably are already aware of that!
Good luck!

John
Definitely deceptive! And unfortunately i think we got one of the 'craptacular' horns :cry:. Since she's happy with it, I won't unload it just yet, but you're right, definitely not going to see much of a return when its time to let it go. I'd feel bad selling the thing to someone else lol

Thanks for the info!!
Kristy
 

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The brand split dates from the 20's.
Yes, I think it's a little unfair to describe the situation as deceptive. It's very well-known in the music world. And Conn-Selmer certainly doesn't charge Selmer Paris prices for the Selmer USA horns.

There are two snack companies in Pennsylvania, Snyder's of Hanover (mostly pretzels) and Snyder of Berlin (mostly potato chips). A long time ago, they were a single company, but a family feud occurred and the two halves went their separate ways. For a while, they had dueling fine-print disclaimers on their product packages: "Not affiliated in any way with Snyder of Berlin" and "Not affiliated in any way with Snyder's of Hanover."
 

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Several 'Big 4' makers have been sourcing factories in China and Viet-Nam for horns and parts for the lower-end models. These factories are capable of making decent horns but it depends on the customers' specs.
 

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And on a differnt note..lexpect to lose a small fortune on new horns. Its worse than buying a new car from a depreciation standpoint. Im betting youncould have pieked up a used nice pro horn for the cost of that one new.

But oive and learn. Im glad she is still playing it.
 

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So now you know that the “ change” never happened.

Sorry that you found this so late but if you would have looked around you would have found plenty of information about the fact that:

1) Selmer USA is a different company than Selmer Paris France

2) that Selmer USA have NOT been produced for several decades in the US.

3) There never was a model 400 made in France

Tenon is the company that probably produced you horn.

As other have commented, TThere are lots of American companies which have used the names of European products or even companies to the point that now you have Edam and Gouda cheese made in the USA (both cities are in the Netherlands) or Parmesan (which literally means “ from Parma” ) made in the USA.

the original and true Budweiser ( which means from Budwar in the Czech republic) is NOT the same Budweiser from the USA.

The companies Selmer started from 2 brothers and they rightfully keep their name. but they were always different companies with commercial ties. The confusion only exists if you don’t do any research at all. This confusion is made even worse by the fact that Conn-Selmer is the distributor of Selmer in the USA.

But the information is clearly out there published by the companies.
 

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the original and true Budweiser ( which means from Budwar in the Czech republic) is NOT the same Budweiser from the USA.
.
Ahh yes, and the American Budweiser is mere fuzzy water compared to the classic Pilsner that is the true Budweiser. Fortunately, there are many microbrews that now make quality pilsners in that original style (with the distinct Saaz hops).

-floobydust
 

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My daughter started band 2 1/2 years ago, and I figured i'd buy her a nice student sax to start her out with. I started on a crappy conn with the shooting starts that was in bad disrepair and was very discouraged and almost quit till i played on a good horn, it made all the difference in the world, so I wanted to give her a good start. I bought her a selmer 400 series new with an S90 C* mouthpiece. I played it after she received it and was surprised at how much I didn't like it (I'd played many varieties of selmers in the past, including student horns and always thought they were great previously). I found the spatula keys very cumbersome and just no personality to the sound whatsoever, not freeblowing at all. She liked it however (I think because it was shiny and new and most kids had pre-used rental horns, she didn't know enough at that point to have an opinion on tone) so she has played it since starting 6th grade, now in 8th. I've played it a few times while helping her with practice when I didn't feel like getting my own sax out and hated it every time. She told me the other day the thumb hook was loose and needed tightened. When i got down there to tighten it, I noticed below the thumb hook it said "Made in Vietnam". When did selmer start making horns in Vietnam? I wouldn't have ever thought selmer would be producing horns there so never checked. I'm very disappointed in the quality of this horn still after 2+ years. We had a pad fall out, a mother of pearl inlay fall out, cork came off the neck 2 months in, and now the thumbhook won't stay tight. Just curious if anyone knows when this change happened and if all their horns are produced there or just student models? I could've saved a lot of money and bought her a taiwanese sax of much better quality. The deed is done, but just looking to learn a little more at this point. Kristy [quote/]

Hey Kristy, I guess you didn’t know about my horns when you bought your daughters. As you know, I import my horns from Taiwan which are very high quality, as good as anything. I tried ten horns from Vietnam as a test because they were cheaper and had trouble with almost all of them. On six of them we couldn’t get the necks to tighten down without expanding the tenons then we found the receivers were out of round. A couple of pads fell out and some corks and felts fell off. That was the extent of my experience with Vietnam. I also tried ten horns from China and they were even worse, much worse but I won’t go into detail because there’s too much to list. My feeling, stay away from Vietnamese and Chinese horns and stick with Taiwan. Hope you’re well. Phil Barone
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So now you know that the “ change” never happened.

Sorry that you found this so late but if you would have looked around you would have found plenty of information about the fact that:

1) Selmer USA is a different company than Selmer Paris France

2) that Selmer USA have NOT been produced for several decades in the US.

3) There never was a model 400 made in France

Tenon is the company that probably produced you horn.

As other have commented, TThere are lots of American companies which have used the names of European products or even companies to the point that now you have Edam and Gouda cheese made in the USA (both cities are in the Netherlands) or Parmesan (which literally means “ from Parma” ) made in the USA.

the original and true Budweiser ( which means from Budwar in the Czech republic) is NOT the same Budweiser from the USA.

The companies Selmer started from 2 brothers and they rightfully keep their name. but they were always different companies with commercial ties. The confusion only exists if you don’t do any research at all. This confusion is made even worse by the fact that Conn-Selmer is the distributor of Selmer in the USA.

