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Thread: Selmer USA Omega 164, TS100, TS110 & TWEAKING IT

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Couple of notes:
    * The Mark VII was more commonly sold without engraving. I think that all or most of the horns listed could be had without engraving.
    * The Mark VI and earlier had a bunch of different engraving styles.
    * Mark VI silver plated and "two tone" horns generally had different engraving than the lacquer horns.
    * The 110 is considered "intermediate" at all the websites I saw. Take a peek at this AS110 and note the s/n (831,374).
    * I think that Selmer USA "renumbered" their models sometime in the 1990s to something like 100, 300, 500. I could be mistaken. I haven't really done much on Selmer USA.
    that 110 in the links DEFINITELY has indicators of an intermediate horn.
    I have pictures of one of Selmer USa intermediate saxes. looks alot like the evolution of the 110s though the low C# mechanism is greatly changed. But same thin cups and alot of other features, at least as much as I can tell from a pictures.
    I used to think pro horns have the music lyre attached to the neck tightening ring. And lower class have it separate on the body. (but Superba 1 and 2 are like that too)

    The one pic has it now on the body with a much cheaper neck socket

    I have pictures of a Selmer USA Intermediate sax too, which looks so close to a 110 though it has other obvious changes such as the table keys and C# key is more inside the bow. A much cheaper design though has a ton of the same type of keywork as the Omega/100/110s

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSklar View Post
    ... the 110 Alto you list looks like a model 100 .. i think
    You may be right. All the AS110's I saw had the "AS110" stamp on 'em and I assumed that USAhorn was right in their identification. This, of course, means that someone got a really good deal on it .

    I changed the link to the AS110 on Saxquest.com.

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    I finally found the time to read the entire thread and give the detail the time it deserves. This has been an excellent comparison of instruments and a great summary of some quick fixes that can make a sax play better right away.

    My only comment would be that a lot of techs now have moved away from using traditional cork between the feet of the keys and the back bar. The reason is that cork tends to compress and expand more than some of the newer synthetic materials. The Music Medic Tech Cork is popular as well as the synthetic felt sold by JL Smith for this specific application.

    Since I am more of a "visual learner", the clear pictures were very effective in presenting the ideas you wanted to put across. Keep this type of stuff coming. It is great when we can learn from one another.

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    John - I have a bunch of music medic tech cork & JLS felt too. I just never use the stuff on clarinets which is mostly what I do.

    But you are correct, that rear DEF bar (as shown on post # 16) and arm lifters are a high compression area and material that does not compress is best to use there. A sax has alot of high compression locations where alot of keys like this meet - ie, look at the upper stack too!! So to keep adjustments longer it is best to use low compression material.

    I'll have to switch it (If I don't do a complete tear down then a bit later). If you noticed though, I was not 100% accurate in cutting and shaping as I was just doing a quickie fix - no keys removed, just the pant guard.
    Last edited by SteveSklar; 07-24-2012 at 02:19 AM.

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    Here is some pics of Music Medic Tech Cork on the left with regular cork on the right for a visual comparison. Be careful, there is Premium AAA (and higher) cork and Natural Cork. "Natural" Corks are good for trumpet mutes the cork strips on them. I believe the Premium corks are compressed and filled and processed. Now that I think of it, somewhere I posted articles on how cork is harvested (alot of Portugal and Spain) as it is the bark from trees. http://www.woodwindforum.com/forums/...ead.php?t=4184

    The synthetic felt is on the bottom.

    Synthetic materials are great because they act as sound deadeners and bumpers without the compression that one would get with natural cork.

    With Natural cork some techs will use pressure (like a roller or thick pliers) and compress natural cork a bit.

    Natural felts will compress overtime. Felts comes in two basic type, woven and (I forgot the term) fine felt. The woven stuff is cheaper over all.

    Synthetic cork though is harder to sand down.

    Curt, you owe me one for showing your products !!
    Last edited by SteveSklar; 07-24-2012 at 03:24 AM.

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    I have pictures of a Selmer USA Intermediate tenor
    shown in this album http://www.woodwindforum.com/forums/...php?albumid=83

    But there are many similarities, but of course alot of differences. Springs were cheapen to straight gauge steel springs, the low C# (which eliminates extra soldered posts & mechanism) and table key mechanism is a cheaper mechanism and other things. But there are alot of similarities including the body to bow ring design (though not removeable) and such

    Makes me curious now if I can find a parts listing for the two horns

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    You may be right. All the AS110's I saw had the "AS110" stamp on 'em and I assumed that USAhorn was right in their identification. This, of course, means that someone got a really good deal on it .

    I changed the link to the AS110 on Saxquest.com.
    .

    Of all the stuff I've read I don't think anyone (other than here now) has done an pseudo indepth analysis of the differences between the Omega, 100 & 110s

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSklar View Post
    John - I have a bunch of music medic tech cork & JLS felt too. I just never use the stuff on clarinets which is mostly what I do.

