Saxophone Forum


by zero_possibilities
(6 posts)
16 years ago

semler mark VI alto with low A

hey guys i was just wondering if anyone know anything about how a mark VI with low A plays i have heard alot about the mark VI is there any differance? what would you pay ?

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  1. by bopman
    (1 post)

    16 years ago

    Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

    ya, i've got a mark vi with a low A and the high F# and i have used both the low A and the standard mark vi each for several years. i currently study jazz, bop, fusion, free style, rock and r&b (amongs other things) at berklee college of music in boston, ma. the low A mark vi competes very well against the other cats that i jam with. the majority of the guys who don't like the low A usually don't like it because they are used to playing on a standard mark VI and cannot adjust to the different intonation during the time that they are trying the instrument out. either that or they are just mad because they don't have a low A so they discredit the instrument... sad but true. honestly, it took me about a week to start playing in tune properly (as it would with any new sax) and as time goes by, i just love the low A more and more. the extra brass from the extended bell creates a richer, mellower tone than the regular mark vi and while a low A is rarely written in any music for an alto, i do use the note very often during improvisation. it can be quite an impressive feature and tool to use if youre trying to outdo another guy's solo. plus, it being a bit of a rare piece adds to its greatness. ;)

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  2. by jamterry
    (573 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

    As far as altos go, I would stay away from low A and high F#. The Mark VI baritone with low A is great for soul funk and motown. My alto is without low A and high F#. I'd pass that alto up. Terry

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    1. by blackfrancis
      (396 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

      I had a friend in college who had a Mk. VI with a low A. Played well and was in tune, but really, how often would you use it? The F# is useful (also no detriment to intonation) but I wouldn't pay extra for either one. (but then again I wouldn't pay extra to have a Mk. VI, either!)

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      1. by STEVE GOODSON
        (291 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

        I've owned four of them over the years. I used one as my main alto from 1993 -1998. The extended bell seemed to improve the low end voice on the one I kept for myself. I'm not sure whether this was due to the longer bell or the smaller bell to body brace. Having the "extra" note available took a little getting used to, but once I accepted the fact that it was there, I used it regularly. I once asked Jerome Selmer how many of these were produced, and he told me they had no records as to that specific variation. The number I've heard widely reported from reputable researchers is 166. I always thought of the horn as an oddity. Dealers from the era when they were available for sale tell me they were a tough sale.

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        1. by swingstreet
          (315 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          I think Semler is one of those cheap Chinese made saxes.

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        2. by saxjunkie89
          (393 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          do you mean that in a serious manner, or is it a matter of opinion?

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        3. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          I think it's just pointing out the mispelling. Semler is not the same as Selmer. If it actually is a Semler, it would be junk made to look like Selmer. :-)

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        4. by swingstreet
          (315 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          I was pointing out the misspelling. However, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some crappy Chinese knock-off called a Semler, like the name Selman, which would fool uneducated buyers.

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        5. by Tbone
          (120 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          You could always start your own line of saxes and call then Semlan! You could get them cheaply made in China or better yet India. Big red squishy chewing gum pads and all!

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        6. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          I took the original post to mean Selmer Mk VI . I bought my alto new in 1966 and that is the alto to which i am referring. I recommend that you don't buy one with low A. Why don't some of you comedians start a saxophone joke thread, ot a racist thread? :) All the best to you.

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        7. by STEVE GOODSON
          (291 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          Did you buy or have you owned one with low A? Why do you think the low A should be avoided, based on your personal experience with low A horns?

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        8. by jamterry
          (573 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          I didn't like the tone as much as the stock alto. I like the baritone with low A. Even the MK VI baritone without low A sounds better to me. I don't know why these kids want to buy old horns. I bought my MK VI's new. if i were buying my first pro horn, I would buy a new one. I like low A on baritone because i like to play soul funk and motown. On the alto I want the pure MK VI tone.

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        9. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          16 years ago

          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! Jim

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        10. by zero_possibilities
          (6 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: semler mark VI alto with low A

          i apolagise i did mean to type selmer it was just a spelling mistake, i already own a professional horn which i spent aprox $4000 on for my last year of high school which has seen me through to second year of university, and is still going my horn is made like a vintage with a straight brass finish, when buying it i tried out alot of other saxes and one of which was a mark VI, just the feel of it under my fingers it was great to play and for what i wanted and what i like to play it had an unbelievable tone, it all comes down to personal preferance i guess but a mark VI is one that im looking out for to add to my collection. thanks for the help guys

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