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Thread: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

  1. #121
    Distinguished SOTW Member Kelly Bucheger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    I wonder if anyone has ever tried to 3D scan a disassembled Mark VI (save for the corks and springs) and then reassemble the resulting parts after the 3D printing? It seems like the best way to recreate a Mark VI...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:3D...d_printing.jpg
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  3. #123

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    The problem is, I think, that a saxophone is basically, just brass pieces stuck together but in a very special way. The mark VI was hand made by people who was knowing how to assemblate the pieces together. If you want good old instuments, you nedd to find the brass, etc... and maybe some factories can produce it but you need also to find the good people to assemblate this and perhaps it'll be very difficult to find.

  4. #124

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Funny, in the guitar world pretty much all the major players have reissued all their classic instruments.. at big bucks of course. And when most people go play them they are initially sucked in by the allure of having that one of a kind '59 Les Paul or '54 Strat, but once that wears off they find it's not really any different from the current standard product being made at less than half the cost. The Mark VI had a great run and I think if the reissued a Mark VI based 100% on the original specs people would snatch them up as quickly as they could make them (at $10K or more as they'd have to be made using the same handmade processes), and then in a couple of years you'd see many of them being sold off because mediocre players bought them and still sounded mediocre, even with a supposed exact replica of the "greatest sax ever made", naturally it will be the horns fault. Selmer has to put up with enough reputation damage even with the really great horns they currently offer, all because their new horns aren't Mark VI's.
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  5. #125
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stittitis View Post
    The mark VI was hand made by people who was knowing how to assemblate the pieces together. If you want good old instuments, you nedd to find the brass, etc...
    I think this applies to any decent saxophone today as well.

  6. #126

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Yes, it is. For a lot of reasons, we don't want to improve things or change. Nowaday, we can make very precise work and I think we're able to produce very fine instrument, even finer than the Mark VI but if you want to earn money quickly, it's not the good way. You'd better to produce cheaper things and sell a lot of it as most of people aren't good musicians and just want for reasonnably priced instruments. And honestly, the saxophone just help you but it's a lot of work before. I tried some mark Vi and SBA and sommetime, I fell an improvement and sometime not. And my teacher could play amazing stuff on every sax he has....

  7. #127

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stittitis View Post
    Yes, it is. For a lot of reasons, we don't want to improve things or change. Nowaday, we can make very precise work and I think we're able to produce very fine instrument, even finer than the Mark VI but if you want to earn money quickly, it's not the good way. You'd better to produce cheaper things and sell a lot of it as most of people aren't good musicians and just want for reasonnably priced instruments. And honestly, the saxophone just help you but it's a lot of work before.

    You hit it right there. Necessity is the mother of invention! People want something reasonably priced. When I think Ref 54 or 36 and look at the price, I can buy a Mk6 or Balanced Action for the same amount or less so why would I want to buy something new? Everything works on incentives and motives. Selmer simply doesn't have the incentive to build something they built in such large quantities before. They are perfectly capable of making a good 6 but a mk 6 certainly isn't rare.

    This is way off mark and I'm sorry to those it may offend but I think it's interesting. Why exactly have these horns gone through the roof? Are they that great, that rare? I think they can be great instruments myself. I feel like the prices on instruments, homes, and most other goods only rose due to one real driving factor: credit has been made so readily available to everyone in the last decade. 8 years ago I had my choice of 100% original 57' Mk6 or re-lacquered SBA tenor for $3k at my local music shop. They were worth that to me, every penny. And with some saving, hard work, those prices were obtainable. Remember layaway and saving? The prices they get now simply aren't worth it to me. Us retailers could charge more simply cause our shoppers bought into the illusion they had the money to take it home right away. We've become weak and lazy because of this, and not to mention, deeper in debt. I sold alot instruments in the early 2000s and had I waited until 2007, would have been able to get 3 or 4 times the amount I sold them for. Something just seems artificial about that.
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  8. #128
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    I suppose if it were so easy to recreate a masterpiece, I'd suspect they could make samurai swords just like they did back in the day...

