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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys.

I am an alto and tenor player and recently purchased a curved soprano saxophone. A vintage by doctor sax. I live in Singapore so the horn is shipped to me. A great thanks to doctor sax for spending a large amount of time and a very good effort in packing up the horn for shipment. In the case itself has got bubble wraps around it, securing it and its not able to move. the case itself is encased in a box filled with styrofoam material. and the box was again encased in a bigger box.

No physical dents, dings nothing. But when i played it, i noticed that the lower "D":space0: and "C":line0: and any notes lower has a very irritating trembling sound when i played in it. But when i position my mouth cavity as a different one, it seem to have eliminate the :space0: tremble but not the :line0:

When i tried the notes that required the left palm keys, notes above :line6: , it gives a very stuffed sound.. the sound reminded me of when my alto or tenor octave key is not closing properly or some cups in the upper stacked is leaking.

I am using a Morgan 0.60 vintage HR with Vandorean Java #3 reed and a Rovner Evo-5 ligature. I am not sure if the morgan mouthpiece of 0.60 is too large for me. Or should I get a yamaha custom 4C to try out? Perhaps its my morgan that is causing this problem? Having experience almost the same problem as my alto, i wonder if it is a leak or just me? or just i cant use the 0.06 morgan yet?

Anyone pls help ?

Vincent.

PS: I experienced a miracle! (this story form a basis to my soprano problem) Before today, i havent been getting a nice tone from my alto(a vintage horn). Whenever i play notes from :line2:, and below this note, my tone on my alto will tremble. very much like a VERy very chopped up vibrato which is irritating rather than nice. But all of a sudden, after playing e soprano when it arrived, i switched back to my alto and the tone trembling on my alto is gone? I used a kesseler custom short shank and a vandorean java 3 reed. I tried all my other alto mouthpiece and it is indeed goone! ? But still it doesnt solve my sop sax. anyone pls help me?
 

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Is this the first time you have ever played soprano? If it is this could be part of the problem and once you get some time in on the horn it will correct the problem. Also try to push your mouthpiece on farther this should eliminate the warbling sound. Also what brand of sax is this? some of the older vintage sopranos will warble unless you have a large chamber mouthpiece.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
sopranosaxman said:
Is this the first time you have ever played soprano? If it is this could be part of the problem and once you get some time in on the horn it will correct the problem. Also try to push your mouthpiece on farther this should eliminate the warbling sound. Also what brand of sax is this? some of the older vintage sopranos will warble unless you have a large chamber mouthpiece.
http://www.doctorsax.biz/beaufort_sop_1046.htm

Its my first time playing the soprano. But i notice that on "D", the tremble goes away as long as i maintain a certain jaw cavity..

I am using a morgan vintage mouthpiece. have a rather open chamber. I wonder if a closer gap of 0.50 or 0.40 will help in my tone production? Or should I get a yamaha custom 4c?
 

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The Morgan is a far better mouthpiece than a 4c so dont change the mouthpiece. I think most of it is probably since your new to soprano and that's why you're experincing these problems, but since this horn was shipped so far i would recommend taking it to your tech just to have a checkup and make sure there arent any leaks and also have the tech play the horn and see if it warbles for him. And try to push the mouthpiece a little further on first that could solve all your problem before taking it to a tech and everything. How far do you have the mouthpiece on the cork?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
sopranosaxman said:
The Morgan is a far better mouthpiece than a 4c so dont change the mouthpiece. I think most of it is probably since your new to soprano and that's why you're experincing these problems, but since this horn was shipped so far i would recommend taking it to your tech just to have a checkup and make sure there arent any leaks and also have the tech play the horn and see if it warbles for him. And try to push the mouthpiece a little further on first that could solve all your problem before taking it to a tech and everything. How far do you have the mouthpiece on the cork?

About half. If i push it inwards more, i'll get a sharp horn. :D Think this horn must pay a visit to the doctor. oh well.. =)
 

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that would be your best bet then, and if your tech cant find anything i would really suggest more time on the horn it takes a couple weeks to really get used to playing soprano its not the same as other saxes
 

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Discussion Starter #7
sopranosaxman said:
that would be your best bet then, and if your tech cant find anything i would really suggest more time on the horn it takes a couple weeks to really get used to playing soprano its not the same as other saxes
Did you face the same problem?? or what are the problems you faced when u started on the sop?
 

