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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
well, I still would take your neck to MM.

They will make some adjustments and improve intonation too.

In the end the better option (moneywise too) will probably be to sell your neck and to buy one of those necks that you have found to be less resistant.
Randy Jones at TenorMadness.com
This is slightly different, or rather more info, than your opening posts and useful info.

Pull down and dents - neither should be a challenge to a competent repairer unless really really so severe that repair causes more damage. I have heard of people interchanging Selmer necks, although they not be the same, but if you get the chance try some necks off more modern production Selmers, you may find one that does improve the sound/response with adversely affecting intonation - alternatively it could just be the tech you went to didn't do quite such a good job as another might if the internal is still distorted or it doesn't fit too well.
Ken Beason and Dell Knickerbocker do solid neck work. I've sent horns and necks to them for fixing the intonation etc. You can't go wrong!
Thanks, appreciate the input.
 

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The spot where the air hits the neck has a big influence on the response of the horn. I've had a lot of success simply sanding around this area to make it bigger to let more air in before it gets squashed down again.

Bigger opening, less turbulence, more power.

Smaller opening, more resistance, stuffy.

These are my findings anyway. I'm no scientist. I just know it works/ has worked for me and that's all I need to know.
 

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I am not sure of what one can do to address “ resistance”.

Op says he has tried his Mark VI with its original (damaged and repaired) neck and with other necks and feels that the horn is more “ resistant” with its neck.

This may be depending on a number of things like fore example tenon that is ill fitting the horn’s receiver.

Intonation wise.

Anyone who supposes that the company which made the saxophone has not put any time and research in this, is probably wrong. I am sure that this (as the positioning of the toneholes) was certainly addressed by the people making the horn. But they chose a compromise. Anything will always be one.

As you see in the video, MM seeks to improve intonation only in the upper area of the saxophone (and altissimo), but by reducing the volume in that particular area they may very well increase resistance while improving somewhat the intonation in the high areas of one of the best tunes saxophones out there.

Anyway, do you want to make experiments?

Take a piece of paper or chewing gum and insert it flat in the neck (try other areas if you please) , see what happens. It will do something, that’s what they do too. They base their findings on their research but honestly, who do you think is more qualified to do this kind of thing?

My money is on the fact that companies go through a much longer research period to develop any model (and improve down the line too), much more than any technician does. MM is this is pretty exceptional because they have spend way more time than most to found experiments and make choices based on this rather than just do things on the hopscotch.

Am I sure that they have hit the right spot (quite literally)?

I am not sure, what they do can be done by Yamaha or Selmer with many more resources. Why would any of these companies not adapt their design if there were things to be gained that way?

Humbardi, you have a relatively limited experience and you have just bought your new Mark VII, give yourself time to get used to the horn and improve your playing too.

The Mark VII is the weapon of choice of many classical players exactly because of its intonation.
 

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Other than blowing on a stiffer reed, the "resistance" of one saxophone compared to another has to do with it's "harmonicity". This means how close to whole number multiples the frequencies harmonics are in relation to the fundamental. According to Benade harmonics whose peaks do not closely match these whole number multiples must move to line up with the fundamental in what he calls the "regime of oscillation". Because of this movement from their peaks, energy is lost. This, in turn, forces the player to increase the input energy to compensate and get the same volume and intensity of sound. Terms like "free blowing" and "resistance" are often used to describe this acoustic effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Other than blowing on a stiffer reed, the "resistance" of one saxophone compared to another has to do with it's "harmonicity". This means how close to whole number multiples the frequencies harmonics are in relation to the fundamental. According to Benade harmonics whose peaks do not closely match these whole number multiples must move to line up with the fundamental in what he calls the "regime of oscillation". Because of this movement from their peaks, energy is lost. This, in turn, forces the player to increase the input energy to compensate and get the same volume and intensity of sound. Terms like "free blowing" and "resistance" are often used to describe this acoustic effect.
Yes, this makes sense.
 

