Saxophone Forum

by ossodiseppia
(2 posts)
5 years ago

Local help needed with future purchase of a Tenor

I am seriously considering getting a sax for my very good friend's daughter.  She is a very gifted young lady who has won awards in school for her talent.  It's getting time for her to upgrade to a quality instrument.

I know Yamaha makes a pretty nice sax, but I think she might fall in love with a Selmer MK VI.  I am fully aware that these can run over $10k...or more.  I'm thinking that the later ones from the seventies will be a bit more affordable.

I know absolutely nothing about them and would be interested in getting some help deterining originality, condition and price, when the time comes.

I am not at all against learning and if someone has tips of things I should look for, I would be grateful.

I live in Broomfield, CO, which is north of Devner and close to Boulder.  Is there someone in the area that can help me or a shope where I can take one to have evaluated.

BTW, there is a MLK VI advertised locally on CL for under $4k.  Costwise, I want to keep it at or below $5k.  The serial on it is 199355, which I believe is early seventies.

Thanks very much.


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  1. by GFC
    (716 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Local help needed with future purchase of a Tenor

    There are some wonderful VIes out there, but also some that aren't so good.  The line was very inconsistent, particularly in its later years.  The good ones tend to cost upwards of $5k.  Here's a link to an article (second from top) on the experience of one very dedicated VI-head.

    You are wise to seek the assistance of a VI-head to accompany you down the rabbit hole, but I would suggest you might be better off staying out of the rabbit hole altogether.  There are some top quality modern horns that are very VI-like and getting one isn't playing the odds the way it is in VI-world.  Yanagisawa T-991s and 880s are excellent VI-like horns and their quality is famously good.  You might even be able to find a brand spankin' new T-991 for under $5k.  If you're willing to consider some of the excellent Asian horns (RS Berkeley, Saxgourmet, TM Custom, Paul Mauriat, Kessler, Cannonball), you have all sorts of options for a new VI-like horn under $5k.

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    1. by ossodiseppia
      (2 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: Local help needed with future purchase of a Tenor

      Thank you for that fabulous information.  I am easily swayed to other makes.  I will look into the ones that you mentioned to get an idea of pricing, etc.

      I have read that some of the VI's aren't well liked.  I've also learned that a particular sax, like any musical instrument, is a very personal choice. So, I am now wondering if I could be making a mistake.  My choice of sax may not be hers.  I may be better off, taking her shopping at a reputable shop.

      Thank you, again for the info.  I'll roll with it, 

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      1. by kelsey
        (930 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Local help needed with future purchase of a Tenor

        I have owned several Mark Vls and have never had a bad one. They are expensive but it's worth it to me to have the best. However I wouldn't reccomend a Mark Vl for a young student. They are fragile and have to be well taken care of. I will suggest a Yamaha 82z. They are very good and consistant horns...:)

        Barry Kelsey

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