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Does anyone know what the difference between a Tenor Reference 54 and a Tenor Reference 34 is? What about these two compared to a mark VI?

Thanks
 

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Hi Luke. I think you mean Reference 36 and Reference 54.

The 36 supposedly is celebrating the first year of the Balanced Action and the 54 the first year of the iconic Mark VI.

Since many have begged Selmer to make the VI again they came up with a marketing plan to " Refer " back to those models.

I've never heard a VI owner say that the Reference 54 reminds them of a VI.

I've played many VI's and at least one Balanced Action and the Reference 36 was nothing like either.

I have yet to play a Reference 54 so I can't comment on them but I have played more than one 36.

And as I said before the 36 is nothing like a Balanced Action. It is heavier and stiffer keys and the ergonomics are not similar but were actually closer to a Serie II.
 

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Hi Luke. I think you mean Reference 36 and Reference 54.

The 36 supposedly is celebrating the first year of the Balanced Action and the 54 the first year of the iconic Mark VI.

Since many have begged Selmer to make the VI again they came up with a marketing plan to " Refer " back to those models.

I've never heard a VI owner say that the Reference 54 reminds them of a VI.

I've played many VI's and at least one Balanced Action and the Reference 36 was nothing like either.

I have yet to play a Reference 54 so I can't comment on them but I have played more than one 36.

And as I said before the 36 is nothing like a Balanced Action. It is heavier and stiffer keys and the ergonomics are not similar but were actually closer to a Serie II.
they wanted to make it sound similar with modern ergo's at least that's the idea, so it kinda obvious that the ergonomics are different:')
 

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they wanted to make it sound similar with modern ergo's at least that's the idea, so it kinda obvious that the ergonomics are different:')
Well the reason I mentioned the ergonomics is because one of the main attractions to the VI by players I know are the ergonomics.

And if you're " recreating " the VI the ergonomics would be just as important as the Selmer core sound.

Remember that's what doomed the Mark VII even more than the sound, bad ergonomics.

So no I don't agree that Selmer was only trying to recapture the sound.

Selmer actually believes they improved the ergonomics because they really don't listen to many American players who are probably the biggest buyers of Mark VI's.

And those players are voting with their wallet by continuing to seek out a VI.

Although as far as numbers the Serie II has now been in production longer than any other Selmer.
 

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Hi Luke. I think you mean Reference 36 and Reference 54.

The 36 supposedly is celebrating the first year of the Balanced Action and the 54 the first year of the iconic Mark VI.

Since many have begged Selmer to make the VI again they came up with a marketing plan to " Refer " back to those models.

I've never heard a VI owner say that the Reference 54 reminds them of a VI.

I've played many VI's and at least one Balanced Action and the Reference 36 was nothing like either.

I have yet to play a Reference 54 so I can't comment on them but I have played more than one 36.

And as I said before the 36 is nothing like a Balanced Action. It is heavier and stiffer keys and the ergonomics are not similar but were actually closer to a Serie II.
Are you saying that the Ref 54 ergos are similar to the Mk VI???

I've played several of both and consider the 54 as just another modern horn. With work, the Ref 36 at least has a sound that is suggestive of something different from the rest of the modern pack. The action is easily adjusted - a Ref 36 was my main tenor for many years (I also played a BA for mny years before that).
 

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Are you saying that the Ref 54 ergos are similar to the Mk VI???

I've played several of both and consider the 54 as just another modern horn. With work, the Ref 36 at least has a sound that is suggestive of something different from the rest of the modern pack. The action is easily adjusted - a Ref 36 was my main tenor for many years (I also played a BA for mny years before that).
No I'm saying the opposite.

I've never heard a MarkVI owner say the 54 ergonomics is anything like the VI.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks and yes i did mean Ref. 36.
 

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I've never heard a MarkVI owner say the 54 is anything like the VI.
Well, as a long time owner of both a Ref 54 tenor and two MKVI's, and having also owned two SA 80 II's in the past as well as having played a whole bunch of other Selmer tenors including many MKVI's, Serie III's, a coulpe of Ref 36's and a MKVII, I will say that the Ref 54 is the most MKVI like horn Selmer have produced since they stopped producing the 6. No, the ergonomics are not similar, but still more similar than any of the other previously mentioned horns (except the 36 which is virtually the same as the 54 - individual setup notwithstanding), and no, it doesn't sound like a 6, but again, it's still more similar than the other modern Selmers. This is my non negotiable humble opinion.! ;)
 

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I'll buy that. I have to because I've never even held a 54 much less played one.

So what I understand from your experience is that a Reference 54 is RELATIVELY more like a VI than any other Selmer.

In all fairness you said " NO, the ergonomics are not similar " and " it doesn't sound like a 6 ".

Now I'm not trying to start an argument by leaving off the rest of your statement.

But this is basically what I've heard from many Mark VI owners.

I've played a few Reference 36's and they were not like any VI I've played.
 

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So what I understand from your experience is that a Reference 54 is RELATIVELY more like a VI than any other Selmer.
Exactly.

In all fairness you said " NO, the ergonomics are not similar " and " it doesn't sound like a 6 ".

