Saxophone Forum


by karebear1012
(395 posts)
9 years ago

Mark 7?

So, as you probably already know, i'm looking for a new pro horn to last me for a really long time. Since the really good Keilwerths and the Selmer Reference are out of the price range, some people have been pushing me into the direction of a Mark 7. How do they play? Would it be a good pro horn to last me years? Where could I buy one, and for how much money? Thanks, Kara

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  1. by definition
    (963 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Mark 7?

    There are a few good 7s, and they are damned good. But most of them sound best when run over by a truck, if you know what I mean. what is your price range? and what is your opinion on vintage, if you are willing to go that route? Also, what types of music are you mostly into? That could help us find a good horn for you. please let us know

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    1. by mintyfreshjam
      (48 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Mark 7?

      I play on a Mark VII and I love my horn. It's one of the horns in better condition and it plays quite nice. It's all about finding the right one. If you get a hold of one that's not good, don't condem the whole line because it might just be that one horn.

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      1. by SaxMan
        (559 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Mark 7?

        ran over by a truck, indeed. Do yourself a favor, get a conn or a buescher - a 10m or a true-tone.

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        1. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          My parents really want to spend around 2800 (less if possible) on a new alto sax for me. well not necessarily new, just pro. my teacher recommended a mark 7 to me because the good 6s are soo much money. and so is the selmer reference. I live in the New England area if that makes any difference. I've been to Rayburns in Boston, but they were moving so they didnt have much. I really want a horn with a dark / warm sound. People think i'm weird because i really dont like the series III ---itz just too bright.

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        2. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Dark and warm... the first horn I usually think of is the beuschers. I would look into a Buescher aristocrat, the big B model, the price is right, and the sound is just beautiful. Gayle at www.vintagesax.com has a great one for $1250, and you can be assured anything coming from her is quality, and ready to go.

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        3. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Oh i just noticed she has two good ones, the second one is for 1400, and might be a better choice, IMO

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        4. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          would that horn be able to last me for like the rest of my life? and is the quality really good? i've been told keilwerth and selmer are the way to go, but thanks for the help. i'm gonna go to that site right now=) Kara

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        5. by JaZzer
          (25 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Well, I guess they're talking about a new horn in that case. If you're playin' jazz, u want a bright sound, but concert, u want a dark sound. A silver horn will have a darker sound because of the metalic it's plated with, it's heavier. Yeh, a buescher is the way to go, and i believe the one they're talking about is silver (dark sound). It's vintage, and it will last you for the rest of your life, if u care for it properly. If you wanna play just jazz later, u might need a new horn, or maybe the mouthpiece and changing ur embochure u'll fix it.

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        6. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          The Buescher can be good in any setting. The ones Gayle has right now are all good. Thr two "Big B" Aristocrats altos that she has are my personal favorite of the Aristocrat series. (they get their name from the engraving of a large letter B on the bell. Also, Pete Hales (sax historian) has a ton of info on bueschers on his site www.saxpics.com Ive played one, and they really are great, great horns!!!! and like JaZzer said, it will last FOREVER with the proper care taken for it. Also, a silverplate finish would help to make the horn brighter. To darken it somewhat, you would want to use a nickel plate finish or a laquer finish

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        7. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Also, as far as quality, the first sax made in the united states was a Conn, made by Ferdinand “Gus” Buescher. Buescher went on to start his own horn company in his name years later, and produces (IMO) some of the greatest horns.

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        8. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Yeah, i've been told that jazz horns need to have a brighter sound and concert is darker. I really dont like the bright sound, but I'm lead alto in the HS jazz band, and i play trumpet in concert band. so I dunno what to get.... So I'm looking into the Buescher...i couldnt find the Big B one you were talking about... they just said Buescher Aristocrat or something. What number is it? I did look at one of the pictures and the one i saw was beautiful=) i told my mom and she was kind of ambivalent becauz my teacher hasn't said anything about that brand. so we're looking into it thanks! Kara

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        9. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Your mom need not worry, that is solid, reliable horn! if you go down the list of altos, the ones I was talkin about were numbers 11 and 12 respectively, but all the aristocrats were good horns. The Big Bs were at the end of the aristocrat run, before they started on the fabled Buescher 400 TH&C which was an AMAZING horn until selmer bought out the company (the buescher 400 Gayle has right now is post selmer buyout and not very desireable) For the dark sound you like, go with one of the laquer Big Bs Gayle has, I gaurantee you'll like it. and with the prices bieng right where they are, get your Mom to get you a great mouthpiece or two with the extra money she'd save getting this horn Id suggest a a runyon or a jody jazz HR piece since you are trying to get a dark alto sound like I am, and ive been happy with those(plus the price is right, both are under $100) Dont forget a rovner lig to go with fer an even darker sound that will still retain the edge. Please let us know how this unfolds! Remember, before Yamaha and yanigisawa and keilwerth got into the business, The big 3 were Conn, Buescher, and Selmer. Also very, very good Vintage horns: Martin, King, SML, and Buffet!

