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vibrating many times, especially subtoning on low notes , when the horn touches my body.
After all this is what makes a vibration tuner , if the horn wouldn't vibrate the tuner wouldn't work.
I wouldn't dispute any of that. I know there must be some vibration. All I am saying is that I don't physically feel it.

Just as if am holding the handle of a tuning fork, I feel nothing, but if I touch the top with my teeth, then I certatinly feel something. It may be that if I put my teeth on the bell of my bass while playing a low Bb I may feel something.

It's just something that, in my life so far, I have elected to not do.
 

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for sure we feel ( and hear, through the jaw and the internal ear) the vibrations directly where they are produced by the reed, but the entire saxophone vibrates passively too, again, put a vibration tuner anywhere and it will work

I am not suggesting that you put your teeth on the bell.

I have just an anecdote , I was playing when I felt the back of the body of the saxophone vibrating against my body, and I must have showed it somehow and my teacher friend , winking at me said “ Nice eh? “

Again it may very well have something to do with the way one holds the horn, I am not looking for that “ thrill” but on occasion I can feel it vibrate.
 

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I know there must be some vibration. All I am saying is that I don't physically feel it.
Well, could we dig a little deeper here?
If a friend or student is playing saxophone in front of you, and you touch the side of the pearl next to their finger for a depressed key, you feel nothing?
There is no doubt that the part is vibrating. So if you don't feel it, and do not have a paresthesia due to say vitamin B12 deficiency (lack of perception of a vibrating tuning fork is a sensitive test for this condition, also known as pernicious anemia), then your perception is simply different than others.
 

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Touching the bell when another player plays low Bb loudly one can "feel" the vibrations. If the body of the instrument didn't vibrate we wouldn't hear the buzz or rattle when a guard screw is loose or a roller lacks lubrication. To feel the vibrations of the body of a saxophone in the fingertips when we play would require the vibrating column of air (or vibrations from the mouthpiece) to cause the walls of the instrument to vibrate. Those vibrations would need to be transferred through the ribs to the posts, to the hinge tubes, to the key arm, to the key cup, to the pearls beneath our fingertips. Another more direct route would be through the pad to the key cup to the pearl, but it is reasonable to conclude the pad would absorb most of the vibrations unless it is the Jim Schmidt type pad. You could also consider the body vibrations being transferred to the plastic thumb hook and thumb rest, but the plastic material may not conduct vibrations as well as the brass.

Those who play clarinet or an open hole flute are aware of the vibrations of the air column through their fingertips, in fact I used to use that as a teaching tool to encourage students to play with more breath support until they could "feel the sound" in their fingers.
 

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I have just an anecdote , I was playing when I felt the back of the body of the saxophone vibrating against my body, and I must have showed it somehow and my teacher friend , winking at me said " Nice eh? "
An old Udo Lindenberg song comes to mind and it might explain why so many baritone players are of the fair gender :love:
 

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Touching the bell when another player plays low Bb loudly one can "feel" the vibrations. If the body of the instrument didn't vibrate we wouldn't hear the buzz or rattle when a guard screw is loose or a roller lacks lubrication. To feel the vibrations of the body of a saxophone in the fingertips when we play would require the vibrating column of air (or vibrations from the mouthpiece) to cause the walls of the instrument to vibrate. Those vibrations would need to be transferred through the ribs to the posts, to the hinge tubes, to the key arm, to the key cup, to the pearls beneath our fingertips. Another more direct route would be through the pad to the key cup to the pearl, but it is reasonable to conclude the pad would absorb most of the vibrations unless it is the Jim Schmidt type pad. You could also consider the body vibrations being transferred to the plastic thumb hook and thumb rest, but the plastic material may not conduct vibrations as well as the brass.

Those who play clarinet or an open hole flute are aware of the vibrations of the air column through their fingertips, in fact I used to use that as a teaching tool to encourage students to play with more breath support until they could "feel the sound" in their fingers.
My 1924 TrueTone tenor vibrates to the point where I am sometimes afraid it will just disintegrate in the middle of playing but that's when it sets itself apart from any other horn I have ever played with its sound.
 

