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Thread: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

  1. #1

    Default Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    I have been trying to find info on how these horn sound & play.
    I am looking for a used YAS-82Z or 875, but have come across a Super Action 80 Series 1 at about the same price.

    All the info that I find seem to be about the series II & III

    Any one have, or have had a series 1 Super Action 80?
    And better yet, if someone has information comparing the Selmer to the Yamaha that would be great.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    I've only played one, but it was back-to-back with a handful of other altos (Conn, Martin, Buescher, Jupiter, Yamaha 23 and 52, two Cannonballs). The Serie 1 definitely stood out as having the strongest core tone out of any of them. It was clean and very focused, but still somewhat warm. It also had a stronger core than my previous Yanagisawa 900 and current 992. At the time I played it, I decided I didn't like the Selmer because it was too focused for me, however, the memory of it still haunts me from time to time, and I'm looking forward to playing one again to see if my opinion has changed at all. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with Yamaha's current top of the line horns, but hopefully this was somewhat helpful.

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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Bang for buck, go with the yamaha. Those horns will outplay the lot in terms of value for what you get. That being said, hunt for deals for as long as possible until you can't anymore and you have to "settle" but odds are you will find something. I just got a series III silver plate sop in mint condition for 3250 and a mint condition series 2 alto for 2600. The deals are out there.

    Yamaha generally has a more consistent horn. Play 10 and only 1 or 2 might stick out as a dud. Play 10 selmers and usually only 1 or 2 stick out as good (even right off the line). That being said, adjustments can always be made to horns. Look for something where the sound is there. Intonation and ergos can be adjusted (at least a fair amount). The quality of the metal of the horn will always stay the same and that is where the sound comes from. So get a horn with the sound and maybe put in a couple extra bucks to get it set up really nice.

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    RobSc's Avatar
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    Red face Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmandasDad View Post
    I have been trying to find info on how these horn sound & play.
    I am looking for a used YAS-82Z or 875, but have come across a Super Action 80 Series 1 at about the same price.

    All the info that I find seem to be about the series II & III

    Any one have, or have had a series 1 Super Action 80?
    And better yet, if someone has information comparing the Selmer to the Yamaha that would be great.
    Not sure if you are talking Alto or Tenor. I bought my Super Action 80 Alto in 1982, and still own it to this day. I also own a '70 Mark VI Alto and a Super 80 Serie III Alto Silver plate. Of these I am partial to the SA80 Series 1. Very strong, centered sound, fast keywork, and it has held up very well over the past 31 years of playing it. MY daughter has been playing it for the past three years, and she LOVES it as well! My suggestion would be to try the sax - they were only made for 5 or so years before the series II was released, so you don't see them very often. Those of us that own them tend to keep them!

    Good luck!

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Turnaround's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobSc View Post
    Not sure if you are talking Alto or Tenor. I bought my Super Action 80 Alto in 1982, and still own it to this day. I also own a '70 Mark VI Alto and a Super 80 Serie III Alto Silver plate. Of these I am partial to the SA80 Series 1. Very strong, centered sound, fast keywork, and it has held up very well over the past 31 years of playing it. MY daughter has been playing it for the past three years, and she LOVES it as well! My suggestion would be to try the sax - they were only made for 5 or so years before the series II was released, so you don't see them very often. Those of us that own them tend to keep them!

    Good luck!
    I'm with you. I have a silver Series I alto that I've been playing since 1982 as well. It's does everything you say it does. I've played Series II, III and even a VI.

    But a lot could come from the fact that I've played my particular horn for 20 years before I even started trying other horns. I love it, and my father bought it for me way back. It holds a lot of memories.

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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    I have a SA80 tenor that I played for years, but it's since about 1995 my backup (I then bought a SBA of 1952 that I like more). I think it's a great horn, but I prefer a vintage sound. The SA80 is brighter and more focussed then my SBA, but has it's own thing.

    I made some sound clip comparions, posted before here on SOTW. See below links in case you're interested:
    - SA80/SBA compare: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...-SA-80-of-1983
    - SA80/SBA/BA compare: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...rsus-1983-SA80

    Of course you should try to play the horn yourself, that's the only good way to see if you like it (each horn and player are different).

    T : Selmer SBA serial 50xxx (1952) - Otto Link Florida no USA 10* - La Voz medium
    A : Klingsor serial 016xx (early 60's) - Otto Link STM 9* - Rico Royal 2.5
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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    I play a SA80 alto series 1 - it's a good solid instrument. Deep sound and plenty of volume if you need it. The series II is basically the same instrument but with minor changes to the keywork.

    Haven't played the other two horns you mentioned but imagine they would be in the same league. Yamaha certainly have excellent keywork, but you would really have to play them side by side to decide which you liked best.