But the information is clearly out there published by the companies.
I can see now the information is out there, Guto provided some great links, unfortunatley I didn't think to look before. I had played Mark VI's and Super Balanced Actions but never really looked into/tried the selmer student line. It was a rushed purchase, and had the choice between that and a yamaha student horn and thought selmer would be the better choice. After acquiring a used yas-23 from a family member, the yamaha would've been a better choice. I trusted the brand name without doing my due diligence, and got a crap horn in return, kind of the point of my post :mrgreen:, that and to learn for next time. Thanks for the info!

Kristy
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My daughter started band 2 1/2 years ago, and I figured i'd buy her a nice student sax to start her out with. I started on a crappy conn with the shooting starts that was in bad disrepair and was very discouraged and almost quit till i played on a good horn, it made all the difference in the world, so I wanted to give her a good start. I bought her a selmer 400 series new with an S90 C* mouthpiece. I played it after she received it and was surprised at how much I didn't like it (I'd played many varieties of selmers in the past, including student horns and always thought they were great previously). I found the spatula keys very cumbersome and just no personality to the sound whatsoever, not freeblowing at all. She liked it however (I think because it was shiny and new and most kids had pre-used rental horns, she didn't know enough at that point to have an opinion on tone) so she has played it since starting 6th grade, now in 8th. I've played it a few times while helping her with practice when I didn't feel like getting my own sax out and hated it every time. She told me the other day the thumb hook was loose and needed tightened. When i got down there to tighten it, I noticed below the thumb hook it said "Made in Vietnam". When did selmer start making horns in Vietnam? I wouldn't have ever thought selmer would be producing horns there so never checked. I'm very disappointed in the quality of this horn still after 2+ years. We had a pad fall out, a mother of pearl inlay fall out, cork came off the neck 2 months in, and now the thumbhook won't stay tight. Just curious if anyone knows when this change happened and if all their horns are produced there or just student models? I could've saved a lot of money and bought her a taiwanese sax of much better quality. The deed is done, but just looking to learn a little more at this point. Kristy [quote/]

Hey Kristy, I guess you didn’t know about my horns when you bought your daughters. As you know, I import my horns from Taiwan which are very high quality, as good as anything. I tried ten horns from Vietnam as a test because they were cheaper and had trouble with almost all of them. On six of them we couldn’t get the necks to tighten down without expanding the tenons then we found the receivers were out of round. A couple of pads fell out and some corks and felts fell off. That was the extent of my experience with Vietnam. I also tried ten horns from China and they were even worse, much worse but I won’t go into detail because there’s too much to list. My feeling, stay away from Vietnamese and Chinese horns and stick with Taiwan. Hope you’re well. Phil Barone
Thanks Phil. I wasn't aware of your horns at the time but wish I had been! Unfortunately for school band, kids got to pick their instrument with the exception of saxophone and percussion, those were done by audition and if they weren't selected they had to choose another instrument. The selections weren't announced till a week before they were expected to have their instrument. By this time local stores stocks were depleted due to back to school so I had less than a week at that point to find one. I went to a local guitar store and they had a selmer and a yamaha to pick from. I rushed to make a purchase and didn't research or look around like I would have liked. Live and learn, and thanks for the sound advice! I'll remember it on my next purchase.

Thanks!
Kristy
 

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Thanks Phil. I wasn't aware of your horns at the time but wish I had been! Unfortunately for school band, kids got to pick their instrument with the exception of saxophone and percussion, those were done by audition and if they weren't selected they had to choose another instrument. The selections weren't announced till a week before they were expected to have their instrument. By this time local stores stocks were depleted due to back to school so I had less than a week at that point to find one. I went to a local guitar store and they had a selmer and a yamaha to pick from. I rushed to make a purchase and didn't research or look around like I would have liked. Live and learn, and thanks for the sound advice! I'll remember it on my next purchase.

Thanks!
Kristy
Your next purchase may well be your last...a good 'pro' level sax will outlive the player if it's taken care of. As others have probably mentioned (I didn't read the whole thread), you should buy used pretty much anytime you buy a musical instrument. Used gear can usually be sold for about what you paid, allowing you the option of changing up just for fun or upgrading for a small price. Saxophones haven't changed much in many years so vintage saxes can even be a good investment as well as a joy to play...
 

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Your next purchase may well be your last...a good 'pro' level sax will outlive the player if it's taken care of. As others have probably mentioned (I didn't read the whole thread), you should buy used pretty much anytime you buy a musical instrument. Used gear can usually be sold for about what you paid, allowing you the option of changing up just for fun or upgrading for a small price. Saxophones haven't changed much in many years so vintage saxes can even be a good investment as well as a joy to play...
Yes, you only really lose on selling used if you overpaid in the first place. On new instruments expect to sell used for maybe 60% what you paid if you are lucky unless you find a sucker prepared to pay more.
 

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To my knowledge Selmer Paris has never made a "student" horn. Your experience with a Selmer Paris saxophone will have nothing to do with your experience with a "Selmer USA" branded horn made in gawd-only-knows-where.

Lots of people try to sell a Bundy with the word Selmer real big and Bundy real small in their ad.
 

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Also, should this come up again in your life, you will usually do better for the total raw beginner to rent an instrument for a while. What you can buy at a super discount price will be a lot worse instrument than what you can rent.
 

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by the way, for next time, there are (or rather were) many more Selmers that aren’t Selmers at all.

Selmer London, Selmer Pennsylvania, Selmer ‘ Artiste” France, Zelmer, Selma, Selmer Bundy,

then there was Dominic ( Cucinotti) Music with horns called Selmer Artist series or Selmer Artist Limited ( this was absolutely a con) offering Selmer mouthpieces on Chinese horns that he imported.
 
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