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Thread: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Member Turnaround's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Since we own horns only made for only about 5 years by the MOST famous saxophone company in the world, and most companies stop making product lines not because they are bad, but because they are spending too much money on them, I'd like to start our own fan club thread.

    I have owned an alto (bought new in 1985) and have acquired a tenor AND soprano because my alto has proven to be that much of a horn.

    These are the sleepers of the Selmers.

    Most who have them never look back.

    BTW, this IS the Series I fan club and haters will be frowned upon.

    Please tell us why your Series I is THE Selmer of Selmers (price counts in these arguments BTW, but does not need to be the deciding factor).

    Also please include any mods you have made/added to your horn to enhance and how it affected its already mystic beauty.

    Stories of your Series I experiences are completely welcomed, as obscure as they may be (keep it clean, first timers - Series Is can have some crazy stories).

    Please, we know you IIs, IIIs and VIs think that you have us beat. Let us have our say.

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member SaxPlayer1004's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    I have a SA80I alto that I love. I have a second one that I just sold because it was uglier cosmetically and didn't play as well as my other. I have play-tested numerous VI's, SA80II's and III's, all of the Yamahas, most of the Yani's and a couple JK's and haven't found one that gets "my" sound better than my SA80

    Price helped in the initial purchase of this horn, however it was one of the better sax purchases I have made.

    Modifications include Roo pads with SG resonators, and Oleg palm and side key risers.

  3. #3
    calisax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Selmer Paris, almost always a winner.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Super Action 80's? Those horns are junk! I wouldn't be caught dead promoting them.

    I have an SA80 tenor, and I will go to the grave with that horn. I bought the horn for $1,750 off of eBay, and while it most certainly needed work, it was already a decent playing horn. A few keycups in the upper stack were misaligned, and the pads were all originals. Shortly after buying the Selmer, I ended up purchasing a Serie III neck for my Chinese tenor. However, after trying the III neck on my SA80, I found my winning combo. Volume and tonal flexibility increased in the Selmer, and I finally found a way to get my tenor to be as loud as my Conn New Wonder alto. The 80's original neck went to the Chinese horn.

    After playing on the SA80, for about a year, the lower stack started to develop some pretty nasty leaks. Floating the pads wasn't an option at this point, so with all of my infinite wisdom , I decided to man handle the keycups to compensate. Yeah...that didn't go so well, and off to the tech I went. This is when I first met Jim Germann (one of the best techs you can find anywhere), and after several seconds of looking at the horn with a leak light, he gave me a dumbfounded look and asked, "What happened to this horn"? I could only look at the ground and mutter, "Ummm...it went through a terrible accident". A week later, the horn was completely rebuilt with Noyek resonators and waterproofed pads. When I came to pick up the horn, Jim said, "Now if this doesn't play better than it did, I quit". Well, obviously the horn was a completely different animal, and I quickly found out that I did not have to compensate for certain notes as I did when there were leaks. The action also felt much better than it had before the rebuild. Jim lowered all of the keys, and lightened up the spring tension. It felt great, but it also felt like a completely different horn. The only thing that scared me was that I had to relearn the feel of this horn rather quickly, as I had a gig in 6 hours. Fortunately, it only took me about 10 minutes to get completely comfortable with the new feel.

    It has been almost 2 years since the re-build, and I'm still finding new reasons to love my SA80. The more time I spend with the horn, the more time I get to learn about all of it's tonal nuances. Honestly, I still haven't found a tenor that I would prefer over this horn, and believe me when I say that I have looked.

    When all was said and done, I have spent approx $2,700 between the horn, neck, and professional rebuild. You would be hard pressed to find a Selmer tenor, that is as playable as this horn, for less money.

  5. #5
    Forum Contributor 2009 vitalogy79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Well I'm new to the SA80, and relatively new to SOTW. I've had the good fortune of having a couple of conversations with Turnaround and SuperAction80, and their enthusiasm for this overlooked Selmer has me very excited about my new acquisition.

