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But you still can't compare something that influences the reed(the part that creates the sound) to a mouthpiece which vibration is indirect and not directly responsible for creating your sound.
The point was that maybe like the older mpc I have, older horns have thinner walls.... contributing to the sought after sound.

I think I have done the experiment and it did have a slight affect, less than a leather lig, but an affect. To your point, if you strap a reed to a brick wall, it will vibrate less freely than if you strap it to a thin piece of metal. You make a good point, but I still maintain the brick wall size of modern links is part of the less than awesome sound imho
 

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What would make you happy re. "mathematically quantify"?

Ever switch necks between horns? What do you think makes the difference in sound?
well i realize its not so easy. ive seen stuff related to specific flow and impedance but that doesnt relly tell me how is the sound different.

maybe some oscilloscope graphs of the sound or the presence of more or less harmonics with variations of */- .03 as opposed to +/-.01. or variations in sound measurements with one .03 wave and multiple .03 waves.

I dont really know. i do know i havent seen anyone post anything to tell me that you can quantify the difference.
 

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I've thought about this. I used to work for Lecroy- they make digital storage O-scopes. I always wanted to hook a mic up to a scope sample my sax sound for a few seconds and run a Fourier transform on it to see what the actual differences are in frequency response between horns, mouthpieces, whatever. Never got around to it. I always wondered if there would be measurable differences or if you'd just be measuring the limitations of the mic.

I don't disagree that the bore design has a lot to do with the differences in the way horns sound. However, I also don't believe you can make the changes necessary to "fix" the BA/SBA issues without ending up with a different horn. I also agree (as someone else posted) that part of what makes these horns what they are is their age. If someone (maybe Viking?) started selling a near perfect copy tomorrow it might take years for it to develop that "je ne sais quio" that makes it exceptional in some way.
 

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Want a modern Mark VI alto? Get an old SA II alto, a real old rubber Meyer #7, a stack of Phil Woods LPs and lock yourself in a room for a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
I also agree (as someone else posted) that part of what makes these horns what they are is their age.
A Selmer Radio Improved or Balanced Action sounded that way from Day One. Sure, wear makes a horn feel different from a new one but I've played low mileage closet 5 digit Mk VIs that had The Sound.

The point here, however, is to reinvent the BA/SBA. The Mk VI has been done - that's not what I'm looking for nor the motivation of this thread.
 

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i have played my SBA tenor (52xxx) for the better part of thirty years. It has no palm key/bell key issues. In fact, the horn is perfect. i feel sorry for everyone who is not playing it- which is all of you. Someone should clone my horn, then you could all be happy. :toothy10:
 

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i have played my SBA tenor (52xxx) for the better part of thirty years. It has no palm key/bell key issues. In fact, the horn is perfect. i feel sorry for everyone who is not playing it- which is all of you. Someone should clone my horn, then you could all be happy. :toothy10:
I know someone who said pretty much the same about their instrument. Then one time I had a chance to try it and I found many issues with it.
 

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I know someone who said pretty much the same about their instrument. Then one time I had a chance to try it and I found many issues with it.
My experience has been the same. I've only taken the opportunity to play 2 SBA's owned by guys I've played with at one time or another. They believed their horns were incredible and admittedly they sounded good on them. I found the response variable, the intonation sketchy, and the timbre from note-to-note inconsistent. The thing that struck me (and I liked ) the most was how light and small the horns felt, almost C-melodyish. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
 

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There it is again, I'm still guessing thinner walls makes it vibrate better and get the sound...
A saxophone is not a guitar. Otherwise the vibrato sax would have the most awesome sounds since it's made of plastic. Otherwise everyone would make thinner saxophones. It's cheaper and it sounds better.
 

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I don't accept that an alloy cannot be copied and its processing duplicated. That is all quite straightforward in the world of materials science and engineering.
That's not the question...whether it can or cannot be DONE.

Rather...the question is...would a company ever bother doing that on a large scale ?

And the answer is: no. Not any contemporary company. It doesn't fit into their marketing plans...

Plus..old metals change...over time...
 

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i have played my SBA tenor (52xxx) for the better part of thirty years. It has no palm key/bell key issues. In fact, the horn is perfect. i feel sorry for everyone who is not playing it- which is all of you. Someone should clone my horn, then you could all be happy. :toothy10:
I have (almost!) the same horn as you (mine is a SBA 526xx) and am also very happy with it. Those later SBA's where the best of the SBA range, but I think it goes a bit far to state that people can not be happy with other good horns. I've play-tested horns that where also great, but just a bit different than my SBA.

I was recently involved in a mouthpiece and sax comparison session with two Dutch pro's (Hans Dulfer and Ruud de Vries). At a certain moment I turned to Ruud and asked him: "WOW, what are you playing, that sounds incredible". "It's your horn" was his reply :).

I recently posted a soundclip comparison between my 1952 SBA and 1983 SA 80 backup horn >here<. Just to add some sound arguments to all the words written on the topic old versus new sax. Actually I think both of my horns are great, but I prefer the SBA by far.

No. The Mk VI was not an improved BA/SBA - the Mk VI was a new design, as was the VII, SA80, II, III... ad nauseum. Selmer doesn't want to retain any of the old horns - they are trying to move the horn forward (despite others wanting to hold on to the old).

The key to the tone is the bore geometry - you may lay whatever mechanism on top that you like and it will sound much the same.
A Selmer Radio Improved or Balanced Action sounded that way from Day One. Sure, wear makes a horn feel different from a new one but I've played low mileage closet 5 digit Mk VIs that had The Sound.

The point here, however, is to reinvent the BA/SBA. The Mk VI has been done - that's not what I'm looking for nor the motivation of this thread.
I also think (like Dr. G already stated) that the main key to the BA/SBA sound are bore geometry and tone hole placement and configuration. Another thing which makes them great is the key action. See >this< very interesting remark of Stephen Howard on that. I don't think metal composition, ageing or thickness have a very big impact on the sound compared to bore and neck geometry.

I'm confinced that those old BA/SBA saxes can be rebuild exactly, but it would take a very skilled person (or group of persons) to do that. It would be nice if an authority as Stephen Howard could give his opinion on this, his great knowledge on this topic is a by far superior to that of mine (and most of us I guess).
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Plus..old metals change...over time...
If you aren't serious, please ensure adding a smiley.

If you are serious, please be less ambiguous about your claim. What is changing?

Hint: Please don't say "molecular structure".
 

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The point was that maybe like the older mpc I have, older horns have thinner walls.... contributing to the sought after sound.

I think I have done the experiment and it did have a slight affect, less than a leather lig, but an affect. To your point, if you strap a reed to a brick wall, it will vibrate less freely than if you strap it to a thin piece of metal. You make a good point, but I still maintain the brick wall size of modern links is part of the less than awesome sound imho
Phil Barone has some very informative posts on the differences between old and new Links in the Link Quality Control sticky in the Tenor MPC forum. The difference isn't due to vibration of the mouthpiece. Using good old F=MA for the mouthpiece and reed and Newton's Second Law, it's pretty easy to see that the A term for the mouthpiece is going to be trivial.

Is the name Viking a pun on VI-King?
 

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This is a vibrations problem, so we're probably more interested in nat. freq = (1/2pi)sqrt(k/m)

K being a function of geometry, i.e. wall thickness and m being your mass, which I noticed an extra lot of this on the modern link.
 
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