Saxophone Forum


by mgictwnger
(35 posts)
9 months ago

Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

I am on the company's mailing list, and got this email today. Is this the beginning of the end?

Dear Friend of Henri Selmer Paris, 

Today is a special day for our company and its community, of which you are a prominent member.

130 years after its foundation our company has announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with a European growth-oriented private equity fund, Argos Soditic, for a change in ownership.

This is great news for our future, and we wanted to share this directly with you.

This transaction will help us to develop the company and maintain the extraordinary spirit of our products. With the support and strength of Argos, we will have additional resources to help us transform the business while maintaining the highest standards in our industry. We will become stronger to face the growing international demand, and better meet the expectations of our customers.

I will stay in office along with the management team. The objective to remain the unchallenged leader of saxophones and a major player of mouthpieces is shared with Argos along with the determination to strengthen our position in clarinets through our great new range. 

As a sign of confidence in the future, some members of the Selmer family will remain shareholders, and the management team will invest along with Argos.

I’m pleased to send you attached the press release that we are sending out today. Today is going to be a very busy day, but I’m more than happy to provide you with more details if you wish.

Let me extend my thanks for your trust and recognition, and wish you all the best for 2018.

Jérôme Selmer
Chief Executive Officer

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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (267 posts)

    9 months ago

    Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

    Sorry to bring reality to light, but the beginning of the end happened around 1980.

    This is when Selmer changes to the Mark VII. That was the beginning of the end.

    Selmer has  produced many wonderful saxophones since then, but this was when Selmer

    became just another company.

     

    There are many more wonderful Selmer saxophones in the market today than there are players looking for them. Jazz is dead. All there is now is nastalgic people listening to old music and musicians playing and listening to jazz, because they understand it. Nobody under 40 cares. They would rather listen to Kenny G or Justin Bieber with his electronic sound effects keeping his beat.

    So, Vintage Selmers are the best horns out there?

    If that is your feeling, that has not and will not change.

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    1. by bjroosevelt
      (47 posts)

      9 months ago

      Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

      Perhaps we are being a bit mellow dramatic about Jazz.....

      If I am not mistaken the Sax was invented in Europe and Henri Selmer has historically been a French company......and other than the fast finger action, IMHO there is no benefit of playing any Henri Selmer Sax for Jazz.  Lots of other brands have a better Jazz sound.....like Conn for Vintage or Cannonball (even though it is second tier) for new.  Relating the Tenor Sax instrument or the Henri Selmer company  to the supposed death of a truly American form of Music   - Jazz - is a bit of a stretch.  

      The most popular instrument today is the guitar.....interesting....rock'n'roll, jazz, blues, adult contemporary all use the guitar.....The sax is simply out of fashion.  

       

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      1. by historicsaxwhisperer
        (267 posts)

        9 months ago

        Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

        I could not agree more. The sax is out of date in new music.

        But the new music is just so bad. Talent is rare today.

        Being a fluent musician is just not something most people care about.

        Reply To Post


    2. by GFC
      (729 posts)

      9 months ago

      Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

      I agree with historicalsaxwhisperer.  The company has been using their past glory to push an absurd pricing model for years now.  In recent years their marketing has gotten downright gimmicky - "special edition" this and that.  It will be interesting to see what changes with the new ownership structure.

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    3. by mgictwnger
      (35 posts)

      9 months ago

      Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

      I am really surprised at the reactions to this post. Selmer (Paris) has been making state of the art saxes since the 1920’s, many of which are arguably among the best ever produced. I bought my Mark VI tenor new in 1970, played it on a zillion gigs and, while I tried to take good care of it, I often rode it hard and put it away wet. It has never let me down in all these years. If that is not quality worth a premium price, I don’t know what is. French Selmers have been the standard of excellence for a very long time.
      I also have a mid-70's Mark VII alto which I bought as a replacement for a stolen VI, and it is one of the best altos I have ever played. This might just be a matter of luck, but not entirely, I think.

      The lack of respect shown to our nation’s premier style of music is and the instruments used to play it are beyond belief. If your opinions of these things are really so low, what are you doing here in the first place?

      Hope I’m not being too “mellow dramatic”.

