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I hear people talking about how this or that horn is "free blowing", or "more free blowing than xxxx".

But it seems to me that all the resistance is in the reed and mpc setup. After all, if you simply blow into the body tube all horns are the same;there is virtually no resistance.

So what is all this about? Is it just another aspect of 'the things we all know' which have little or no basis in fact?
 

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Each time I put my same mouthpiece + reed on a Selmer, I realize that my Martin is free blowing.
 

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I have often wondered the same thing, and for the same reason. There is no restriction if you blow through a saxophone body without the mouthpiece, so the "restriction" must be in the mouthpiece. But there could be a difference in how well notes come out within a certain range of each horn, whereas you may have to blow harder to get out a low Bb on one horn than another. I am glad you presented this question, because I am a trained scientist, and I see nothing to backup "free-blowing" vs "restriction" when it comes to different horns.
 

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Too many variable. Maybe embouchure is changing to suit playing characteristics of each horn, which could lead to more or less pressure on the reed which can close off the tip opening more. IDK.
 

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IN the past week I picked up a couple of old saxes. They seem well set up. I gave both thorough "play-tests". There is a difference between the two and also a difference between my them and my "regular" instrument. All were tested on the same MPC/reed combination. I can't tell you the science but I can tell you that there is no doubt that one sax can be more "free blowing" than the next.
 

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I definitely felt a HUGE difference between my old Mark VII and my old Sax.com tenors. The Sax.com tenor was probably the most "free-blowing" horn Ive played on. I wouldnt know how else to describe it except for the Sax.com tenor was very accepting of the volume of air that I exherted compared to the VII. I think that would be a better way to explain "free-blowing". How much air a horn can take. Youd definitely have to play more horns to feel the difference between them.
 

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Most of the resistance or lack there of comes from the neck. The bore of Super 20 necks and Keilwerth necks tend to be larger than say Selmers. The tip opening of the neck is also very important. I've measured the openings on my Conn 10m and Selmers and have found that smaller tip openings equal more blowing resistance. My VI (123K) is as free blowing as any horn I've played, but it's not the horn. It's in the neck. Try swapping out necks and you'll see what I'm talking about. Randy Jones is a great resource for optimal neck openings. Necks can be opened but I wouldn't try it unless you knew what you were doing.
 

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I would think that there would be a difference between a 'small bore' horn and a 'large bore horn' in terms of feel and percieved resistance. I also have to wonder if the neck might play a role in the feel of "free blowing" or not.

Ultimately I think it may come down to personal preference, as I have played on horns that my buddy thought was free blowing and I percieved to be stuffy and resistance... I have had the experience in the reverse as well.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I hear people talking about how this or that horn is "free blowing", or "more free blowing than xxxx".

But it seems to me that all the resistance is in the reed and mpc setup. After all, if you simply blow into the body tube all horns are the same;there is virtually no resistance.

Correct , there is no more or less resistance to your breath.

But it can feel like there is "more resistance" if you need more breath to make the notes speak. It could be as simple as that.
 

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Each time I put my same mouthpiece + reed on a Selmer, I realize that my Martin is free blowing.
Each time I put my same mouthpiece + reed on my Selmer Ref 54, I realize that my Paul Mauriat 66RUL is free blowing. Actually, the resistance of the Selmer is in the neck, not the whole body.
 

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I've got 6 sopranos here and they are all different in terms of how much air they will take or how much air they demand.
I play maybe 8 or 9 mouthpieces a day on all of them, so I have no doubt about it.

My old King soprano was the free-est of the free blowers.
The Buffet and the Yamaha 62R I had were the least free-blowing.
 

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A free blowing horn is something your uncle digs out of the closet and gives it to you.
 

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...whatever setup gives you a thick core to the sound where the notes speak as you need them to will "feel" free blowing
 

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....so nobodies chiming in about SML's ,Conns, Buescher, Big B's, New Kings, Martin Indianas??????!!!!
 

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Most of the resistance or lack there of comes from the neck.
Indeed, even with a single make! As I've noted elsewhere, in a neck mix-and-match amongst a number of Mark VI altos ranging from 5-digits to the end of the run, "my take is very nearly that the neck just plain makes or breaks the horn. A nice, free-blowing later horn, and a resistant early one, almost entirely swapped personalities when the necks were swapped."
 

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When I tried a Yamaha 82Z tenor over my Yanagisawa 992 bronze I was blown away by the fee blowing non resistance of the 82Z and this was with the same mouthpiece and reed
Hence I sold the Yani and bought a 82Z. I have both alto and tenor 82z also a conn 26m alto and conn 30m tenor and these are more free blowing i think than other vintage horns Ive had.
 
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