Selmer Paris Supreme Tenor Saxophone - Dark Gold Lacquer
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After 12 years of secret development, Selmer reveal to us their "best tenor saxophone ever designed!"
After 100 years of innovation, design, and manufacturing, the most iconic saxophone brand in the World has set out to redefine the modern saxophone.
Following the huge success of the alto version, the tenor has been highly acclaimed by various World-leading saxophonists who have had access to the Supreme prior to its Worldwide release. Such artists include Chris Potter, Ravi Coltrane, Branford Marsalis and David Sanchez.
The Supreme has been built with the flexibility to handle all genres. Selmer has aimed to take the best qualities of the models that preceded it - the legendary suppleness of the Mark VI, the ease of the Super Action 80 Series II, the precision and elegance of the Series III, and the power and the roundness of the Reference.
DEVELOPING THE SUPREME TENOR
The starting point was an extensive survey conducted internally and among musicians, technicians, dealers, and distributors to determine the broad outlines of what the Supreme would become.
Once the specifications were drawn up, the Research & Development at Selmer Paris went into action. They were ready to convert all the acoustic and technical knowledge accumulated over many years of research and acoustic experimentation. Their objective was clear: to make the best saxophone ever designed.
And within this, it was essential that this instrument should be flexible and able to span across all musical genres; that’s why they sought input from both classical and jazz players when designing this sax.
No acoustic, mechanical, ergonomic or aesthetic detail was neglected during the numerous trials carried out by the Selmer testers and their designer Jérémie Bernard.
The use of new technologies has been widely employed: 3D printing, metrology (3D scanner), automated control of machining tools, etc. The idea was to reinvent everything without having to start from a completely blank page.
Finally, after 12 years of overcoming obstacles that nourished and enriched its development, Selmer has ended up with an instrument that is unanimously appreciated by all of its artists and contributors, no matter what style they play in.
“As I mentioned in my equivalent review of the alto Supreme, it is a grand claim laid down by Selmer to state that their goal is to ‘create the best tenor saxophone ever made by Henri Selmer Paris in terms of acoustics, mechanics, ergonomics and aesthetics’. Any other company that makes gestures like this, we perhaps take it with a pinch of salt, but when that company is Selmer Paris I believe you have to sit up and listen!
Beyond that, the very fact that Selmer has been labouring over this tenor for over a decade, and along the way passing pre-production models to top players for their feedback, suggests to me that they have really taken this seriously!
Well, I finally got one in my hands, a few weeks prior to the Worldwide launch, and I have to say that I had a marvellous experience with it. The new Selmer way forward (for some years now) has been to really go to town on the presentation of their instruments. The case is perfect and expensive (if a little heavy!), and even when you open it you are faced with a beautiful microfibre dust cloth that drapes over the sax, before you eventually reveal it! The sax itself has been perfectly manufactured, and literally everything has been thought of; incredible aesthetics, beautifully finished components, a highly tuned and low tolerance mechanism and perfect and precise ergonomics.
And how is it to play? Immediately I realised that I was dealing with a rich, smooth, and warm tone, full of quality. As I worked through all of the registers I could hear the quality in every note through the range – no weak spots, and no duff intonation areas. Everything was just there. And then when I ventured further into pushing the dynamics, trying different phrasing, and articulation, I realised that the sax just followed me and allowed me to express whatever I was trying to play. The sound opens up a gives power and bark when pushed and retains a dark focus when holding back. I also love that slightly closer key action that Selmer has put in place, just making you feel really in touch with anything that you’re trying to play.
It's just as well that Selmer has really got this one right because this instrument is expensive! More so relatively than the alto, it seems to me! But if you are looking to get the ultimate saxophone, then perhaps this is the price you must pay for such luxury!”
Optimized Production techniques:
More precise boring of the diameter of the neck entrance
Three-dimensional manufacturing check
Tone hole extruding machine for extruding by tone hole groups
All these elements ensure more consistency in the manufacturing process to reduce acoustic differences between instruments, even if subtle differences remain.
For better timbre and tuning
New neck bore, with increased entrance and exit diameters for more projection and a fuller sound
Modified tone holes diameters
Elongated bell for a more precisely pitched and generous lower register
Newly defined body vent
Reduced key diameter to 'free' the tone hols and optimize the timbre
Reduction of the keywork course for increased finger speed
Mechanics and Ergonomics
3-point concentric clamp for a better neck-to-body connection avoiding deformations of the clamp and tenon
The clamping ring of the socket is made of nickel silver, which brings density to this sensitive area. It is dissociated from the socket, which makes it possible to adjust its position.
The direct arm between the right-hand F# and F keys allows for a finer and more reliable adjustment
Octave key system with Teflon inside the sockets which lighten the action; It also limits play, noise and wear.
New front F key design that is more easily accessible
Hinged toggle on left-hand pinky finger keys allows for greater ease of movement from one key to another
Repositioned strap ring for a more optimized balancing point
Redesigned shapes and placements of the side keys, facilitating fluid passage from one to the other
Realignment of the height of the left-hand mother-of-pearl keys offering a more natural finger position.
Repositioning of the B-flat mother-of-pearl pad cup
Raised D# and high F keys for quicker access.
More natural and optimized position of the side F# key
Repositioned thumb rest and thumb hook for better handling
Rebalancing of the springs for more fluid action
Use of rollers within the key mechanism for greater fluidity
Delivery & Returns
FREE DELIVERY ON ALL ORDERS OVER £100 TO UK MAINLAND
FAST & FULLY INSURED INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING. PAY THE FINAL LANDED COST AT CHECKOUT!
If you're based overseas and would like more information, please read our overseas guide located here
Goods purchased online can be returned within 14 days of receipt. This does not apply to custom ordered goods, products where hygiene is concerned and product seals have been broken (reeds, mouthpieces etc), digital download codes or software licences. Goods purchased through our website cannot be returned to our retail stores.
JIM REVIEWS THE SUPREME TENOR
Jim takes a look at this wonderful instrument and investigates whether it's worth the price tag.
Selmer Paris have introduced a number of stunning new design features on the Supreme. The most prominent of all is an opulent dark gold lacquer, reminiscent of the finish used since the 1940s. If you're looking for something even more outstanding, Brushed, Silver, Black, Solid Silver and Gold Plated options are also available. All key guards (low B and Bb, side F#, Eb, C and the pant guard) have been redesigned with sleek lines and soft angles. The extensive engraving consists of cubes illustrating the structure of the metal molecules, mixed with the more traditional Selmer floral design.
PREMIUM ACCESORIES INCLUDED
Supreme case: An exclusively designed case made especially for the Supreme by BAM.
Selmer Paris Neck strap
Premium Metal plug
FREE 42-POINT PRO SAXOPHONE SET-UP INCLUDED
All of our instruments are fully checked and set-up by our experienced technicians. Regardless of size or price - all saxophones go through the same process. Here at SAX, we know that when you buy an instrument, our pro set up is absolutely essential to ensure the instrument you're purchasing is playing to it's optimum performance.
Furthermore, we offer an exclusive benefit to our customers. Any new saxophone purchased from us can be returned within a year for a FREE checkover to make sure your saxophone continues to perform its best.