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...
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.
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.
More stuff than I need, less than I want.
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....
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 $3k at my local music shop. They were worth that to me, every penny. And with some saving, hard work, those prices were obtainable. Remember layaway and saving? The prices they get now simply aren't worth it to me. Us retailers could charge more simply cause our shoppers bought into the illusion they had the money to take it home right away. We've become weak and lazy because of this, and not to mention, deeper in debt. I sold alot instruments in the early 2000s and had I waited until 2007, would have been able to get 3 or 4 times the amount I sold them for. Something just seems artificial about that.
I suppose if it were so easy to recreate a masterpiece, I'd suspect they could make samurai swords just like they did back in the day...
Maybe, people who can get 12000$ 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.
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.
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.
" 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.
I like the pre-emptive defense!
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.
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.