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        10. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Let's see...right now I have a Selmer C* and a Rovner ligature (which i love!). I have a student alpine alto sax, which i kinda like believe it or not. I guess itz just because that was the first sax i ever played. but anyways, thank you so much for your help. I'm gonna look into those horns a bit more. Does Gayle have a return policy? So i could try one and decide whether or not i want it? ] Thanks again! Kara

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        11. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          yes she does have a return policy. Gayle is oone of the most proffesional people I have worked with in the sax industry Her policy is: How do I buy? To purchase a saxophone from Gayle Fredenburgh at VintageSax, please call (850) 689-1126. Business hours are weekdays 3-9 pm Central time, and weekends 8 am to 9 pm. An answering machine is available for messages at other times. I will be happy to help answer your questions, give a detailed verbal description of a horn, or steer you in the direction of a vintage sax that will meet your needs. FedEx and UPS shipping services are recommended for customers who are far from Florida. There are no packing or restocking fees; the customer pays only the price of the horn plus shipping charges. A cashier's check or money order (payable to Gayle Fredenburgh) for the full purchase price plus shipping fees are required before I can ship your horn. Sorry, I don't take credit cards at this time. Florida residents must pay an additional 7% sales tax on the value of your purchase (no tax on shipping). Please read below to learn about your 5-day approval period. What are my rights and obligations? An approval period of five days is given beginning the day you receive the instrument. If you are not completely satisfied with the vintage saxophone,you may carefully repack and return-ship it to VintageSax. If the instrument is returned in the same condition, your complete purchase price will be refunded. You must pay return shipping and return shipping insurance. If you are dissatisfied or have problems, please call within the five day period. No other rights or obligations are implied. All sales are final after the initial five day period, as stated. My goal is to preserve vintage saxophones and place them with individuals who will both cherish the instrument and utilize them in their musical journeys. Gayle This is also on her site, the link is: www.vintagesax.com/payrights.html Also, if you like that Selmer C*, I suggest geting a Selmer S90 (model 180) its like the S80 but much more refined. It is more of a classical piece but can be really pushed when needed for a bit of edge. Keep us updated here with what you do! I hope you are staisfied with the horn, Ive played a few of Gayles horns that a freind bought and I was simply amazed with them all. Also, if you have any questions about the horns, ie how ready they are, or technical questions of what type of pads or whatever, email Gayle and she'll get back to you in one business day. She can do just about anything you ask.

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        12. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          It also appears that they have a great looking Big B alto here on saxquest for $850, another good one. Only drawback is that it will need a new pad job to get it in a playing condition, but saxquest will do it for $500, which is still a good deal. Cosmetically, this one is almost perfect too!

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        13. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          -------------------------------------------------------------------- 400 TH&C which was an AMAZING horn until selmer bought out the company (the buescher 400 Gayle has right now is post selmer buyout and not very desireable) --------------------------------------------------------------------- This is incorrect. It's not that they're undesireable as post-selmer 400s can be very good horns. It's just that they're not nearly *as* desireable as the TH&C. Above the bow, the floral-engraved 400s are identical to the TH&C. In either case, the later 400s certainly aren't worth the full $2800 you're willing to spend. I dont even thing anything short of a near-mint TH&C alto has that much market value. If I were in karebear's shoes, I'd be really enthused about a Buffet Dynaction, SuperDynaction, or possibly even a nice, used Buffet S1 or S3 Prestige for that kind of money.

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        14. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          The two post Selmer 400s Ive tried both turned out to be pretty bad, especially in a side by side of my origional Top Hat & Cane. Action was really sloppy, despite having just gone to the best tech in the area for vintage horns. the sound was also just not there. But hey, thats just my 2 cents Those Buffets are great horns, but are a little harder to come by these days, plus are going to cost quite a bit more than the buescher. Also, www.cybersax.com has a Buescher Big B alto also, all ready to go for $1285

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        15. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Is a Buffet a darker sounding horn? I'm sort of confused now.....is the Buffet better than the Buescher? I just want the best pro horn possible in my price range, whatever that may be.

