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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a darker and richer sound. I have three current set up's.
Yas-23 Meyer 7M Vandoren 3 reeds.
Yas-23 Runyon Custom 6 Vandoren 3 reeds
Yas-23 Selmer S80 C**, Vandoren 3.5 reeds.

The only set up that gets me close to this darkness is the last set up involving my S80. But its not dark enough. I don't have the money to purchase any horn right now, or any new equipment as I am wrapped up in other horns. But what horn would get me close to this goal? I am looking for suggestions. If it is a horn I would like it to have the high F# key.

thanks for the help.
~Carbs
 

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Carbs: I believe good tone comes from the player, the set-up, and MAYBE the horn itself (in that order, in my opinion). If changing horns is out of the question (the Yamaha 23 is really bright to my ears - every one I've played), then a mouthpiece change would be next.

However, the pieces you listed all have good reputations. So, that leaves the reed . . . I have a Meyer 7M-Small Chamber and use shaved #2 reeds on it. True, I don't play it much, favoring instead several other pieces (like a Meyer 6S-Medium Chamber, Super Session J, Morgan-Bilger 6, etc.).

What I'm suggesting is that maybe you should reduce the strength of your reeds (except for the C**) and see if sifter reeds could give you more warmth in your sound. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.

If I wanted to change horns something I could probably do rater easily once I get my horns sold. Which ones would you recomend?
 

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Carbs: I suppose there are many saxophones that would help you achieve a warmer sound . . . anything but the 23. Oh, they play fine for beginners/weekenders, but in my view, too bright. Can an accomplished player get more out of the 23 than most of us? Probably.

If money were no object, the "darkest" of the new saxophones in my opinion is the Reference 54 - I have one. Also consider the Yanagisawa A991/2 and the hi-end Yamahas. OR, go for a vintage Buescher or Conn.

I know, I know . . . WAY too shallow to properly address the issue. DAVE
 

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You can achieve a darker sound just by practicing a little more long tones ya know ;) Anyway, if you're dead set on it being the horn and not you or your set up, then I'd recommend a Yamaha Custom (YAS-875). I'm talking about one of the older Yamaha Customs, not one of the newer ones.

Another good horn you could use is a Selmer Super Action 80 Series II, but with plastic resonators. They come w/metal tone boosters and metal resonators which would brighten the sound up a bit. You'd have to get it repadded w/plastic to darken it up. They already play pretty dark as it is, but you can get that extra darkness.

Anyhow, I personally would just practice more. It'd save you money. Not to mention it'd make you a better player all in all.
 

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The Yamaha 23 is too bright for my taste. The metal is much thinner than most saxophones I've seen. The Selmer reference 54 does has a darker sound, and a nice one at that, but it also carries a hefty pricetag. For the budget savvy, I would sugget that you look into the P. Mauriat saxophones. If you are on a super tight budget look at the PMSA 202 which is their standard saxophone. It has a dark sound, is hand made and comes with a high f#, it's truely a great horn at that price. Nest I would suggest that you look into the PMSA 67r, which is the model with the rolled tone holes, it boasts a huge fat sound that is very dark, very reminicent of the selmer balanced action and the conn 10m. If you are looking for something a liitle more centered try the system 76, it still has a huge dark sound, but the tone is a lot more centered and focused. check them out on the web at www.pmauriatmusic.com
look on their site and find out who a dealer is in your area and go and try some horns.
 

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Good responses, so far.

Carbs, you asked me if I knew of any "vintage" saxophones with hi-F# keying. No, at least none that I've owned or played. But I have no use for that feature, even if I own some modern saxophones with that keying (as well as modern sops up to hi-G). Personal taste, I know.

I know many love their PM's and Cannonballs, etc. Still, when all is said and done, they are still Taiwanese-made, as good as they may be. For the price of a great Buescher or Conn, you could probably have two for the price of a new PM or CB. Oh, I've come close on popping for a new CB Raven-Stone soprano (or whatever they're called) - it WAS very nice, but it was no Yanagisawa or Serie III, so I passed.

Try reducing your reed-strength. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not sold yet. Its yours at $300.

I just didn't like the reliabilty.

Thanks for all the responses. I will take a look at the reed strength thing for now. I just think my 23 is too bright.
 

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You want dark? Find a well regulated Buescher TT and play it with the original mouthpiece until it doesn't feel like there is a sock stuck in the neck.
 

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I dont see why you have to question him if he wants the f# key. If he wants it, then that is his decision. Anyways, the first thing I would do is change the mouthpiece as baritone suggested. I used to do the same thing to darken my sound. I played on a serie III with a c* yet I somehow had a dark sound. How did I do this? I played on real hard reeds which gave me the sound I wanted but at the expense of playing ease. Find a mouthpiece that gives a dark sound with the proper strength reed.
 

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I can appreciate your dilemna Carbs.I agee with Grumps especially with a Yas-23.I am testing one for a friend and holy smokes it sure is bright and loud,great funk horn and powerful.It will be hard darkening the sound of that baby.I am used to a Buescher which projects a sweeter tone.The 23 sure can cut and has tremendous clarity which to me are its assets.
 

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I think the S80 with a 3 or 3 1/2 blue box vandoren reed should get you a pretty dark sound. You must open your throat (by blowing warmer air) and try to get your tongue down like saying ahh or hohhh.
 

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You guys are making this much too difficult; just turn off the lights when you play :]
 

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blindside398 said:
You guys are making this much too difficult; just turn off the lights when you play :]

I just wear sunglasses when I want to play darker......;) Kenny G taught me that trick...
 

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Demolisher_2000 said:
I dont see why you have to question him if he wants the f# key. If he wants it, then that is his decision. Anyways, the first thing I would do is change the mouthpiece as baritone suggested. I used to do the same thing to darken my sound. I played on a serie III with a c* yet I somehow had a dark sound. How did I do this? I played on real hard reeds which gave me the sound I wanted but at the expense of playing ease. Find a mouthpiece that gives a dark sound with the proper strength reed.
You have a point about the high F# key coming down to personal preference for Carbs, but I honestly don't know why anybody would ever insist on having one. You don't need a high F# key to play a high F#.
 
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