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A good try out is one thing and actually having a horn in your possession for at least a month is another thing. I haven't read every single post yet but your statement here basically undermines or at least, contradicts your first post. If you are stating something as categorical as 'I played them all and, to no avail, all the same', it's just curious to examine exactly what that means. I'm just saying you tried all of these horns and unless you actually wore out your welcome at these stores by playing all of them for several weeks, it's really hard to understand how your Conn horns really differ from them with your specific/individual approach to tenor.

Put that aside, tenor is always special to me because of the fullness of the lower register as well as being able to go quite high as well. There has to be a trade off between spread and focus of timbre and it's an individual thing; it's the calling card of the horn. Very few players develop the lower register on alto and quite frankly it isn't as beautiful as a tenor's. Conversely, it's the mid to high register on the smaller horn that one normally associates it with. To this day, Bird was the most complete alto player because he was able to broaden the alto's lower register as if he were playing tenor. It's actually quite unique.

I'm not really making one singular point in this thread other than you might have to reconsider or at least imagine what the tenor actually means to you and what you want to draw out of the lower register. As far as the bow goes, particularly the pad height of the low C key can make or break how each tenor sounds; it's one of those elemental things. Embouchure too is also something to explore as well.

My main tenors through the years that I've practiced, rehearsed and gigged on have been Conns - 10M and 16M.

Over the years I've played for brief periods, but have never owned the following - mostly giving them a good try-out in the music store:

Martin Committee 3
King Super 20
H Couf
King Zephyr
Yamaha Custom
Keilwerth
Yanagisawa
Buescher Aristocrat
Buffet S1
King Voll-True

I've probably played a bit on a Selmer Mark 6 somewhere along in there.

I also once tried out two different Selmer Supers.

That's what I can remember.

None of these ever seemed substantially freer-blowing than my Conn of the time.

I've mostly played a Meyer 8 but I also spent quite a bit of time with Dukoff D7 the standard rock and roll mouthpiece of the 70s and 80s. I can also remember some Brilhart Ebolins, a couple Otto Links, a C* Selmer Soloist, and an old Conn Eagle that played exactly like a pair of old gym socks.
 
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