Saxophone Forum


by kelsey
(814 posts)
1 year ago

Selmer Mark Vi sax

I have owned many Selmer Mark Vl's during my career as a sax player. I have never lost money on any of them because their prices have been consistantly going up since the 50's when they first appeared on the market. The Vl's I own now (an alto I paid $700.00 for new and a tenor I paid $800.00 for used) are each worth 8 to 10 times more than I paid for them. I also have enjoyed playing these wonderful saxophones. My question is will any of todays modern saxophones do as well in the future?

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  1. by saxgourmet
    (109 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: Selmer Mark Vi sax

    I think the bubble has burst......while exceptional examples still bring top dollar, the prices for average condition horns has somewhat declined over the last few years (we track them for our value guide) although you'll still see absurd asking prices (but not selling prices) on eBay and other auction sites.

    f you want a real indicator of value, look at the listings from Saxquest. You can always be sure the horns are fairly represented and priced to sell in the current market. 

    STEVE GOODSON
    New Orleans
    www.nationofmusic.com

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    1. by kelsey
      (814 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: Selmer Mark Vi sax

      Steve, will your horns increase in value like the Mark Vl has? I think NOT!!

      Barry Kelsey

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      1. by Saxquest
        (320 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: Selmer Mark Vi sax

        I don't think any saxophone will increase in value like the Mark VI ever again in the history of saxophones. Remember, the Mark VI ended up being the instrument of choice for a large majority of the players who continued to play past its creation in 1954. These were the player who created and developed bebop, hard-bop, post-bop, cool jazz, fusion, rock & roll saxophone, contemporary, etc.....

        It could be argued that the Mark VI/SBA played a role in defining the sound of a generation......and not just any generation. We're talking about John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Sam Rivers, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and beyond.........Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, Bob Berg, etc......... Who wouldn't, as a serious saxophone player, want to at some point in their life's own and play a Mark VI or at the very least be curious enough to have tried one at some point. I'd bet its statistically 100% (amonst serious players) as to who's at least tried a Mark VI.

        The SBA/Mark VI in its day was so different from any other horn. Although, the paradigm shift really happened with the balanced action. Fortunately for Selmer, other manufacture's were asleep at the wheel and WWII caused them to loose their focus as many of the essential elements of the Mark VI were created in the SBA and the BA.

        Today, the acoustic art form of jazz has it roots already planted so that moment in the history of the saxophone has past. Not to say other moments won't happen, but its hard to imagine a moment that capture's the entire world attention the way jazz did. Further, most saxophones being made today are essentially cut from the same cloth (not all, but most). These fators all play into the unlikelyhood of there ever being another "Mark VI-like" craze.

        That being said, if there is a saxophone that strives to be different today, its Steve Goodson's saxophone. Only time will tell what modern saxophones, if any will rise up and end up selling for more than its original purchase price.........(of course, inflation also has something to do with this). What eventually becomes collectible hinges on three things 1) provenance; 2) rarity 3) quality and perceived value, in that order.

        Cheers,
             Mark Overton
             www.saxquest.com

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        1. by kelsey
          (814 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: Selmer Mark Vi sax

          I would try a Goodson horn if I could find one. And if it were better than my Mark Vl tenor or even my Yamaha 62 purple logo tenor I would buy one. However; like you, I don't think any saxophone will ever top the Mark Vl as an investment property......~)

          Barry Kelsey

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        2. by saxgourmet
          (109 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: Selmer Mark Vi sax

          in the immortal words of my stock broker: "past performance is no indicator of future results"

           We stopped selling our horns through dealers four years ago. The reasons were (1) we don't need to do so, as we sell plenty of horns off our website (2) we had some very bad experiences with dealers who (a) owed us large amounts of money and (b) sold our horns for less than list price in spite of an agreement not to do so. At one time, we had 21 dealers in the USA. We now only sell our products at our retail site www.nationofmusic, and at another site, www.neosax.com......we sell at www.neosax.com because we have business interests in common with the owner of that site, Curt Altarac, who owns MusicMedic.

          If you will visit www.nationofmusic.com you will see that we have made some very significant changes in our return policy......we also maintain a showroom at our offices in New Orleans, where we see customers by appointment.

          I think the rise in Mk VI prices over the last 10 years (and that is when the curve began to slope steeply upward) was due to the "horn worship" phenomenon that the internet made possible. The prices went up, not because they are particularly rare, and not because they out performed modern horns, but because (IMHO) of the internet "buzz" about them. The dealers and eBay sellers had a chance, for the first time in history, to hype the horns. I've been selling horns on the internet since 1995, and freely admit that I did my fair share of hyping horns in order to drive the price up. I made a ton of money selling Mk VI's. We got out of the used horn business a long time ago, because now every 12 year old sitting in Mommy and Daddy's basement typing away on the internet is now a vintage saxophone expert.

          For the record, I got my first Mk VI in 1964 (my parents bought it for me as a reward for making first chair in the all state band) and payed Mk VI's up through the mid 1980's, with only a few flirtations with Yamaha's and Super 20 Silversonics.....in the late 1980's I swithched to Buffet S-1's (except for my Mk VI baritone) and later to a Conn 30M. I currently have more Mk VI's in my personal collection than any other brand and model.

          One other thing: it's Goodson with a S, not Goodman with a M. 

          STEVE GOODSON
          New Orleans
          www.nationofmusic.com

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        3. by kelsey
          (814 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: Selmer Mark Vi sax

          Goodman, you and I are comeing to music from two different directions. You from the money side of things, me with an artist's point of vieu. I've played other horns but have never found a better match for me than the Mark Vl. Your personal hype, or any body's for that matter, have had no effect on why I play Marl Vl's. Because of all this hype the collectors have driven up the prices so high that, as a professional player, if I were to lose my tenor or alto I would have to settle for a lesser horn because I can't afford those high prices. Good luck selling your horns. Personally I'd rather have a Yamaha....~)

          Barry Kelsey

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      2. by GFC
        (359 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: Selmer Mark Vi sax

        Not even the Mark VI will do as well in the future.  I think a big part of the Mark VI mystique has to do with the fact that there were such limited alternatives during its production run and for some years after.  The American manufacturers were on a death spiral and giving up on quality.  Yamaha produced horns around a completely different sound concept.  Other manufacturers had extremely limited distribution.  Not even Selmer's later products could compete with the Mark VI.  Nowadays, Asian manufacturers have tipped the market to the advantage of the player.  Innovative designers are delivering the most significant improvements to saxophones in some years.  Players are no longer forced into the fetish instrument "investment" game if their main interest is in having a good instrument to play.  Instruments are, after all, tools whose real value is their use.

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        1. by kelsey
          (814 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: Selmer Mark Vi sax

          I think, as for me, the Mark Vl is what I'm use to playing! I like that feeling of blowing against something. My YTS 62 sounds OK, and the action is great, but I still prefer the Vl. I know guys who love and prefer to play the old Conns. For me a Conn's action feels clunky and un-natural. Maybe there should be a law that nobody under the age of 50 could own a Mark Vl. Now there's an idea!!!.....That would help on keeping prices down.......LOL

          Barry Kelsey

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