• The Selmer Mark VI Alto: Comparison Pics

    by  • July 24, 2011 • Selmer

    I wanted to get this out as soon as I could.  I’m not quuuiiite finished, yet.

    One of the extremely nice things about the Mark VI is that there were a ton of altos and tenors.  That allows me to relatively easily do something I’ve tried in the past: post a horn from every year so you can do your own comparisons.  Another great thing is that USAHorn.com takes a lot of pics of each horn they sell from approximately the same angles, so you can really do some comparing.  (Unfortunately, you don’t see many pics of the chromatic Bb, C and E/F altissimo vent keys.  The hinging mechanism did change on these side keys throughout the VI’s life.)  I’ve also tried to get horns that are in the best condition possible and only in lacquer.  I’ll be writing about — and posting pictures of — the different finishes in awhile.


    • I’m using the official serial number chart from www.selmer.fr (which I’ll repost from Selmer’s Flash in awhile), where the serial number in the chart is the last serial number for that year. USAHorn.com and others occasionally use a different serial number chart, so you might see some discrepancies.
    • Some of  horns pictured do have aftermarket modifications, like a neck pickup, rubber/cork key risers and stuff. I saw one that had a custom altissimo F key. Just keep your eyes peeled.
    • Some horns pictured have the factory altissimo F# key, some don’t.
    • Some horns pictured are French-assembled and some are US-assembled.  This can mean that you’ve got slightly different color lacquers.
    • Note that on some early Mark VIs, especially non-lacquer models, you had the option of getting the Super (Balanced) Action engraving.  I’ll go into detail on how to tell an SBA and a VI apart in awhile, but just keep this in mind when you’re looking at, say, the 1954 horn that’s pictured below.
    • Not all Mark VIs have “Mark VI” stamped someplace and those that do have it stamped, generally, on the bell-to-bow clamp and/or somewhere random on the horn’s body.
    • The oldest Mark VI alto I’ve seen pics of is 56,061 (1954).  The newest is 239,417 (1975).  That’d be a horn produced after the Mark VII was introduced.  Both of these are pictured below.
    • Finally, hover your cursor over a pic to see the date and serial number. Click on the pic for a bigger pic and links to a gallery of pics of that horn.



    Selmer Mark VI Eb Altos