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        16. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          The Buffet is not better than the buescher, just different. I wouldnt call it dark as far as horns go, or as bueschers are, but it does have a great sound, that I liken more towards a cross between a Conn and a Martin. My personal recomendation to you is the buescher, but other people might have different favorite horns. I think you'll like the Buescher because like you I am after a dark, but edgy sound and that helped me find a voice.

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        17. by selmerfan
          (67 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          karebear, in reply to your original question, the Mark VII is a dark horn, good quality, but the key work is lacking. You should be able to find a dark older Mark VI in your price range, the older the horn, the darker the sound is a fairly consistent rule. Check out Tenor Madness, I live an hour away from Randy and have spent quite a bit of time in his shop, and if there's a dark pro horn in your range, he can get it for you. As for myself, I have a Mark VI from Randy ($2700) and a Serie III that has been set-up by Randy. The Serie III is usually a darker horn than a VI, and a lot of that depends on set-up, and Randy should be able to set you up with a used Serie III that he has set-up, and if you ask him to make it darker, he can usually do that. I'm a sax teacher in the NC Iowa area and recommend any serious sax player I come across to check Randy's place out. Good luck with you hunt, and remember, if you want a darker sound, the horn isn't the only thing you can change, just the most expensive thing you can change! Look into different mouthpieces and ligatures, and reeds.

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        18. by Dirty_Reggae
          (55 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          selmerfan couldn't be more right about the horn being the most expensive thing you can change. Thats all it is. Too many players today get caught up in the "my equipment sucks" attitude. Do like the old schoolers and try to change your mouth, playing, position, and maybe reeds to get a different sound. Air stream and all that stuff, although i do beleive a did reccomand a 7 to you a while back... but hey, remember what i said here too!

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        19. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          I have a Rovner Ligature, Selmer C* and Meyer 6 mouthpieces, and i usually use either Vandoren Z reeds (3 or 3.5), or Rico Jazz Select (3.5) yeah, right now we're also looking at the silver nickel keilwerths....any input? thanks, Kara

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      2. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Mark 7?

        Your teacher sounds like a Selmer Snob. UGH!!! I'm not a big fan of Selmer Kara, even though I own a couple. I made the mistake of buying a new Selmer Soprano a couple years ago, and if I had to do over again, I would have bought a Keilwerth or Yani. It's funny, I gig with a couple Selmer Snobs, and they're always telling how GREAT Selmer saxophones are, but they all want to play mine! "Jimmy, let me play your 10M on this one!" What does that tell you? If you get that old Buescher restored, I think you will be amazed at how well it plays and the sound that you'll get out of it. Then, keep it around as a back-up horn, and maybe buy a new Keilwerth.

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        1. by eman19
          (131 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Mark 7?

          Just to put my feelings on buescher, I love them. I play a true tone from 1928, and its solid. Gold Plated, and absolutely great sounding. Action is great on it and I really can't think of another tenor I'd rather be playing=o).

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          1. by Buddyroach
            (9 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Mark 7?

            Karebear, the Selmer Mark VII can potentially be a trainwreck and it can be an amazing horn depending on the one that you play. There are plenty of great players that have MarkVII because they tried a great deal of them and they found a great horn. Don't give up on finding an affordable Reference. It's all about who you know. Go to a local repair shop thats not in a music store and talk to people because they might be able to find a horn that you can get a really good deal on. I played about 50 horns before my very cool parents bought mine. My teacher kept telling me Refence but I looked around a lot and finally played about 7 reference altos before I got mine. Some were OK and I distinctly remember 3 of them being crap. Back when they made the Mark VI and the Mark VII there were no methods of quality control and most all the work done on the saxophones was by hand. So every horn is different regardless of "serial numbers and all that bull****" Try some and if you like one get it, because when you find a good Mark VII it can blow like any Mark VI that youll come across. Compare that horn to a horn that you know is good and if they match up, go for it. You can find most mark VII's for under 3 grand which is a really good bargain if you can find one that really barks.

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            1. by nickhmorgan
              (5 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Mark 7?