    But you are correct, that rear DEF bar (as shown on post # 16) and arm lifters are a high compression area and material that does not compress is best to use there. A sax has alot of high compression locations where alot of keys like this meet - ie, look at the upper stack too!! So to keep adjustments longer it is best to use low compression material.

    I'll have to switch it (If I don't do a complete tear down then a bit later). If you noticed though, I was not 100% accurate in cutting and shaping as I was just doing a quickie fix - no keys removed, just the pant guard.
    I like to use the tech cork on the feet of the clarinet side keys for a more positive feel when they open. Sometimes I'll use one of the thinner sizes glued to the bottom of the Eb/Ab touch because it wears well in that application. I like the synthetic felt on the bottom of the sliver Eb, the C#/G#, and the fork B/F# because of its quiet action. A lot of it comes down to personal preferences. I find myself constantly trying materials others use to see if they work for me. The only one I haven't adopted is ultrasuede since other materials do a better job in my opinion.

    Below is a picture showing how I like to organize and store my assortment of techcork in all the available sizes. I simply drilled a hole in the corner and installed a long pop rivet. I can quickly find the size I am looking for and cut off what I need from the bottom of the sheet.


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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Sorry. I wasn't specific enough. I wasn't really referring to the fleur-de-lis (-ish) engraving, but the "Selmer" logo, itself. Comparing the 164 to the 100, the 100 has a "dark" engraved logo and the 164 is "light".

    Fleur-de-lis (-ish) engraving:
    Balanced Action
    Super (Balanced) Action
    Mark VI
    Mark VII
    162 Omega Alto (164 is the tenor).
    100
    110 Alto
    Super Action 80
    Super Action 80 Serie II
    Super Action 80 Serie III
    Super Action 80 Serie III Jubilee
    Reference 36
    Reference 54

    The "Bird" horns have significantly different engraving. Take a peek at Kessler Music's page, too.

    Whole lotta stuff on the 162/164 Omega.

    ----------------

    Couple of notes:
    * The Mark VII was more commonly sold without engraving. I think that all or most of the horns listed could be had without engraving.
    * The Mark VI and earlier had a bunch of different engraving styles.
    * Mark VI silver plated and "two tone" horns generally had different engraving than the lacquer horns.
    * The 110 is considered "intermediate" at all the websites I saw.
    * I think that Selmer USA "renumbered" their models sometime in the 1990s to something like 100, 300, 500. I could be mistaken. I haven't really done much on Selmer USA.
    Couple items that are from the dustbins of my mind ....

    I believe there were late model some SA80 stamped Super Action 80 Serie I (that's a numeral one)

    I thought the early VIIs mostly had engraving, then laters mostly didn't have engraving.

    didn't the VIs have european and others had US engraving ? I thought there were specific identifiers (the engraving themes) that were relevant.

    Omega - RH alt F# is a round pearl like mk VI. Front F is a pearl
    RH altissimo F# is an oval pearl touch though some I have examples of metal rectangle


    100 - RH Alt F# is an elongated pearl like mk VII/SA80
    Altissimo F# is an oval pearl touch, though some I have examples of metal rectangle.

    110 engraving - the engraving looks machine made, versus the earliers models were probably hand engraved.
    The basic neck tenon socket (single screw), with the music lyre now on the body above the palm keys.
    tear drop front F key. RH altissimo F# key is kinked


    Selmer USA - I normally ignore Selmer USA .. so this Omega / 100/ 110 is my first foray into understanding them as these were sold as "pro" horns. I think my Selmer USA research stops after this thread is complete. :/
    Last edited by SteveSklar; 07-24-2012 at 03:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSklar View Post
    ... didn't the VIs have european and others had US engraving ? I thought there were specific identifiers (the engraving themes) that were relevant.
    Ralph Morgan would have been the better person to ask, but that'd be a tad difficult to do, now. Anyhow, I do know that the Selmer (Paris) horns shipped to Selmer USA were assembled and lacquered in the US. Engraved? I dunno. I'd assume it was possible that some were done in the US: Conn and Buescher had engravers, after all.

    There's another problem, too: all the Selmer USA-assembled horns had a matching serial number on the neck. A lot of folks don't list that in their eBay ads, etc. I know the pool was small enough that I didn't bother keeping track.

    The statement I made above about two-tone and plated Selmer instruments is confirmed, though: they were often engraved differently than their lacquered brethren. I generally use this pretty horn to demonstrate, but I've got others.

    I *think* I remember seeing a Selmer Mark VI ad someplace that mentioned additional/custom engraving as an extra price mod, like the altissimo F#. There are also VIs with the additional G# trill and other keys, so there's a real probability that you could get anything you wanted if you wanted to pay for it.

    The overwhelming majority of VIIs I've seen do not have engraving. I have not tried to pigeon-hole that into a specific serial number range, but it may very well be possible that you've got engraved horns in a specific range. Hey, colored lacquers on the VI were only available in a particular range, so I don't see any reason that engraving couldn't be.