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I've held a needle spring on the sax body whilst playing. It doesn't move. If there was any serious vibration it'd move the spring.
Think of a tuning fork. The end with prongs move a lot. The other end with a single prong doesn't vibrate as such. Pianos tuners stick this end in their mouthes so that the sound transfers to the skull and the skull acts as a resounding chamber. The vibrating prongs are the business end. That is the source of vibration that produces the sound. (Don't put that bit in your mouth!!!)
The parts like the mouthpiece transfer vibration in a similar way to the butt end of the tuning fork, but there's no vibration that is contributing to the sound.
I feel the vibration under my fingers - particularly on tenor. I can also feel it on clarinet where the open holes have the fingers in contact with the air column. I can definitely feel air column vibration. I don't feel body vibrations.
 

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No. The G# key is sprung closed - i.e. the bit with the pad.The lever that operates it is separate. The F# bar ensures it keeps closed. If it isn't adjusted properly so the G# can open you'll get it opening up when you get to D and below.
If we're both talking about the same key (i.e., the key with the pad that covers the G# tonehole), then this is simply wrong. The key itself ("the bit with the pad") is sprung open. When no keys are pressed, it is kept from opening by the opposing (antagonistic) spring tension on the G# lever, and when the G# lever is pressed, it allows the key to open under its own springing.

Again, the F# bar keeps the key from opening when one of the LH spatula keys are pressed (in which case the linked G# lever is also depressed), which would otherwise allow the G# key to lift under the power of its own spring. I don't think that the F# bar has anything to do with counteracting the air pressure from inside the horn. I.e., if you removed the tabs linking the G# lever with the low B and C# keys, then you wouldn't need that F# bar at all.
 

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If we're both talking about the same key (i.e., the key with the pad that covers the G# tonehole), then this is simply wrong. The key itself ("the bit with the pad") is sprung open. When no keys are pressed, it is kept from opening by the opposing (antagonistic) spring tension on the G# lever, and when the G# lever is pressed, it allows the key to open under its own springing.

Again, the F# bar keeps the key from opening when one of the LH spatula keys are pressed (in which case the linked G# lever is also depressed), which would otherwise allow the G# key to lift under the power of its own spring. I don't think that the F# bar has anything to do with counteracting the air pressure from inside the horn. I.e., if you removed the tabs linking the G# lever with the low B and C# keys, then you wouldn't need that F# bar at all.
There are saxophones that don't have the tabs on the G# lever. They also have the F# bar - go figure. If you don't believe me just try unscrewing the adjusting screws a few turns and play a low C.
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I suggest you go look in a book or something. G# is known as a 'closed key'. Other 'closed keys' are the palm keys and low D# and C#. i.e without pressing anything the pads are down on the tonehole - CLOSED.

G# is an articulated key with two pieces. The lever part is 'sprung up' which closes the key (bit with the pad). The key is sprung to open, so when you press the lever out of the way, the pad opens. This is why it often sticks - it only has spring tension to open it. It can't be a hefty spring as you need a bigger spring to close it. The lever spring is bigger.

Have a look here.
It shows the G# closed. All the other keys are sprung open. When he plays the G# you can see the pad opening.
 

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G# is an articulated key with two pieces. The lever part is 'sprung up' which closes the key (bit with the pad). The key is sprung to open, so when you press the lever out of the way, the pad opens. This is why it often sticks - it only has spring tension to open it. It can't be a hefty spring as you need a bigger spring to close it. The lever spring is bigger.
Right. If you go back and read my post that you quoted, that's exactly what I said. The key itself (the bit with the pad) is sprung open, but held closed by the lever (the separate piece) when none of the keys are pressed (i.e., when the horn is "at rest").

There are saxophones that don't have the tabs on the G# lever. They also have the F# bar - go figure. If you don't believe me just try unscrewing the adjusting screws a few turns and play a low C.
I have done this many times without any issue. In fact, the way I initially test whether that F# adjustment mechanism is out of adjustment (i.e., before putting a leak light down the instrument) is to check whether there's a difference in the response of the low C when played with vs. without the G# lever. When the F# bar is out of adjustment, I find that C plays just fine. It's only the low C#, B, and Bb that do not speak correctly.

