Saxophone Forum


by saxxsymbol
(217 posts)
6 years ago

Saxgourmet model six alto

Just got in my Saxgourmet model six alto this week and have played lead on it this weekend. Previously I was playing the SG model alto with all the bells and whistles. First off the sax is beautiful with its copper finish. The keywork is faster and smoother than any sax I have played. Palm keys, side keys are in perfect position and that helps speed and ease. This is the first horn, other than Selmers I've tried, that just rings in my hands on all notes. There are no thin notes at any volume. When I go above the staff into the palm keys I don't lose any body or core to the sound and intonation is perfect. How about middle D not stuffy and less than 3 cents sharp !! This horn has that husky, woody core tone full of harmonics even at the lowest volumes but can scream with any modern horn when pushed. It is really easy to shape your sound . In fact this horns not only plays louder than any alto I have played it plays softer than any horn I have played. For the first time my tone sounds like my mentor sounded on his 90xxx mark VI. Now mind you I played that six and I couldn't sound this way on it. He had had it for 40 years and knew that horn like the back of his hand. I wouldn't have been able to do that with his horn without serious shedding, with this horn I can do it with ease with my current skills. The most striking thing is I can play really soft, say a middle A and it still cuts through the band. And it has that "velvet fog " kind of sound that sixes are known for with even more low and mid harmonics. I can't say enough good things about this horn. If you get a chance to try one do so. If you are in Florida give me a shout and you can try mine. This horn is not as just as good as anything out there , it is better.It is not a copy of anything although the basic design started where Selmer left off in 1954 and the basic keywork layout is based on the six with modern engineering and ergonomic improvements. I let our solo tenor man try my Saxgourmet tenor and now he wants one. He has had his Mark VII since it was new and now wants to trade. He has played Selmer his whole life.

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  1. by saxxsymbol
    (217 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

    For those wondering the keywork is not the same on the SG and the Saxgourmet. The tone is a little richer , darker on the saxgourmet, the SG tone is a little more modern but both are easy to shape. I would say the Saxgourmet Model six is like the earlier sixes and the SG Model is more like the late sixes in tonal quality. I would be happy with either horn. As it is I cannot keep three altos so my silver plate Steve Goodson Model alto is on ebay right now at a ridiculously low starting price with no reserve. I am keeping the gold plate SG as a backup and to give to my daughter if she stills want to play when she is older.

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  2. by kelsey
    (793 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

    Sounds like a great horn. Why did you buy it since you already had 2 Steve Goodson altos? I take it you weren't happy with the other altos. If you are not happy with your sound, I suggest the practice room. It's a lot less expensive.........Kelsey
    Barry Kelsey

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    1. by saxxsymbol
      (217 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

      Very good questions. It was at a price that I could not resist. I bought it for less than a new yas -23. I really liked the saxgourmet tenor I had too and wanted to see the difference for myself in tone on the altos. There is some difference, enough that I prefer the saxgourmet, but would not be unhappy playing it's backup SG model I also liked the keywork feel on the saxgourmet better. Maybe that's because the keywork is hand fit and adjusted. Yesterday, my band mate who has one of the good six altos and is a selmer snob, gave it a blow. He said this sounds exactly like his six only easier to play. The palms notes were significantly less stuffy and in tune. When he has the cash he plans on getting one himself. I know we all sound like ourselves on any horn we play, but each horns has it's own tonal character and these horns captures that Mark VI character perfectly and improves upon it's playability. I found that in the tenor and that is why I wanted to try the alto. I had already owned the SG alto before I bought the Saxgourmet tenor. Why not just buy a six you say? The same reason I bought yamaha, my budget is tight. This started by me buying a Steve Goodson as a backup because the deal was right and I could sell what I have to pay for it. I have continued that trend and will not have any out of pocket expense and will have newer and better horns than before. I work for a living and play music on the side. I run a business, have a five year old daughter, a beautiful young wife, a 5 piece band, and direct and play lead in a big band so I practice when I can. Of course all the practice in the world won't make a conn or yamaha sound like a selmer now will it? Thanks for the tip though. Hope this answers some of your concerns.

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      1. by cuber
        (653 posts)

        6 years ago

        Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

        if you have a conn, i really dont think you want to sound like you are playing a selmer. i know i dont. if your friend with the mkVI wants one so badly, why dosent he sell the six and buy one, with about 4000 bucks left over? if you want to sound like you play a selmer, wouldnt it just be easiest to buy a selmer?

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        1. by saxxsymbol
          (217 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          Because of the inflated rate that a six goes for and the fact that they do not make them anymore means my friend will never sell his six. He doesn't like taking it to gigs. so when he has the funds he will buy one of the Saxgourmet modesixes and put away his Selmer. What part of not having the funds to buy a good six do you not understand? I'm not trying to sound like I play a Selmer Mark VI, I happen to like they way I sound when I play a good one and again I cannot afford one, that is why I played yamaha's for so many years. I loved their playability but the sound is just not what I was looking for . Hopefully you will get a chance to try one for yourself, maybe you won't be impressed, maybe you will. Don't judge them till you try them. Folks have been trying to recreate that sound of the six for many years. No one has done it till now, in my opinion. I have yet to read a negative review of these horns by anybody who has actually played them.

