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Chu Berry or 12 M?

  • Chu Berry

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  • 12 M

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Discussion Starter #1
Specifically with low Bb for use in both classical and jazz. In classical, for use in both band and solo work. Similarly in jazz, for use in both big band and combo work. So basically a general all-purpose horn. Which do you prefer?
 

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Are you sure you want to use either for classical performance and for big band?

If you were to play in a combo alone, I wouldn’t question the choice of a Bb normally, but most people seem to agree that for both, classical and big band, you would require a low A horn ( The low A corresponds to the Low C for example of the cello)


read here

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?122580-Low-Bb-vs-Low-A-differences

Also, are you sure that for classical performance either Conns would be the best tonal choice? May be... or not.
 

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I actually know a player who plays a 12M in a classical quartet. Everyone else is on Selmers.
It sounds quite good; albeit she has had that horn for a very long time and is quite dialed into it.

Generally, however, in the spirit of MIlandro's response, which I understand....

.....people would say a splitbell Conn bighorn is a bit more challenging intonationally than a later horn.

However, if the later horn is a 12M....a model which has a reputation for driving some players nuts in the intonation dept (I concur they are NOT for everyone, BTW, having refurbed over 25 of 'em)...the aforementioned "better than a splitbell" argument may fly out the window.

Here's a question for you sensei: have you playtested a 12M or a Chu ?
 

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I think that there will be minimal if any tonal differences between a 12M and a New Wonder II. The New Wonder I with the octave key on the side of the neck I'd stay away from unless I had it mechanically modified to change that linkage.

The biggest difference is that after about 1938 or so the 12M was fitted with the front high F. I think that for any kind of technically challenging work you need the front high F.

I've been playing in big bands as primarily a baritone specialist since the early 80s with a low Bb horn. There are workarounds. I never see photos of classical baritone players with anything but a low A except for the Rascher disciples. And they'll be using Bueschers.
 

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It'd be interesting to see older pics of classical sax combos, before the low A became the standard....
Well, you don’t need to go far in time, but again if the baritone plays the cello, than it may have a problem to play that low C

 

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I don't know who they are, but I'm willing to bet they're Rascherites, and I can tell by visual inspection they're playing Bueschers. That whole school of playing is going to be less likely to use a low A baritone than any other.

If I were a brand new saxophonist buying my first-ever baritone I'd probably buy a low A. OP, from his signature, apparently already owns a Yamaha low A baritone so the low A is already covered. Personally, as a lifelong Conn artist I'd probably go with the Buescher baritone for classical work.
 

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As far as transcribing works for string ensemble, if the low C on cello is frequently used and important in a piece, why not just transpose the whole thing up a half step or whole step?
 

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Students of Dr Lawrence Gwozdz at USM, definitely a Rascherite, play Buescher and Conn instruments and even a few made by the dreaded French and Japanese companies.
 

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!2 M for the simple and practical reason that it is the only one I have (other than a King Zephyr which is a tame horn compared to the 12M)
 

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I don't know who they are, but I'm willing to bet they're Rascherites, and I can tell by visual inspection they're playing Bueschers. That whole school of playing is going to be less likely to use a low A baritone than any other.

If I were a brand new saxophonist buying my first-ever baritone I'd probably buy a low A. OP, from his signature, apparently already owns a Yamaha low A baritone so the low A is already covered. Personally, as a lifelong Conn artist I'd probably go with the Buescher baritone for classical work.
It is of course one of the many incarnations of the Rascher Quartet .
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I actually know a player who plays a 12M in a classical quartet. Everyone else is on Selmers.
It sounds quite good; albeit she has had that horn for a very long time and is quite dialed into it.

Generally, however, in the spirit of MIlandro's response, which I understand....

.....people would say a splitbell Conn bighorn is a bit more challenging intonationally than a later horn.

However, if the later horn is a 12M....a model which has a reputation for driving some players nuts in the intonation dept (I concur they are NOT for everyone, BTW, having refurbed over 25 of 'em)...the aforementioned "better than a splitbell" argument may fly out the window.

Here's a question for you sensei: have you playtested a 12M or a Chu ?
I have not play tested a Chu. I tried a 12M a long time ago but preferred my 62. I still love my 62 but was just thinking about picking up something for that vintage Conn sound.
 

