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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wonder if anyone knows how i can make my sax flatter.

At the moment i have a dynaction alto from the 50s and the cork/neck length isnt long enough. I struggle to play a normal G, for example, without being at least a bit sharp according to my tuner. Pulling the mouthpiece out would work but since there is such little amount of neck the mouthpiece cant come out too far without being unstable. even when i pull out my mouthpiece the furthest it will go, while still being stable on the cork, all my notes are a bit sharp.

So wonder if it is possible to add more to my current neck, or do i have to get a new neck (which sounds almost impossible), or is there something else that could be contributing to such sharpness?

Please help!
 

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Are all your mouthpieces short shank?
Perhaps if you tried an alto mouthpiece with a long shank it would result in a satisfactory engagement length on the cork.
Alternatively, try one of your tenor pieces. In the normal course of events that would need to be pushed well on to bring it into tune.
You would need to temporarily increase the diameter of the cork with plumbers' tape.
I use an SR Tech. tenor Fusion (0.115"tip) on my alto, & it's fine.
 

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The best answer:

Let someone else that is a competent sax player try out your horn. They should try it with your mouthpiece and with theirs. Chances are this will identify weather its you, the mouthpiece or the horn. If it turns out to play sharp for them, even with their mouthpiece, it's time to take it to a shop to let a good tech take a look. In that case, it may not necessarily be the neck.
 

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Sometimes these old timers don't like small chamber high baffle mouthpieces. If that's what you're using it may not be a good match for you and the horn.
Try something with a medium to large chamber and a low roll over baffle. It might fit your horn and embouchure a little better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions!
It could well be my playing.
I dont know much about all this mouthpiece business. I haven't been playing too long and this is the first good sax ive owned.
I think if it is a mouthpiece problem that does sounnd like the best case scenario.

The mouthpiece im using is a MEYER 5 which came with the sax.
I just bought it recently. Since its like 60 years old i have no idea if anything has been done to it.
I think i may just have to take it to a pro and get their opinion.
 

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a too tight embouchure can be the culprit but other thoughts came to my mind.

You are aware , I presume, that a saxophone is a transposing instrument and that means that, if you play a F# on your alto your tuner should reed something in the region of an A with your tuner set at 440 Hz (unless your Buffet was set at 442 HZ but this is a different and at this point no so relevant matter)

Once you have proceeded to tune this note, you should work towards trying to play the other notes within a few cents ( a deviation of 30 or 30 cents would suffice at this stage)

Picture of your horn and the neck would help to identify any improper crook for your horn.
 

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If, after following mlandro's sound reasoning, it is still not in tune with the mouthpiece in a reasonable position, another thought occurs.
I am not familiar with the Buffet, but did they perhaps produce a high pitch version?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Once you have proceeded to tune this note, you should work towards trying to play the other notes within a few cents ( a deviation of 30 or 30 cents would suffice at this stage)
Sorry but what does that mean?

Yes i've tried with an extremely slack embouchure and i get a tiny bit sharp on whatever note im playing. Also, no my tuner is fine, it even has a mode for Eb instruments (which i use to see which note is flat or sharp) so you cant really get it wrong when you tune. I dont really understand the Hz. What is it usually set to on a tuner? I have mine on 440 Hz.

By crook you mean neck? if so then im very sure its the original neck for it.

As enviroguy said, i'll get someone to look at it soon and get their opinion as well.

Captain Beeflat, I'll see tomorrow just how far i can get it out and how slack i have to go to get it in tune or even flat if managable.

I'll also put up a picture with measurements.

Thanks for all the help all you out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok. So since i was thinking about it a lot i just did some late night sax playing and played around with the cork a bit more and now its reasonably stable and its now sitting comfortably in tune.

Thanks for all the suggestions people. Im also still interested in knowing about the Hz and about the 30 cents.
 

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Hertz, abbreviated to HZ, is the number of cycles per second of a sound wave.
Concert A is, for example 440hz.
Some early saxophones were of a higher pitch (for reasons that I have never understood) whereby A measured something silly, like 456hz.
As I understand tuners they divide each semitone ( or perhaps full tone) into 100ths....therefore, if you were 50 cents sharp you would be pitched half way between semitones.
 

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the 440 Hz setting is the conventional setting based on a A accepted as standard nowadays (although some orchestras tune at a A=442) while in the past there were other pitches (it's a very long story) some of which could have been designed to produce an A at 457HZ (or other frequencies, as I said it is a complicated matter ........) .

The tuner shows deviation from the centereof the pitch tuning in CENTS

read this article it will explain a few things that you need to know

http://www.tishkoff.com/articles/tuners.htm
 

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I always really hate this answer but do you have a teacher? If so get them to play it and see what their results are. If you haven't been playing long it's very hard to draw a baseline for yourself. A teacher will do that for you and put your mind at ease as to whether the horn is a) high Pitch b) had a hacksaw taken to the neck c) e) have a mpc/horn mismatch carrying intonation issues or maybe e) you are biting and pushing it sharp
 

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I always really hate this answer but do you have a teacher? If so get them to play it and see what their results are. If you haven't been playing long it's very hard to draw a baseline for yourself. A teacher will do that for you and put your mind at ease as to whether the horn is a) high Pitch b) had a hacksaw taken to the neck c) e) have a mpc/horn mismatch carrying intonation issues or maybe e) you are biting and pushing it sharp
I agree with all that; plus, it is very difficult to un-learn mistakes that have been ingrained into your playing.
 

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The whole 'short neck - adjusting the cork' thing is sorta baffling me here.....is it possible there's an insert inside the neck ??? Put there by a previous owner ? Or...is the neck dented or the tenon out-of-round ????

....but putting that aside for the moment.....you could also insert the tenon into the collar and not push it in all the way when you tighten the screw. Leave like 1mm of the tenon exposed then tighten. Then 2mm if necessary. That is another way to do it and not mess with the mouthpiece hanging off of the neck. The m'piece really should never be in that compromised a position....

It all sounds very odd to me. I would say have another player play it, and if it's still doing that, take it to a tech.
 
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