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Although the C Melody was, in the UK, known as the C tenor, there are those who are quick to point out that, in reality, it is an extended alto.
This is true; as the bore, including the bell end are of alto proportions, whereas the C soprano is accurately named being a shortened Bb soprano.
With the exciting prospect of a new & "genuine" C tenor....a shortened Bb instrument, is it not time that we now accurately re-name the C Melody "The C alto"?
 

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Not sure I agree
  1. The C melody is closer in pitch to Bb tenor (2 semitones away) than it is to the Eb alto (3 semitones)
  2. If you took an alto sax tube and magnified it proportiionately, it would turn into ........ a C melody and then a Bb tenor and then a baritone and then a bass etc.

The measurements that I did and reported in this other thread: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?152182-New-Design/page5 seemed to show that alto saxes might have a slightly greater cone angle than tenors or c-melodies, but this is based on a very small sample. The Vito C-melody has an angle similar to various tenors and the Conn C-melody looks to have a bit narrower angle.

The measurements of bore diameter indicate that the Conn C melody has narrower bore proportionally than you would expect when compared with a Selmer alto and tenor, falling closer to the alto than the tenor. But that makes it a narrower-bored instrument rather than an extended alto.

Rhys

PS And does it matter ?
 

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I think the one who use an alto piece consider the C melody a C alto, the same thing about the ones which uses a tenor piece consider a C tenor, but the original piece (I use an original one on a 1923 Buescher C Melody), tends to sound more like a tenor than an alto, at least on a Buescher.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think the one who use an alto piece consider the C melody a C alto, the same thing about the ones which uses a tenor piece consider a C tenor, but the original piece (I use an original one on a 1923 Buescher C Melody), tends to sound more like a tenor than an alto, at least on a Buescher.
I do agree with you except to say that, in my experience, an original mouthpiece on my Buescher sounds like a ruptured duck.
 

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I like the Melody part of the name. I wouldn't like to get it mixed with a tenor or an alto.
I like the C-Melody because it is NOT a tenor or an alto, and it still is a saxophone.
What I am trying to say is that the fact that it is unique, that I can get lower notes that sound close to a tenor, and a higher range that is sweet and powerful almost like an alto, is part of the fun.
It is not about being a tenor or alto in C. After all, if that was the goal, we could always transpose.

That being said, it would be interesting to see how a C saxophone modeled more like a tenor would sound...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I like the Melody part of the name. I wouldn't like to get it mixed with a tenor or an alto.
I like the C-Melody because it is NOT a tenor or an alto, and it still is a saxophone.
What I am trying to say is that the fact that it is unique, that I can get lower notes that sound close to a tenor, and a higher range that is sweet and powerful almost like an alto, is part of the fun.
It is not about being a tenor or alto in C. After all, if that was the goal, we could always transpose.

That being said, it would be interesting to see how a C saxophone modeled more like a tenor would sound...
Actually I dislike the "Melody" name....it's so girlie, & it artificially separates this horn from the others in the name itself.....in reality, as you say, it's just another saxophone.
 

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Yes, thats the one i want!
Are you absolutely certain?

Disadvantages:-

1/ In order to transport it you would have to swap your 2 seater for a mundane Estate Car.
2/ Walking to a gig with it in it's case you could be mistaken for a Didgery-do-do operator.
3/ Only the dust mites could hear you.
4/ Unless you supported it on a tripod you would soon develop that round shouldered, downcast appearance....like the local wino.
5/ The slightest on stage trip could result in the mouthpiece appearing from the the back of your neck.
6/ It's just silly....OK perhaps for a Folk band.

Advantages:-
1/ There would be no need for a mic. stand...just lay the SM 58 on the floor.
2/ Should you be so inclined you could sneak a sax into an orchestra....until you were discovered, the members might mistake it for a bass clarinet. :)
 

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I do agree with you except to say that, in my experience, an original mouthpiece on my Buescher sounds like a ruptured duck.
I opened the facing on a Conn Eagle C-mel mouthpiece. This also had the side effect of making it more amenable to tenor reeds (still a bit narrow, somewhat like a Dukoff silverite piece). It got louder and more flexible, but I still sounded and felt like I had a woolen sock stuffed in the horn. I included it with the 1926 True Tone when I sold that, since it IS a serviceable piece, but I advised the buyer to not waste a lot of time with it. Now if Conn had made a Steelay for C-mel (maybe they did?), that probably would be a decent classical piece if opened up to a common modern tip opening -- something from .075" to .090" would probably be perfect. My alto Steelay is a good "legit" piece at a tip of .067", if a bit inflexible (it's much too polite).

