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Discussion Starter #1
I've been a frequent visitor to SOTW but this is my first post. I have seen from other posts that sax lacquer vs. plating debates tend to get quite heated an I am not really interested in rekindling those debates. However here is my question, like a lot of people I'm looking to purchase an SBA Tenor. I have been trying out as many as I can get a hold of but I have not found one I am satisfied with yet. I've been searching many different website and I've been noticing that silver plated SBAs are selling for significantly less than lacquered SBAs of the same condition and serial number. It seems that a silver plated SBA would be more rare than a lacquered one so why would these horn be selling for less. I realize they must be less desirable to the people purchasing SBA horns but why? I've tried to research this but I have had no luck so if you know of a thread already available that i might read I will be happy to check it out.

Thanks

J.
 

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Welcome to SOTW Jason.

I'm not sure why folks tend to try to label any of the early Selmers, as a group, as stuffy, resistant or more wonderful than their chosen favorite. Remember that all these horns were hand crafted and that each really is an individual. Since you've played several I'm sure you've noticed that each horn has it's own positives and negatives. My thought is to keep playing as many examples of the SBA as you're able and the one you'll end up liking the best, regardless of finish, will be the one that presents to you the best balance of the positives and negatives. As time progresses and you've found the SBA you feel the best about, you'll play it for several years and think back to one you'd dismissed while searching and find yourself wishing you'd gotten that one. Just the nature of playing the saxophone.Good luck with your search and remember to just go in blindfolded and your wallet wide open.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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My question is why do you still want to buy an SBA after trying a lot and not linking them?

I have tried some really nice SBAs, but also lots that I don't like. There is one that I have set my sights on but the owner won't sell it. That is the main problem with these, the only ones that are available tend to be the less good ones.

I would recommend a P.Mauriat 66RUL if you want something really special, and it will cost a lot less than that elusive and very rare good SBA, but have all the qualities of a good one plus a bit..
 

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In my experience, silver plated old Selmers tend to have a bit less warmth or 'gentleness' to the vibration than their lacquered counterparts. I do not know why this, and I am not part of any social trend of talking crap about this, it is just my repeated and reliable experience having tried a fair amount of them. I am sure there are some very good ones, but among the silver ones I have played it was always that way, why? I just don't know.
Besides the fact that silver plating is a real pain to take care of (and if you don't bother the whole thing turns black) I think that others actually have experienced what I have experienced and so the price reflects the desirability on the market. This would not stop me from buying a nice silver plated SBA if I found one at a good price though, always willing to give another one a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As time progresses and you've found the SBA you feel the best about, you'll play it for several years and think back to one you'd dismissed while searching and find yourself wishing you'd gotten that one. Just the nature of playing the saxophone.Good luck with your search and remember to just go in blindfolded and your wallet wide open.
I know exactly what you mean. I find myself doing that frequently right now looking for a new horn, I think back to some of the saxes that I once owned or tried and pasted by and I wish I could play them again now because of course I'm a different player now than I was ten years ago.

J.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would recommend a P.Mauriat 66RUL if you want something really special, and it will cost a lot less than that elusive and very rare good SBA, but have all the qualities of a good one plus a bit..
I have to be honest, despite the inconsistencies with the SBAs I'm willing to wait for the right one, I haven't played a P.Mauriat but I'm hesitant to buy a "new" horn. It may be foolish and psychological on my part, but I just don't get the same sound and feel out of new horns that I have tried. If i get the opportunity I'll try a P.Mauriat. thanks for the suggestion.
J.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the link Smooth Sop Berator this is the post I was looking for. Not that there is a definitive answer, but I appreciate all of the opinions--taken with a grain of salt

J.
 

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I think the cost of silver Super Balanced Action and Mark VI saxophones should go down because they ARE stuffier and get very ugly looking!
The silver horns play out of tune, and have a weak sound not reminiscent of the famous vintage Selmers!! When you buy one, you will see, and then you will have to take a big loss in resale due to them not being desirable to play!

******** ABOVE WRITING IS SATIRE**********

In actuality, I wish these fine instruments and fine examples of Vintage Selmer's would go do in price because I have loved almost all of the Silver Mark VI's that I have tried! Two of the top three favorite Mark VI's that I have played on are Silver plated. I wish I had the power to wield to greatly influence the hype and price of these horns. Who knows, maybe David Sanchez will stop playing a silver Super Balanced action just like Chris Potter did, and everyone else will slowly follow! Thus bringing down the price and hype!
THEN, and only then JsQuinobal, you and I can purchase a silver Super Balanced Action tenor for a darn good price!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I have to be honest, despite the inconsistencies with the SBAs I'm willing to wait for the right one, I haven't played a P.Mauriat but I'm hesitant to buy a "new" horn. It may be foolish and psychological on my part, but I just don't get the same sound and feel out of new horns that I have tried. If i get the opportunity I'll try a P.Mauriat. thanks for the suggestion.
J.
It may well be psychological, and I don't mean that at all in a disrespectful way. I still often reach for my vintage horns even when there are better newer ones in my studio, just something about holding one.

