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I have an old (very loved and well looked after) Tenor Martin Committee II - love the tone and ergonomics. I was wondering if an afternarket neck could help the tuning (middle C, B and A are a bit stuffy and flat etc) and it got me thinking if anyone has tried any on their own Martin?

I see the Warburton, KB, Barone etc on Conns and Selmers but after some forum searching I can’t find anyone with one for their Martin.

And another thing; neck angle seems to be quite flat (I don’t think pull down just how Martins are designed - techs feel free to chime in) - I saw that the KB necks can be made with a higher angle aiming up towards the player more. As a tall man with a fairly long neck I was wondering how this might change my experience? Anyone done this?

Thanks all
 

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As you probably know there aren’t too many choices when it comes to acquiring an aftermarket Martin neck.

Due to its construction Martin necks for your horn need to have the tightening mechanism on the neck itself rather than relying on one tightening screw by the receiver.

There fore, unless you go the bespoke way, your choices are limited.


The best copies of Martin necks, in my opinion, are made in Holland by the Blazer’s atelier Tilburg.

http://www.blazersatelier.nl/nekken/

But as far as I know they make exact copies of the original neck.



This was also in the beginning the principle followed by Karsten Gloger who, perhaps, nowadays has turned to produce modified versions of the original necks to cater for the people, like you, who seem to prefer some different thing.

I cannot vouch though for any modification capable to address the problems that you seem to have.

By the way you can probably change the angle of your horn if you find a Codera ADDjust Balacer.

 

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Nice article there but he says he has a Committee II which has the standard-type collar clamp. These tenor necks are very 'flat' and were designed for sitting players. This was corrected with the 'The Martin xxx' series but of course those necks won't work on it at all.
 

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thanks, I stand corrected, I thought OP had a III for which my comment would have made sense but not if no front “ button” screw applies.

Still, short of going on a rampant stochastic search with less than predictable or probable result, the problem of intonation, I think, cannot easily be corrected by a new neck of any sort.

Once I’ve heard someone describe a method involving the placement of pieces of magnetic metal inside the neck in order to slightly reduce the volume of the neck and move them around with a small but powerful external magnet and try if this has any influence on the intonation and how.

.
 

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Thanks for the replies,

I haven’t looked much into the tuning of necks and how they effect a saxophone - obviously it’s a lot to do with internal volume and tone hole placement...

Some of the techs and companies who make the aftermarket necks seem to say it can improve intonation, and I’m curious to how this works for something like my Com. iI

I think the neck angled up plus a more balanced position for the neck ring would help the feel of holding a Martin.
 

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thanks, I stand corrected, I thought OP had a III for which my comment would have made sense but not if no front “ button” screw applies.

Still, short of going on a rampant stochastic search with less than predictable or probable result, the problem of intonation, I think, cannot easily be corrected by a new neck of any sort.

Once I’ve heard someone describe a method involving the placement of pieces of magnetic metal inside the neck in order to slightly reduce the volume of the neck and move them around with a small but powerful external magnet and try if this has any influence on the intonation and how.

.
Different necks will without doubt change the intonation of this horn. Whether or not it will "correct" it can only be determined empirically.

Length of the neck has as much influence as volume.

I swapped necks on an old Conn. In my case, the aftermarket neck made a considerable improvement to the intonation and response of the horn.

KB sax has a trial period. Although the price of the neck is somewhat prohibitive, it would make sense to pursue as I don't think they charge a restocking fee.
 

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I doubt that one can say that a different neck will improve intonation “ per se”.

yes, one might assume that there will be changes but one cannot assume that the changes will be solving any problems of this horn.


If a neck hasn’t been conceived to work on any particular saxophone to cure specific intonation problems ( as brands like Buescher or Yamaha did introiducing necks of different design in succession to specifically address problems identified by players) there are many more chances that it would have an adverse working than it might have a favorable one.

Empiricism is a good thing but there are overwhelming odds against a stochastic approach.

Lotteries give better odds.
 

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Some of the techs and companies who make the aftermarket necks seem to say it can improve intonation,
Yes, they are trying to sell their necks. :)

Quite honestly, I doubt you could have a serious conversation with most aftermarket neck sellers/makers and have them know what they are talking about in terms of finding an apt replacement for a Martin II...just as an apt replacement, period. When you start focusing in on a particular aspect of what you want the neck to do (in this instance, solve an intonation issue you are having with it)....quite honestly you have now crossed over into a territory where you are talking about someone making you a custom-made neck (IF the issue you wrestle with is even solvable via a neck).

KB sax has a trial period. Although the price of the neck is somewhat prohibitive, it would make sense to pursue as I don't think they charge a restocking fee.
Maybe. But for starters the KB neck (of which one chooses from various models, ones which are already built to particular specs) would have to have the correct-size tenon, and it would then have to have a matching natural-pitch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1d3ACFPGzU

So if those two things weren't a match right off the bat with a KB...then again you would be in a situation where you are actually having a maker customize one of their stock necks, or produce a new neck specifically for the II. Which is the BEST solution....but which probably will run around $700-$1g.

Empiricism is a good thing but there are overwhelming odds against a stochastic approach.

