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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
I'm a long time alto player (Selmer Mark VI) and felt that now's the time to switch to a tenor :)

I came across this forum and was happy to read so many positive threads about the P. Mauriats.
So I went to my local sax-dealer and checked out some saxes:

PMXT-66 R
PMXT-66 R-UL
System 54
Conn Ladyface
Selmer SA80
Martin - The Martin (which I had the chance to try out at home for a couple of days)

Testing all those instruments, it seemed to me, that the old horns had a more vital and feel more organic. It wasn't especially the sound but the feeling I had when I played them. Some tones came out a bit louder/sharper/flatter/more strange/more beautiful than others whereas on the modern horns (like the PMXT-66RUL) everything felt so clean, even and perfect. Every tone comes out as good and staight sounding as the other (and they all sound good of course).

So my question is: Is it worth (in your opinon) buying one of the "perfect" modern horns but at the same time missing the more organic and lively feeling that vintage horns seem to have?

(this might sound strange as everyone wants perfect instruments ... but I don't know if perfection always brings the same fun on the sax :))

Thanks for your responses (and sorry for my English ;))
Hannes
 

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Hello Hannes & all,

I had always wanted to be able to play Conn 10M tenors, but, they have (for me) a very difficult key layout. I've got small and damaged hands (nerve damage in my left arm & hand) and could never play 10M's comfortably. I have found (for me) that the 66RUL is similar to the 10M sound, however, (for me) it is much bigger than the 10M's, a great, modern key layout and far better pitch overall. The 66RUL is the very best of a vintage sounding horn, with vastly improved ergonomics and pitch. Would you want to buy a horn, modern or vintage, with some notes or 'areas' of the horn, with inconsistent pitch, 'scale', etc.? As has been said before on the SOTW forum... 'They don't make them like that anymore.... good!'. I say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek, of course. If you want to play ANY horn for ANY reason, you don't need anyone's 'stamp of approval', of course, of course, of course.

NO saxophone is 'perfect', it's a pretty strange instrument, there is NO manufacturer capable of making the 'perfect' horn, however, P. Mauriat (to me) has made a wonderful sounding line of horns with a great 'feel', with pitch as good as any other manufacturer (and better than many).

I played Mark VI's for many decades, became a Yamaha endorser and put down the VI's and the Z for the P. Mauriat 66RUL, couldn't be happier!

best, DC
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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So my question is: Is it worth (in your opinon) buying one of the "perfect" modern horns but at the same time missing the more organic and lively feeling that vintage horns seem to have?
My preference would be for a horn that has an "organic" lively feeling, preferably however I would disagree that you only get this with vintage horns.

I have recently been using a vintage Conn 10M, martin Committee II and Dolnet M70, and I loved all of them. But I've also been test playing many modern horns, and plenty of them feel just as organic, lively and characterful to me.

The Mauriat 66R (UL) is a good example. I found all the modern Selmers I tried to be somewhat lacking in feel. What I do think about the Mauriat is that it is quite improved by using it with a magnum neck. makes a big difference.
 

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There is also the possibility that the vintage horns have had music blown through them for years, gallons of sweat and spit poured in an on them and have seen more things and have more stories to tell than most of us. This perhaps gives them a character and feel that new horns may lack. Give the new ones some time to develop their experiences and they too will retain a more organic warmth perhaps.
 

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I also agree that the PMXT 66R UL is a sweet saxophone with heaps of character, depth and maturity. As a new horn it delivers! Warm tone, good intonation and good ergonomic. It really is a nice sax to play on.
 

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I think people put WAY too much emphasis on the horn...the mouthpiece can change the sound of a horn by a huge degree. I thinking you use the same piece for different horns, yes, you will get different sounds, but if you find the right piece, as long as the horn you have plays in tune, and feels good to you, you can make any horn sound like any horn, because all a sax is is metal tube with a vibrating air column when played. I really feel like when people say a horn sounds too Yamaha of too Selmerish, 99% of them cant hear it really they just look and oh yeah that's the Yamaha sound because that's a Yamaha you're playing. The blind tests on here have really shown that well. In a test without the makers mark there, you get a true sense of likes and dislikes. I'm guilty of it too, to me my 10m is the best playing tenor on the planet, which is probably true LOL, but in a blind test I'd probably fail miserably.
 

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I ditto...DC..remarks and well said.
I have owned, repaired,played and sold hundreds of tenors in the last 25 years and
the best i can come up with for me is the P Mauriat 66RUL
The second best was a Super Balanced ...that was selling for $8,500.00
five years ago...saved myself 6,000.00
 

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There is also the possibility that the vintage horns have had music blown through them for years, gallons of sweat and spit poured in an on them and have seen more things and have more stories to tell than most of us. This perhaps gives them a character and feel that new horns may lack. Give the new ones some time to develop their experiences and they too will retain a more organic warmth perhaps.
What soul. Awesome response. Things that allow us to pour out our soul "perhaps" do have a soul of their own. Just feed it. Awesome.
 