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Yes i faced the same problem when i first started playing soprano i think it was a the low c and d as well. What resolved my problem was a spending time on the horn i also think it was moving up a half strength in reed size. Also after a month or so i moved up to a nicer mouthpiece than the stock one and that was a huge difference it made playing a lot easier and i got the soprano tone i was after the whole time. I know morgans are great mouthpieces but i know there are some better pieces out there but that morgan vintage is the best in the price range. What type of sound are you after i could make some better mouthpiece suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
sopranosaxman said:
Yes i faced the same problem when i first started playing soprano i think it was a the low c and d as well. What resolved my problem was a spending time on the horn i also think it was moving up a half strength in reed size. Also after a month or so i moved up to a nicer mouthpiece than the stock one and that was a huge difference it made playing a lot easier and i got the soprano tone i was after the whole time. I know morgans are great mouthpieces but i know there are some better pieces out there but that morgan vintage is the best in the price range. What type of sound are you after i could make some better mouthpiece suggestions.
Hi.

Oh yah.. I am trying to achieve the tone that Pieter Meijers did on his soprano saxophone when doing a gig with the climax jazz band in japan.

Found the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UT7enh5mUU&mode=related&search= there is 1 other clip with him on the soprano.
 

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Conn?

Is it a Conn? These instruments are notorious for having a "gurgle" on those lower pitches, D and C... My friend plays a curved Conn and was able to control the gurgling by simply dropping a wine cork in the bell... worth a try:)
 

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anOde: I know Pieter - he is a terrific soprano/clarinet player (great on alto and bass sax, too) - I've played with him many times.

If at all possible, have someone else who can play soprano with ease try your horn.

I suspect 1) beginner's embouchure issues, and 2) leaks. If you are an experienced saxophone player, it is most likely a leak (or leaks) somewhere on the horn. I have had a new soprano shipped to me that, even when well packed, suffered damage in shipping. I found the problem, bent the key-pad back over the tone hole and the horn played great (a Yanagsiawa SC901).

Vintage or modern, I think a saxophone should play top to bottom without problems . . . all of mine do. When I've experienced burbling, it was a fixed leak, not a wine cork or neck stopper in the bell that cured it. DAVE
 

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I played anOde's horn prior to it being shipped, albeit a few months ago, and don't recall any problems. It was a really tremendous instrument, that I lusted after for some time, but never had the funds!

There is still the possibility that no matter how well packed, the adjustment of the horn got a little screwy in shipment. She's got all new pads, if I recall (the cool black ones, right?), so they may just need some breaking in too. If you bring the horn to a tech and something is up with it, drop a message to Doctor Sax, and I'm sure he'll be able to help or offer you a credit or something. (not sure what shipping would be to you, but he's got the lowest reed and mouthpiece prices I've seen around!)

BUT...most likely, it's just that you aren't used to soprano. Many players list the soprano as being the hardest sax to learn to play! I've always loved playing them, though!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dave Dolson said:
anOde: I know Pieter - he is a terrific soprano/clarinet player (great on alto and bass sax, too) - I've played with him many times.

If at all possible, have someone else who can play soprano with ease try your horn.

I suspect 1) beginner's embouchure issues, and 2) leaks. If you are an experienced saxophone player, it is most likely a leak (or leaks) somewhere on the horn. I have had a new soprano shipped to me that, even when well packed, suffered damage in shipping. I found the problem, bent the key-pad back over the tone hole and the horn played great (a Yanagsiawa SC901).

Vintage or modern, I think a saxophone should play top to bottom without problems . . . all of mine do. When I've experienced burbling, it was a fixed leak, not a wine cork or neck stopper in the bell that cured it. DAVE

Ah! I'm surprised. Are u able to have his recordings? haha! :D I adore his tone. And even when my girlfriend listen to him play, she was impressed. She is a clarinetist and a pianist. especially the solo he did on Dans les rues d'Antibes in japan. He's tone sings and reach out to me though. Beautifully done.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
rs1sensen said:
I played anOde's horn prior to it being shipped, albeit a few months ago, and don't recall any problems. It was a really tremendous instrument, that I lusted after for some time, but never had the funds!