              Kara I play a Mark 7 on alto, and I find the altos are way better than the tenors (i've owned a tenor too, keyword owned). I have still to play a Mark VI that is as good as my 7. If you want a good 7, look for the ones over the 3xx,xxx mark (which I know is contradictory to alot of opinions but I've still to play a good early 7). The keywork is easy to get over on the 7's and I find that I prefer it over all the of horns now. But most importantly what you need to do is get a horn and stick with it and practice your A** off. You can find Mark VII altos from $900US - $2600USD. I find that they sound really good when there is no lacquer and would come close to every good Mark VI. Avoid a Buescher if you can, they feel like sh*t and you can probably even find one in an antique store for under $100, then overhaul it. If your on a budget check out Conn 6m's, and early King Zephyr's and Zephyr Special's. Also, take your time. There is no rush, your spending alot of money any way you look at it so make sure you get something that you will be happy with. Also, check out SML's and Buffet's if you want. It doesn't hurt to try everything, you just might find something you wouldn't expect.

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            2. by karebear1012
              (395 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Mark 7?

              I'm not sure if he's a selmer snob or not... he's talked favorably towards the keilwerths too. The reference is like my dream horn at this point...i've played only 1 (which i loved). They're just way too expensive - the lowest i've seen is around $3500. If i sell my soprano, i could get a horn for about $3000 at most. Mark 7 was recommended to me by a teacher, but my director (whos a sax player) said to stay away from the vintage horns at my age. Something about proper care, and their response to the player. I'm a freshman in high school, and i'm lead sax in the jazz band, so I need a pro horn that I can "handle", but still something that's perfect for jazz band. Jazz is the main thing i'm looking at when it comes to tone quality, because i play trumpet in concert band and marching band. I'm just not sure about vintage horns...my director didnt think I should go near them yet..... Thanks Kara

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            3. by eman19
              (131 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Mark 7?

              The problem with a vintage horn is that it is vintage. Alot can go wrong on an 80 year old instrument. Their like a european sports car I think. They can handle what you throw at them, but are high maintenance, and if they aren't properly set up can be a nightmare for a student to learn on. I disagree that the Bueschers handle like sh*t. Johnny Hodges didn't seem to think so, nor many other pros from the time period. I love mine, and passed up Mark VI's, Yamaha 62's and others for mine. Good luck with what ever horn you pick, just make sure you love it.

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            4. by selmerfan
              (67 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Mark 7?

              First of all, the last statement was the best one that eman19 made, make sure that YOU love YOUR horn, no matter what brand, and also practice your tail off. I'm not a big fan of Buescher's, but I'm also used to playing the Selmer keywork, if I played a Buescher for 3-4 hours per day for a week, I'd say I love Buescher keywork, but I don't and that's the personal opinion. I owns two Selmers, a Serie III and a Mark VI, love them both, but I personally picked both of them out of many horns I tried, and yes, I think Selmers are more durable than many other brands of horn IN MY EXPERIENCE. Some of you may have different opinions, these opinions are mine. karebear, have you tried a Selmer Paris brass ligature or a Bay gold ligature, or possibly a Bay gold ligature with the fabric in it? With my private students I've noticed a lot of tone change when we switch ligatures, the rest of your set-up sounds great. I'm not a big Rovner fan, they don't let the reed vibrate as freely as it could and it dampens some of the overtones of the horn. Give something other than the horn a shot at changing, last year I had a student make 1st chair Iowa All-State Band on alto (one of three 1st chair altos in the band) and she wanted a new horn but couldn't afford one, so she ended up auditioning on her YAS-23 that I took to Randy Jones at Tenor Madness and had him set it up properly and we changed a few things with her mouthpiece/reed/ligature combination and she got a great dark sound out of it and the judge must have liked it too, that and she practiced her tail off and played the best audition she was capable of playing. selmerfan

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            5. by connsaxman_jim
              (2336 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Mark 7?

              Kara, As long as the horn is properly set up and in good playing condition, vintage or non-vintage shouldn't make any difference. I would caution you not to buy anything too antique if you plan to play it as often as you would in jazz band. Some vintage horns; especially the really old ones, do require more care and more frequent adjustments which can be a problem for a student. Keep your Alpine for back-up. Always a good idea to have a back-up horn, and almost a necessity when playing an 80+ year old horn. Of the horns made from 1922-1930, Conn and Buescher were THEE horns. Martin and King really got into the swing of things from 1930 on. I wouldn't recommend anything made before 1922.

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