       

       

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      1. by mijderf
        (160 posts)

        9 months ago

        Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

        I think you are misinterpreting the responses.  I think that everyone agreed that Selmer once made the best saxophones available.  But Selmer has not advanced or improved their horns since their golden age.  What they have done is increase pricing many times more that they have improved their products.
        They have faced a tough situation in the past 10 - 20 years.  I have worked in two industries that were targeted by low cost off shore manufacturing.  The best way to respond to those market pressures, are to get in control of your costs, and then make the best product possible.  If this is done, you can charge in the range of 25 - 75% more that the low cost competition.  However it appears that Selmer did little to control costs, did little to improve the product, and charged more like 300% of their tough competion's prices.

        When Selmer was most successful, they priced themselves far more competitively against Conn, King, Martin, etc. and did it with a superior product.  That was long ago and their competition changed, and Selmer did not respond to that change.

        I think the responders to this thread all had respect for the Selmer of old.  But respect isn't a forever gift, it must be continually earned.  If anythong, it appears that Selmer did not have enough respect for their competition until it was too late. 

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        1. by mgictwnger
          (35 posts)

          9 months ago

          Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

          The remarks about Selmer's quality and pricing do not bother me. Any manufacturer of any top-end product  is subject to these ups and downs. Play the horns you love and are willing to pay for.

          But comments about the music and musicians have nothing to do with a particular make of sax.: "Jazz is dead. All there is now is nastalgic (sic) people listening to old music and musicians playing and listening to jazz, because they understand it. Nobody under 40 cares.

          ...other than the fast finger action, IMHO there is no benefit of playing any Henri Selmer Sax for Jazz.
          The sax is simply out of fashion.  

          But the new music is just so bad. Talent is rare today.

          Being a fluent musician is just not something most people care about.s sax is smply out of fashion."  

           Sad, sad.

          Reply To Post


          1. by historicsaxwhisperer
            (267 posts)

            9 months ago

            Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

            Showing my personal view of the music industry of today, where producers decide what the next hit is going to be, inventing backgound soud affects to keep rythm for people who basically cannot read music, let alone sing well without having their voice  funneled  through audio machinery, was simply to make a point.

            The point being, there are just many more wonderful saxophones on the market than there are musicians to play them. The saturated market is what caused the demise of all the saxophone producers. It simply costs too much to make a comperable horn to say a 1964 Mark VI tenor at todays costs. There are simply thousands of them sitting around, but priced above 8,000.

            So, they sit till a player finally finds the horn they cant live without. Check out Saxquests inventory of horns for sale.

            Jazz is dead because nobody goes to listen to it. Those that followed Jazz are simply too old and fall asleep by 10:00, before the fist set even ends. No different than saying Mozart is dead. The musicians cannot afford to live on what they make as a working musician, so, Like Myself, they find a day job. So only the true lovers of the music listen to it today. Most of them are musicians themselves.

            And I agree whole heartedly with you. It is Sad very Sad. If the music of today was less commercialized, this conversation would never take place.

            Reply To Post


          2. by GFC
            (729 posts)

            9 months ago

            Re: Selmer (Paris) is being sold!

            I agree 100% about the dreadful commercial music industry, but I'm more optimistic than you are about the ability of real jazz to find a receptive audience.  Jazz has seldom had more support from the music industry than it does now.  Early jazz was recorded for small "race" labels; bebop was first recorded for small independent labels.  The swing era sparked major label interest in jazz because it had demonstrated its appeal to a mainstream (read "white") audience, but the real forefront of jazz continued to be with minor labels.  And today the influence of the commercial recording industry is crumbling with digital technology making any entrepeneur able to compete with their recording and distributing (although not promotional) capabilities.  The media-entertainment complex is in the same position with music as it is with news media - propelled largely by inertia and availability but facing a serious challenge from alternative sources.  Nobody but Hollywood cares about the Grammys anymore.  Look at the viewership figures.  

            The DJ era has impacted live dance music - rock&roll and R&B - much more than it has impacted live jazz.  When good live jazz is made available, audiences respond.  But there are big ifs surrounding "good" and "available."  Too many musicians in local scenes take a lowball approach, not developing anything distinctive and relying on half-assed renditions out of volume I of The Real Book.  That's the surest way to bore the audience away, even those who seek jazz.  That's not exactly a formula for convincing venue owners that jazz is worth hosting.  On the plus side, jazz is one of the less demanding forms of music from the standpoint of hosting, with less space requirements, less demand for a sound system, easier audiences, and less potential conflict with noise ordinances.  But musicians have to spark sufficient interest to convince venue owners that they are worth hosting, and some are apparently not willing to spend the effort to do so.  While making no assumptions about your experience, musicians seem to prefer to claim that audiences are not receptive to jazz over making any real effort to bring their game up.

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