Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm working on physical models for modeling the sound of saxophones, and I'm interested in knowing how the sound of the two saxophones (in the message subject) differ.

It's because the saxophonist I'm working with uses a Selmer Mark VI, and we need to purchase a new sax for our experiments. I came across an advertisement for the Keilwerth SX90R that is available right away at a good price. It's also important that the sax we experiment with sounds very close to the one our sax player uses (Selmer Mark VI).

I would appreciate if you can point out how different you consider the two to be in terms of sound, and a few words you would use to describe the sound of the two horns. And I hope this question may also be of general interest.

Thanks!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
I have played both and I play in a band with a Keilwerth Tenor at 2nd Tenor and a Selmer VI at 4th. Keeping in mind that they both have different set ups, they are quite different. The Selmer exibits the "Selmer core," very focused and centered while the Keilwerth has a more spread, less centered tone. Frankly, to my ear they sound very different, both in the band and when I play them. I probably wouldn't get the Keilwerth for the purpose you stated above, even though the Keilwerth is a good horn. The closest you're going to come to the VI sound, IMO, and an economical price will be a used Selmer S80 1st or a used Yamaha YTS 62 or 61, a distant 2nd.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2008-2016
Joined
·
908 Posts
Don't you think it would be much more interesting to model two very different kind of animals - exactly like the Vi and the SX90 you mentioned - so as to, once for all (really?), technically and physically define what "spread", "focused", "core", "centered" are supposed to mean ? defintion of these fuzzy concepts in termes of harmonic content, attack, decay, etc, would be of prime importance for the sax community. Taking two closely related instruments as those mentioned by Spike would lead to unusable results, mith minute differences, and lead to another endless controversy here and elsewhere.
Keep us informed about your results!
J
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,594 Posts
It's also important that the sax we experiment with sounds very close to the one our sax player uses (Selmer Mark VI).

I would appreciate if you can point out how different you consider the two to be in terms of sound, and a few words you would use to describe the sound of the two horns. And I hope this question may also be of general interest.

Thanks!
Hi, seeing at this point of view the Keilwerth is definitely the wrong horn for this experiment.

The Keilwerth does sound American Vintage like a CONN indeed. It's big, spread, 'honky' (?) for me the best rebirth of the American kind of sound.

the MK VI has a sweetness to the sound and the exquisite Selmer character with a laser beemed centered sound. A French style core also.
As discussed so many times it is related to the bore of the sax cone (body)

If you are looking for a MK 6 similar sounding tenor you will find some of well made Taiwanese horns out there.
I think the CE winds DV or DSV are they.
Opinions differ here but that's are my 2 cents

http://www.cewinds.com/pro-series/pro-tenor-saxophone-dark-super-vintage.html

listen and watch here the CE wind tenors and the Selmers


there is also this thread here... have a look. soundfiles are also there.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...DV-Tenor-vs.-Selmer-Mark-VI&highlight=CEWinds
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,287 Posts
Variances occur between the same brand and model of saxophones and the current state of a saxophone ie the setup can have variances and how a player plays can produce variances.

Some players might have a technique that results in certain parts of the reed vibrating in a certain way that produces stronger upper note overtones, resulting in a brighter sound and vice versa.

Different mouthpieces and reeds can also affect the sound a lot.

Taking all these variables into account to do a valid comparison is not a piece of cake.

If the variables are not taken into account then the results won't mean much.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
41,644 Posts
having said that each and every saxophone is different from every other on a piece by piece basis , of course there are brand and types differences which constitute the hallmark of a certain type or brand.

Under this considerations you couldn't have picked two more different saxophones on the market of the post 1950 saxophone (and being the Mark VI the archetypal saxophone to which, whether one likes it or not, any saxophone which came after is referred and compared to, this one is also the " father" ( putative rather than being a direct ancestor in most cases!) of most saxophones around even if they were made yesterday!).

The definition of what is the Selmer or the Mark VI sound would be varying greatly and indeed it would be to your credit if you would start a project apt to help bringing about a reasoned definition of the sound of the saxophone in order to give meaning to the words: bright, dark, spread, centred, full, thin, round, edgy,....... all terms which mean everything to those who use it and nothing to those who are trying to understand what they mean without listening for comparison to the sound of a saxophone.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,287 Posts
As far as the so called focused and spread terms go, they apply not just to saxophones but also to mouthpieces and also to players.

If I have a sax with a design that produces a so called spread sound and I use a mouthpiece design that produces a so called focused sound, then what have I got?

If I have a sax with a design that produces a so called focused sound and I use a mouthpiece design that produces a so called spread sound, then what have I got?

If I blow my airstream in a more narrow focused way with any sax/mouthpiece then what will that do.

If I blow my airstream in a more wider spread way with any sax/mouthpiece then what will that do.

If I use a sax with a so called focused sounding design and a mouthpiece with a so called focused sounding design and I blow my airstream in a more focused narrow way then what will that end up sounding like?

If I use a sax with a so called spread sounding design and a mouthpiece with a so called spread sounding design and I blow my airstream in a more wider spread way then what will that end up sounding like?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow... thanks a lot for all the insights!

So from what I understand...
- The Selmer and the Keilwerth have very different tonal characteristics, so it's not a good idea to use one for modeling and the other for testing the model.
- Things would vary even across saxophones of the same brand. But a good compromise would be to get a more affordable sax of the same "series" of a manufacturer or of another manufacturer with perceivably similar characteristics - Yamaha or CE (as Spike & CONN pointed out).
- What Saxpiece said is interesting. So it could be a possibility that two different combinations of mouthpiece and sax may produce similar sounds. Although, we're particularly interested in the body of the instrument, this would be good to keep in mind.