  9. #129
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockplayer View Post
    Funny, in the guitar world pretty much all the major players have reissued all their classic instruments.. at big bucks of course. And when most people go play them they are initially sucked in by the allure of having that one of a kind '59 Les Paul or '54 Strat, but once that wears off they find it's not really any different from the current standard product being made at less than half the cost. The Mark VI had a great run and I think if the reissued a Mark VI based 100% on the original specs people would snatch them up as quickly as they could make them (at $10K or more as they'd have to be made using the same handmade processes)....
    The thing is there are a LOT more guitar players out there than sax players. This is all down to money & profit. I don't think the profit is there because very few are going to believe a new horn is really a MKVI, even if it truly is an exact replica. They will only pay the big bucks for the real, authentic, vintage horn.

  10. #130

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Maybe, people who can get 12000$ for a sax are collectionners... To answer to grumps, I think we can recreate samurai swords but it'll take you 20 or 50 years to be a master and to make real good swords. But you have to live between that and nobody want a new japanese sword nowaday so no one will last time to learned how to make it. Knowledge can be lost but can't vanished.

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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stittitis View Post
    Yes, it is. For a lot of reasons, we don't want to improve things or change. Nowaday, we can make very precise work and I think we're able to produce very fine instrument, even finer than the Mark VI but if you want to earn money quickly, it's not the good way. You'd better to produce cheaper things and sell a lot of it as most of people aren't good musicians and just want for reasonnably priced instruments. And honestly, the saxophone just help you but it's a lot of work before. I tried some mark Vi and SBA and sommetime, I fell an improvement and sometime not. And my teacher could play amazing stuff on every sax he has....
    Saxes are no cars! Precise work = better playing sax? No way! What means "fine" here? I've never seen, heared or felt an improvement on a modern sax (in comparison with a Mark VI)

  12. #132
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxkai View Post
    Saxes are no cars! Precise work = better playing sax? No way! What means "fine" here? I've never seen, heared or felt an improvement on a modern sax (in comparison with a Mark VI)
    I just think as time goes by manufacturers learn more and more about refining an instrument. The most impart aspects to me are tone and intonation. These are purely down to the internal dimensions of the body and toneholes, along with some extremely fine differences such as turbulences caused by perturbations, e.g. any sharp edges or grooves present at crucial joints such as the neck tenon, bow and bell. The point at which the toneholes are extruded is crucial, as the metal is bent out to form the toneholes, there can be slight differences or distortions.

    Al of these are areas that can probably be improved on, and have been since the last 35 years in which there have been no new MKVIs.

    As probably all saxophones continue to have a mostly hand made manufacturing process, I think improvements will continue to be made. definitely re: intonation and consistency of tone across the range (although some people may argue the desirability of that). As tone is such a subjective issue, then it is not quite so relevant here - some people prefer the sound of a MKVI over some other horns, some people don't.

  13. #133
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxkai View Post
    Saxes are no cars! Precise work = better playing sax? No way! What means "fine" here? I've never seen, heared or felt an improvement on a modern sax (in comparison with a Mark VI)
    Tone hole placement/sizing is always a compromise, and I don't believe anyone is truly going to stumble upon a magic formula for perfection in this regard in improving the saxophone design. The beauty is in the compromise itself; which the Mark VI tenor captured... perfectly.

  14. #134
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
    I suppose if it were so easy to recreate a masterpiece, I'd suspect they could make samurai swords just like they did back in the day...
    It's easier to create the steel than it is to instill honor.
    Go for The Tone,

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  15. #135
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    It's easier to create the steel than it is to instill honor.
    Then I guess it's a perfect analogy to a VI.