I suppose the air pressure could be a problem if you set the G# lever to be sprung really lightly, but it shouldn't otherwise be an issue. Otherwise, wouldn't other "normally closed" keys like the alternate F# (which is roughly the same size and in roughly the same location) suffer from the same problem?
 

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The G# isn't sprung open. It is a closed key. That's what it's called. Yes, the spring opens it. But it is not sprung open. The greater force of the lever spring ensures it is closed. It is only the spring force that keeps it closed. The amount of force isn't enough when you add air pressure. All the other keys are 'sprung open' hence they are 'open keys' and the ones that are closed are called 'closed keys'. You don't go by the spring action. Whether a key is closed or open is determined by whether it is closed or not.

Other closed keys do suffer from being blown open if the key doesn't have enough spring tension. Most commonly the side Bb or low D#. You can get this problem on palm keys but it's much rarer.
If you want to check the G# regulation just play an F with light fingering and then finger the G# as well. There should be no change in sound.
The bell keys are normally most affected but a C be enough to shift the (closed) G#. It can happen on D.
 

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There are plenty on here who don't even believe a ligature can make a difference, and it is the thing that holds the reed on the mouthpiece. I myself was pretty skeptical on ligatures and used to laugh at the 'fan boys' playing Rovners - until I began to use them myself and immediately experienced a smoother scale and quicker response. Playing my favorite Rovner at home years later, I put on a new SS series I had just received right over the same reed - it made a difference. I put the first one back on and it was stuffier - put the new one back on and it was more free. It aided my playing so that's the lig I've been playing since.
I do not understand how some players can say with a straight face that they cannot tell the difference in any ligature.
When it comes to materials, particularly in mouthpieces and necks, they make a difference to the player because they have different acoustic properties relative to absorption/reflection of frequencies.
 

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I think the mouthpiece table affects what difference a ligature may make. Most manufactured mouthpieces have a slight concavity to the table so the reed sits well on the surface. Refaced and hand-made pieces usually have flattened tables. The amount of pressure on the reed can affect how the reed sits on a concave table. Fabric ligs etc allow the reed to be clamped with less pressure which, I think, can make a difference. If you tighten them really firmly there is less scope for any change.
So I like to think of ligatures as having potential to affect the sound. It's not a given and not really the lig itself, but how it affects the reed.
That said, on my metal Link I prefer the original Link lig. If I use other ligs something in the sound seems to be lost. I'm not sure what it is, but I don't like the sound with alternatives.
Steve Neff recently posted a review of a mouthpiece with a mouthpiece patch that fell off. He found the sound of the mouthpiece to be significantly different with and without the patch, but the records sound identical. You just can't tell any difference. I sometimes wonder if ligs are having a similar effect in absorbing some vibration in the mouthpiece making the players perception vastly different but the listener doesn't get the same experience?

Necks make a significant difference but I don't think there is any proof of materials having regular reliable attributes. Necks vary when they are made from the same material. I've played silver necks that sounded just the same as brass. If they are the same basic shape they would be different if the material really did have different acoustic properties.
One of the repairers who used to work at a flute factory said he put away flute head joints that sounded exceptional. He said it was never the solid silver ones, but the ordinary silver plated head joints that would be best. It's just natural variation that causes differences. I don't see how a silver tube would absorb or reflect differently enough from a brass one to be noticeable.
 

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I think the mouthpiece table affects what difference a ligature may make. Most manufactured mouthpieces have a slight concavity to the table so the reed sits well on the surface. Refaced and hand-made pieces usually have flattened tables. The amount of pressure on the reed can affect how the reed sits on a concave table. Fabric ligs etc allow the reed to be clamped with less pressure which, I think, can make a difference. If you tighten them really firmly there is less scope for any change.
....<<snip>>....
I don't agree - if the reed is clamped with less pressure, but still firmly against the table, there won't be a significant difference. It's when the clamping is a little too loose that the tonal differences appear, and this is usually due to the reed being able to lift from the table ever so slightly.

I have tested this with a fabric and metal ligature on a mouthpiece I know to have a very flat table, and when playing with the metal lig, there is a damp area on the reed that matches the window of the mouthpiece. Using the same reed with a fabric ligature (Rovner light), there is evidence of moisture below the window area on both the reed and the mouthpiece. It didn't matter how tight I made the ligature, it still leaked.