It certainly would be interesting to see how significantly the model parameters vary from the Keilwerth to the Selmer. It might be a while before I can get the results (after I've purchased the sax), but I'd be happy to share them here.

My point in asking this question was to get an idea, at this stage, of how different the horns sound from a player's point of view. This is exactly what was contained in the replies, and I welcome more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, I agree with you. The words could themselves mean different things coming from different players! So in that sense, it might be difficult to get an idea of the exact nature of the sound from them. However, I wanted to see how different the adjectives the same person would use for these to saxophones would be. Maybe it's not very precise, but I thought it would give a rough idea :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The definition of what is the Selmer or the Mark VI sound would be varying greatly and indeed it would be to your credit if you would start a project apt to help bringing about a reasoned definition of the sound of the saxophone in order to give meaning to the words: bright, dark, spread, centred, full, thin, round, edgy,....... all terms which mean everything to those who use it and nothing to those who are trying to understand what they mean without listening for comparison to the sound of a saxophone.
Yes, I agree with you. The words could themselves mean different things coming from different players! So in that sense, it might be difficult to get an idea of the exact nature of the sound from them. However, I wanted to see how different the adjectives the same person would use for these to saxophones would be. Maybe it's not very precise, but I thought it would give a rough idea :).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,594 Posts
No confusions and no Philosophies when it goes to Selmer and Keilwerth or American Vintage sound.

Selmer = centered sound
JK and American Vintage (Conn, King etc) = big spread sound

that's a matter of fact.

Based on this the player can take the MPC he wishes but the characteristics of the horn are intrinsic.

I wish I could buy a CE Winds DSV :whistle: cool horn
tell us Freakanth how you like it, for the case you purchase one.

cheers
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,287 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
Joined
·
3,402 Posts
The tube has a characteristic set of impedances for each note, based on its geometry, and the peaks will tend to determine a lot about both intonation and timbre of each note. The ideal of peaks always at integral multiples of the fundamental is impossible to achieve, so each note has its own character.

But the impedance maxima--the frequencies where the notes would tend to sound without other influences, are not the final story: the mpc and the reed and the player have a lot to do with what note finally does sound, and the composition of it. Further, a mpc that might match the requirements of one horn to compensate for the truncation of the tip may not match that of another, depending on various factors. I suggest a trip over to the UNSW website to read about sax acoustics. This is to the point:

http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/Garmisch.pdf

Impedance testing will eliminate the effect of the player and the reed, but it gets very complicated by the fact that the reed is part of the mpc equation, and the mpc must be included because it completes the tube, and otherwise the impedance measurements really don't make any realistic sense. The paper above addresses that, among other things. Here is something else to read and consider:

http://iwk.mdw.ac.at/lit_db_iwk/upload/15115_a.pdf

If your math is good, this is the best place to start:

http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~gary/thesis.html

I'm still not clear exactly what the point of your experiment is, but I hope that helps.

Hey saxpiece! That paper is a GREAT find. Thanks!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
593 Posts
Don't you think it would be much more interesting to model two very different kind of animals - exactly like the Vi and the SX90 you mentioned - so as to, once for all (really?), technically and physically define what "spread", "focused", "core", "centered" are supposed to mean ? defintion of these fuzzy concepts in termes of harmonic content, attack, decay, etc, would be of prime importance for the sax community. Taking two closely related instruments as those mentioned by Spike would lead to unusable results, mith minute differences, and lead to another endless controversy here and elsewhere.
Keep us informed about your results!
J
I love it. I hate the vagueness of the terms. I really gave up asking for anyone to quantify them
 

·
Forum Contributor 2008-2016
Joined
·
908 Posts
On second thought, the absence of any serious definition of these terms has its advantages. If all saxes were ISO-certified with, e.g. "33% spread et 45% core", how could you still hide a dog behind tentalizing descriptions like "a real killer with a great focused sound and a great core".
Long live the fuzz.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
593 Posts
On second thought, the absence of any serious definition of these terms has its advantages. If all saxes were ISO-certified with, e.g. "33% spread et 45% core", how could you still hide a dog behind tentalizing descriptions like "a real killer with a great focused sound and a great core".
Long live the fuzz.
Don't give up!!! If you look back at some of my previous posts, you'll see the dodgy answers. I've actually seen some decent descriptions of "bright" and "dark" but not quantified and not on the forum. These are terms that describe amplitude of light but not strictly amplitude of sound. Also not the amount of reflectivity of the horn.

It's quite humorous actually
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Im curious how you plan to measure the difference?
some type of scientific instruments?
panel of experts listening?
Yeah... we have an apparatus to do this kind of measurement.

Generally speaking, we compute the frequency response of the saxophone, which is essentially how it vibrates (at different frequencies) when you pass an instantaneous percussive sound through it (like a clap, or a balloon-pop) as such a sound contains all frequencies. This sound is known as an impulse. The saxophone (or any other instrument to that matter) will only vibrate at certain specific (harmonic) frequencies, as pointed out in one of the ealier posts, and modify the impulse accordingly. So this will give us some idea about the sound of the sax.

What you see in specifications for microphones is similar in concept to this.

I'm amazed by the overwhelming response to my original post. Thank you all for contributing so far!

It might be a little while before we buy the new sax, but I'll make sure I update this thread with the progress.

In the meantime, any more comments are welcome!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top