Sadly, I never use the Steelay, since my Drake Custom JAB (.075") can cover all the territory the Steelay does, and a whole lot more. I haven't had the opportunity to try the JAB on C-mel since I haven't had both in my possession at the same time, but this is one alto piece I think might work quite well. It is, however, probably out of most budgets at $475. I paid $350 and got to try it first, and it STILL hurt -- but it's THAT special. I have basically retired all other alto mouthpieces. It doesn't do laser-beam paint-peeling bright, but I'm frankly sick of sounding like that.

The one thing working against me is that I typically need both alto and C-mel on the same gig, and I only have the one mouthpiece. I don't typically use both a tenor and a C-mel in the same setting, it's an either/or sort of proposition. Thus my C-mel choice is likely to come from the tenor selection.

I also have not been able to try the (tenor) Saxscape Downtown Studio on C-mel. I suspect this combination will be a little bit over the top (imagine "Sanborn plays C-mel") and I wouldn't be surprised if other issues appear in the response and/or intonation. I'll still try it though! I picked up this particular piece because my tenors come in two tone colors -- dark and darker. It's great on the Mercury, and a little bit too edgy on the Yamaha (though I use it anyhow since the stubby Dukoff is still just a little bit out of whack). A True Tone C-mel, of course, is not as dark as even an average tenor.
 

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Mal - I've got (and tried) a Saxscape Downtown Studio tenor mouthpiece on C-Mel, and the results were not as edgy as I suspected or wanted. I also have a Saxscape Downtown for alto, which does produce a VERY Sanborn'ish sound on alto, but the tenor Saxscape (even on Bb tenor) is just like an edgy Link.... Not at all what I'd expected. :cry:
 

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I don't know a lot of the history of the C-Mel's design, but from what I've been learning recently about the acoustics of winds. If you have two instruments of the exact same length but different bores, the narrower bore will have a higher pitch. If you put the same mouthpiece on both instruments, the wider bore will sound louder.

I suspect the 20's sax makers deliberately made the bore narrow on C-Mels to keep them both smaller and a bit quieter, for home use. Non-pros were the target market. Although close in pitch to a tenor, it's substantially smaller, a big advantage for the non-pro who might find a full-sized tenor a bit intimidating.
 

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....I suspect the 20's sax makers deliberately made the bore narrow on C-Mels to keep them both smaller and a bit quieter, for home use. Non-pros were the target market. Although close in pitch to a tenor, it's substantially smaller, a big advantage for the non-pro who might find a full-sized tenor a bit intimidating.
I'll look out copies of the old catalogues for their slant on it... I know for sure that one of the catalogues (Buescher, from memory) states that they should be properly called C-Tenors, but have popularly acquired the name "C-Melody" from their ability to play the melody line on piano music.

But, metaphorce, very valid points, as these saxes were used a lot in 'parlours', so didn't necessarily need to project to the back of Carnegie Hall - or wake up the shift-workers sleeping next door :cry:. Plus, some of the adverts of the time showed kids learning on the C-Mel, so the more compact size would have been a definite 'plus', rather than the transposing alto - which now seems to be the de-facto introduction sax.

(Athough one of the curved soprano's I have came from an ex-rental scheme for small children... [rolleyes] )
 

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BTW, as a noob, I have to say this forum is a great resource, and a bunch of very pleasant people, and I'm very glad I found it.

My new old C-Mel isn't really playable yet, but I'm going to have some basic work done on it, and then, well, all I have to do is learn to play! (That's how much of a noob I am.) So I hope you folks will just smile indulgently concerning my rank ignorance, and not be offended.

I've spent the past six months trying to make something that (sort of) continues the tradition of the Hot Fountain Pen made famous by Mr. Rollini. (See photo. Called the Hot Water Pipe.) I've acquired some (possibly useful) insights into the nature of winds in the process, perhaps even little things that most people are unaware of. Unfortunately, that doesn't really make up for my ignorance of the big things that everybody else knows. But I will learn, eventually...

 

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:|Getting back to terminology, I prefer C-Melody as the name. That's what it was called back in the day. That's what I remember it being called when I played clarinet in the town band at age 10, (small town!). My friend's aunt played the C-Melody sax in the band. I guess it's part of my history.
 
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