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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I don't think you can go wrong honestly - they're all flexible. The earlier curvies are more flutey, the earlier straights are a little less refined in every way - the later instruments (rollers) come closer together and have similar pitch tendencies. In the end none of them are apples to oranges - it's more like 1% 2% milk ... good mouthpiece, good setup and you'll be good to go

I've spent considerable time on the curvies and a bit of time on the straight instruments - I play the one I play mostly for ergonomic reasons, I really like the neck angle on the later instruments and playing a curved instrument keeps the weight off of your RH
This is very helpful, thanks for these great insights. I love your 1%/2% milk analogy, clever!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I have a curvy 111k and a straight 218k. I agree with your assessment in terms of the sound, although I wouldn't characterize the earlier horn as classical sounding - I find it to have a broad and bold sound, quite full and surprisingly powerful. The straight is more centered - a very strong core sound and definitely much better keywork. If I was going for a Ben Webster vibe I'd pick the curvy for sure.

And my experience is the exact opposite regarding intonation. I find the straight to tend sharp up high, whilst the curvy stays quite locked in. Just my experience and probably a setup thing...
Now that's interesting, quite different from other descriptions! Sounds like you have a particularly great older curved model, that's cool to hear about. I'm wondering if perhaps there AREN'T actually consistent sonic differences between these periods, that's it's more a familiar story of just individual horns being a bit different... Which would sort of change the mythology around the later horns a little to just focus on the key improvements. This is all part of why I thought it would be fun to explore this topic with you all. If anyone else out there has a strong opinion on this please do chime in!
 

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Now that's interesting, quite different from other descriptions! Sounds like you have a particularly great older curved model, that's cool to hear about. I'm wondering if perhaps there AREN'T actually consistent sonic differences between these periods, that's it's more a familiar story of just individual horns being a bit different... Which would sort of change the mythology around the later horns a little to just focus on the key improvements. This is all part of why I thought it would be fun to explore this topic with you all. If anyone else out there has a strong opinion on this please do chime in!
From comparing 2 of the early curvies and 2 of the later curvies the sound is definitely clustered by model.
 
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