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        2. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          I love to play my Mark Vls. I take them to most of my gigs. I have mostly played Mark Vls, and I've been playing them for 40 years. It used to be they were only a little more expensive than other first line horns. Now their prices are out of sight. I can understand you not being able to afford them. I don't think I could replace mine with other Mark Vls if mine were lost or stolen. My choice of todays saxophones are the Yamaha 62s. I play one as a back up. It is a very good horn, plus it's fairly bullet proof. (it's never been to the shop and it's over 5 years old)..............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        3. by saxxsymbol
          (217 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          I really loved my 62 alto, I just couldn't get the sound I wanted out of it. I loved the quality, the playability, and the scale. The horns I have now are built with thicker metal in the body, much beefier key arms, better pads and resonators, have the same playablilty, better scale and better sound for me and I sold my yamahas and paid for these with no out of pocket. I didn't notice the sound difference until we started recording our gigs. I didn't like the sound I was getting on tenor, on alto it wasn't bad with the yamahas. I went thru mouthpieces and necks and still didn't think the sound was good enough. Now the sound is what I want on the recordings and I can hear the difference live now too. Taco Bell is sponsoring the first Sebring Jazz festival Nov. 22nd from 12pm - 9 pm to benefit the boys and girls club of Highlands County and I will be playing my alto in the big band opening act and tenor and bari in the closing act.

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        4. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          Life is good............Kelsey and Rosie
          Barry Kelsey

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        5. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          its always a good day when a new jazz fest starts

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        6. by saxxsymbol
          (217 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          Thanks for the Good thoughts. We are opening with a 2 hr 15 piece big band performance playing tunes from the 40's to 60's Al Stevens will do a a single act for 1 hour then Emanon Jazz Band featuring Dave Naylor on trumpet for 2 hours. Al will do another hour then GrooVus will take the stage for 2 hours . Event will run from noon - 9 pm. More details will be posted later.

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        7. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          Is your 15 piece band a rehearsal band? I play with a rehearsal band every week. It help keeps my reading chops alive and well. This may be happening all over America. Hard to book a band that size but lots of fun to play those charts. Sometimes I get a call to play with a big band for money and I am always happy to oblige. Good luck with the Jazz Fest..............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        8. by saxxsymbol
          (217 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          We are a working band. We play the first friday of the month for a local dance club here 8 months of the year. Pays about $ 25 a man . Not a lot of money but covers the gas. And it is a nice , appreciative crowd. We get from 100 - 160 folks a dance. We rehearse on the saturdays that we don't have a gig the night before. We also do paid gigs at parks at a much higher rate, assisted living centers ( they don't pay much ) and special events here in highlands county. We have a female vocalist that used to be the house singer for "CBS presents" music series in the 50's. Great singer. Lots of fun to play the great charts. We have e NYE gig this year that pays $ 200 a man + food for the band and wives !!

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        9. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          We have a 10 piece band that works once or twice a month. You can hear it on our web site. We have the very best players in Jacksonville in the band. We don't need to rehearse. These guys can read anything. Trouble with this band is that all we play are the old chestnuts for the dancers. When there's money involved, the quality of the music always goes to heck. In the rehearsal band we play what the band likes. Of coarse we are there for free. So help me, I wish Glen Miller would have lived and his music died .........Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        10. by saxxsymbol
          (217 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          I'm sure you have better musicians across the board than here. This is a very small community but we do the best with what we have. We are constantly adding new charts and Okeechobee Joe, our solo tenor man is 91 years old so they are always new to him . Ha , ha. This group was founded primarily as a dance band and to keep the sounds of the big band era alive. We truly enjoy practicing and playing the music. Nothing like a full big band. I played with the lakeland jazz orchestra last year and that is a rehearsal/ performance group doing college and pro level band arrangements by Nestico, Taylor, Wolpe, Lowden etc. for big band including more modern arrangements of Earth , Wind and Fire, and KC and the Sunshine Band. That band has the best players in the Polk and Highlands County. That is why I play third alto in that band. Glenn's music was at the forefront when we were at war. A very powerful time in our history and unforgettable for those who lived it. His music brought joy and hope to a generation. It was simple music for a simple people who lived simple lives and were thrust into a world war to battle evil. His music still has a powerful effect on our audiences whenever we play. Yes, I've done "in the mood" a thousand times, but I still love to play it because I know the audience loves it and that is who I am there for. There are some nice new arrangements out there of the old standards. Hal Leonard sells some big band books with 15-18 tunes in each. One book for each chair. They run abut $5-$7 a book. And you can buy then according to your level of musicianship. You can get 15 or so new arrangements of tunes for all parts for about $ 80 - $100 total. Even the 3-4 year level charts sound good. Would be more interesting for the musician's and the dancers would like it too.

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        11. by Alreed66
          (8 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          I have been wanting to check one of these out for a few months. This is one of my possible contenders for the new alto and tenors I am saving up for.

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        12. by saxxsymbol
          (217 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Saxgourmet model six alto

          Really a great alto. the more I play it the more I think about playing it. The sound is fat, fat, fat. definitely check one out before you buy anything.

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