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Gentlemen of SOTW,

I recently purchased my new Barone Classic Tenor a few months ago as a back up horn for gigging. When I first got the horn i noticed that it played incredibly out of tune, on the order of 30-40c sharp The only way to remedy that it was to either pull the mouthpiece out so far that it was jiggly and produced a bad tone, or use a particular mouthpiece that made things better, but was still pulled out quite too far for me to comfortably reach altissimo. I read up online and many threads seem to point to mouthpieces, but since then i've tried over 5 mouthpieces and none of them remedy the issue. The odd thing is that the whole sax plays out of tune through its entire range and when i have the mouthpiece in a normal position the horn plays great and responds wonderfully, but is out of tune. My only other thought would be some sort of manufacturing error with the neck. Please let me know what you guys think of this situation.
 

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Sounds like you bought the wrong horn. I would want to get rid of it without losing too much money and get something I could play.
 

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Sounds like you bought the wrong horn. I would want to get rid of it without losing too much money and get something I could play.
I'm not quite sure what you mean. I researched Barone horns quite extensively before i purchased one and they all get quite good reviews given their price point. I simply posted on here to identify if it may be an easily fixable problem, or a problem that can only be fixed by the manufacturer. That way i wont have to take it in to the shop and pay money to have a tech tell me the same thing.
 

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I have a Barone tenor, it plays very well and in tune...contact Phil....
 

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I'm not quite sure what you mean. I researched Barone horns quite extensively before i purchased one and they all get quite good reviews given their price point. I simply posted on here to identify if it may be an easily fixable problem, or a problem that can only be fixed by the manufacturer. That way i wont have to take it in to the shop and pay money to have a tech tell me the same thing.
What I mean is, you apparently bought a lemon. These horns are Chinese manufacture and strange things happen. I don't know if it can be 'fixed' unless its just a question of a bad neck that can be replaced. And strangely, most Chinese horns tend to be flatter than others, which actually is good, since you can always push the mouthpiece in more or even trim the neck. If you know anybody else who plays tenor, see if they can play it in tune without jumping through hoops. You can also try other necks on it which very well could point to the problem. But the best strategy to me would be to get the seller to take it back so you can get something else, hopefully after testing it first.

With due deference to Taiwan, I typically lump Taiwan and mainland China together as 'Chinese' when it comes to saxophones. I don't care whether the horn came from China, Taiwan, Tokyo or Paris - the OP cannot use it as a sax is normally used because he can't play it in tune with concert pitch and he's tried a handful of mouthpieces. So the question is not whether ANYBODY should be able to play it, just the OP, and he can't. I ran into a sharp Jupiter 'Artist' soprano that I promptly returned. My Taiwan soprano (tipped bell) is flat like most of these horns but my Chinese baritone runs a tad bit sharp, which presents no problem. There is one sax manufacturer in China doing work for Selmer and others, and that is the one that made my bari, a Kessler 'Solist'. If that horn had been seriously sharp for me to the point that it was not usable, I would have returned it. Any maker can make a mistake. One thing to do is to play a low Bb on it and see how that tunes. This simple act takes all questions of key height out of contention. If it won't tune on the Bb, and mouthpiece changes don't help, most likely the neck is at fault, barring some weird aberration in the bore.
 

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What mouthpiece are you playing?
The chances that it is the horn are pretty small.

More likely is that you've got something happening in the piece.

You have another horn that, I assume, plays fine with that same piece. What horn? What piece?

Let's apply a little thought to this problem and see where it goes.
 

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First, I believe Joe Giardullo has the right approach. Barones are fine saxophones and deserving of their following. Also, as far as I know, Barone saxophones are made in Taiwan, not China.

My 2 year old Classic Barone tenor did play a bit sharp when I first got it with the mouthpiece seated where I normally put it on my other horns . It played perfectly up and down with the mouthpiece a little less than halfway down the cork. However, the original cork was thin and the mouthpiece wasn't stable at it's optimum placement even though there was plenty of mouthpiece on the neck. I replaced the cork myself and sanded it a bit thicker. Problem solved. Now every mouthpiece I use sits on nice and solid and it plays as near pitch perfect as my Yanagisawa T992 from top to bottom, including palm keys with a variety of mouthpieces including JJ HR*, Barone, Link HR, a vintage Buffet-Crampon and vintage H Couf Artist.

So, in addition to Joe's advice, you might consider putting on a thicker cork that will allow you to pull out the mouthpiece a bit further. Worked for me and was an easy fix.
 

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Barone horns are Taiwanese made and he has a deserved reputation for their good quality.

Nevertheless, a quick search revealed that occasionally there were reports ( which weren’t followed up by the posters with the outcome of their plight) of Barone tenor saxophone intonation issues.

Frankly, I tend to ascribe these to inexperience (which doesn’t seem to affect OP here) or to the fact that changing between horns ( especially if using an old reed) can confuse your ear to brain co-rdination which leads to forming the intonation as we experience it.

First of all, have someone else playing the horn with their mouthpiece.


Are you, by any chance, using a very old reed?
 