Lotteries give better odds.
Yup. You might end up just going on a wild and expensive goose(neck)-chase :|

(ba-dump-bump)

I...middle C, B and A are a bit stuffy and flat etc...
- obviously it’s a lot to do with internal volume and tone hole placement...
Indeed. IMHO, perhaps better not to initially jump into a neck-chase, but rather find a tech who is really GOOD at regulating and tuning a vintage horn. Already, from what you write....both stuffiness and flatness can be related to keyheight adjustment.
As the saying goes, don't go searching for Zebras when you need a Horse. Exhaust the more common and likely scenarios before pursuing the longshots. I think you have posited the wrong solution, basically...

BTW, MusicMedic can slightly alter existing neck tube angles while maintaining the tube in-round, I believe.
 

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I have an old (very loved and well looked after) Tenor Martin Committee II - love the tone and ergonomics. I was wondering if an afternarket neck could help the tuning (middle C, B and A are a bit stuffy and flat etc) and it got me thinking if anyone has tried any on their own Martin?

Thanks all
It sounds like your short-tube notes are flat. This typically means your mouthpiece is too far out on the neck, throwing the scale off. And that typically is the result of using a modern small chamber mouthpiece on an older horn that was designed for larger chamber mouthpieces.

As far as the neck angle, if you have it altered then the MP won't be entering your mouth at the same angle. I would instead simply consider a shorter neckstrap that you can use to raise the horn without strangling yourself. I am not tall but I have a long neck and Conns and such require a shorter strap for me. I don't use the kind with a slider that goes up and down, but rather the kind that goes around with a buckle.

I would look at a larger chamber MP (with a high baffle if you wish, to get that brightness without throwing off the intonation) and a shorter strap and give those things a good try before going down the rat hole of new necks. Very few if any neck makers are going to have the detailed measurements they would need on this relatively uncommon saxophone, to make a special "intonation-correcting" neck, if such a thing were even possible.
 

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I was curious about how a Selmer Sterling Plus would play on my Martin C3. Except for the tenon and fittings associated with the C3 alone, it was a good match. If you were to find the same for a Comm2, the neck key and screw wouldn't be an issue.

I can't speak to the tuning or stuffiness on any key in particular. I do recall testing the pitch of the necks as per a well cited video and found them to be the same. As Bruce suggests, it might be key heights. I recall Lance, the Martin Comm guru, says it does best with a close action so don't open it too much to start.

HTH
 

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Interesting; how did you find the resistance and tone?

I was curious about how a Selmer Sterling Plus would play on my Martin C3. Except for the tenon and fittings associated with the C3 alone, it was a good match. If you were to find the same for a Comm2, the neck key and screw wouldn't be an issue.

I can't speak to the tuning or stuffiness on any key in particular. I do recall testing the pitch of the necks as per a well cited video and found them to be the same. As Bruce suggests, it might be key heights. I recall Lance, the Martin Comm guru, says it does best with a close action so don't open it too much to start.

HTH
 

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I have multiple mouthpieces that I use, some small chamber some large - I find similar tuning on all of them. Middle C is flat (A and B less so) and the typically sharp G, F E D and palm D. So I’m not sure pushing the mouthpiece in more will help - it would put the horn a good semitone sharp. I don’t bite hard either so I don’t believe my jaw is pushing it sharp.

It sounds like your short-tube notes are flat. This typically means your mouthpiece is too far out on the neck, throwing the scale off. And that typically is the result of using a modern small chamber mouthpiece on an older horn that was designed for larger chamber mouthpieces.

As far as the neck angle, if you have it altered then the MP won't be entering your mouth at the same angle. I would instead simply consider a shorter neckstrap that you can use to raise the horn without strangling yourself. I am not tall but I have a long neck and Conns and such require a shorter strap for me. I don't use the kind with a slider that goes up and down, but rather the kind that goes around with a buckle.

I would look at a larger chamber MP (with a high baffle if you wish, to get that brightness without throwing off the intonation) and a shorter strap and give those things a good try before going down the rat hole of new necks. Very few if any neck makers are going to have the detailed measurements they would need on this relatively uncommon saxophone, to make a special "intonation-correcting" neck, if such a thing were even possible.
 

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Interesting; how did you find the resistance and tone?
As best I can recall, the resistance was a little more open than Mark 6 necks. I'd be guessing about tone. Its been about 5 years since trying it. I also tried the Selmer neck on a Conn 10m but found it wildly free blowing.

But the point is, you can easily find Selmer style aftermarket necks to try. All you need is some plastic tape to wrap around the tenon.
 

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I doubt that one can say that a different neck will improve intonation “ per se”.

yes, one might assume that there will be changes but one cannot assume that the changes will be solving any problems of this horn.


If a neck hasn’t been conceived to work on any particular saxophone to cure specific intonation problems ( as brands like Buescher or Yamaha did introiducing necks of different design in succession to specifically address problems identified by players) there are many more chances that it would have an adverse working than it might have a favorable one.

Empiricism is a good thing but there are overwhelming odds against a stochastic approach.

Lotteries give better odds.

Hardly stochastic seeing as how all tenor saxophones have similar overall volume to the tube, vertex to base. Volume of a neck is by and large a function of the length of the tube since the size of the tenon and the mouthpiece bore determine the radius.

Listen to the Kim bock YouTube videos in which he plays a number of very different horns with his aftermarket neck, all with excellent intonation. And while his neck was blueprinted on a favored SBA neck in his collection, it plays extremely well on an American big bore horn made in 1930. Imagine that... an early 50’s French neck that improves the sound of an early American horn of very different design. Luck of the draw? I think not.
 
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