Selmer

Selmer Super Action 80 Series II Bass Saxophone

The Super Action 80 Series II is Selmer’s current offering in the bass saxophone marketplace. Like the Selmers that came before it, the Series II has what is commonly referred to as a short, or French wrap.

Selmer, bass saxophone, Series II, gold lacquer, blue background

Bear, the owner of Cybersax, gives us a really good definition of what the term wrap means, and how the French and American wraps differ in sound:

By ‘wrap’ we refer to the spots at which the instrument’s designers choose to place the bends in body tubing in order to produce an instrument with keywork that is both mechanically efficient AND ergonomically ‘friendly’ to the player. Compared to the American bass saxophones [the] Selmer…design produces a little ‘tamer’ sound, probably more suited to classical (think a bowed string bass) or ‘legit’ applications than to roaring out lines we associate with the modern electric bass.

Source: Cybersax

According to the Selmer,Paris website, the specifications of the Series II bass are as follows:

Instrument

  • Key: Bb
  • Range: Low A to high F# **
  • Thumb rest: removable, in plastic
  • Waterkey: on the upper arm
  • Non-slip holder
  • Leather pads, metal booster
  • Finishes available: clear lacquer engraved and silver plated engraved

** This is of course an error. The Series II bass is only keyed to low Bb. If you don’t believe me, count the number of tone holes on the bell of this bass and compare them to the number of tone holes on the low A bari. You’ll notice that the low A bari has 1 more tone hole: that’s for the A. Someone most likely copied & pasted the text from their Series II baritones when designing this page on their website. I have learned that this error is also contained in their print publication.

Selmer does have a graphic representation on their site of the Series II bass’s range, and it shows the range as being low Bb to high F#.

Selmer, bass saxophone range, Series II

Source: selmer.fr/instruments

Mouthpiece

  • S80 C* Bb Bass Saxophone Mouthpiece

Case

  • Bb Bass Saxophone Light Case
  • Outside material: waterproof cordura
  • Inside padding: high resilience injected polyurethane foam, velvet lined, strengthened with a shock-resistant frame. Two padded straps for backpack type carrying. Several inner and outer storage compartments.

Here’s how Selmer is pitching its Series II in this age of the bass sax renaissance:

With the evolution of repertoires, there is more and more recourse to instruments with extreme ranges. The “Super Action 80 Series II” bass saxophone is particularly suitable for this new trend: its design and acoustic features allow it to be more than an essentially support instrument and to open up much more play in harmonics, just as for any other instrument of a more ‘standard’ range.

It offers real technical virtuosity thanks to optimized ergonomics. Homogeneous blowing and very good tuning make it a highly successful instrument. These sound qualities allow for total exploration of relevant playing modes and offer the means to dive deep into tonal research.

In spring of 2010 this silver plated Series II bass came up for auction on eBay. Its tarnish really shows the downside of silver plated horns. The owner was including an SKB flight case with the horn, as well as all the original gear. This sax is circa 2005.

 Source: eBay.com

In fall 2012 this minty Series II bass was offered up on eBay. The owner had contacted me prior to placing it up for sale, and had told me the horn’s story. I had planned on featuring it in a really nice blog article. Sadly, that was the day my blog was taken down by my former hosting company, without warning, because they didn’t like the amount of traffic I had. Nonetheless, this bass did sell, but for about ½ the discounted price of a new one. Someone got a screamin’ deal! With a custom-made Anvil case thrown in basically for free.

 Source: 67bwb on eBay.com