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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there.

I need some advice. I have Conn Naked Lady '57 baritone sax. It have huge tone especially with metal berg larsen mouthpiece.
The problem is when i trying to play second octave with or without octave key all notes have higher pitch (about 50% higher).
I tried a lot of things, changing embouchure, push/pull mouthpiece and different mouthpieces.
All pads don't have leaks, i checked that. I pretty sure that may be i have leak on neck cork, i intend to change it to new one soon.

Please give me some advice.
 

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Hi there.

I need some advice. I have Conn Naked Lady '57 baritone sax. It have huge tone especially with metal berg larsen mouthpiece.
The problem is when i trying to play second octave with or without octave key all notes have higher pitch (about 50% higher).
I tried a lot of things, changing embouchure, push/pull mouthpiece and different mouthpieces.
All pads don't have leaks, i checked that. I pretty sure that may be i have leak on neck cork, i intend to change it to new one soon.

Please give me some advice.
I guess that you mean 50 cents (i.e. half a semitone) higher.

There are lots of threads here on SOTW about intonation difficulties when playing old Conn baritones with modern mouthpieces. Lots of good advice too.

The consensus view seems to be that the old baritones were designed with large chamber mouthpieces in mind and their pitch is much more flexible than newer designs (e.g. Selmer MkVI onwards). Many modern mouthpieces have a small(er) chamber that can play havoc with the mouthpiece length relative to volume and this is what determines the pitch in the two octaves.

In my case, the answer was buying a Brendan Tibbs mouthpiece specially designed for the Conn bari, but that is a very expensive solution. Other people have had succes with a modified "double chamber" mouthpiece produced by Eric Greiffenhagen (? spelling). A few people have used extensions on the sax neck.

Bear in mind that there are also quite a few professionals who play Conn baritones beatifully with modern mouthpieces, including the Link Super Tone Master, Link Tone Edge and even Berg Larsens. They love the tone of the Conn so much that they work the pitch until it isn't a problem any more.

Rhys
 

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I agree with Rhys. I have a Martin bari that came with a modern high baffle rubber Berg Larson. With that mouthpiece I had the same tuning problem that you describe: very sharp in the upper register.

I traded it for a modern link tone edge, which helped a lot, but I still ended up with the mouthpiece only about 1cm on the neck cork , so I sent it to Erik G. who enlarged the chamber, and now the horn plays perfectly in tune, with the mouthpiece about 2.5cm on the neck, nice and secure. Eric's website is here:

http://www.mouthpieceguys.com/
 

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But, if it's really '57, is that really old? I believe that's about how old mine is, and I don't notice any such problem. It might be older than many of you, but it isn't really old in terms of the development of the saxophone. Even if it were the classic chamber size problem, I don't think it would come out so much as 1st vs 2nd register. You'd have intonation problems in the 1st register as well, for one thing.

That said -- I have no idea what's causing the problem! Of course it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it turned out to be that neck cork, so do something about that, if only filling it up with cork grease or something. But there could be something else wrong in there, saxophones are full of things that can go wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess that you mean 50 cents (i.e. half a semitone) higher.

There are lots of threads here on SOTW about intonation difficulties when playing old Conn baritones with modern mouthpieces. Lots of good advice too.

The consensus view seems to be that the old baritones were designed with large chamber mouthpieces in mind and their pitch is much more flexible than newer designs (e.g. Selmer MkVI onwards). Many modern mouthpieces have a small(er) chamber that can play havoc with the mouthpiece length relative to volume and this is what determines the pitch in the two octaves.

In my case, the answer was buying a Brendan Tibbs mouthpiece specially designed for the Conn bari, but that is a very expensive solution. Other people have had succes with a modified "double chamber" mouthpiece produced by Eric Greiffenhagen (? spelling). A few people have used extensions on the sax neck.

Bear in mind that there are also quite a few professionals who play Conn baritones beatifully with modern mouthpieces, including the Link Super Tone Master, Link Tone Edge and even Berg Larsens. They love the tone of the Conn so much that they work the pitch until it isn't a problem any more.

