Re: semler mark VI alto with low A
I've never tried any of the Selmer Low A horns, but I can see where a low A might be very usefull; especially on an Eb horn. (since A is the same voicing as concert C).
Many students are turning to vintage instruments. There are several reasons why.
First, there's nostalgia. Owning a vintage instrument is a way of connecting yourself to the era when sax was king! It's a way of connecting yourself to great players like Bird, Desmond, Cannonball, Hodges, etc.
At the cost of college tuition these days, how many students have $3500 or more to shell out for a new Selmer Reference Series, or another pro model sax? There are some very nice Buescher Aristocrat and 400 models, Conn 6M and 10M models, King Super 20's and other great sounding quality vintage horns that can be purchased for considerably less. With new pads and some adjusting, these old horns are more than qualified to play any college campus (except maybe a few snobby ivy league Selmer only campuses)
Perhaps it's the difference in the metals. Maybe there's a little magic left in the bells of these old horns after sitting in closets in their smelly cases for several decades, but to many people, they really do sound better!
But, IF I were a high school student interested in studying music in college, I would NOT spend the money for a vintage Selmer Mark VI. I would consider buying either a new Yamaha 62 or 82Z (great horn for the $$$) or a SelmerSeries III or possibly a Ref. 54, or Keilwerth SX-90 to take to school. If you are a student who is lucky enough to own a vintage Mark VI, keep your vintage horn safe at home!