    I recently picked up a SA80 circa 1983 from eBay for ~1,700. It's presently with my tech getting a repad job and his setup. I'm stoked about getting it back as I haven't even put a puff of air down this beast.

    Go ahead and count me in as a fan. If that changes later then ok; but I'd be surprised!
    Tenor - macsax Magnum & Selmer Super Action 80 Serie I, Otto Link NY STM 7*

  6. #6

    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Well I own a series 1 sop and I am in love with him! (his name is george). I have had him for a few months now having swapped him for a brand new yani 901. I used to play a curved yani because when I first started I liked the sound better than that of the straight sops. Don't know what I was thinking now - although a word for the curved that I still think they have a lot going for them and if I could have afforded it I would have kept the yani. anyway had been looking around for aaaaaaages for a straight soprano, but wasn't hearing this beautiful sop sound that I had in my head. Then I picked up the series 1, played one long note and knew it was the horn for me!

    love at first sound guys!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    I have a SA80 I tenor. I love it. Since I've never really played any other one I can't say I have any comparative knowledge. I paid ~1700 for it. I had been lusting over a MK 6 but decided to let that go. My horn is terrific. I have no need for a 6, besides, the inflated prices are plain stupid. That quintheeskimo on ebay is an idiot... 10K for a sax....just stupid. The only way I'll part with my SA80 I is prying it from my cold, dead hands. The local repair shop loves to play it when I bring it in for adjustments. My sax teacher always compliments me on my tone. I'll get an alto when I get the funds.

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Quote Originally Posted by bob3dsf View Post
    I have a SA80 I tenor. I love it. Since I've never really played any other one I can't say I have any comparative knowledge. I paid ~1700 for it. I had been lusting over a MK 6 but decided to let that go. My horn is terrific. I have no need for a 6, besides, the inflated prices are plain stupid. That quintheeskimo on ebay is an idiot... 10K for a sax....just stupid.
    I was with you up to that last point. Namecalling is simpleminded. Quinn can ask whatever he likes. If people stop paying those prices, then he won't sell his horns. It takes more than one to determine the market.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member NissanVintageSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Quote Originally Posted by Turnaround View Post

    ...These are the sleepers of the Selmers....

    Most who have them never look back....


    ... THE Selmer of Selmers (price counts in these arguments BTW, but does not need to be the deciding factor).

    Also please include any mods you have made/added to your horn to enhance and how it affected its already mystic beauty.

    Stories .... are completely welcomed, as obscure as they may be (keep it clean, first timers).

    Please, we know you IIs, IIIs and VIs think that you have us beat. Let us have our say.
    Actually Mark VIIs have all the Selmers beat
    '60s Vito (France) Mo 38 A.Sax; '22 Harwood Professional C(Buescher Stencil); '26 King Bari; '70s H. Couf Superba II Tenor Sax;'20s Beaufort American Curvy Sop (Conn stencil) w/white Roos blueminorjazzcombo@groups.facebook.com

  10. #10
    TK Melody Endorser/
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Is Selmer a relatively new brand? Tell me more.
    “We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
    ~Aristotle

  11. #11

    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bob3dsf View Post
    I have a SA80 I tenor. I love it. Since I've never really played any other one I can't say I have any comparative knowledge. I paid ~1700 for it. I had been lusting over a MK 6 but decided to let that go. My horn is terrific. I have no need for a 6, besides, the inflated prices are plain stupid. That quintheeskimo on ebay is an idiot... 10K for a sax....just stupid.
    I was with you up to that last point. Namecalling is simpleminded. Quinn can ask whatever he likes. If people stop paying those prices, then he won't sell his horns. It takes more than one to determine the market.
    Well, in retrospect, I realize I was incorrect. I should really say Quinn is actually a genius, or at least adroit. Its those who pay exorbitant prices for a sax who, evidently, have more money than sense. Time to clean up my drool, apparently.

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member Turnaround's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Quote Originally Posted by bob3dsf View Post
    ...Its those who pay exorbitant prices for a sax who, evidently, have more money than sense. Time to clean up my drool, apparently.
    Or to put it another way, the "idiots" (I think that was the word in question) are the people who get the MK VIs for 5 times the amount than the price of the better horn - Selmer SA80 Series I.

