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Sax on the Web / SML (Strasser-Marigaux) / altissimo and mouthpiece (was re:Wichita

User ID: 1348824
Jul 25th 7:42 AM
Kaz wrote:<<My experience has been that the higher you go on an SML, especially including the altissimo range, the more difficult it is to get the horn to speak cleanly and quickly. I have also found that the choice of mouthpiece makes a large difference in accomodating that altissimo difficulty. Apparently this is because the neck opening (tenon) of the SML neck is larger than on, say, a Selmer, and therefore the back end of the chamber of the mouthpiece is more critical and can make a big difference in sound production. Sound like gobbledeygook? How do SML players find the altissimo range in general, in comparison with other horns and with a tuner? >>

Lately I tend to gravitate to "dark" mpcs that are a little dicey as to popping out the high "G". Otherwise though I never noticed any difficulty w altissimo on SML, nor do I particularly notice it being different from other horns. Intonation? I thought the idea with altissimo was the fingering gets you somewhere vaguely near, and you bend it the rest of the way. Neck opening? I did notice that (in particular) Levelairs won't even go onto the SML (or Buescher400) neck unless you ream them wider. I guess they were built for MkVI necks.
Paul C.
User ID: 8792653
Jul 25th 10:04 AM
I had to find different fingerings for some altissimo notes for SML's, but intonation is excellent on these, in general.

Get a book such as Dr. Bob Luckey's "Saxophone Altissimo--High Note Development for the Contemporary Player" (many times listed simply as "Saxophone Altissimo"). This book has many alternate fingerings for altissimo.
Steve Goodson
User ID: 9621663
Jul 25th 10:12 AM
The altissimo of my "Rev. D" tenor is superior to any of the other horns in my collection. I do have to use different fingerings on it than I do my Selmers or Unisons. Dr Luckey spent all day with me on Monday, and I got some terrific playing tips from him. I use his altissimo book for all of my students.
saxpics Jul 28th 10:52 AM
Morgan, you wrote on the other thread:

"My question was if it ever depends on the person, but NOT the skill -- for which the scientific evidence would be something like:

"For me, that SML plays sharp on E, but this 6M is right on

"For you, the SML is right on but the 6M plays sharp on E

"(note that it wouldn't do if you found the 6M FLAT on E -- that would just indicate we play "E" differently)"

IMHO, if you're essentially saying that if you use the same mouthpiece on any horn and tune to a perfect A=440, every note on the horn should play properly in tune without the player adjusting, I think you're incorrect: I do think that some horns have certian notes that play out of tune, because of irregularities in mouthpiece or horn design, but the player should be able to adjust his embochure, stance, etc. to make said notes play in tune. While I do believe it is mathematically possible to design a saxophone and mouthpiece combination that has every note in tune, it's unlikely that the time and money would be spent on the production of the design (e.g. the Loomis "Double-Resonance" alto).

Tying this into this thread, the altissimo register, particularly above the keyed F#, is (say) 90% of the player using his ear to hit a note and adjusting for intonation -- it's more a component of the player and the mouthpiece rather than the sax. in other words, I agree with what you state about the altissimo, above. I just want to add the statement that playing the altissimo on, say, a Conn alto may be significantly different than on, say, a Gold Medal, because of the differences in design.

Altissimo fingerings are also significanly different on bari as compared to alto and probably somewhat different on tenor. Bass is even more confused.

Axel Koch
User ID: 9844073
Aug 21st 4:56 PM
On my SML (Rev D, Sernr 13xxx) the altissimo register is much easier to play, since I use an Peter Ponzol neck which has a sharper tenon as the original neck.

keep swinginŽ
User ID: 0269124
Aug 22nd 6:47 AM
<<if you're essentially saying that if you use the same mouthpiece on any horn and tune to a perfect A=440, every note on the horn should play properly in tune without the player adjusting, >>

ummm, no , that's not what I said at all