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I think he nailed the review and I'm a life-long Mark VI player. Here's the site:

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Saxes/Alto/selmer_mkvi_alto.htm

I've noticed the high C issue on several altos, ball joint issues, inconsistent D's, dead areas....Stephen really put it out there. I've been reading his reviews for years and was glad to see he finally examined the VI.

Thanks Stephen
 

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I was reading it last night.

I think he gets it right judging by my experience with my 1956 Alto, others might disagree and I'm not a Mark VI expert but just about every quirk that he mentioned seems to apply to my 1956 Alto and he was mainly reviewing a 1959 and a 1957 Mark VI Alto if I remember correctly.

I agree with his other reviews like the Couesnon Alto and Chinese Largo tenor and they mostly match with my experiences FWIW.
 

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Michael, I have a very good 106 thous alto as well. Not encouraging the serial number thing, but an interesting coincidence..........
 

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Yes Mike. I found mine unplayed in the mid 80's still in it's Selmer plastic bag inside the early croc case with all the accessories. Mine has silver key work. I paid £850.
The horn is still in great condition and the case is like new as I had a cover on it from the beginning.

I had travelled to a Liverpool dealer called SaxMad Simon who used to advertise in the old Exchange and Mart to see a V1 tenor. The tenor was beat up so I asked him what else he had and he pulled my alto and an equally new low A alto out. It was a great find.

How did you get yours?
 

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A good player friend of mine had owned it for several years. I knew/know him very well, and we had swopped altos a few times in the past (I had a very good early SA80II at the time which he enjoyed playing on) so I had known the instrument for some time. I happened upon an extremely good 54 MKVI alto in a shop in North London (which I forget the name of) but (stupidly) didn't buy it. I can't even remember why - lack of money probably(!) but I told my friend about it, and of course the next day he got on the tube and went up and bought it! He lived with both instruments for a while but in the end decided that he should sell one of them, and offered me the 106. Actually, I wasn't too disappointed because the 106 was closer to the sound I wanted anyway. Mine is in very good condition with the original grey croc case and brass end stop, but it's not mint by any means. But of course the best thing is that it absolutely roars, sings, purrs................well, you know!
 

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Yes, thanks for a very good and balanced review Stephen.

I would just like to add to your comments about the bow length changes.
First, these changes applied only to the alto of course, but that could be assumed as your review was of an alto. Second, you say that the progression was from short to long. I've thought for a long time that the progression was short, long, medium, but in a recent thread on the subject, madlee pointed out that there were two medium length bows (although of different lengths!) so the progression would most accurately be described as short, medium short, long, medium. Here are the pictures from USA horn which show this clearly.
 

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Great review, Stephen. You consistently come across in all your reviews as objective and realistic. Your site is one I always check when considering a different horn. It's nice to read a review that doesn't promote the "mysticism" of the MarkVI. Nice work!
 

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Hey, this guy's really good(!) Considering today's sad state of general repair-less-ness, it's always nice to find someone who knows their stuff. I especially liked his other section on screwed up/mis-built horns. Some real crap out there in the world.
 

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In 1996 I had a college student playing a beautiful Mark VI in silver plate with silver plate keys, and it sounded marvelous... except for high C. That blasted C buzzed so badly that it sounded like a flutter tongue if played at forte or above. I tried it with two of my mouthpieces, and it sounded the same as on his mouthpiece. It really messed up his classical sound, and I felt bad for him.
Sax Magic
 

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In 1996 I had a college student playing a beautiful Mark VI in silver plate with silver plate keys, and it sounded marvelous... except for high C. That blasted C buzzed so badly that it sounded like a flutter tongue if played at forte or above. I tried it with two of my mouthpieces, and it sounded the same as on his mouthpiece. It really messed up his classical sound, and I felt bad for him.
Sax Magic
So you had the B key raised to cure the problem..........................?
 

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In 1996 I had a college student playing a beautiful Mark VI in silver plate with silver plate keys, and it sounded marvelous... except for high C. That blasted C buzzed so badly that it sounded like a flutter tongue if played at forte or above. I tried it with two of my mouthpieces, and it sounded the same as on his mouthpiece. It really messed up his classical sound, and I felt bad for him.
Sax Magic
Same prob here on my Series II. My repairman did Curt Altarac's sandpaper in the tonehole fix and it is much better now.
 
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