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Well you could try this:

https://musicmedic.com/fixing-a-saxophone-octave-hiss

Although that is kore for the hiss I think rather than sharpness.

Before trying other necks (or other mouthpieces) I think there are a few things to try such as opening the key less, narrowing the octave pip,by puttinng something across the top or down the pip itself. Widening the pip hole seems like it might work but somewhat destructive.

Then, as above try to get hold of other Selmer necks to try, MKVI, Series I, II, III Ref 54 etc.
Dear Pete :
following your recommendations about narrowing the octave pip , I took an aluminum foil from a pill medicine packing, cut an small piece and using an small screwdriver rolled the aluminum over it and made an small cylinder, with a diameter as close as the internal diameter of the pip, placed inside....and... voilá...!! solved...!! Note A was, before, + 35 cents sharp, and now it is in range..
.
 

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Dear Pete :
following your recommendations about narrowing the octave pip , I took an aluminum foil from a pill medicine packing, cut an small piece and using an small screwdriver rolled the aluminum over it and made an small cylinder, with a diameter as close as the internal diameter of the pip, placed inside....and... voilá...!! solved...!! Note A was, before, + 35 cents sharp, and now it is in range..
.
Were all the other notes uneffected by this modification?
As in, did this only change the pitch of the A or did it also change the pitch of surrounding notes?
 

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Were all the other notes uneffected by this modification?
As in, did this only change the pitch of the A or did it also change the pitch of surrounding notes?
It only changed the note A... other notes were not affected...!
Previously , Note A was +35 cents Sharp...!!!
 

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Dear Pete :
following your recommendations about narrowing the octave pip , I took an aluminum foil from a pill medicine packing, cut an small piece and using an small screwdriver rolled the aluminum over it and made an small cylinder, with a diameter as close as the internal diameter of the pip, placed inside....and... voilá...!! solved...!! Note A was, before, + 35 cents sharp, and now it is in range..
.
That is great if it works. I have also experimented using thin wall teflon tube inside an octave vent to decrease the diameter in a similar fashion. The trade off here is that it can make some of the notes that use the neck octave vent "stuffy". It is not uncommon for a tech to use the next larger size drill bit in a drill index set to open the vent a bit to cure the stuffy sound of some notes. A Selmer Series III is a model that is sometimes referred to as needing this adjustment on repair forums.
 

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Now the real question would be:

“ Why, if this reducing of the volume of the neck is such a great solution for those Oh so evident problems , the companies which produce the saxophones would insist making them that way or would not put an insert for you to put in the neck?"
 

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Now the real question would be:

" Why, if this reducing of the volume of the neck is such a great solution for those Oh so evident problems , the companies which produce the saxophones would insist making them that way or would not put an insert for you to put in the neck?"
That's a good question....I mean at this point some models have fairly well-publicized neck issues in the musicians world, so wouldn't a mfr follow suit ?
 

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My understanding of the modifications to necks done by Mark Aaronson and Music Medic have more to do with changing the taper than by changing the volume, per se. although the two are somewhat related. From "The Saxophone Is My Voice" by Ernest Ferron we learn that making a tube more conical (increasing the taper) has the effect of lowering the pitch of the harmonics. This can be a solution when the octaves are too wide. On the other hand, making a tube more cylindrical (reducing the taper) has the effect of raising the pitch of the harmonics. Ferron makes the observation that as the tube is made more cylindrical the octave becomes wider and wider up to the point that it becomes a 12th when the tube is a perfect cylinder as in the case of a clarinet.

In my reading of acoustic literature, very little is written about the effects of changing the bore diameter or interior volume of the body of a woodwind. The majority of the information has to do with changes in length affecting the pitch of the fundamental, and changes in the taper affecting the harmonics and the timbre of the note. On a related topic, it is the length and taper of the neck (and body tube) that helps to define the "missing cone" that the mouthpiece, or mouthpiece + neck must replicate in order for a saxophone to work properly.