There is still the possibility that no matter how well packed, the adjustment of the horn got a little screwy in shipment. She's got all new pads, if I recall (the cool black ones, right?), so they may just need some breaking in too. If you bring the horn to a tech and something is up with it, drop a message to Doctor Sax, and I'm sure he'll be able to help or offer you a credit or something. (not sure what shipping would be to you, but he's got the lowest reed and mouthpiece prices I've seen around!)

BUT...most likely, it's just that you aren't used to soprano. Many players list the soprano as being the hardest sax to learn to play! I've always loved playing them, though!

Well, I think its hard to adapt. I am an alto player for about 8 years now. Switching to sop might need some major adaptations. =) I dont think doctor sax has got no mouthpiece available right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
rascherian said:
Is it a Conn? These instruments are notorious for having a "gurgle" on those lower pitches, D and C... My friend plays a curved Conn and was able to control the gurgling by simply dropping a wine cork in the bell... worth a try:)
Hm... Thanks I'll give it a try. Its not really a conn. Its a stencil. :D
 

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anOde: I don't have any of Pieter's recordings but I see him whenever our respective bands are playing at jazz festivals. He used to sit in with my band frequently in the 1980's and '90's. He usually played alto when he sat in with us (the Jazzin' Babies).

He sometimes substitutes in Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band out of Seattle, too - doing clarinet, soprano and bass saxes with their other reed guys. He plays Albert System clarinet, by the way. His soprano is a curved European model, the name of which I've forgotten.

Yes, his tone IS wonderful to say nothing of his technique (very trad style but fluid and accurate). The last time I saw him play was with the High Sierra Jazz Band (his regular band these days) and he did an obscure Sidney Bechet tune called "AS-TU LE CAFARD?". Knocked me out - I got a lead sheet for it and now play it regularly.

Have your horn checked. DAVE
 

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Doctor Sax has a good handful of alto and tenor pieces in stock (vintage). He does sell new Vandoren mouthpieces, however.

I order via email, and then add a couple bucks for shipping.
http://doctorsax.biz/reed_pricing.htm

and for the record...I get absolutely nothing by recommending the guy. He's a relatively new shop, and I've been impressed with the customer service I've received whenever I've been there. I just like to support the "little guy."
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dave Dolson said:
anOde: I don't have any of Pieter's recordings but I see him whenever our respective bands are playing at jazz festivals. He used to sit in with my band frequently in the 1980's and '90's. He usually played alto when he sat in with us (the Jazzin' Babies).

He sometimes substitutes in Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band out of Seattle, too - doing clarinet, soprano and bass saxes with their other reed guys. He plays Albert System clarinet, by the way. His soprano is a curved European model, the name of which I've forgotten.

Yes, his tone IS wonderful to say nothing of his technique (very trad style but fluid and accurate). The last time I saw him play was with the High Sierra Jazz Band (his regular band these days) and he did an obscure Sidney Bechet tune called "AS-TU LE CAFARD?". Knocked me out - I got a lead sheet for it and now play it regularly.

Have your horn checked. DAVE
cool! wish i knew someone in my country who plays that well. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
rs1sensen said:
Doctor Sax has a good handful of alto and tenor pieces in stock (vintage). He does sell new Vandoren mouthpieces, however.

I order via email, and then add a couple bucks for shipping.
http://doctorsax.biz/reed_pricing.htm

and for the record...I get absolutely nothing by recommending the guy. He's a relatively new shop, and I've been impressed with the customer service I've received whenever I've been there. I just like to support the "little guy."
Woah. his prices are attractive. Doctor Sax is a very nice guy and he provides great customer service! Agree totally.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Problem solveD!

Okay I have just gotten it back from the tech. He readjusted the pads and level the tone hole. It appears that no matter how well packed the horn is, the pads still ran out of adjustments. Probably because the pads were stuck to the cups using glue and got out of alignment during flight as the cargo is naturally high in temperature. And a wood in bell to totally eliminate the "gurgle" on the lower notes.

I was quite disappointed when I learn that the horn's pads were fixed on the cups using glue. But it was no fault of anyone as I did not confirm about this before making a purchase. But all else is cool. :D I know! Blame it on GAS. :D

Cheers~
 
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