After a few years of playing on my Yamaha student model saxophone, I upgraded to my Selmer Paris Super Action 80 Series II professional model saxophone. When I was shopping around for a new saxophone, I went to a local music shop, and tried out several different brands and models. The Selmer Series II was the instrument I had picked out, and it has served me through high school, college, and beyond. During my college years, I was earning a music degree. Between rehearsals, lessons, and practicing, I was logging anywhere from 2-6 hours of playing on a daily basis. This saxophone has served me well throughout the years, and I fully anticipate it to last me for the rest of my musical career.
Level: ProfessionalKey: EbNeck: Series II neckNeck Material: Yellow brassBody Material: Yellow brassBell Material: Yellow brassKey Material: Power hammered yellow brassRange Up to: High F#Springs: Blue steelPads: LeatherResonators: MetalEngraving: Selmer Paris floral patternThumb Rest: Adjustable plastic
The Selmer Paris line of saxophones are all hand crafted in France by skilled craftsmen, and the care they take in making superior quality instruments shows through. After years of playing, even in the hands of a high school student, my saxophone is still in great condition. I’ve usually sent it in on a yearly basis to get it checked out, replace any corks or pads, and to keep everything in adjustment. Basically, it’s all just routine maintenance. My Selmer Series II plays as beautifully as it did on that first day I had it 12 years ago, and has never suffered any major problems. Well, actually, it probably sounds better now than it did then considering I play better now.
In the hands of the right player, the tone quality of this saxophone can sound beautiful. The tone is centered and even throughout all the registers. The upper register lends itself to a nice, round, centered tone; it is not shrill and piercing as I have heard and played on other saxophones. The Series II can also be quite versatile. I have played mine in a big concert band, smaller wind ensemble, saxophone quartet, jazz band, and for my recital. More drastic changes in tone may be aided by a change in setup (mouthpiece, ligature, reeds). However, this saxophone may not lend itself quite as well to the brighter, edgier tone that is sometimes preferred by some players. I myself have never had a use or desire for this type of timbre.
Just like every instrument, this horn does not play every single note in tune, and that is to be expected. The notes that you expect to be sharp or flat are typically just that. However, it is worth noting that since these instruments are handmade, it is possible to find one horn with quirky intonation tendencies that another of the same model does not have. It is strongly recommended to always try any instrument before purchasing it.
Before I even play, the first thing I notice when I switch between my student model and my Selmer is how the keys feel. The response of the keys always seem to be smoother and quieter than that of my student model. This is much preferred when playing difficult technical passages. In addition, I find the Series II to be more flexible when dealing with rapid changes in register.
The Selmer Paris line of saxophones has long been a standard among professional level players, and for good reason. It provides the reliability, tone quality, and response needed to last a lifetime of music making. In particular, my experience with the Series II has been nothing but positive, and I fully expect my instrument to last for decades longer. The only drawback to the Series II is that if you are looking for a brighter, edgier tone, then this particular make and model may not be your best choice. I have heard other saxophones that lend themselves to that better than the Series II. However, if you need a saxophone that is versatile and will be playable in many different situations, this may be a good bet. A simple change in mouthpiece/reed/ligature setup may be all you need to help you achieve your desired timbre.