Benade FMA p. 470 "For a conical woodwind instrument to work properly, the equivalent volume of the reed cavity [mouthpiece] added to the mechanical volume its staple (or bocal or neck) must closely match the volume of the missing part of the cone."
 

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Now the real question would be:

" Why, if this reducing of the volume of the neck is such a great solution for those Oh so evident problems , the companies which produce the saxophones would insist making them that way or would not put an insert for you to put in the neck?"
That's a good question....I mean at this point some models have fairly well-publicized neck issues in the musicians world, so wouldn't a mfr follow suit ?
Well, even modern saxophones can be mouthpiece picky.

WE hear so often that vintage horns have issues with modern mouthpieces, and thus need big ol' pickle barrels. But the same logic would dictate that modern horns, designed for smaller chamber modern mouthpieces, will not work so well with older mouthpieces.

So what if, at some stage during R & D, they get in the well respected old fart who bungs on his great big old mouthpieces and says "movez le pip d'octave ici maintenant!"

Viola! you have a modern horn that has a compromised octave pip position

My understanding of the modifications to necks done by Mark Aaronson and Music Medic have more to do with changing the taper than by changing the volume, per se. although the two are somewhat related.
Related yes, but my discussions with Curt (at Namm) have led me to believe he has found narrowing the bore uniformly has the desired effect. This was in regard to me mentioning I'd found a neck that helped intonation on my Buescher that had the same tenon so fitted perfectly, but must have been a narrower bore all the way along due to it having same external dimension, but thicker metal thus smaller internal.
 

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Well, even modern saxophones can be mouthpiece picky....
Yes, but why wouldn't Yamaha or Selmer (both factories have resources enough to found acoustic studies which I believe the found already as a routine practice) would have not discovered this before and came up with a solution?

MM on the video above is tuning a Yamaha!
 

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OP: Since I've dabbled in this a bit, let me say the short advice is this: it's easier to get a new mouthpiece that addresses your concerns than tinker your neck, possibly ruin it, and have to find a new neck.

Yes, you can find lots of talented people to work on your neck, but just as with mouthpiece refacing, you may not like the results. For example, I had a Double Ring neck that I loved. Every mouthpiece refacer said the facing was lopsided and sucked, but I really liked how I played on it. Decided to "perfect" it, and the sizzle in the sound was gone. Now that might be just me, and for 99% of other players the new facing was much better. Didn't matter. I also recently fixed a pretty beat up neck, and post pulldown I find it plays a bit worse.

In other words, there's no guarantee that having your neck fixed will make you like the sound more. You may like it even less.

Fixing octave spread: for a non-permanent solution you can have copper tape line the inside of the neck, just inside the mouthpiece end, before the octave pip. I had this done and the octaves became more even, but the sound became more stuffy and compressed, so I took it off.

Octave pip: making the pip hole smaller will also address the pitch difference very slightly. An insert is a non-permanent solution.

Resistance in neck: Sanding the tip of the neck does change the sound/response somewhat, but this is a permanent fix so I don't recommend it... It's easier to come by mouthpieces you like than to find a neck that matches your taste, and pairs well with the horn.

Yes, but why wouldn't Yamaha or Selmer (both factories have resources enough to found acoustic studies which I believe the found already as a routine practice) would have not discovered this before and came up with a solution?
That'd be true assuming any flaws are the result of a lack of R&D. It's also sound concept, mass production, QA. Maybe Selmer did find a way to make a more even-sounding, tonally consistent neck, and in the process the sound lost that purported "Selmer core." Maybe the prototype neck/body was the most flawless sax ever, but QA has things slip through the cracks.
 

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Couple of points worth noting here -

1) Dents and pulldowns can and should be fixed. Find a good tech for this locally, ask around and see who does good dent work in your area. It's important to find a local guy because

2) The fit of the neck tenon into the receiver of the horn is crucial. In the 80's I had my Mark VI neck tenon worked on by a vagabond (traveling repair guy) named Bob Gilchrist (now deceased, unfortunately), and he had me play my horn as he very very slightly adjusted the fit of the neck. Fitting the tenon all the way along the receiver length made some important, but subtle, differences - stability was better in the palm keys (always an issue with Mark VI IMO), and G2 was clearer and less likely to crack.