  16. #136

    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    My take on this is quite a bit left of center (some might say crazy) but since everyone is entitled to their opinion here’s mine;

    Growing up and living in the New York City area I’ve played dozens of VI’s and many of them back-to-back which makes a big difference in your perception of how well they play. When you are able to play several horns on the same day, in the same room, with the same mouthpiece/reed combo, one after another, it makes the differences between instruments more apparent. After accounting for the differences in setup and condition my experience is that there are a fair number of good playing Mark VI’s as well as a whole lot that don’t play particularly well- they aren’t bad horns, just IMHO, not worth the $3k premium they are commanding over other pro tenors.

    In addition I’ve found that the ones that have been played the most tend to also play the best. This seems to imply some sort of cause and effect relationship which we explain away by believing that folks find the best playing horns and play them. The ones that don’t play quite as well end up in closets or attics not getting as much use. Recently (last 10 years) it has also been in vogue to believe that unlacquered horns play with more resonance than lacquered versions of the same instruments. This belief seems to be mostly fueled by people playing superior sounding vintage horns with the lacquer largely worn off. I’m beginning to come to the belief that in both cases we have the cause and effect backwards. The horns play (are played by good players who play) with more resonant tones which breaks the lacquer down quicker and causes them to become “unlacquered”. They don’t play better because they are unlacquered, they become unlacquered because they play (are played) better.

    Likewise, I’m not convinced that many Mark VI’s play so well because they were made 50+ years ago out of old shell casings, by old world craftsmen using old world techniques and old hand tools. They play well because many of the guys who have played them over the last 50 years have been good players and they’ve had all these years to basically become “broken in” by these good players. I realize that this idea that great horns are not “born” but made over time is way outside the mainstream belief but my own experience and observations have convinced me it is plausible.

    So, with this in mind, I believe that even if Selmer could perfectly reincarnate the Mark VI- the new ones would not play as good as the 50+ year old ones simply because they haven’t been played for 50+ years.

  17. #137
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    " The horns play (are played by good players who play) with more resonant tones which breaks the lacquer down quicker and causes them to become “unlacquered”.

    Nah. They have more resonant tones because the dude attached to the other open end of the horn can really play. The main reason he can really play is because he does it all the time, every day, practicing and playing. This of course wears the lacquer away.

    " So, with this in mind, I believe that even if Selmer could perfectly reincarnate the Mark VI- the new ones would not play as good as the 50+ year old ones simply because they haven’t been played for 50+ years. "

    If you could magically 100% recreate a mark vi in sound and spirit, but introduce it as the "New Sears and Roebuck Saxxy 1000", there would still be people who say it sucks or not living up to the hype as a new mark vi retro model.

  18. #138
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    I like the pre-emptive defense!

  19. #139
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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
    [I]If you could magically 100% recreate a mark vi in sound and spirit, but introduce it as the "New Sears and Roebuck Saxxy 1000", there would still be people who say it sucks or not living up to the hype as a new mark vi retro model.
    Exactly! This is the point I tried to make somewhere earlier in the thread. And I think the folks at Selmer understand this. It doesn't deter them from claiming a given new model plays/sounds like a VI, but I suspect they understand the fact that those who either believe or don't believe that hype would react exactly the same even if the new horn was an exact copy.

    KeithL wrote: "In addition I’ve found that the ones that have been played the most tend to also play the best. This seems to imply some sort of cause and effect relationship which we explain away by believing that folks find the best playing horns and play them."

    This implication is much more reasonable then some crazy idea about "breaking the horn in" or lac being worn away by resonance, etc. I'd say in general that it's true the better horns got played more. I'm sure there were exceptions where a horn ended up in someone's closet, but overall the horns that don't get played and get sold on are likely not the best ones.

  20. #140

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    Default Re: The Mark VI "thing": Why can't they get it back?

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    I'd say in general that it's true the better horns got played more. I'm sure there were exceptions where a horn ended up in someone's closet, but overall the horns that don't get played and get sold on are likely not the best ones.
    I don't think they sound better with age like violins do since in that case there is a physical change to the wood after hundreds of years.

    In a blind taste test, when told a cheap wine is expensive, it is always judged to be better quality than it would be had they known it was not expensive.

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