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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone played both the Martin Magna tenor and Martin Commmittee? Did they play different or were they much the same?

I have tried 2 Magnas. One was owned by a friend in the big band I played in. I preferred his Magna over my Committee. It had a bigger sound, and was darker. It also retained the sound in the palm keys better in terms of not getting thinner and brighter. The other Magna is one I recently bought. It also has a bigger sound, is darker, and doesn't get thinner and brighter in the palm keys like my Martin did.

Also the Magna feels more comfortable to play ergonomically. It just feels like a bigger horn and fits my hands better.

Don't get me wrong. The Committee was a good horn. I just liked the Magnas better.

Both Magnas I played were in the 200K serial number range and my Martin Committee was a 158K so maybe that might account for some of the differences.

BTW, I know people have said the Magnas and the Committees are the same horn, same bore etc. I don't need to hear that again. Rather than that I'd like to hear from anyone who has actually played both horns.
 

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I think that the Committee run was so long an various that It would be unfair to put them all under the same umbrella.

For example during the RMC period they made Committees with identical nickel-silver keywork as the Magna (I had one)

There is a previous threads on what you are asking but you may not like the answers

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?15715-Magna-vs-Committee
 

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The question is made difficult by the unknown condition of each horn and what may have been done to it over the last 50-60 years. All things being equal, I would take a Magna because of its value. Otherwise, you just have to pick the one that works better for you. A simple thing like one having tone boosters and another having the original pads will make a huge difference. One could also have thicker pads than the originals which would change the key opening dimensions, making a major difference in how it plays. The list is long, but there is no reason a CIII cannot play exactly like a Magna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think that the Committee run was so long an various that It would be unfair to put them all under the same umbrella.

For example during the RMC period they made Committees with identical nickel-silver keywork as the Magna (I had one)

There is a previous threads on what you are asking but you may not like the answers

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?15715-Magna-vs-Committee
milandro, I have read this post plus all the others in the archive, but this thread was meant to be different. I'm looking for opinions from people who have actually played both horns rather from those going by what what they think. In the archives there seem to be a lot of the latter, and not much of the former.

The question is made difficult by the unknown condition of each horn and what may have been done to it over the last 50-60 years. All things being equal, I would take a Magna because of its value. Otherwise, you just have to pick the one that works better for you. A simple thing like one having tone boosters and another having the original pads will make a huge difference. One could also have thicker pads than the originals which would change the key opening dimensions, making a major difference in how it plays. The list is long, but there is no reason a CIII cannot play exactly like a Magna.
Yes, but have you actually played a Magna?
 

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I've played a lot of Committee III's and a few Magnas for tenor and alto. I don't think I had the opportunity to test any side by side but in my experience the Magna's stood out as the better horns. Its hard to say why but every Magna I've tried had a certain wow factor that was more occasional with the III's.
I talked about Committee III's with Dave Liebman. He played one that he loved and then went looking for one of his own. It took him a few years and a lot of trials to find one he liked as much as that first one he tried.
 

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I was able to test a 1947 The Martin Alto next to a Martin Magna alto. Both were in top playing condition with plastic resos, with the catch being the Magna had an original solid silver neck. The biggest difference was by far the volume...the Magna had a near limitless ceiling in regards to volume. By far the loudest horn I have ever played.

Tone wise they were similar, ergonomics were identical.

- Saxaholic
 

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I've played both and still have them (Magna tenor is 210xxx, Committee tenor is 164xxx). The Magna is my main horn but there's little if any difference between the two of them. I could pick up the Committee and be equally happy. Of course, how they are set up will make a difference (would be interesting to try the Magna silver neck but never have found one).

Also should note that vintage horns can vary significantly from horn to horn; that's why I've always recommended a try out to make sure the horn is right for you before purchasing.

I got the Committee from a sax tech in Florida for whom I had done some favors. He phoned one day, said he'd had a number of Committees go through his shop, but this is the one I should buy; it was a great deal. The Magna I got from another player who needed money to buy an early Selmer Mark VI alto.

Guess I play the Magna because, as the late Steve "Sarge" Stransky wrote at worldwidesax.com, "They do have the advantage of a silver cross to ward off attack by Vampires!"
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was able to test a 1947 The Martin Alto next to a Martin Magna alto. Both were in top playing condition with plastic resos, with the catch being the Magna had an original solid silver neck. The biggest difference was by far the volume...the Magna had a near limitless ceiling in regards to volume. By far the loudest horn I have ever played.

Tone wise they were similar, ergonomics were identical.

- Saxaholic
My tech played my Magna tenor along with the vintage horns in his shop, including a Chu, a Balanced Action, and his Mark VI and reckoned the other horns didn't even compare in terms of volume with the Magna.

I've played both and still have them (Magna is 210xxx, Committee is 164xxx). The Magna is my main horn but there's little if any difference between the two of them. I could pick up the Committee and be equally happy. Of course, how they are set up will make a difference (would be interesting to try the Magna silver neck but never have found one).

Also should note that vintage horns can vary significantly from horn to horn; that's why I've always recommended a try out to make sure the horn is right for you before purchasing.

I got the Committee from a sax tech in Florida for whom I had done some favors. He phoned one day, said he'd had a number of Committees go through his shop, but this is the one I should buy; it was a great deal. The Magna I got from another player who needed money to buy an early Selmer Mark VI alto.

Guess I play the Magna because, as the late Steve "Sarge" Stransky wrote at worldwidesax.com, "They do have the advantage of a silver cross to ward off attack by Vampires!"
The friend who I referred to above bought his Magna at worldwidesax. He originally went there to try a 10M but after playing a bunch of horns in his price range, ended up buying the Magna.
 

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My tech played my Magna tenor along with the vintage horns in his shop, including a Chu, a Balanced Action, and his Mark VI and reckoned the other horns didn't even compare in terms of volume with the Magna.

The friend who I referred to above bought his Magna at worldwidesax. He originally went there to try a 10M but after playing a bunch of horns in his price range, ended up buying the Magna.
Amazingly...somehow...i now own the Martin Magna with the solid silver neck i referenced in my above post. This thread inspired me to reach out to the original owner, and low and behold he was willing to sell to me. Was great to talk to him after all these years.

I got it yesterday. Pads and set up are 20-30 years old at least, and the horn still sings. Still an absolute powerhouse but still rich and warm and complex. Amazing.

I'll be getting it properly restored in the next 2 months or so. Cant wait to see what it plays like then.

- Saxaholic
 
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