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which is not typical within classical music while it would be in a big band, but these days you do need a low A.

The Low A option does exist for Conn or Buescher but it is rare. Do consider a Keilwerth as an option too.
 

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As a baritone player, that low A vs low Bb debate is one that I've experienced over and over. I have a friend, Brad Hubbard (former New Century Quartet Baritone player) and we joke back and forth about the whole issue. He is a low Bb player ad I am a Low A. Recently I had my hands on a 1933 Conn 12M (traditional - which is essentially a 12M with some cosmetic differences). That horn almost made me question my love for my Selmer low A. I quickly realized that I missed a front F quicker than I missed a Low A, That being said, as a tech, a Front F can be added and a Low A not so much, or as easy. In the end back to the OP question of Chu vs 12M - I may be wrong but only the New Wonders had the octave pip on the side of the neck and the part with the pad, on the horn. Again Chu vs 12M. I feel if you play other sizes of horn, a 12M might be the way to go. If you were a dedicated Bari person then Chu.
 

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I feel if you play other sizes of horn, a 12M might be the way to go. If you were a dedicated Bari person then Chu.
What makes you say this? I freely admit I have played a whopping one 12M and no NWIIs, but I would expect those horns to have far more in common than not. And without taking into account the feel/sound, the 12M is a better horn - better mechanics, better ergonomics, and at least as good if not better intonation.
 

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What makes you say this? I freely admit I have played a whopping one 12M and no NWIIs, but I would expect those horns to have far more in common than not. And without taking into account the feel/sound, the 12M is a better horn - better mechanics, better ergonomics, and at least as good if not better intonation.
Other than having both bell keys on the same side, are there really any significant mechanical differences between a New Wonder II (octave key on the neck) and a 12M? I suspect not.
 

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Other than having both bell keys on the same side, are there really any significant mechanical differences between a New Wonder II (octave key on the neck) and a 12M? I suspect not.
I’m with you here.
Perhaps IBeOmega can tell me how the ergonomics are better on a 12m compared to a NWII?
 

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As a baritone player, that low A vs low Bb debate is one that I've experienced over and over. I have a friend, Brad Hubbard (former New Century Quartet Baritone player) and we joke back and forth about the whole issue. He is a low Bb player ad I am a Low A. Recently I had my hands on a 1933 Conn 12M (traditional - which is essentially a 12M with some cosmetic differences). That horn almost made me question my love for my Selmer low A. I quickly realized that I missed a front F quicker than I missed a Low A, That being said, as a tech, a Front F can be added and a Low A not so much, or as easy. In the end back to the OP question of Chu vs 12M - I may be wrong but only the New Wonders had the octave pip on the side of the neck and the part with the pad, on the horn. Again Chu vs 12M. I feel if you play other sizes of horn, a 12M might be the way to go. If you were a dedicated Bari person then Chu.
I'm basing my comment on once owning a 1935 10M and and then a 1928 Chu tenor. The 10M was a much more pick up and play friendly horn, while the Chu while it did sound nice, most of the playing I do is woodwind doubling, and every-time I had to switch to that horn from another, it wasn't as easy (resistance and intonation) as I would of liked or it was with the 10M. It had a great sound, but I feel you'd have to play it a lot all the time to be at peace with it nor was it easy to get use to if you are doubling.
 

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Conn tenors underwent a lot more development and changes than baritones (this is common amongst most makes; the King Zephyr baritone was made clear into the early 70s with a design that was basically from the 1920s). The NW2 tenor and 10M tenor have numerous mechanical changes that are well documented, but to the extent that I've looked at NW2 baritones they look identical to my 12M except for no front F and bell keys on opposite sides (since the 12M has bell keys operated by a linkage rather than directly, moving the one over to the outside actually involved more not less mechanism).

OK, I just spent 10 minutes looking at pictures of NW2 baritones on "Saxpics". I was only able to discern the following differences: - no front F, flat high E side key, and bell keys on opposite sides of the bell. Every other detail I could see looks exactly identical to my 12M which I know pretty well as I've been playing it since 1984 and have had it apart dozens of times.

I am willing to bet that blindfolded there is no baritone player on earth that could tell a difference between a NW2 baritone and a 12M except for the front F and side E key shape.
 
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