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Which horn sounds better?

  • Clip 1

    Votes: 11 32.4%
  • Clip 2

    Votes: 16 47.1%
  • Neither, I can't tell the difference

    Votes: 5 14.7%
  • Give them both up, and take up the trumpet

    Votes: 2 5.9%
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Discussion Starter #1
Following the success of our first double blind taste test a few weeks ago, here's another. This is a follow up to my Initial Impressions thread. I'm trying to decide whether to complete a trade for a horn I have on trial. All I'll say is that the two horns in the clips are both pro level horns. The recording setups, mouthpiece and reed were the same for both recordings. Please forgive the recording quality; I just borrowed this mic, and didn't have time to play with it for best positioning, etc. Oh, and be patient. The files are big. I encoded them at 320Kbps.

Clip 1

Clip 2

Please let me know which you prefer and I'd appreciate comments why. I'm not looking for comments on my playing ability (which I know can use a lot of work).

Thanks,

Frank
 

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Frank,

It's amazing how similar both horns sound. I slightly favor #2. It sounds like it's easier to play (#1 sounds like you have to fight a bit to get it to sing).
Just my opinion.

Pierre
 

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I have to agree with Pierre. #1 does sound harder to play and may have an intonation issue. IMHO, #2 is your best bet.
 

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My main impression is that the clips sounded similar. Unlike the others, I actually thought you sounded more comfortable and assured on Clip #1.
 

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Frank,
It sounded like #2 was a bit smoother in the low register and had a slightly darker sound. I liked #2.

Mark
 

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I prefer how you sound on clip #1.
Not an enormous difference, for sure.

However, not meant at confusing your ideas, I realized that to better spot the difference between a newly acquired sax and what I have already I need at least one week , sometimes more. Conversely, I can tell quite quickly whether I feel comfortable or not with it. Sound is a more subtle element than intonation, resistance, general feel, etc...
 

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I prefer the character of the horn in the first clip. I'll describe it as being more full and more pleasing to my ears.
 

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DJ TJ said:
I prefer the character of the horn in the first clip. I'll describe it as being more full and more pleasing to my ears.
Yes :)
 

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I could hardly tell any difference which couldn't be depending upon player variability in performance or mike position to the player.

There was a very slight preference for take 2 but that doesn't mean it had anything to do with the horns.

All things being equal, don't trade, soundwise it isn't worth it.

If you prefer the new horn because of any rational (mechanics, commercial value, looks) or irrational reasons (" I always wanted to have a silver/gold/unlaquered horn " or " This was the horn Grandpa/Dad had and got lost somehow ") do it, but do it just to please your intellect and/or appease yourself........ but don't look for rational excuses for an irrational decision (I've been there and done that :) ;) ).
Good Luck.
 

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clip #2 has more resonance according to my ears. I would say from a NON-professional point of view that horn has more potential for a full sound.

You play more exact on clip #1 (intonation is sometimes a bit wobbly in #2). I guess that has something to do with the resistance of the horn. Just out of curiosity : can it be that #2 is more freeblowing?
 

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Too similar to abandon one for the other. I agree that your playing and articulation is more comfortable on #2. I'd keep the horn I have since there doesn't seem to be a large margin of difference.
 

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Clip 2 had it for me, right from the first few bars.

Listening to the music, I would not notice, but listening to the sound, clip 2 sounds fuller. But then, we listen to the music rather than the sound, we listen to enjoy rather than be critical.

So which one makes you smile more when you play it? Which one would fill you with most regret if you were to part company?
 

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I'm posting my reply before looking at the other comments, so as not to be influenced - so let's see how it goes - a test for me, as it were.

On the first, I hear a little more depth to the core sound. It also had little buzzier quality to it. I would say that the second might have been a little bit warmer but drier, which could become more, er, liquid? with more playing time, if that's not your regular horn.

It's too bad you didn't go into the upper registers because I think it's really important to see what kind of consistancy in tone quality there is throughout the horn's range. On the top two tones, it seemed that horn nr. 2's sound changed a little, whereas on horn 1 it stays the same, in comparison. Again, if horn 2 is not your regular horn then you can work with that but nevertheless that's not enough for me to determine the overall consistancy of the horn in lower and upper registers and, like I said, I think that's very important.

Overall impression, I don't hear great enough of a difference to merit changing horns unless there are other factors like milandro said. I don't think that's the answer you want to hear, LOL, so if it'll make you feel any better - you are not going to have a difficult time adjusting to the new horn so at least there's nothing negative about trading (except for the money? I don't know).

I would say if you want, and can afford, to change horns do it but you have to be honest with yourself that you are not doing it for any great gain in tone quality, initially.

Unless...I know this is redundant, but again, after saying there's no great difference, I am still uneasy about how you sound on both in the upper registers. Some horns are smooth, while in others the upper register moves towards an exaggerated brightness.
 

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Personally I thought Clip 2 sounded a little stuffy. I liked the broad bottom end from the Clip 1.

They were quite similar, though.
 

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DJ TJ said:
I prefer the character of the horn in the first clip. I'll describe it as being more full and more pleasing to my ears.

I agree , the 1st clip is fuller an rounder. Very similar though. I pick 1
 

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post thoughts: If sax #2 is not your regular sax, I think you can get the same sound out of it eventually as you are now getting on sax #1. Who knows, sax #2 might have even more potential. However, if sax #2 is your regular sax and you've been playing it for some time, then I think you might consider a switch to sax #1.
 

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#2 does it for me. It sounds more resonant to me and you sounded like you were SINGing the ballad. #1 sounded flat in comparison.

I think if you were thinking about getting #2 I'd say go for it - it sounded more flexible tonally to me.

BUT some higher register playing would be helpful in judging.
 
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