Rhys
Thanks for explanation. I actually can get some control of second octave only if end up mouthpiece to about 10mm. The pitch is about 10%-25%( of semi-tone ) in this way.
I decided to try find berg with 3 baffle number.
View attachment 42960

Here is chamber of my berg 115/2 now.
View attachment 42961
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I found that most 12m players playing with otto link stm. Which STM you are suggest for looking vintage or new? I mean in construction way?
 

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I found that most 12m players playing with otto link stm. Which STM you are suggest for looking vintage or new? I mean in construction way?
I think you need to ask a mouthpiece specialist like Morgan Fry or MojoBari (both are on this forum quite a bit).

For the bari STM I am not sure how much difference in chamber design there is between older and newer models - new would certainly be cheaper and easier to find.

I asked Morgan a couple of questions about STM on the Conn bari and here are some extracts from his reply:

"Yeah, those old Conns can be tricky to pitch. It's almost a shame they sound better than everything else ever. Mid 30s is great vintage for them, pretty sure Ronnie's [Ronnie Ross - a hero of mine] was around there. TBH, his horn has the typical pitch issues with a Berg (e.g. sharp middle E&F), but he just managed it.

Long story short, you're right -- a modern STM with a bit more baffle in it is a good solution. It's still not perfect from a pitch standpoint, but I haven't figured out a chamber shape that will fix the pitch issues without spreading the sound out too much. Until I do (it's one of the things I'm working on, but not a high priority so maybe a year or so away really, assuming it's even possible), a Link is most of the way there (the chamber is too big for the sound most players want, which makes it a better solution for a Conn), and with a bit more baffle it can have enough punch for any big band playing.

If you have one you want to send me, price is the same as for tenor, £100. Or I can supply a new one, price is £289 shipped."


"Best thing for pitch on a Crossbar (for now, I may have something ready by next summer) is to make one out of a new Link, or just send me [a modern] STM to hog out to pitch."


Hope that helps.

Rhys
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think you need to ask a mouthpiece specialist like Morgan Fry or MojoBari (both are on this forum quite a bit).

For the bari STM I am not sure how much difference in chamber design there is between older and newer models - new would certainly be cheaper and easier to find.

I asked Morgan a couple of questions about STM on the Conn bari and here are some extracts from his reply:

"Yeah, those old Conns can be tricky to pitch. It's almost a shame they sound better than everything else ever. Mid 30s is great vintage for them, pretty sure Ronnie's [Ronnie Ross - a hero of mine] was around there. TBH, his horn has the typical pitch issues with a Berg (e.g. sharp middle E&F), but he just managed it.

Long story short, you're right -- a modern STM with a bit more baffle in it is a good solution. It's still not perfect from a pitch standpoint, but I haven't figured out a chamber shape that will fix the pitch issues without spreading the sound out too much. Until I do (it's one of the things I'm working on, but not a high priority so maybe a year or so away really, assuming it's even possible), a Link is most of the way there (the chamber is too big for the sound most players want, which makes it a better solution for a Conn), and with a bit more baffle it can have enough punch for any big band playing.

If you have one you want to send me, price is the same as for tenor, £100. Or I can supply a new one, price is £289 shipped."


"Best thing for pitch on a Crossbar (for now, I may have something ready by next summer) is to make one out of a new Link, or just send me [a modern] STM to hog out to pitch."


Hope that helps.

Rhys
OK, i got it. But what do you think about mouthpiece extension? I found an article on musicmedic.com, that explain mpc extension on conn 12m bari.
http://news.musicmedic.com/index.php?m=02&y=09&entry=entry090210-155303
 

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OK, i got it. But what do you think about mouthpiece extension? I found an article on musicmedic.com, that explain mpc extension on conn 12m bari.
http://news.musicmedic.com/index.php?m=02&y=09&entry=entry090210-155303
Again, you really need the advice of a mouthpiece specialist.

The mpc extension is an interesting variation on the neck extension approach and could be made quite easily by someone with good machining skills. It has the advantage of being reversible.

But the thing about using a modern mouthpiece at an extended position is that, although you can get the chamber volume needed and the piece is held securely on the cork, the mouthpiece tip is now too distant on the saxophone bore. The tuning will be off in the different octaves, although the compromise may be acceptable and better than without an extension.

Mouthpiece chamber volume has different effects when it is (relatively) long and thin, compared with short and fat.

Rhys
 
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