Nov 06

Evan Carydakis

Barone Soprano vs Mark VI Soprano

by Evan Carydakis

I spent the weekend in Melbourne seeing my family, and taking the opportunity to visit Melbourne Brass and Woodwind in Ormond. Let me say that it is an incredible store with plenty of inventory and great staff. I spent almost 2 and half hours there trying several different soprano pieces (by choice) and several ligatures (by suggestion) and they will provide for two separate posts.

Whilst in the booth, the sales person put his head in, commented on my playing and left a Selmer Paris Mark VI Soprano in my room and asked me to try it and give him my thoughts. Upon inspection the horn had original lacquer, the pads were in great condition, and the body had no noticeable dents. The action was surprisingly comfortable, and responsive which I really enjoyed, however the palm keys were an issue, which I suspect most mark VI owners would have their own thoughts on.

I put my trusted 7C Yamaha with a standard two screw ligature and rico jazz select 3S unfiled reeds on it. Let me say it responded extremely well all over the register and the palm keys when I could find them! As far as the tambre was concerned, it proved to be a good sound, but for me, in isolation it had some elements that made it sound unrefined. Like certain harmonics were over pronounced that shouldn’t have been there.

So I put the same set up on my Barone and my thoughts proved true. For me, the Barone had a much more REFINED sound. There is no other way to put. It was a much more centred, truer and pure sound than the Mark VI. It was like night and day, and let me say I was pleasantly reassured but not surprised. I have played Selmers before, and I knew the Barone was in a league of its own.

The sales person put his head in, and asked me what I thought. I asked him to come in, and do a blindfold listening test and for him to tell me what he thought. He picked the BARONE hands down as his preference. Its was great to have this opportunity and an interesting exercise to say the least.