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There was a thread on this awhile back and I can't seem to find. I'm thinking about changing the bend in the neck so it aligns better to my body type.
 

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There was a thread on this awhile back and I can't seem to find. I'm thinking about changing the bend in the neck so it aligns better to my body type.
I’d think twice before doing this, it could have an effect on sound or intonation. Although it may be very slight. I think Jimmy Giuffre has this done on tenor.Make sure you get a good and experienced tech to do it.
 

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British alto player John Harle got his tech to do this on his Buffet alto, so that the neck went at a slightly steeper angle. I think that several of Harle's pupils tried the same thing. I have one of those Buffet necks and, although the difference in angle is small, I find it feels strange and don't like it at all.

Bill Wrathall was the technician who did this work - he used to work at Michael White's shop in Ealing, London. He removed the tenon from the neck and then cut a small, angled slice from the neck tube before soldering the tenon back on.

Rhys
 

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I'm curious about the details of what the problem is. The neck strap adjusts the height and the head is designed to tilt a lot more than slightly forward or back, on top of the player's neck.
 

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It might very well be something that the player wants to do to adapt the horns to his embouchure rather than doing this the other way around.

Jimmy Giuffré had this done by Kal Opperman with his Mark VI tenor (probably because he was predominately a clarinet player) and I have known a a few people (small built) who had this done to a Mark VI tenor , giving it a slight bend upwards.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?129322-Jimmy-Giuffre-s-tenor-neck


There is also the possibility to do what Music Medic calls Talto neck, which is to use a Tenor shaped alto neck, they took very probably the idea from a saxophone made for a German company which makes a specially adapted alto for kids.

http://musicmedic.com/the-talto-neck.html
 

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I'm curious about the details of what the problem is. The neck strap adjusts the height and the head is designed to tilt a lot more than slightly forward or back, on top of the player's neck.
I'm curious also, but why not? I think Jimy Giuffre had it done in order to use a more clarinet like embouchure, so the mouthpiece/neck was more of a downward angle.



I like Big Wrathall's method, least damage to the neck itself. A great tech and refacer.
 

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I'm curious about the details of what the problem is. The neck strap adjusts the height and the head is designed to tilt a lot more than slightly forward or back, on top of the player's neck.
Picture an alto sax with the mouthpiece going nearly straight into the mouth (traditional pedagogy). Then picture the player tilting the head way up and back to produce the 45° angle the mouthpiece is typically inserted into the mouth as on clarinet (which would be horribly uncomfortable). Another way to achieve this "clarinet angle" would be to keep the head erect and pull the bottom of the sax way back which puts the right hand and arm in an awkward playing position but slightly better than the first choice. A lot of young tenor students tend to play like this, but they also tilt their head down to keep a traditional mouthpiece angle.

If however the bend in the neck can be reduced from where it typically is to closer to a 45° angle, then the player can keep the head erect and have the "clarinet embouchure" by simply lengthening the neck strap a bit. I personally can't fathom playing saxophone this way unless one has an extreme "overbite". However, Vincent (Jimmy) Abato one of the greatest saxophone players who ever lived played with the mouthpiece down at quite an angle---so what do I know? :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH_O33OnMuw

If you haven't heard Vincent Abato before, please don't judge him by that tune. Listen to his recording of the Ibert, and Glazounov Concertos (or should that be Concerti :))
 

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Saxoclese, isn't the solution to use an embouchure (and angle) that is appropriate for sax?
Would these people put a bend in a trumpet lead pipe to lower the instrument, more like a clarinet's "posture"?
Would a cyclist want a cycle saddle put in his car?
 

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Saxoclese, isn't the solution to use an embouchure (and angle) that is appropriate for sax?
Would these people put a bend in a trumpet lead pipe to lower the instrument, more like a clarinet's "posture"?
Would a cyclist want a cycle saddle put in his car?
You're preaching to the choir here Gordon. Have you ever seen David Sanborn play? The only reasonable bending in a sax neck IMO is what some models of soprano have so the mouthpiece can go straight into the mouth and keep the sax pointing down at a comfortable angle.
 

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IF I were going to do something like this (I won't be), I would go to someone like Gloger that makes necks and have them make we one with the strange angle. I would leave the original as is.
 