The reason I mentioned this though as you say you've played a few SBAs and didn't like them so I thought maybe this just isn't the horn for you. Plua, are you sure all the ones you tried were in tip top condition?
 

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'Moot Toot' issue here! Plating is a minor deal next to mpc/reed/neck/reed strength/lig??? Did we forget chops? Keep looking, keep finding1
 

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I've been a frequent visitor to SOTW but this is my first post. I have seen from other posts that sax lacquer vs. plating debates tend to get quite heated an I am not really interested in rekindling those debates. However here is my question, like a lot of people I'm looking to purchase an SBA Tenor. I have been trying out as many as I can get a hold of but I have not found one I am satisfied with yet. I've been searching many different website and I've been noticing that silver plated SBAs are selling for significantly less than lacquered SBAs of the same condition and serial number. It seems that a silver plated SBA would be more rare than a lacquered one so why would these horn be selling for less. I realize they must be less desirable to the people purchasing SBA horns but why? I've tried to research this but I have had no luck so if you know of a thread already available that i might read I will be happy to check it out.

Thanks

J.
George Garzone plays a Silver Plated SBA as his main Tenor (which he has owned since he was a kid.) His sound is hugely monstrous.
 

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My silver VI tenor has been with me since '81 (played almost everyday) ...except for in between a few keys the horn hasn't turned black yet... in fact from 3 ft away it still looks brand new. Oh yeah got some road scars and a few repairs, but the sound..? I played at length with Arno Marsh awhile back, he had his trusty lacq'd SBA tenor and I played my VI ..well long story short I see in his new Promo he's holding a new (silver) Selmer, probably a Ref.

Anyway I have seen silvers go for somewhat less, go figure, the plating cost a lot more from the factory..I want a VI Alto in silver, my VII silver Alto was a monster. I never set out to get silvers but my '67 tenor was a bargain at $800. so I didn't care what the finish was.The horn was 14 yrs old when I got it and virtually unplayed. I bought my last 2 new Selmers Sop and Bari in silver just for kicks and they were both ***** kickers.

I don't think silver plating should be a knock, but then there seems to be a lot of BS myths out there regarding silverplate (and all selmers) in general.
 

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I primarily play tenor (MVI 89xxx and a SA 80 Ser II) but like to occasionally double on alto. Then one day I saw this silver MVI alto for sale in my local techs shop. I thought what the heck, give it a blow, I wasn't really in the market so no harm in trying her out. Big mistake!! The tone was so rich and and fat I could not put it down. After weeks of deliberation I went back and made the purchase. This was several months ago and I'm absolutely as thrilled with my decision today as I was when I made the purchase. Even with a Guadalla King it is so rich fat and expressive. Purrs like a kitten and screams like an eagle but always with a rich quality to the tone. Ser#64xxx and as many have commented before, there is a lot of variation in the quality of these vintage horns. I guess I got lucky.
 

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I have played a silver plated BA Tenor since 1980. I have fought with it for a number of years (way back when I first got it) for intonation, mostly due to my own poor mouthpiece choices but I have never thought that the silver plating was a detriment.
 

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It seems to me that very little in used instrument prices has to do with quality (barring, of course, the difference between a used e-bay Chinese sax and a vintage Conn). If the market is spurning silverplates it's not because it knows something we don't, but because it's missing a trick. Usually the neglected models are the ones to go for if playing, rather than kudos or resale value, is the priority.

I play a silver New Largebore (though an altoo, admittedly) which has been sounding great since my father bought it in 1936. It even sits on the stand without needing polishing for months at a time - but then I live 600 feet up in the country rather than in New York, which could alter my perspective.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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It seems to me that very little in used instrument prices has to do with quality (barring, of course, the difference between a used e-bay Chinese sax and a vintage Conn). If the market is spurning silverplates it's not because it knows something we don't, but because it's missing a trick.
I would add relaquers and (in some cases) stencils to that. The best MKVI tenor I ever played was a silverplate, and the best SBA a relac.
 

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George Garzone plays a Silver Plated SBA as his main Tenor (which he has owned since he was a kid.) His sound is hugely monstrous.
It was not silverplated from the beginnig. He played a silverplated mark VI for a long time and was thinking of selling his SBA (that was owned by his uncle before). But he sent it to silverplate it and when he got it back the horn was ''opened up'' and he never played the VI again. I have his DVD and thats why I know this
 

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Jason, I have the right one but it might not be at the price you want - I have owned the horn for 30 years - serial 53xxx. This horn's sound is as good as it gets but I just don't play anymore and it's not right having this horn sitting in my house and not using it more. This is a horn that should be played either live, in a studio or both. It doesn't have the fancy bell engraving (for a while in the early 50's it was the style for horns in france to have no decorative engraving) but it has 98% of original silver plating and a sound that is BIG. Let me know if you want some pictures of it.
 

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Silver horn porn, please. Could you, Daigle, post pic's anyhow?
 
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