As I said, it's relative.

I did a blind listening test for a good friend of mine who is an excellent player and has extremely good ears. He also knows my playing well. I recorded both of my 6's and the Ref 54 - same m/p, reed setup on all tracks. I even played exactly the same things on each instrument so there would be as direct a comparison as possible.
My friend wasn't able to say which horn was which. He could hear differences, but he got the horns mixed up. It's quite possible that if one of the horns had been an SA 80 II that he wouldn't have been able to accurately distinguish that either, but I think it would have been far easier to hear a difference.
 

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I agree about those blind tests.

I seriously doubt that I could say which horn is which if I had been there.

It's hard to get a true blind test unless the player is blindfolded also. And even then an experienced player could distinguish the modern Selmers from the VI's by the ergonomics and possibly approach each horn accordingly.

Then there are so many variables like the optimum reed and mouthpiece for each horn.

It's just difficult to generalize about models from playing a few examples.

I believe there are great horns in all models.

We just have to find the one that speaks to us.
 

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I've owned a number of Mark 6's over the years. None of them bad, some of them absolutely fantastic. I was at the local music store a few years ago and they let me into the step-up room where they had a Ref 54 that had not been touched since it had left the factory.

An amazing horn. I was stunned by it's sound and performance, which I felt was as good as ANY mark 6 I had ever played. One weird problem though.... it gurgled in the lowest few notes, like some of the early Mark 6's did. Since it had not been touched since it left France, not a big shock I guess. The thing still had the original tissue paper and a beige ribbon wrapped around it. VERY cool.

What do I play now? An inexpensive bare brass Taiwan Phil Barone. I like that horn better than the Series II and III's I've tried lately. Imrpessed my music tech as well!
 

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Didnt like the 54. Sounded like a stuffed up modern horn. The 36 was uninspiring and two dimensional in comparison to a good VI and a couple of other vintage horns.
 

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For me, I liked the response and tonal "color" of the Ref 36 over the Ref 54. To me, neither one of them were even close to my Mark VI's....(especially the 54). I ended up getting a Ref 36 tenor and ended up recording my most recent CD with it. However, since then, I've found a 1957 Mark VI tenor that blows it away. The ergos, to me, are not anywhere close to being like a good VI or a good BA. They are "good modern saxophones" in my opinion.....but they are NOTHING like a good BA or VI.
A mark VI costs almost twice as much:(
 

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Didnt like the 54. Sounded like a stuffed up modern horn. The 36 was uninspiring and two dimensional in comparison to a good VI and a couple of other vintage horns.
is this a problem of all modern saxes, which are produced in big quantitys? they only get better if you put a vintage or handmade neck on.
 

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I tried a handful of necks and I still feel the same. I wont say its a problem with ALL moderns horns. That is a big statement. Given that the Reference horns sell for close to the price of a VI (not 5 digit) when I bought made the decision easy.
 

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sorry- ALL is too much- i thought quite different of a few saxes at the last music fair: http://www.hd-saxophone.de/index.php - Harald Dallhammer handfinished and they're quite reasonable priced, as well a couple of small producers, which are higher priced than the Selmer '54 or '36 horns, when they're also trying to reproduce the Mark VI or the SBA sound. I still found with changing to a good handmade neck and mouthpiece the lack of character and dept in the sound seemed to become considerably less with most modern horns- not to beat all Mark VI, but maybe more than half, as there are big differences in sound during the long production run of the MarkVI (i tryed up to now about 50 tenors and the best one i found wasn't a 5 digit horn- the owner wont part with it) ... anyway even the worse Mark VI are in a price range, where i would consider buying a good second hand sax to use the body (eg SA80 II) and putting on a handmade neck ( eg http://schuchtsaxtechnology.com/Produkte/S-Bogen/T-Bogen/TN1/TN2/tsb.html ) which trys to reproduce the Mark VI sound.
 

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sorry- ALL is too much- i thought quite different of a few saxes at the last music fair: http://www.hd-saxophone.de/index.php - Harald Dallhammer handfinished and they're quite reasonable priced, as well a couple of small producers, which are higher priced than the Selmer '54 or '36 horns, when they're also trying to reproduce the Mark VI or the SBA sound. I still found with changing to a good handmade neck and mouthpiece the lack of character and dept in the sound seemed to become considerably less with most modern horns- not to beat all Mark VI, but maybe more than half, as there are big differences in sound during the long production run of the MarkVI (i tryed up to now about 50 tenors and the best one i found wasn't a 5 digit horn- the owner wont part with it) ... anyway even the worse Mark VI are in a price range, where i would consider buying a good second hand sax to use the body (eg SA80 II) and putting on a handmade neck ( eg http://schuchtsaxtechnology.com/Produkte/S-Bogen/T-Bogen/TN1/TN2/tsb.html ) which trys to reproduce the Mark VI sound.
thank you for the info. I think I'm going to wait until they translate the site into English ... or until I learn some decent Deutsch :)
 

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thank you for the info. I think I'm going to wait until they translate the site into English ... or until I learn some decent Deutsch :)
Just use google translate.
 

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