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In case you're asking because you've never owned a C Melody and are shopping for one: the only C Melody saxophone that I have owned that played very well and (for the most part) on pitch was a Conn in "alto style" with tuner mouthpipe. The tuner things are often described as being useless, but they're actually pretty nice for slight, mid-song, single-hand adjustments. But that's not the reason. It was simply head-and-shoulders better than the "tenor style" curved neck models that both Conn and Buescher made a slew of. I had one other similar Conn without the tuner and it played almost as well. I've only owned five other C Melodies, all Conn or Buescher, but that's my experience.

Have to add that I bought all of them between 2000 and 2003 for very little money, like $150 to $250 apiece, just because they were in very good to excellent shape. For playing, I found a horn pitched in 'C' was a disadvantage more than advantageous. Tone on all of them was "thin," just like a C trumpet compared to a Bb.
 

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I assume you are asking about Buescher C-Melodies because of where you placed this question.

Most Bueschers during that period evolved - slightly. I don't know about the C-Melodies, though. All of the Bueschers were known as TrueTone models. In the altos and sopranos, there were changes I know about from having owned them . . . for instance they went from a button-G# touch to a flatter G# touch and on the soprano, the octave mechanism was changed. I don't know if that was an improvement, just a change in design.

My Buescher TT C-Mel has the older-style keywork, not that it matters much. I've always been curious about how the Buescher C-Mel compares to other brands like Conn. I know about the neck shapes being different, but I haven't been curious enough to actually seek out those horns for testing or purchase. DAVE
 

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The Conns got the alto type neck around 1921ish. All brands of C Melodies evolved the same as the altos and tenors. Martins got the front F around 1928, Bueschers around 200,000, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In case you're asking because you've never owned a C Melody and are shopping for one: the only C Melody saxophone that I have owned that played very well and (for the most part) on pitch was a Conn in "alto style" with tuner mouthpipe. The tuner things are often described as being useless, but they're actually pretty nice for slight, mid-song, single-hand adjustments. But that's not the reason. It was simply head-and-shoulders better than the "tenor style" curved neck models that both Conn and Buescher made a slew of. I had one other similar Conn without the tuner and it played almost as well. I've only owned five other C Melodies, all Conn or Buescher, but that's my experience.

Have to add that I bought all of them between 2000 and 2003 for very little money, like $150 to $250 apiece, just because they were in very good to excellent shape. For playing, I found a horn pitched in 'C' was a disadvantage more than advantageous. Tone on all of them was "thin," just like a C trumpet compared to a Bb.

Why is the alto style neck on the Conn better than the tenor style on the Buescher ? Ergonomics ?

Does the Conn play better in tune than a Buescher ?

I have read that the Buescher has more tenorisch sound than the conn ...
 

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It is simply un-informed to make blanket statements about one brand compared to another. Each horn stands on its own. The alto-style neck may be better if that's what one person likes, but the next person may prefer the tenor-style neck. It is subjective.

Intonation? Again, if someone makes a certain claim about certain brands, hope that they have compared hundreds of similar models before making such a statement. If not - opinion only. DAVE
 

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I have read that the Buescher has more tenorisch sound than the conn ...
I don't know about that, but I do know that a TENOR will have a more 'tenorisch' sound than a C Melody. Why on earth would you want a C Melody instead of a tenor?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know about that, but I do know that a TENOR will have a more 'tenorisch' sound than a C Melody. Why on earth would you want a C Melody instead of a tenor?!

Because of the smaller bore , it plays more quietly...correct ?
 

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If it were bore-size alone, I'd wonder why altos and sopranos are seemingly louder? I've heard some pretty strong C-Melodies, but others that were not as robust as Bb tenors. Again, beware of blanket statements and general assumptions. DAVE
 

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If it were bore-size alone, I'd wonder why altos and sopranos are seemingly louder? I've heard some pretty strong C-Melodies, but others that were not as robust as Bb tenors. Again, beware of blanket statements and general assumptions. DAVE
The bore taper of a soprano or an alto is more than the taper of a tenor.
Typical bore tapers (the figure is the ratio length variation/diameter variation, so a lesser figure is a bigger taper):
Soprano: 16.7 Alto: 18.1 Tenor: 18.9 Baritone: 25.7.

The oldest tenors of Adolphe Sax had a taper of ~20.5 but around 1866 he changed his design (and the design of the alto as well: the oldest altos had a taper of ~17). For a reference, see Marten Postma's website, which has detailed measurements.

