I don't own a Mark VII, but the ones I tried just didn't feel right in my
hands(large and uncomfortable angles?)... the design of the horn is just
different--- I suppose there are many good sounding Mark VIIs out there,
it's just that a lot of players don't want to deal w/ the feel and action
of the horns--- maybe the Mark VII just feels right for you, in which
case you're one of the comparatively few satisfied customers.
: tanny :}
\\___// Kevin W. Dolorico
<o o> http://www.j51.com/~tmaster/
\_/ [Schmeep@NYU] [Technomaster]
"I just want to play the saxophone, okay?"
>I don't own a Mark VII, but the ones I tried just didn't feel right in my
>hands(large and uncomfortable angles?)... the design of the horn is just
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the Mark VII was the first
Selmer horn designed with the input of classical saxophonist Fred Hemke.
Mr. Hemke has HUGE hands which would explain the action of the VII, and
he probably had some say on the intonation.
>I suppose there are many good sounding Mark VIIs out there,
>it's just that a lot of players don't want to deal w/ the feel and action
>of the horns--- maybe the Mark VII just feels right for you, in which
>case you're one of the comparatively few satisfied customers.
I don't know if that's really the case - everyone I know who owns a Mark
VII is happy with their horn (including yours truly), and you don't see
many Mark VII's for sale (this could mean two things...I prefer the
optimistic choice). For the money ($1500-$1800), you're hard-pressed to
find a better pro horn.
>I don't see why the mark vii gets such a bad rap over here. I have one
>and I think they're great (at least mine is.) My vii has better
>intonation than my vi, it has a brighter tone, and it's a screamer!
When the Mark VIIs came out in the 70s, the "woodwind" player was still the
rule, and for someone used to playing alot of clarinet and flute, the large
keyworks of the Mark VII were distinctly a disadvantage. The horn also had
intonation problems, though, caused by the change in conicality
without a change in tone hole placement. What the Mark VII did have, was a
brighter and more powerful tone than its predecessors.
I personally still have my 1975 Mark VII alto (my only alto), and I use it
almost exclusively for "classical" performing. I have had to use several
unusual neckpieces, however, to compensate for the pitch problems. For
several years I used a Mark VI neckpiece with silver plating on the
**inside**, which gave me the horn's tone with improved intonation. **BUT**,
the damned plating inside had to be polished regularly or the air flow would
get sluggish. Now I use a Yanagisawa #66 neckpiece in it, and am quite happy
with the combination (obviously, I am not a clinician for either company...).
I like many facets of the Selmer S-80 II better, but do not like their tone
quality, which to me seems fuzzy and uncentered compared to the Mark VII. For
**MOST** people, I believe that the S-80 II or similar recent altos from
Yamaha, Keilworth and Yanagisawa are better all-around instruments, and I
personally do not advise students to get **either** Mark VI or Mark VII alto.