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Discussion Starter #1
Before I get my question/message out, I want to say that this is not meant to be an inflaming post in any way. It is only out of curiosity and my opinion and my desire to see if anyone out there feels the same way that I do.

I know the Series II probably has more devotees than any other model saxophone in the world (just an educated guess). People must have their reasons for this, which are obvious and don't need to be stated.

Does anyone out there sincerely feel like the Series II is the most overrated saxophone out there? I have a friend who feels the same way...there has to be someone else out there. I know, it's a blanket statement, but bear with me. Think of the usual reasons why someone would completely dislike a horn. Just want to make sure that there's nothing wrong with me.

I only hope I don't live to regret this...

I was going to say that I hate it, which I guess I sort of do, but I sure wouldn't turn it down if it was free or cheap...who would? :D
 

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Before going any further with this, I'd like to know exactly what it is you don't like about the Series II. Ergos, projection, resistance? I own 2 Series IIs and although I wouldn't say either of them is my dream horn, I think they're good enough. Just wondering why you don't like them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, I suppose I should modify this bit.

Ergos are nice. Not the best, but better than a lot.

It's the projection and resistance. No projection and too much resistance. It didn't produce a "jazz" sound, a "classical" sound, or a "neutral" sound...just a bland sound.

Maybe it's my sound concept...I didn't know I even had a sound concept...who knows...

At first, I thought that it was maybe neutral, but it was more covered than it should be, and refused to respond to what I wanted it to do. Very...inflexible and bland.
Funny thing is, it's a world away from the Series III...nicest sounding horn I've ever played IMO.

Everyone has horns that they never cared for. It just seems odd to me that the SII, at least on this forum, comes off often as universally loved, but never despised.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bernards20040 said:
How many have you tried?
What mouthpieces did you try on them?
I have tried three, all laquer models. Mouthpieces used (not all on each) were Vandoren A15, Vandoren A7S, Yanagisawa 5, and Meyer 6.

Also, these were altos, if that makes any difference...though, it shouldn't.
 

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I own and play one, and I think it is kind of like the poor man's Mark Six. I would rather play a 6 than my Serie II, but I would rather play the II than a Yamaha, so I play it. It is the best semi-cheap modern pro horn out there (in my opinion of course), because, while it is somewhat bland, it is a heck of a lot less bland than a Yamaha or Yanagasawa.
 

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I own and play a Series II lacquered/engraved alto and a Series II matte tenor. While I haven't played many different horns, I have compared both to their Series III brethren. On both alto and tenor, I find the III's bright and too centered. I might could tolerate an alto, but I feel like the tenors are missing something below the waist, if you take my meaning. I do, however, play a Series III soprano, but mainly for the versatility of the removable necks and the high G key. For jazz and classical on all three, by the way.
 

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Here is what I will say. My SA 80 Series II is one of the loudest alto's I have ever played. It has a great jazz sound, especially with the piece I am using it with, and it projects for miles.

Perhaps the Series II's you have played are just poorly set up. Maybe it's just my horn, but I could easily drown out most any other horn in existence on my current set up. Which perfect for me.

I should add that I play alto about 99 percent of the time.

edit: I will also add that now that I have it playing the way I want, my series II hangs with VI's and VII's that I have found extremely good.
 

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I used to play a Series II (before I switched to a yani) and I thought that the projection was great and the resistance was so-so, but not unbearable. I think that it is loads better than the Series III altos and the 875, but still not the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I knew it...everyone likes them. And you know, that's great. It works for you. I sort of wished it worked for me, since they're so nice looking...but half of the problem I have with it is price. Talk about paying for the name...even the Series III.

"I find the III's bright and too centered." - I didn't find it as bright as the 82Z (don't like that horn either...that's another story), but the centered tone and lots of projection just felt like a kick in the pants for me. I also liked the tenor III very much.

"it is a heck of a lot less bland than a Yamaha or Yanagasawa." - In a way, I definitely agree. Some of the ones I've played have been bland, but I felt they were much more neutral than bland...I'd like to think there's a difference between the two terms. More often than not I find Yamahas to be too bright, but I don't want to start bashing every horn I dislike.

"Perhaps the Series II's you have played are just poorly set up. Maybe it's just my horn, but I could easily drown out most any other horn in existence on my current set up. Which perfect for me." - Well...one of them was at Rayburn's, another at my local shop, and another that was personal property of a fantastic local clarinetist. I don't think setup was an issue, but there def. is a chance yours is mind-blowing...I'll never know.

The question remains...is there anyone out there who can't stand the SII?
 

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Slap a III neck on the series II horn. Problem solved as far as getting a more open/uncovered sound.

I agree with you that the series II stock isn't my cup of tea. I would also take a III tenor over a II.

More than a few II owners play bright mouthpieces to compensate for the less open sound. More than a few III owners play dark pieces to compensate for the bright sound. For me on tenor as far as the newer horns is concerned the Ref 36 or 54 is probably the way to go, if you've got the cash.

I have a series II alto with a copper series III neck. It plays pretty darn good with that set up and a NY meyer. With the stock II neck it was completely unusable as far as I'm concerned.