Some claim that Adolphe Sax's "tenor en ut" (C tenor) and the C-melody are different instruments but I've not seen an argument to substantiate their claim. A possibility would be that Sax's orchestral family (C soprano, F alto, C tenor,...) kept the archaic proportions. It would make sense because the "military" Bb tenor needed more projection than the orchestral C tenor.
 

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It is simply un-informed to make blanket statements about one brand compared to another. Each horn stands on its own. The alto-style neck may be better if that's what one person likes, but the next person may prefer the tenor-style neck. It is subjective.

Intonation? Again, if someone makes a certain claim about certain brands, hope that they have compared hundreds of similar models before making such a statement. If not - opinion only. DAVE

Newsflash: SOTW Shuts Down For All Players Sharing Experiences With Less Than Hundreds of Saxophones.
 

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Why is the alto style neck on the Conn better than the tenor style on the Buescher ? Ergonomics ?

Does the Conn play better in tune than a Buescher ?

I have read that the Buescher has more tenorisch sound than the conn ...

I don’t know if it was just the neck shape that made the difference, because the entire horns were totally different. I simply offered that the sax models with the “alto” style mouthpipes played on pitch, while those models with curved ones suffered.

Some reader finds me opinionated, and thinks that I’m slamming Bueschers while praising Conns. I don’t know why that is. Both the Conns and Bueschers with curved pieces had less than desirable intonation. (Is intonation really a subjective factor?)
 

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extra . . .: NEWSFLASH . . . It is one thing to offer an experience with one (or many) saxophones; it is another thing to make blanket statements about all saxophones based on a limited playing experience. I don't know if you've done that - or not. But you chose to make light of my post. Do you really think that based on a limited playing experience that is a good practice to pass along your experiences as FACT? Haven't you played similar models and found differences?

There have been plenty of experiences/opinions offered - and most honest posters make sure that readers KNOW it is merely opinion. Others go off on one brand or model as if ALL of those saxophones are the same. It just isn't true and some of us know that.

By the way, my comments in this thread were not directed to you, extradarcafe. If you thought I was attacking you, you are mistaken. They were a general comment about some of the myths and other things I've read over the years here on SOTW. DAVE
 

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The bore taper of a soprano or an alto is more than the taper of a tenor.
Typical bore tapers (the figure is the ratio length variation/diameter variation, so a lesser figure is a bigger taper):
Soprano: 16.7 Alto: 18.1 Tenor: 18.9 Baritone: 25.7.

The oldest tenors of Adolphe Sax had a taper of ~20.5 but around 1866 he changed his design (and the design of the alto as well: the oldest altos had a taper of ~17). For a reference, see Marten Postma's website, which has detailed measurements.

Some claim that Adolphe Sax's "tenor en ut" (C tenor) and the C-melody are different instruments but I've not seen an argument to substantiate their claim. A possibility would be that Sax's orchestral family (C soprano, F alto, C tenor,...) kept the archaic proportions. It would make sense because the "military" Bb tenor needed more projection than the orchestral C tenor.
So what is the ratio of the C melody? And can you explain the sound difference to the ratios ? Is it lineal from sop to bari?
 

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I do know that on the very early Buescher C melodies, such as mine which was made around 1916, there were intonation issues related to the octave pip location on the neck. This was corrected at some point, but I don't remember if the correction was prior to or after 1920.
 

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extra . . .: NEWSFLASH . . . It is one thing to offer an experience with one (or many) saxophones; it is another thing to make blanket statements about all saxophones based on a limited playing experience. I don't know if you've done that - or not. But you chose to make light of my post. Do you really think that based on a limited playing experience that is a good practice to pass along your experiences as FACT? Haven't you played similar models and found differences?

There have been plenty of experiences/opinions offered - and most honest posters make sure that readers KNOW it is merely opinion. Others go off on one brand or model as if ALL of those saxophones are the same. It just isn't true and some of us know that.

By the way, my comments in this thread were not directed to you, extradarcafe. If you thought I was attacking you, you are mistaken. They were a general comment about some of the myths and other things I've read over the years here on SOTW. DAVE

Oh, please. Your “in-informed” comment was clearly directed my way, given the body of that post. And I’ve read over my own earliest post here and still find no “blanket” statements. Be that as it may; I’m not especially thin-skinned. And it stimulated me to search for comparisons of C Melodies made by other members. It does seem that many pitched battles have been fought in the past.
 
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