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saxhorn4 is 'spot on', the P. Mauriat saxes have so many things to offer, and, for a fraction of the price of most high end, vintage horns.

This is the first time in 30+ years of playing that I've not had a single Mark VI of any kind in my possession, and, because of all the reasons I've previously listed, I couldn't care less. My last VI tenor was a very good one, played it for 20+ years, pitch was terrible in the middle of the horn, but outside of that, it was an excellent VI. The Z was also a great horn for me for a while, I was perfectly comfortable going back & forth between the two and after initially playing the 66RUL, I was denying that there was such a great difference in sound. After repeated play tests, I simply had to make the switch and am now happier with my sound than I've ever been previously.

I agree with Pete about the 'Magnum' neck, I do use mine on gigs where I feel I can't quite get over the drums if I'm not using any sound 'reinforcement'. The Magnum neck gives me quite a 'supercharge' sonically, and it also 'feels' as well as sounds somewhat more 'focused' ala Selmers, although with a much bigger sound.

Enjoy your decision, cheers, DC
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi, thanks for your answers. I was back to my saxophone dealer and played all the horns again. Again, I really appreciated the sound of the Martin tenor and had the impression that (with my mouthpiece/reed setup;) the 66R-UL sounded almost too fat for my taste. But as you said, finally it's all a question of the mouthpiece/reed and the overall performance/intonation/ergonomy of the 66R-UL is great (better that on the 66R they had in the shop ... apart from the high-"D"-key which is in a strange position on the 66R-UL compared to the 66R ...).

I'll go checking out the 66R-UL again with other mouthpieces. Until now I was using an Otto Link Vintage rubber mp (7) with a Vandoren Java redcut, 3). I'm looking for a finer and subtle sound. I like the sound Mark Turner's sound. Maybe somebody of you had an advice :)

Thanks for the responses and best wishes
Hannes
 

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The 66RUL is for me an amazing tenor,has it all in sound.Huge fat tenor vibe with just the right amount of edge.
 

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I believe that every horn is different, bringing about different personalities, behavior as they are been played.
I also believe in having chemistry with that "special" horn(s). In the end, the horn which best represent you and has great "connection" with you should be the horn that you choose. I have learnt not to be too brand conscious.
I have also realized that the "best" horn is the one that is properly set up :)
 

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There is also the possibility that the vintage horns have had music blown through them for years, gallons of sweat and spit poured in an on them and have seen more things and have more stories to tell than most of us. This perhaps gives them a character and feel that new horns may lack. Give the new ones some time to develop their experiences and they too will retain a more organic warmth perhaps.
well said Ballad Man!
 

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I think people put WAY too much emphasis on the horn...the mouthpiece can change the sound of a horn by a huge degree. ...
I AGREE!!!! :) The mouthpiece setup (mouthpiece, reed and lig) is of fundamental importance provided the player is a good one ;)
I've tried these Paul Mauriat saxophones recently in Frankfurt, the one with rolled tone holes (RTH) played quite good with my personal mouthpiece the one without RTH played very good. I enjoyed it a lot. I don't know about the price, I have not asked...
I also wrote a review about the musikmesse 2011 ( http://www.hsm-masterpieces.com/musikmesse_pt1.html ) but there is nothing about PM saxophones because I forgot to take pictures and sound files. Anyway to me they play as good as any modern oriental saxophone which this year improved a lot, really a lot. They are very easy to play, very free blowing. Concerning the topic, vintage saxophones are different beasts. You need to be used to them in order to maximize their performances and also you need a proper mouthpiece ;). The sound is much more complex, to me there is no comparison.

Stan
 

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Is the 66RUL different sounding than the 66R tenor?
To me they played in a different way but you know each sax is different.
All the best,

Stan
 

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Why does it cost $600 more to not put lacquer on one???
Oh... sorry I was speaking about the RTH and non RTH models. I don't know about UL and R

Stan
 

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It is interesting that the 66R ULs are more expensive than the lacquered 66rs but having seen the manufacturing processes of both I can see why. The UL gets multiple imersions in an acid bath then has to dry in order for the patina to set before it is ready to be assembled. The reaction of the metal to the acid is sometimes unpredictable and it reacts in such a way with the result being that the finish is inconsistant. In this case, the process is started again until the right finish/color is achieved.It is kind of like trying to re-create a classic aged looking art through a modern industrial process. It is much more labor intensive.I guess that is reflected in the price of the UL saxophone.
It is very interesting to observe. I had the chance to see the process at a factory tour awhile back.
 
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