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I have a Barone bari that I bought 8 years ago. It played great from day 1 and still does. If your mp is pulled out near the end of the cork the pitch can be all over the place. I believe any mp need to be at least halfway on the cork, preferably 2/3. Also, is the reed way too soft? Pitch bending is made easy with that especially if your bottom lip pressure varies a lot.
 

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Well now I will add to the intrigue... I recently acquired a Classic model tenor, in like-new condition, and I have the same problem... but in the opposite extreme. I have to push the mouthpiece as fa (a long long way to go) in as it can go. I actually had to sand down the cork so that I could go beyond the end of it, right to the point where I made a witness mark in the lacquer on the top side of the neck with the mouthpiece shank!
To be as fair as I possibly can, I'll state that I've developed a very loose embouchure/relaxed throat approach, per the guidance of many great players and teachers. I also have been practicing in a pretty cold basement (like 60 - 65 degress F) with A/C and dehumidifier (I like being cool!). Nonetheless, with my Conn 10M I always have between 1/8" and 3/8" of cork exposed beyond the mouthpiece.
It should be noted that the cork on the Barone neck is shorter than on the 10M, and my tech told me it came that way from the factory, since the neck is unblemished beyond the cork (except for the aforementioned witness mark). My tech pointed out that the curve in the Barone neck begins very close to its small end, and in fact the cork covers the beginning of the curve!
I am a pretty experienced player, some college, years of playing in big bands and small groups, and so I know how to play in tune, and I've used an electronic tuner calibrated to A = 440 Hz to verify this.
I have the same issue with three very different, unmodified tenor mouthpieces, all of which have to crash into the neck curve to play in tune: FL No USA STM 4* facing, Master Link Four **** Model 3* facing, and Jody J**z DV CHI 7* facing. NOTE I use some really hard reeds with the first two pieces, like #4 on the STM and #5 on the Four ****, and I use like a #2 1/2 on the DV CHI.
I think I'll just conclude that the horn (or at least the neck) and I are "incompatible". I will have some other players try the horn, but I think I'll be looking for another neck, or else selling the horn.
By the way, I called Phil (I had just gotten the horn so didn't mention this tuning issue) to ask about the other necks he advertises, and he said "You've already got a neck". He was pretty insistent. So I think maybe he was saying that the aftermarket necks have the same design as the one sold with his horns.
I will probably call Phil about this as maybe with the specifics of my tuning issue he has some other answers.
 

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I have one of these Barone Classic tenors here and I also have to push my mouthpiece all the way to the absolute end of the cork.
It plays in tune once I am there but it is further down on the cork than I have to go with any other horns.
 

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I have a Barone Classic (~2 years old) and also a Selmer Mark VI (100XXX), which is what the Barone is "modeled" after, tone-wise. I find that I have the mouthpiece not quite as far on the cork as the Mark VI - that is, the amount of neck covered by the mouthpiece is slightly less on the Barone, about 1/8" (OK, OK, 3mm...) Otherwise perfectly in tune, actually better intonation than my Mark VI. It's a good amount of cork either way, more "on" than "off", it's just slightly less on the Barone.

Assuming it's not the OP's playing, I'd suspect the neck.
 

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I have one of these Barone Classic tenors here and I also have to push my mouthpiece all the way to the absolute end of the cork.
It plays in tune once I am there but it is further down on the cork than I have to go with any other horns.
Indeed, I was talking to Mr. 10M Fan about this and he told me he had the same exact issue on his Classic. And yes, it does play very well in tune... it just looks pretty strange with the cork totally covered up and the mouthpiece hitting the wall going into Turn 1 (That there's NASCAR talk).
 

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The length of the cork is completely arbitrary so the maker of Barone’s necks might be just a little more cork conscious than other makers but I doubt that the Barone necks would be shorter or have a different volume than similar horns.

In the years of experience gathered working with a Taiwanese company, not one which made Barone’s horns though, I have always seen makers replicating exactly things like shape, volume and tonehole positioning of famous horns.
 

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The length of the cork is completely arbitrary so the maker of Barone’s necks might be just a little more cork conscious than other makers but I doubt that the Barone necks would be shorter or have a different volume than similar horns.

In the years of experience gathered working with a Taiwanese company, not one which made Barone’s horns though, I have always seen makers replicating exactly things like shape, volume and tonehole positioning of famous horns.
Hi Milandro. Well at least in the case of this horn, it is not a matter of being "cork conscious" but rather curve conscious. That is, the curve in the neck that actually starts under the cork, even though the cork is shorter than a normal neck cork.
So, the manufacturer may indeed have replicated another model's volume and tonehole placement, but I don't believe the shape of the neck is quite like another horn. Whether this is a neck that is not to specification, or is like all the other necks for these horns, I don't know.
 

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I believe this is wrong.
Hi Pete
My tech recorked it... I asked him to recork and sand it so that it was a bit thicker on top (thinking that the mouthpiece shank would then crash into the neck a bit further up the curve of the neck). He showed me that the curvature - not simply taper - initiates before the cork ends, with the cork at same length as original. And in fact, the mouthpiece still contacts the neck at the same point. This is my main piece, a Florida STM, so nothing at all radical.
Like I said, maybe this neck came off the mandrel wrong, or whatever... but 10M Fan has the same issue - which is not really an issue as we've been saying; just odd.
 
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