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Thanks for the clarification. We're on the same page. Best not to run the risk of stuffing up the neck that's there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the replies. That music medic neck looks interesting. Tenor and soprano fit fine to my body but the alto just hits at the wrong angle so I have to hunch over to feel like I have good embrocure and key control. I would like to be like the popular players who hold the horn out with that cool and aggressive stance but that is not happening. The best thing I've found so far is the jazz lab plastic neck strap. It does come close to working for me.
 

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Roberto Buttus of Sequoia Saxophones made a neck with a steeper angle for alto and gave it to me the last time I was over in Friuli. It's a fantastic neck and resolves some of the usual alto tuning tendencies rather well - much to my surprise. I don't use it often because it forces me to play in a more clarinet-like way, much favoured by classical saxophonists these days, and that's not presently my focus, but it is a very good neck.

I was working a lot with Harle in the early 90's when he had his Buffet neck modified and I did feel it gave him intonation challenges thereafter. I think Harle's issues came from the cutting of the neck that Bill Wrothall did, without re-adjusting the volume of the neck (or whatever you'd call it). Buttus' neck is the correct volume and taper, just a different angle.

I would very strongly advocate against cutting a normal neck to achieve this. You could ask Mr Buttus to make you one, his prices are very reasonable, <info at sequoiasaxophones.com> is his address.
 

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Roberto Buttus of Sequoia Saxophones made a neck with a steeper angle for alto and gave it to me the last time I was over in Friuli. It's a fantastic neck and resolves some of the usual alto tuning tendencies rather well - much to my surprise. I don't use it often because it forces me to play in a more clarinet-like way, much favoured by classical saxophonists these days, and that's not presently my focus, but it is a very good neck.

I was working a lot with Harle in the early 90's when he had his Buffet neck modified and I did feel it gave him intonation challenges thereafter. I think Harle's issues came from the cutting of the neck that Bill Wrothall did, without re-adjusting the volume of the neck (or whatever you'd call it). Buttus' neck is the correct volume and taper, just a different angle.

I would very strongly advocate against cutting a normal neck to achieve this. You could ask Mr Buttus to make you one, his prices are very reasonable, <info at sequoiasaxophones.com> is his address.
Very informative reply Dave-I too was thinking that cutting the neck angle at the tenon would significantly reduce the overall volume. Interesting remarks about Harle having a few intonation problems.
 

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Disclaimer: In no way am I advocating changing the degree of bend in a saxophone neck. The purpose of this post is to share information on how bending of brass tubing is done in the manufacture and repair of brass instruments. Bending Tubing Rod Stewart

Some things to keep in mind are: 1) the tubing of brass instruments is generally much thinner than that of a saxophone neck; 2) removing some of the bend in a sax neck (the opposite of pull down) will stretch the brass on the underside of the curve and compress the brass on the top; 3) changing the bend of the neck may also require adjusting the geometry of the octave key.
 

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Even if you have a capable tech, I wouldn't risk changing the angle of an original neck. You would be better off searching for an aftermarket neck with the desired neck angle, and then spending a few dollars having a tech adjust the tenon and receiver. In my experience, an aftermarket neck with a similar internal volume to the original neck ought to work well. You can measure the internal volume by filling the neck with water (covering the octave vent with plastic wrap, and the cork end opening with plumber's putty,), and then pouring the fluid into an accurate measuring cup. Necks that hold a similar amount of water will have a similar volume.
 

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Even if you have a capable tech, I wouldn't risk changing the angle of an original neck. You would be better off searching for an aftermarket neck with the desired neck angle, and then spending a few dollars having a tech adjust the tenon and receiver. In my experience, an aftermarket neck with a similar internal volume to the original neck ought to work well. You can measure the internal volume by filling the neck with water (covering the octave vent with plastic wrap, and the cork end opening with plumber's putty,), and then pouring the fluid into an accurate measuring cup. Necks that hold a similar amount of water will have a similar volume.
That is true, however there is another characteristic that is also important and that is the "taper". A substitute neck that has close to the same volume as the original may or may not have the same taper which is not consistent from one end of the neck to the other. The photo below shows the measurements taken from the neck of a Selmer SBA alto.

 
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