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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Martin Indiana alto with a non-original neck. The neck has been repaired; looks like a neck tenon soldered to a neck. If you feel inside the bore is not smooth, there is a line. It's a bit unusual. The shape may be slightly off in that area. But the body of the sax has been fully adjusted and the keywork is fine, and it actually feels pretty playable. Instead of just trashing the whole thing I tried to play it, ignoring the obviously sharp C#3 which can be modified, and although it didnt feel perfect I can't say the intonation felt terribly bad. I could play a chromatic scale without too much difficulty (except for C#3) - so, I'm leaving it there to do the mod. I'm a little dissapointed about the neck, and am wondering a little bit how this will turn out. Any experiences with injured necks creating problems with intonation and response?

On the positive side I was getting nice pretty sound of the sax at the shop. I'm basically crossing my fingers and hoping it works (played ok but only tested it for a few mins) but the neck situation seems less than ideal. I guess some people say those dings and dents can improve the sound, though - but with the neck, I think it can be problematic... seems that way
 

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coolsax2k7 said:
...looks like a neck tenon soldered to a neck. If you feel inside the bore is not smooth, there is a line. ...
I don't know for Martins in particular, but it is pretty standard for the tenon to be a separate unit, soldered to the neck. This is probably the main purpose of that reinforcing ring; it acts a connection unit for the soldering.

But yes, distorted or incorrect necks can affect intonation.
 

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I'm not sure I understand what you mean about a tenon soldered to the neck. Has part of the neck been replaced? Is it longer than a normal neck? The small line inside is insignificant in and of itself. Being slightly out of round is also probably no big deal, but is this the tenon? That could cause a bad seal at the joint.

Necks are not necessarily interchangeable as such. A neck with a curve that is different from the original can change intonation, voice and response, for better or worse.

A sharp C#3 is a bit problematic if C#2 is not also sharp. Problems with octaves could definitely be caused by an incorrect neck. You can use a shim to reduce the diameter of the tone hole, but you will have to split the difference so that the C#2 is not too flat.

Toby
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well I'm a big confused about the sharp c#3 because that problem is documented here on the forum and people have fixed it on their Martin stencils (with this same mod.)

But as far as non-original neck goes, that's what I was told too, it can affect the intonation and response. I don't know the story with it exactly, but I understand it has been repaired. It looks like a normal Martin neck but it has some solder on the sides from repair, and doesn't feel totally smooth/round on the inside where I can feel with my finger.

I played it and to be honest I did not find the intonation to be too unmanageable, except for the C#3. Maybe it will be ok, but I want to try some other necks as well. Maybe I can get fixer upper Indiana altos from around the same vintage off e-bay for a neck or two? (Or go back to the music store I got this alto from? They had some Indiana altos lying around, but a few styles)

Wow, if I would have known fixing this alto was going to be so much effort... I would have bought something else. It definitely has a nice sound, though - 2 people now have said I sound like Desmond playing it. :D


kymarto said:
I'm not sure I understand what you mean about a tenon soldered to the neck. Has part of the neck been replaced? Is it longer than a normal neck? The small line inside is insignificant in and of itself. Being slightly out of round is also probably no big deal, but is this the tenon? That could cause a bad seal at the joint.

Necks are not necessarily interchangeable as such. A neck with a curve that is different from the original can change intonation, voice and response, for better or worse.

A sharp C#3 is a bit problematic if C#2 is not also sharp. Problems with octaves could definitely be caused by an incorrect neck. You can use a shim to reduce the diameter of the tone hole, but you will have to split the difference so that the C#2 is not too flat.

Toby
 
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