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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    I had a new Super Action 80 Series I alto in the 80's when they first came out. A fine, well built, full sounding alto with a pleasant bit of resistance which I like. I prefer it to the Series III models.

    Although I definitely favor the vintage American horns, I do regret selling it.
    Mike S.
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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Just to be petty, aren't those original Selmer Super Action 80 instruments just SA 80, and not "Serie I"? The "Series" part of it came with the second edition, the "Serie II". At least that's how I understood it. Yes, we all know what someone means by "Serie I" . . . like calling a Selmer Super Saxophone a "Cigar Cutter" when Selmer never labelled them as such. DAVE
    Dave

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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Dolson View Post
    Just to be petty, aren't those original Selmer Super Action 80 instruments just SA 80, and not "Serie I"? The "Series" part of it came with the second edition, the "Serie II". At least that's how I understood it. Yes, we all know what someone means by "Serie I" . . . like calling a Selmer Super Saxophone a "Cigar Cutter" when Selmer never labelled them as such. DAVE
    You are correct, sir! the SA80 is a Super Action 80. The problem is, since they are not as common as the Serie II and Serie III models that followed them, it is easier to call them a Series 1, or a SA 80 Series 1.

    It is probably best to call them a bargain, as they are great horns, and very underappreciated.

  11. #11
    SOTW Administrator SAXISMYAXE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Dolson View Post
    Just to be petty, aren't those original Selmer Super Action 80 instruments just SA 80, and not "Serie I"? The "Series" part of it came with the second edition, the "Serie II". At least that's how I understood it. Yes, we all know what someone means by "Serie I" . . . like calling a Selmer Super Saxophone a "Cigar Cutter" when Selmer never labelled them as such. DAVE
    True. However, just as nicknames like "Chu Berry", "Transitional", "Naked Lady/Lady Face", "Top Hat and Cane", "Super Balanced Action", "Shooting Star" etc. were coined by collectors and not the manufacturers themselves, the nomenclature is invented by and evolves via the collectors in reference to the horns they have become synonymous with. Such is the case here.

    Little point in breaking the long standing trend with this one.
    Mike S.
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    Distinguished SOTW Technician BOPITY FUNK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    As others have said, these are very impressive horns--- especially the alto's---- IMO. They also have the nice little cosmetic features that Selmer don't bother with anymore.
    This model surely should have been the replacement for the Mk V1--followed by the 'Serie111'

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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Here's mine- 332xxx, 95%+ original lacquer, no dents.

    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/attachm...7&d=1370218664

  14. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by BOPITY FUNK View Post
    As others have said, these are very impressive horns--- especially the alto's---- IMO. They also have the nice little cosmetic features that Selmer don't bother with anymore.
    This model surely should have been the replacement for the Mk V1--followed by the 'Serie111'
    I'd like to be clear about this. Are the SA80II's not actually the same as the original SA80's with some minor differences. These were limited to minor key work changes such as the spatula instead of pearl front F, and the new bell/bow to body joint. Spring loaded rods (such as you find on all Selmers since the sa80II) was another 'improvement', but nothing that would affect the way they played. True, the latest SA80II's are somewhat different from the early SA80II's (many people think they are brighter, and there have been some more small key work and cosmetic changes), but there was no real difference between the SA80's and the first ten or so years of the SA80II's AFAIK. Am I wrong?

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by SAXISMYAXE View Post
    True. However, just as nicknames like "Chu Berry", "Transitional", "Naked Lady/Lady Face", "Top Hat and Cane", "Super Balanced Action", "Shooting Star" etc. were coined by collectors and not the manufacturers themselves, the nomenclature is invented by and evolves via the collectors in reference to the horns they have become synonymous with. Such is the case here.

    Little point in breaking the long standing trend with this one.
    I agree, to a point, but I'm with Dave on this. The problem with 'SA80 Serie I' is that it's a nomenclature that someone might well expect to see stamped on the bell of such an instrument, just as 'SA80 Serie II' is, and that could lead to confusion. "Transitional", "Naked Lady/Lady Face", "Top Hat and Cane" etc are just nick names and don't sound like, and are not similar to, an actual model nomenclature.

    Still, I guess we're stuck with it!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Super Action 80 Series 1 Reviews?

    Just saw this thread, though it's a little old I guess. Don't know what the OP has decided to do, but I'll chime in to say that the SA80's are great horns. Pro level from top to bottom and built strong. I have a tenor and an alto. I say go with the Selmer, but I'm biased... I've had favorable opinions about their sound, responsiveness, etc. from my former sax teacher, the techs at my local music store, and some other local pro's in the region.

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