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Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
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Hmm.. is this logical?
Inductively, yes, though you may not find it to be cogent. As for your point in regard to other C instruments, they predated the saxophone by some time. They also weren't actively marketed to the public by telling them how easy it would be to play along with the hymn book in grandma's parlor, after other voices in Bb and Eb had already become fairly mainstream.
 

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Fascinating history! But I think this is the part that intrigues me most— what about it makes you feel this way? Something about the sound, all fads and fallibility of historically popular tastes aside, doesn’t make it as worthy of recording to you, despite your liking to play it. Seems like something inherent in making a C saxophone doesn’t make as good a tone?
There have already been many videos posted that disprove the "bad tone" claim, so there's no point in me posting another. It's certainly worthy of recording and gigging on. But opportunities would have to present themselves for that to happen. I get calls all the time to play tenor, alto, soprano and bari. I never have and probably never will get a call to play C melody. I could probably shoe-horn it in to one of the bands I play in, but I'm not going to do that. It would be way too much effort.

Whatever my reasons, they probably don't apply to anybody else. But the main one is my piano player friend has asked me over to his house at least once every couple of weeks for over a decade. He opens up his real book and we play together for a couple of hours. I've brought my soprano, alto and tenor over the years. It's always a brain buster because I haven't ever memorized a lot of tunes, and I never really learned to transpose on sight very quickly. When I came across a C melody in good cosmetic and playing condition for $150, I couldn't pass it up. It was perfect for the "parlor" playing I'd already been doing for years. It was also beautiful to look at and looked great in my lineup of 5 saxes at the time.

When I first played it, it sounded and played just fine, nothing bad about it. If I put a tenor mouthpiece on it, I can make it sound like a tenor, or like an alto with an alto mouthpiece, or like a C melody with a C melody mouthpiece. For me its a perfect fit for that weekly visit to my friend's house, just as tenor is perfect for my big band, sax quartet and jazz combo, and just as bass is perfect for my trad jazz combo. 90% of my sax playing life has been on tenor, and still is. Personally, tenor is my voice and the horn I play best. And most of the players I listen to are tenor players. But that doesn't diminish my enjoyment of playing all the others, including C melody.

Speaking of bass sax, that's another virtually extinct sax, yet I'm drawn to it for its novelty and unique sound. I have recorded it, and will likely have many gigs with it. So, oddly enough, it's more practical than my C melody even though it's just as rarely used today.
 

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I have no dog in this fight, but consider that C melody mouthpiece development basically stopped about 1925 or so. If we were to judge the tone of tenor and alto saxophones based on playing them with 1925-vintage mouthpieces we might say a lot of the same things I hear about the C melody. Just consider a world with no Otto Link, no Meyer, no Brilhart, no Selmer Soloist.

I suspect that if you refit a C melody with modern pads with boosters and play it with a mouthpiece of modern design, it'll get closer to the general tone family of modern tenors and altos, or at least Conn New Wonder altos and tenors played with modern setups.
 

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I have no dog in this fight, but consider that C melody mouthpiece development basically stopped about 1925 or so. If we were to judge the tone of tenor and alto saxophones based on playing them with 1925-vintage mouthpieces we might say a lot of the same things I hear about the C melody. Just consider a world with no Otto Link, no Meyer, no Brilhart, no Selmer Soloist.

I suspect that if you refit a C melody with modern pads with boosters and play it with a mouthpiece of modern design, it'll get closer to the general tone family of modern tenors and altos, or at least Conn New Wonder altos and tenors played with modern setups.
Hmm sounds just like a “regular sax” to me!

 

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I suspect that if you refit a C melody with modern pads with boosters and play it with a mouthpiece of modern design, it'll get closer to the general tone family of modern tenors and altos, or at least Conn New Wonder altos and tenors played with modern setups.
This is true. I have 4 of them--Conn, Buescher, King and Martin. When Set up with new pads with flat metal resos and open key heights they can sound surprisingly good on the right mouthpiece. They are an odd duck ergonomically though, especially the curved neck ones. They just feel awkward to hold with that weird neck angle. Intonation is...challenging but not really worse than other horns of the same era.

It's not worth paying someone to do the work, but if you can do the work yourself for $60-$70 worth of pads and materials I'd say, "Go for it."
 

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I have a nice Buescher TrueTone C-Melody from 1925, but I rarely play it. I find the thing darned uncomfortable to the point that it is painful after a half hour or so of playing. The curved neck puts the horn at a weird angle and that makes my access to the left pinky table difficult to say nothing about my left thumb on the back thumb-button. I have never played a Conn C-Mel and mildly wonder if the straight neck would solve the weird positioning.

I do not have a C-Melody mouthpiece for it, so I used a Bb tenor mouthpiece. I should probably pop for a Morgan C-Mel mouthpiece but I'm not inclined to put any more money into the horn.

As far the sound of a C-Mel, I've always admired Frank "Tram" Trumbauer's style and playing with Bix. Several years ago, the band I led made an LP recording (yes - vinyl) featuring Rosy McHargue, a well-known reed-man from the great trad-jazz revival of the 1950's on C-Mel. Rosy often sat in with our band at various gigs - what a marvelous player he was - he was 89 when he did that recording with us. He played a Buescher like mine and sounded good - much like Tram. I recall that Rosy used a Steel-lay C mouthpiece. DAVE
 
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