3) I agree with others that going beyond standard fitting (changing taper, for example) is not a good idea. You are better off buying another neck. I bought one from Jack Finucane at the Boston Sax Shop; Kim Bock (mentioned earlier in this thread) also makes necks, and Phil Barone does too. I own a Phil Barone tenor, and thus a Phil Barone neck, and it has noticeably better palm key response and altissimo than my VI. The Heritage neck from Jack remarkably changed the response of my VI in those two areas as well.

The cost of having your neck adjusted is likely higher than just buying a new neck (except maybe the KB neck), and you run the risk of ruining your neck. I recommend having your neck fixed, and if that doesn't improve things enough for you, explore aftermarket necks.
 

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This is for a damaged neck (pull down, dents etc.) that after repair by a regular repairman, plays ok but not as good as the best examples of necks by the same manufacturer (this is for a Selmer Mark VI).
Perhaps worth reminding everyone that the neck has been repaired already.

How well was it repaired or how much could it be repaired we don't know.

Let's assume that now is repaired and the shape is the same as the one that it had when it left the factory (does it?).

There will be a potential for hangups anyway. When I bought my Super 20 it had a brass neck which at one time had had a minimal repair (one of the most beautifully executed repairs with hindsight) where a pick up had been. That bothered me (as the knowing that the neck has been bent and repaired may bother OP.

So I went of the hike to find a " better " neck. First I bought a Solid Silver neck made by hand by Karsten Gloger (one of the most beautiful things that I have ever owned) at first I thought it was a lot better (I had the two necks to compare) but after a while I concluded that it was more or less the same. At least it was in my hands.

Anyway, then I had the chance to sell my neck and to buy Super 20 solid silver neck. I did that. An the neck that came, played pretty much like the other two ( I sold the Gloger but I still had the brass neck). Not long ago, I had the chance to buy a last generation Super 20 , solid silver neck (completely different design) and yes, it too, played by and large the same way (I could swop necks).

Anyway, ask around, and you will find plenty of people who offer " perfecting" services.

I have wondered for years how this works. I mean, it may have a rationale with mouthpieces that come form a large factory but perfecting an hand made mouthpiece that left the hands of someone that makes them " perfect" (if any such things exists!!!) to start with?

Yet, you see hand made mouthpieces, being " perfected" by another refacer and then we have seen them being perfected again!

How perfect is perfect? And more importantly, why?

The holy graal was probably thrown out , but that didn't stop people searching for it. For centuries people went to the farthest parts of the world to find what, if it ever existed, was possibly a wooden bowl that was never anything special to start with.

Yet, OP says: "
I have swapped necks and tried them out, and find mine to be a bit more resistant than ideal.
Now the question would be, has he asked the people that he swapped necks with to try his?

Did THEY find it resistant too? (hopefully in a blind test), because there is a good chance that the resistance is felt by OP alone.

AS for Yamaha or Selmer or Yanagisawa (forgotten them) not having the time to address intonation problems because of time constructions. No, of these brands only Yamaha produces masses of horns (for their student line) all the other brands and time and resources to address problems.

If they would found the " problems " to be problems. Because I am sure they don't.

A saxophone maker once told be, if you want to find perfection you have to buy a Yanagisawa but if you want to find a great saxophone you want to buy one of mine. " perfection" may be out there but like the graal, many whom seek perfection may never find it or even if they did, never recognize it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Now the question would be, has he asked the people that he swapped necks with to try his?

Did THEY find it resistant too? (hopefully in a blind test), because there is a good chance that the resistance is felt by OP alone.
To address this question directly, no. But it is noticeably easier for me to achieve my sound using the other necks I have tried, including the neck from my 54,XXX SBA (my primary horn) and a neck from a friend's 64,XXX tenor (same approximate serial number as the Mark VI I picked up).
 
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