    Back on track.

  13. #13
    TK Melody Endorser/
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    “We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
    ~Aristotle

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Quote Originally Posted by Turnaround View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bob3dsf View Post
    ...Its those who pay exorbitant prices for a sax who, evidently, have more money than sense. Time to clean up my drool, apparently.
    Or to put it another way, the "idiots" (I think that was the word in question) are the people who get the MK VIs for 5 times the amount than the price of the better horn - Selmer Series I.

    Back on track.
    Shhhhhh. If we keep bringing this up, the SA80's prices are going to skyrocket!

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Member Turnaround's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAction80 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Turnaround View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bob3dsf View Post
    ...Its those who pay exorbitant prices for a sax who, evidently, have more money than sense. Time to clean up my drool, apparently.
    Or to put it another way, the "idiots" (I think that was the word in question) are the people who get the MK VIs for 5 times the amount than the price of the better horn - Selmer Series I.

    Back on track.
    Shhhhhh. If we keep bringing this up, the SA80's prices are going to skyrocket!
    But you own one don't you??

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Quote Originally Posted by Turnaround View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperAction80 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Turnaround View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bob3dsf View Post
    ...Its those who pay exorbitant prices for a sax who, evidently, have more money than sense. Time to clean up my drool, apparently.
    Or to put it another way, the "idiots" (I think that was the word in question) are the people who get the MK VIs for 5 times the amount than the price of the better horn - Selmer Series I.

    Back on track.
    Shhhhhh. If we keep bringing this up, the SA80's prices are going to skyrocket!
    But you own one don't you??
    Yes, and I would like to own a few more before they go for VI prices.

  17. #17
    Forum Contributor 2009 vitalogy79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Well, it took a few weeks, but I have finally gotten my hands on my new ('83) SA80 Series I tenor. It all worked out very well timing wise, as I received the Serie III neck from Turnaround/Red a day before the horn was ready to come home.

    New pads, resonators, dent work done, and a complete overhaul and pro setup has made this beauty a far cry from the horn that arrived from the seller.

    I've had a few days to blow on it and it's been a total joy so far. Coming from Alto and Sop, my chops are not quite adjusted yet. I know that will take a little time, so I'm not going to hold it against the horn.

    If you're looking for a great horn, I don't think you'd be disappointed with the SA80i.
    Tenor - macsax Magnum & Selmer Super Action 80 Serie I, Otto Link NY STM 7*

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member Turnaround's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Just played my Selmer SA80 I with a Yani neck again for a few days. It's remarkable how these Series I's response to changes in neck more than other horns I've had. I played the original neck on it for a while (which played better than a few other Selmers that I've owned/played including Mark VIs) and the Yani made it really freeblowing. I have been selling off a few other necks that were working with my other horns (that I also sold off) because I really feel I have most of my bases covered.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    Most of the SA 80 I Selmers are very nice. I own a tenor and an alto. Bought the alto for 1200 euros in 2008, I still have got a big smile on my face!

    The tenor is original, with an original neck, Vandoren T75 mouthpiece.

    See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT6uEaMFJ68

    The alto is unlaquered and has an amazing character, as the lacquer is almost gone the resonance is very good giving it a deep kind of sound with a lot of texture.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Selmer SA80 Series I FAN CLUB

    I got my series I Tenor about 4 yrs ago. Silver plated, high F# and as new! I had the spring tension reduced. The original neck as mentioned many times didn't seem right. A silver plated series III neck completely changed the horn. Great intonation, flexibility and really dependable. The high F# is excellent. One minor problem is the front F key. I think it's been a design error - some people catch it accidently - me for 1. I love this horn and will not sell it.
    Here's the thing -Why then, do I only use it as a back up to my MK VI? I can't work out why. It really is every bit as good as my VI in all respects and yet I gravitate to my VI (111... with a 71...neck). Is it witchcraft or have I been brainwashed?

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