This is why I don't like fabric ligatures :) The leak may be due to the fact that is a single screw ligature; perhaps a two-screw would allow the reed to be clamped better - I'm not sure if there are any fabric ligatures with two screws. But a nice Bonade ligature works perfectly :)

FWIW, I use a Link ligature on my tenor Link, and it works fine - I put that down to the fact that the plate "floats" on the single pivot, and can put equal pressure on all points where it touches the reed. It's an old ligature, with a T on the screw. The new one that came with a newer Link I bought in 2005 or so was crap, so I replaced the screw with the one from a Wanne Enlightened Ligature (which I disliked). It works fine now. The new Link ligatures don't have good quality attachment between the plate and the screw, and they tend to bind.
 

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I don't agree - if the reed is clamped with less pressure, but still firmly against the table, there won't be a significant difference. It's when the clamping is a little too loose that the tonal differences appear, and this is usually due to the reed being able to lift from the table ever so slightly.

I have tested this with a fabric and metal ligature on a mouthpiece I know to have a very flat table, and when playing with the metal lig, there is a damp area on the reed that matches the window of the mouthpiece. Using the same reed with a fabric ligature (Rovner light), there is evidence of moisture below the window area on both the reed and the mouthpiece. It didn't matter how tight I made the ligature, it still leaked.
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Sounds to me like a convex rear face on the reed. Scrape that flat and you'll be good to go.

The amount of force that can be developed by wood swelling as it absorbs moisture (yes, I know, strictly speaking can isn't wood, but bear with me here, it still has cylindrical flow channels of cellulose) is tremendous and it's going to be extremely difficult for any ligature to overcome it.

Besides that, why beat your head out to get a mouthpiece table flat to 0.001" or less, and then slap a reed on it with a face that's out of flat by 0.020" or more, and then try three dozen different ligatures with all kinds of different contact points, a voodoo ritual of tightening first this screw then that one and so on, and then excoriate anyone who says "the job of the ligature is just to hold the reed in place"? Why not address the OBVIOUS GLARING mechanical deficiency in the system, the grossly out-of-flat reed back?
 

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I don't agree - if the reed is clamped with less pressure, but still firmly against the table, there won't be a significant difference. It's when the clamping is a little too loose that the tonal differences appear, and this is usually due to the reed being able to lift from the table ever so slightly.
You seem to be contradicting yourself? The second sentence is agree with what I said.

I have tested this with a fabric and metal ligature on a mouthpiece I know to have a very flat table, and when playing with the metal lig, there is a damp area on the reed that matches the window of the mouthpiece. Using the same reed with a fabric ligature (Rovner light), there is evidence of moisture below the window area on both the reed and the mouthpiece. It didn't matter how tight I made the ligature, it still leaked.
This is the problem with flat tables. The refacers seem to advocate flat tables but it causes more problems that you tend not to get with the slight concavity that is usually there on pieces from the big factories.
Fabric ligs need to fit well and their design allows for tilting. Some recommend it for different effects. To me it is just not doing its job properly if it isn't holding the reed firmly. I hat those Francois Louis cage ligs for that reason.

FWIW, I use a Link ligature on my tenor Link, and it works fine - I put that down to the fact that the plate "floats" on the single pivot, and can put equal pressure on all points where it touches the reed. It's an old ligature, with a T on the screw. The new one that came with a newer Link I bought in 2005 or so was crap, so I replaced the screw with the one from a Wanne Enlightened Ligature (which I disliked). It works fine now. The new Link ligatures don't have good quality attachment between the plate and the screw, and they tend to bind.
I think they made the plate a bit thinner on more recent Link ligs. Sometimes they need to be 'worked in' a bit with the screw being a bit tight.
The 'T' come from the Florida period. The knurling part is bigger. More recent ligs have a straight knurling rather than the cross-hatched one.
I've got a Vandoren metal lig with the 3 plates. One of them is similar to the Link lig. The main difference between the plates is the Link style one holds the reed whilst the others slip about on it.
I'm not aware of a two screw fabric lig either. There is a metal Rico one for Links which is the reverse type. It works quite well on metal mouthpieces. Fits metal Dukoff, Vandoren etc and has some little indents similar to the Link ligs (but no separate plate). If you couldn't get Link ligs any more I'd use one of those.
 