    A couple more things to remember about the VII:

    * I've seen all of two VII altos with low A keys. I did not note if there was an engraving difference between the low A VI and low A VII.
    * The bari, soprano, sopranino and bass were still VIs during the VII run. Engraving could have changed from the VI years to VII years. The bass also had a redesign at some point, so that might also be interesting to look to see if that had two or three engraving changes.
    * It'd be interesting to note if M serial number VIIs and N serial number VIIs have different engraving. 'Course that'll whip the Selmer fanbois into a frenzy. Which I heartily enjoy.

    Oh. Open questions: as mentioned above, the US-assembled VIs had serial numbers on the neck. Does anyone know if:

    * Any baris or basses had necks with serial numbers?
    * Selmer used any scheme to identify "matching necks" on the VII?

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

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    And to follow up, a bit:

    Quote Originally Posted by MBushaw
    The style of the engraving is about the only way to tell <the difference from a US and French horn> unless you give a specific serial range and style (ss,s,a,t,b,bb). At some point the US horns had the engraving done after all lacquer and this results in lacquer flaking around the engraving. This is one reason why a mint US assembled horn is more valuable to a collector. If the original lacquer is not flaking around the engraving, the horn wasn't played very much. Paris assembled horns continued to use the 'bug juice' lacquer longer than US, and it is very fragile too. At some point US horns had serial stamped onto neck, Paris assembled didn't. Early Paris assembled horns had last 3 of serial scratched on the inside of the neck.

    What makes all this so difficult is that Selmer was trying new things all the time, and special orders were rather common. However, the engraving on US assembled horns was usually very similar to each other after the first few years, whereas the Paris assembled horns sometimes had very ornate engraving, sometimes none at all.

    As to time period, ALL US market MkVI's were re-assembled, lacquered and engraved in US.
    Original linky.

    Edit: see also this, which also shows fun things like how the bow changed.

    Even though Mark was the guy that gave me free webspace for years, I know that if you don't show your work or give specific references, it's just opinion.

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    On the 7 alto and tenors I've never seen a serial number on a neck

    I would hope someone would send me a N series mk VII tenor.
    Then I could measure my M series against it.

    sooner or later.


    on another note, here's the mk VI v VII bow changes (M or N or both?). you can see the 7 has much smaller toneholes.
    Last edited by SteveSklar; 07-24-2012 at 11:33 PM.

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    'Course, you're talking proportions, though. If something's been made smaller and it still works, something else was made bigger.

    Yes, I'm the Artist Formerly Known as Saxpics.

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    Getting back to this horn and playing it there is noise here and there.
    In one case the RH side C (middle key) is noisy. If one looks at the mechanism it is fairly simple. You push down on a key which pushed down on a pin via a forked arm to open the key.
    VIDEO (click here): Noisy key before the Fix

    The "pin" is bare brass and is missing a covering, in this case a silicone tube which is put over it. The process is fairly simple.

    First, I have a variety of thicknesses and sizes of tubing.

    After one has the key off the horn, which is simply by unscrewing a rod from the key,

    On finds the proper sized tubing which has a snug fit over the pin AND is the correct thickness on is after through the forked arm. It should not be tight as the pin and forked arm movement changes angles.

    After selection, add some glue to the pins sides, push the tubing over it

    If the tube ends up being a bit too thick one can use a metal file and file it down slightly. It's not big issue here. You want it snug, but loose enough to operate freely and quietly.

    Then cut it off with an xacto blade and trim as needed.



    Then reinstall and the noise is now gone and key action much more direct.
    VIDEO (click here): Fix - quiet key action

    I also had to do this fix to the Altissimo F# key linkage.
    Last edited by SteveSklar; 08-05-2012 at 05:44 PM.

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    I should also mentioned I replace the low C# pad and now the horn can whisper. This pad showed no leaks with a light test, but with a feeler test it failed. Now it does not fail the feeler gauge and it plays much more nicely.

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    well with all the information on my website now about the Omega / TS100 / TS110 horns I got an email which provides some input into clarifying the line.

    Just wanted to share some information about this model. I have this tenor sax which I purchased along with a matching alto in 1993. Some people believe it was a copy of the series II but that is not the case.

    I asked for more information about the model and spoke to Dennis Fece, who was setting them up at the time. He told me the model 100 was a reaction to feedback on the Omega; which was a mark VI copy. Musicians asked for this horn and I think it was designed by Ralph Morgan. Then they complained that some notes were not in tune. It was a dimensional copy of the VI, which was not perfect either. So the 100 incorporated the Mark VII bore for improved tuning. Mr. Fece said the difference was more noticeable on tenor than alto. The 100 has more power than the VI. The right hand pinky Eb and low C spatulas were positioned too high for me on the tenor; so I had those adjusted down. I also added gold plated custom necks. They are great saxophones.
    So ... now I will measure my VII tenor against the TS100 tenor ... outside diameters of the body and toneholes, inside bore diameters and whatever else I deem informative or interesting.

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