Honestly if you aren't going to use a high baffle piece with a II tenor than I say look at the other models Selmer makes.
 

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heath said:
Slap a III neck on the series II horn. Problem solved as far as getting a more open/uncovered sound.

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Is this not going to make you incredibly flat, it does with a legit mouthpiece the series III neck is substantualy longer than the II.

I play a series II alto and for legit work i think it is one of the best altos you can get.
Dont forget also that both the Series II and Series III were designed mostly by legit players and are excellent instruments for this. If you are looking for a jazz horn try the references.
 

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I recently tried and heard others try two Selmer SAII altos. One belongs to a friend and is a GREAT sax. Especially easy to play to the lowest and highest notes, and the sound is very good in the entire range. Very free blowing. Good intonation. The other SAII is a piece of crap. It sits in a store for ten years, no one will buy it.
 

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clarnibass said:
I recently tried and heard others try two Selmer SAII altos. One belongs to a friend and is a GREAT sax. Especially easy to play to the lowest and highest notes, and the sound is very good in the entire range. Very free blowing. Good intonation. The other SAII is a piece of crap. It sits in a store for ten years, no one will buy it.
What store??????It would be fun to play it!!!!!!
 

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I've got a S80 Mk2 alto, it was always "ok", played nearly in tune up the top end! Hadn't got the round sound of a Mk6, but the sound was ok, probably a little stuffy. I used to blow a Meyer 6m then I got a Barone New York 6, that improved the whole sound, much more punch and a rounder, more Mk 6 sound. The tuning was still a problem tho. I had, at that time just got a Barone neck for my bari, which improved the whole feel and sound a heck of a lot. So I thought "why not" and I got one of Phils copper necks for my alto. "Wow", what a difference. The intonation improved straight away, the whole horn came to life with a fatter, more focussed sound. My wife, also a sax player, commented on the sound saying it sounded like a Mk6. I was seriously thinking of getting rid of this horn up till then but those changes have convinced me not too. Oh, just one other thing, the neck is unlacquered, don't know if that makes a difference but, I've had the lacquer off my Mk6 tenor and to me, it has changed the feel and fattened up the sound. Yes, I've got a Barone neck on tenor too.....
 

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jonathanbyrnes said:
Is this not going to make you incredibly flat, it does with a legit mouthpiece the series III neck is substantualy longer than the II.

I play a series II alto and for legit work i think it is one of the best altos you can get.
Dont forget also that both the Series II and Series III were designed mostly by legit players and are excellent instruments for this. If you are looking for a jazz horn try the references.
I doubt it will make you flat. People have been replacing their necks on the Series II horns for a long time now with series III, Barone, Ponzol, and other Selmer necks. I haven't heard about any intonation problems.
 

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I thought my series II tenor was way too dark and impersonal, so rather than buy the Series III that had more the juice I preferred, I just bought the series III neck. I remember reading something from Paul Cohen about how most of the tonal variance we hear from different instruments has to do with the top part of the instrument. Sure enough: new neck, new sax. Might be a little po'dunk as my horn is de-laquered and my new neck is pristine...but, I kind of like the duct tape look. I'd say experiment with necks before you give up on a likable horn.
 

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I didn't find it as bright as the 82Z (don't like that horn either...that's another story), but the centered tone and lots of projection just felt like a kick in the pants for me.
I agree that the Z sound is brighter, but I think it is less compact than the III (in a good way). I wouldn't use one for legit, but the Z would probably be a great jazz horn.

Talk about paying for the name...even the Series III.
What do you mean even the Series III? They're more expensive than IIs. Which, I agree, is another turn-off of the IIIs.

Slap a III neck on the series II horn. Problem solved as far as getting a more open/uncovered sound.
I didn't realize they would fit. Did you have to adjust your neck tenon any or was it pretty much plug & play? Also, are the III necks the same angle as the II necks? That'll be an interesting experiment when I get some money, although I'm pretty happy with my current sound.

Honestly if you aren't going to use a high baffle piece with a II tenor than I say look at the other models Selmer makes.
On the other hand, I use a Morgan 8EL on my tenor, a piece with a pretty mild rollover baffle. I get a fairly bright sound with JAVA reeds. Also, in my experience it is easier to brighten a dark horn than to darken a bright horn. But, we're all different. Plus, to me, even with a dark mouthpiece, the IIIs lack testicular fortitude, but maybe I haven't played a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
"What do you mean even the Series III? They're more expensive than IIs. Which, I agree, is another turn-off of the IIIs."

Yes, I realize that. What I meant was that the SIII would be my modern horn of choice if I could afford one. As very very nice as I find it, I still don't think it's worth 3,700+ dollars.

As for the Z...I don't know. I've tried two. One of them was pretty nice; not my sound, but flexible and free-blowing. The other has a bent neck (not sure where that came from, no one does) and has waaay too many high partials for me. Stick a poorly faced Meyer 6M on that, and stick it in a concert band as an occasional soloist. Yikes.

Needless to say, everyone has been very well behaved, and I applaud you all for that. Seems like every has no hard feelings towards their SIIs. I'm probably still too naive of a player to figure it all out, but that's fine. Just wanted to test the waters, so to speak.
 
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