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There have been real studies done on the effects of ligatures, and what they found was a very slight difference using flexible ligs like the Rovner, but nothing like most sax players claim. Until I find that link this is worth a read:

 

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You seem to be contradicting yourself? The second sentence is agree with what I said.

This is the problem with flat tables. The refacers seem to advocate flat tables but it causes more problems that you tend not to get with the slight concavity that is usually there on pieces from the big factories.
Fabric ligs need to fit well and their design allows for tilting. Some recommend it for different effects. To me it is just not doing its job properly if it isn't holding the reed firmly. I hat those Francois Louis cage ligs for that reason.

I think they made the plate a bit thinner on more recent Link ligs. Sometimes they need to be 'worked in' a bit with the screw being a bit tight.
The 'T' come from the Florida period. The knurling part is bigger. More recent ligs have a straight knurling rather than the cross-hatched one.
I've got a Vandoren metal lig with the 3 plates. One of them is similar to the Link lig. The main difference between the plates is the Link style one holds the reed whilst the others slip about on it.
I'm not aware of a two screw fabric lig either. There is a metal Rico one for Links which is the reverse type. It works quite well on metal mouthpieces. Fits metal Dukoff, Vandoren etc and has some little indents similar to the Link ligs (but no separate plate). If you couldn't get Link ligs any more I'd use one of those.
I have a few of those Rico metal ligatures, in fact that's what I use on my main piece, a Phil-Tone Tribute. I don't believe they make them anymore in the "metal Link" size, which is a shame

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Sounds to me like a convex rear face on the reed. Scrape that flat and you'll be good to go.

The amount of force that can be developed by wood swelling as it absorbs moisture (yes, I know, strictly speaking can isn't wood, but bear with me here, it still has cylindrical flow channels of cellulose) is tremendous and it's going to be extremely difficult for any ligature to overcome it.

Besides that, why beat your head out to get a mouthpiece table flat to 0.001" or less, and then slap a reed on it with a face that's out of flat by 0.020" or more, and then try three dozen different ligatures with all kinds of different contact points, a voodoo ritual of tightening first this screw then that one and so on, and then excoriate anyone who says "the job of the ligature is just to hold the reed in place"? Why not address the OBVIOUS GLARING mechanical deficiency in the system, the grossly out-of-flat reed back?
I flatten the backs of my reeds often. I am aware of how reeds swell, what happens when they do, and occasionally discard reeds that warp or swell.

The reeds in question during this time stayed perfectly flat on the table when using a Bonade ligature, but showed evidence of leaking around the window with the Rovner. I concluded the ligature was at fault. I tried that ligature on a few different mouthpieces as well. I eventually threw it out.

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I flatten the backs of my reeds often. I am aware of how reeds swell, what happens when they do, and occasionally discard reeds that warp or swell.

The reeds in question during this time stayed perfectly flat on the table when using a Bonade ligature, but showed evidence of leaking around the window with the Rovner. I concluded the ligature was at fault. I tried that ligature on a few different mouthpieces as well. I eventually threw it out.

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Speaking from a physical point of view, it doesn't take a whole lot of pressure to keep a reed against a table, and you can verify that by holding a reed on with your and varying the pressure and seeing how little it actually takes to keep the reed seated, even when blowing. Obviously the problem comes if the table and/or the back of the reed are not flat, in which case it can take considerable pressure to bend the cane of the butt of the reed to lie flush with the table.

The ligature study that I saw, and unfortunately cannot find, found that there was no appreciable difference between various types of metal ligs, which are rigid. What can make a difference is where pressure is applied to clamp the reed, which can change the actual tip opening, completely apart from whether it is leaking or not. They did find a small difference using a cloth lig like the Rovner, and speculated that it was slightly elastic and so when the mechanical forces of the reed vibrating pushed back against the lig, it gave slightly during that phase of the vibration and so did change the response, albeit not by much.
 
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