Saxophone Forum


by karebear1012
(395 posts)
10 years ago

Which saxophone?

I'm looking for a new alto sax, and I tried a bunch yesterday at the music store (Keilwerth, selmers, yamaha, etc.). I didn't really like the tone on the keilwerth that I played, but I loved the Selmer Reference and the Selmer Series III. I can't choose between the two, so I was wondering if anyone recommends one over the other? I also liked the sound of the Unlaquered Yamaha Z, but i hated how it looked in general...it had green spots all over it and stuff. Any preferences? Thanks, Kara

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  1. by saxman58
    (14 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Which saxophone?

    Those are all good horns - go with what feels and responds the best for you. If you want my personal opinion, I like the reference mostly because it is more like the Mark VI. I played on a Mark VI for over 25 years and now play a Super Balanced Action, so you can see why I would prefer the Reference. But like I said, go with what works for you. Good luck! Mike

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  2. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Which saxophone?

    Being used to my III, I was unimpressed with the Ref considering the price premium. The Ref is less ergonomic and tends to warble at the low end. They also sound basically the same except the III has better intonation. If you liked the unlacquered Z, you should try a silver plated Series III which responds similar to an unlacquered horn. If you preferred the sweetness of the Selmer sound or unlacquered Z over the Keilwerth, you should really try a III in silver plate.

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    1. by sax_maniac
      (984 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Which saxophone?

      Sorrry for the gratuitous solicitation, but I'm selling my III, by the way. Check out SaxQuest's trade section and send me an email if you want to know more about it or see pictures and such. I'm selling it for about $600 under WWBW's price and it's only a year old in like new condition.

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      1. by yoyo
        (17 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Which saxophone?

        Why are you selling your III? are lookin for a different sax?

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        1. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Which saxophone?

          I have several saxophones - and for what I do (adult concert band, church, at home stuff, lessons) the phrase I've coined is "I don't need a Ferrari to deliver pizzas." So as I can live without a premium horn, I figure I might as well sell it as it's still in basically perfect condition. I might get the urge for a pro horn down the road again sometime.

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      2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Which saxophone?

        _maniac, I guess it goes to show how subjective an issue horns can be. I found the sound of the III and Ref Alto distinctively different in the Ref's favor. I didn't find the ergonomics or action significantly different. The problem with gauging a Selmer, of course, is their issues with setup from the factory.

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        1. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Which saxophone?

          My biggest issues with the ergonomics were the flat high E key and the smaller RH pinky keys. It's all what you're used to, I suppose. It took time to get comfy moving from a 10M to an SBA, but it eventually happened, for the most part.

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      3. by YanagisawA-901
        (312 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Which saxophone?

        personally, id say dont get any of em, i thnk that the new selmers produce a lil bit stuffy of a tone, it might be ok now as its perfect and clean, but soon enough the tone will get stuffy, and the horn wont perform, even with the most meticulous care, only a select few references are amazing saxes, as are any handmade instrument. if you like the selmers id tell you to try keilwerth, they perform the same, and for hte same price range you can get a sx 90r, which has rolled tone holes, it helps the sax seal better and it sounds like a dream with the proper setup and airflow. but do as you may young one, haha i havnt played too many saxes other than the big names

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        1. by saabtech
          (20 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Which saxophone?

          i, too, am looking for a new horn... played the yam 62II, silver z and the ref 54. did like the 62, but according to the tuner, not too consistent. did not like the looks or the sound of the z. felt the 62 sounds and plays better than the z. maybe just my imagination but the 62II feels more solid/heavier. poss better metal? after playing the ref, i pretty much fell in love with this horn! not going to decide yet till my music store gets a unlaq z in first, so i can play the 54 and unlaq z side by side. sonny in pa.

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          1. by golferguy675
            (600 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: Which saxophone?

            Ok, here's my take on IIIs. I've played amazing, clear, virbant outstanding IIIs, and I've played ones that play worse than an 82 Bundy I. Since they're handmade, it really depends on if the guy at the factory felt like actually earning his money or not. If you buy one, for god's sake, try that specific on out thoroughly. They are probably the most inconsistent horn as far as individual units I've ever seen, but if you find a gem, don't pass it up, because they are rare to come by. No, I don't own a Series II, and I never will. There are just too many horns that I like so much better. (875, Mark VI, 54 Ref, A9930...) I wish I had them all. I actually have them except for the A9930...it's too much money for something I don't need. I have too 3 altos as it is.

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