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At one point, I owned both an alto and a tenor Series II. The alto has always felt and sounded great, I have never played an alto I prefer over it. But that tenor, I tried for a long time to like it. I don't know if I could tell you what exactly was lacking from it, but eventually I sucked it up and sold it to buy something I actually enjoyed playing.

I get the impression that my experience wasn't unique, that there seem to be a lot more satisfied people with the altos than tenors. It seems that whatever design philosophy produced the Series II worked best in the alto, but only produced a "meh" tenor. What do you think?

And yes, I'm aware that [insert fantastically successful professional player] plays a Series II tenor.
 

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At one point, I owned both an alto and a tenor Series II. The alto has always felt and sounded great, I have never played an alto I prefer over it. But that tenor, I tried for a long time to like it. I don't know if I could tell you what exactly was lacking from it, but eventually I sucked it up and sold it to buy something I actually enjoyed playing.
i'm just curious, but what did you buy that you now enjoy playing - thanks
 

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At one point, I owned both an alto and a tenor Series II. The alto has always felt and sounded great, I have never played an alto I prefer over it. But that tenor, I tried for a long time to like it. I don't know if I could tell you what exactly was lacking from it, but eventually I sucked it up and sold it to buy something I actually enjoyed playing.

I get the impression that my experience wasn't unique, that there seem to be a lot more satisfied people with the altos than tenors. It seems that whatever design philosophy produced the Series II worked best in the alto, but only produced a "meh" tenor. What do you think?

And yes, I'm aware that [insert fantastically successful professional player] plays a Series II tenor.
Totally agree. I owned Series II altos and tenors (two of each) and my experience was exactly the same. Actually, I played on them for years, I tried not to play on MKVI's, just because everyone said 'get a MKVI', but guess what I play on now! I'm not even using my Ref 54 tenor anymore, although the REF 54 alto still gets used - sometimes.
 

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Agree also. I had a great combination when I had a Serie II alto and a Serie III tenor.
 

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If it's any help, my S2 tenor is the worst one of the 4 post war Selmers that I have. It's in great playing condition and is the only one of the 4 that is silver plated.
To put it in a nutshell, it doesn't ring or throb like the others - SBA, 6, and Ref54.
I am looking around for a S2 alto.
Dave
 

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Same for me. For some reason, the SA-II alto and bari are great horns, the sop and tenor are rather disappointing.
 

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I should have added that although I don't have them now, the SA II altos were really very good, in fact I somewhat regret selling one of them.

The following is purely my opinion (of course) and also a generalisation, but I have noticed a degree of agreement over the years here on SOTW.

MKVI tenor = yes
MKVI alto = yes, but not as highly regarded as the tenors
MKVII tenor = no
MKVII alto = yes
SA80 II tenor = no
SA80 II alto = yes
Serie III tenor = yes
Serie III alto = no
Ref 54 tenor = yes, but not as good as the alto's
Ref 54 alto = yes

These are instruments which I have direct experience of, hence no SA80 or SBA. I've played a few Ref 36 tenors which I didn't like, but too few to form a good opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i'm just curious, but what did you buy that you now enjoy playing - thanks
I play a 10M mostly, but I have a silver Yamaha 875 I'm finding difficult to let go. I probably would have chucked it all in and gone for this relac SBA I played at Junkdude about a year ago, if I could have afforded to do such a thing.
 

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I had an SA80II tenor too. It was like trying to blow through a block of wood.
 

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I have a Series III alto, which I think is a great horn. I remember when I bought it I tried a Series II alto at the same time and couldn't get on with the ergos, it just didn't feel right, and I much preferred the cleaner sound of the III. I like the additional C# vent, it makes the C# really sing.

(I also tried a Mark VI silver plated alto at the same time that the shop was selling for a customer and thought it was awful.)
 
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