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Discussion Starter #1
Selmer 54 Hummingbird at $3,800.00 or Yamaha Z at $2,700.00. More then just the $1,100.00 difference in acquisition price to consider. If both are equal rides. Which horn would you want to pull out at a gig 20 years from now and why? :cool:
 

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Personally, I think the 82z altos are the absolute best altos being made right now of the mass market horns. It out VI's the Ref. IMHO, the 82z altos are modern classics. The Ref's aren't bad but I think Selmer is coming up short against the 82z altos.

After 20 years? I'd pull out whatever horn I think plays the best not the one that makes someone ohh and ahh.
 

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I've owned both at one time - traded away the Z (and it was the best Yamaha I'd ever played). My Ref 54 remains in my stable.

Oh, it isn't a 'bird model, but I think they are all the same. I'm betting that 20 years from now, the Ref 54 will still be the one to own. It isn't that the Yamaha saxophones are inferior, it is that the Ref 54 is SO good.

I hope you realized when you posted such a question that the there will be no consensus. DAVE
 

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It should be noted that Dave and I hold opposite opinions on these horns and a search of all of the 82z threads will show that when one of us posts the other does as well :)

Since Dave and I have done this a few times I should point out that his favorite alto is probably his Buescher True Tone. And I would agree that those are special horns in spite of their low price and the fact that there's a lot of them out there.

In the name of full disclosure I play a 87k Mark VI and do not presently own a Yamaha alto but have owned one in the past (purple logo 62 - great horn).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not expecting agreement. As Hurling Frootmig stated you pull out the horn that plays ... but after 20 years whatever horn you have been noodle'n on you better be able to play the [email protected] out of it.
I am interested in honest input on what players would choose and why.

You notice Hurling did not say he would pull out the Z but the horn that played best.
He also assumes the Hummingbird will be a more valuable or desirable horn 20 years from now inspite of his belief in the Z's superior performance.
 

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Another thread was extolling the beauty of the Borgani 130 altos...I believe the lacquer color and awesome engraving of the Ref 54 makes it (IMO) the most beautiful sax made today. Better yet, this sax coupled with a Super Session E or F has one of the best sounds around. With this combo I have found "that sound in my head" for alto.

Many of you warned me against the PM's a couple of years ago. The 67R alto was the first to go. The Ref 54 alto took its place.
 

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I dont know about altos, but my Keilwerth sx90 tenor plays GRRRRRRREEEEEAAAAT!!! and is an excellent value in horns. I paid 1900 for it and I will put it next to any horn out there.
 

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I asked myself the same question last November. I could choose one or the other and went for the Yamaha. Reason being, it was available in silver plate. At my level of playing, whichever I chose wouldn`t have made much difference but the $1100 would. I`ve since played a hummer and found them very equal, maybe the 54 a tad easier to blow and spoke a tiny bit easier that`s all. They both have fantastic abilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So Face Ache Mike you did consider which horn you wanted to ride for 20 years when you chose?
Your decision was based on silver plate and not wanting the investment of an additional $50.00 bucks a year.
I can appreciate the silver plate stance. I wanted a silver plate Yamaha Bari but went for lacquer when they cut a killer deal on a horn in stock.
Made no difference in play but I still wonder if I should have sucked it up and paid the difference on the esthetic.
 

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Tonehole, what kind of music to you like/want to play? And what kind of sound are you after ?
 

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Yep, I did consider this a lifelong investment - but not in financial terms, more in enjoyment/smiles per buck terms. No-one can say for sure that the 54 will appreciate by $50 per year as you suggest or if indeed the Yamaha doesn`t do the same. I don`t look on it that way at all. The silver plate for me was what clinched the deal especially as the price had been reduced to less than the lacquered 875.

If the 875 had not been available Id have definitely gone for the 54, I even had a deal lined up. It was a close thing but a decision I don`t regret one bit.
 

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For me, it would be the Selmer. Thus far, the best alto's I have played have been Selmers. Thats just my preference. 20 years from now? That definitely locks on the Selmer for me.
 

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Well, in the interest of FULL disclosure, I prefer my Buescher Big B of all the altos I have in my closet (MKVI, Ref 54, Cigar Cutter, TH&C, TT, and Medusa).

But the question was between the Yamaha and the Ref 54 and it boils down to personal preference. Being a NOT-Yamaha man, I go for the Ref 54 for Selmer's reputation over the years, tone, ease of play, and appearance. DAVE
 

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if you are a part time player and a doubler, alto/tenor, then yamaha wins hands down. the consistency in intonation, keywork and response between alto/tenor of the same model in unsurpassed in the yamahas. A simple neck change can result in a very selmer like core tone if you want that sound. having grew up on a MarkVI tenor i missed that sound when i went to yamaha (1992) even though I enjoyed the edge up top.bought an alto to play in a big band.then bought a tenor and sold my markVI. i loved the ease of playing in tune and the ability to double easily between alto and tenor. now that i've found the right horns, necks and mouthpiece combinations i can enjoy both the yamaha sound when i want and the selmer sound when i want.no surprise since the original 62 was a copy of a Mark VI with improved intonation ie, different neck,and the 82Z is an upgrade from that.
I switched to a Z from a 62 after trying my students brand new ref 54 alto.loved the sound but the intonation was not as good as the 62. the Z was closer still to the selmer sound and then the custom necks took them over the top.
just my two cents.
 

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If I'm still playing in 20 years, I'll probably be playing my Buescher Aristocrat True Tone. First, I like it better than any other alto I've tried. Second, like me, it's already lasted 67 years, I have every reason to expect it to go another 20, even if I don't.

As to the original question? Buy American. :D
 

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Dave Dolson said:
Well, in the interest of FULL disclosure, I prefer my Buescher Big B of all the altos I have in my closet (MKVI, Ref 54, Cigar Cutter, TH&C, TT, and Medusa).

But the question was between the Yamaha and the Ref 54 and it boils down to personal preference. Being a NOT-Yamaha man, I go for the Ref 54 for Selmer's reputation over the years, tone, ease of play, and appearance. DAVE
Dave,

What happened to the true-tone? My Buescher 140 (no big B) alto has the same lyrical quality that I love about my VI. The Big B's are special horns. No wonder Hodges played one all those years.
 

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Tonehole said:
Not expecting agreement. As Hurling Frootmig stated you pull out the horn that plays ... but after 20 years whatever horn you have been noodle'n on you better be able to play the [email protected] out of it.
I am interested in honest input on what players would choose and why.

You notice Hurling did not say he would pull out the Z but the horn that played best.
He also assumes the Hummingbird will be a more valuable or desirable horn 20 years from now inspite of his belief in the Z's superior performance.
If I had to buy a new alto I would buy the Z. That's what I would pull out 20 years from now if I purchased it. Right now I have a 87k VI, Keilwerth Stencil, Buescher Aristocrat 140, Couesnon, and my Bundy II student horn. I also have a Super Action 80 on the way. I have way too many altos for a tenor player.
 

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i love the american companies that say buy american while they shop the world for cheap parts and labor then tell us to pay more because its an american company? are they taking care of their american workers? or throwing them under the bus with paycuts and heathcare cuts and pension cuts while management, administrative and ceo salaries go through the roof.why shouldn't WE shop the world for the best buys? I know someone who worked for Ford for 30 years express that very thought to me.
should i buy the tundra made in america by americans or the silverado or F-150 made in mexico by mexicans?? a tough question indeed.
 

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sorry about that rant. too much coffee.......
 

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... and probably not American coffee ?
;)
 
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