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I too think that shortening any neck is by and large a wrong strategy.

It may have worked for one case but more often than not is a dead alley.
I tried this approach, shortening the neck of my Conn 24M alto and my LC 601 curved soprano and it worked. For many years, I have been struggling with the problem of my two saxes about a half note flat in the low registers (Bb, B, C, C#) yet almost in tune from D up but when I had the necks of my saxes shortened, I was able to solve the problem of being flat on the low notes. Yes, this is not the conventional solution and even my tech was reluctant to do the job but when you hit a dead end, I think you should not be afraid to take a drastic step to solve the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Hi Mark,
Thanks for the very interesting link!
By the way, are you "stuffsax"?
If so - I've come across a few of your other blogs and have found them both really informative and entertaining - thank you!
John
 

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Hard to answer precisely, but my comfort zone seems to yield between C5 and D#5.
On some mps I can move this up and down by about a second and on others by a fourth.

Does this agree with what you find?
So, I get around a G or G# concert when playing the mouthpiece alone. I think most people get around a G and some get around an F or F#. Your C to Eb range is quite low. Some people say it doesn't matter but I have had a number of students over the years that were incredibly flat. They all buzzed really low pitches on just the mouthpiece. I would have them try playing with an "eeee" tongue position and blowing faster air to get their pitch up around G and sure enough, all of those students came way up in their intonation after adjusting. The hard part is that once you get the G concert on the mouthpiece alone you have to blow exactly the same way when the mouthpiece is on the horn. This takes some concentration and trying to figure out if everything in the mouth is in the same position and if the air feels like it is traveling at the same speed. I think you might find that this helps in your situation also. Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
So, I get around a G or G# concert when playing the mouthpiece alone. Steve
Steve - thank you for the input. That's a pretty big difference!

* Do you feel like this G or G# is about in the middle of your (mp) range?
It seems like it would be pretty near the top of my range - at least with current mp and reeds.
I'll definitely have some other horn players try my mps for comparison.

Also, it seems that you are a fan of Rigotti reeds.
As a few folks have recommended playing around with reeds I thought I might try that direction.
How would you translate a Vandoren ZZ 2.5 into Rigotti-scale?
 

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Steve - thank you for the input. That's a pretty big difference!

* Do you feel like this G or G# is about in the middle of your (mp) range?
It seems like it would be pretty near the top of my range - at least with current mp and reeds.
I'll definitely have some other horn players try my mps for comparison.

Also, it seems that you are a fan of Rigotti reeds.
As a few folks have recommended playing around with reeds I thought I might try that direction.
How would you translate a Vandoren ZZ 2.5 into Rigotti-scale?
The mouthpiece pitch has nothing to do with reeds. It's all about air speed, support and tongue position. The G concert on the mouthpiece is neither high nor low but just what I get when I blow as if I am playing the sax. I can get higher if I bite the mouthpiece but not really by speeding up my air as it is moving pretty fast already. I can bring the pitch down by voicing the note lower which involves the tongue and soft palette and by slowing down the air speed. Try to get that G with the mouthpiece and then play the sax with the same air speed and let us know if the pitch goes up on the sax. I haven't played ZZ reeds in years but I would think they would be close to Rigotti 2 1/2 Medium or Strong. Hope this helps, Steve
 

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Tenor (primary)
I have played on a Berg Larsen HR 130/1/SMS forever. I never had any problems tuning on my previous horn - Selmer USA.
Over the past year I have also spent plenty of time with : Francois Louis Spectruoso 350 SP (sphere chamber), Morgan Excalibur EL9, and 10mfan Black Widow 9.

Alto
Mostly Clarke Fobes Nova 6, but also Morgan 7M and Arnold Montgomery Luna 7.

I have been using Vandoren ZZ 2.5s on both - I'm generally happy with the flexibility of these reeds volume and tone-wise.

Regarding the chamber-size, I would say that:
tenor: 10mfan and Morgan are pretty large, while the Berg and Francois are medium.
also: Fobes and Morgan are medium-large and AM is *large.
(I'm not a mp expert)
......just got back from vacation....

Interesting mouthpieces, as you obviously have a well formed embouchure.....but your mouthpieces are rather massive...and that is going to push you flat. The Berg Larsen might have a medium chamber, but has a massive tip opening.

I find that different horns are tuned very differently....the mouthpiece that plays in tune on one horn is not going to necessarily play in tune on another. The tuning on my Selmer Mark VII and my Conn Shooting Star tenors is about 30 cents different when using the same mouthpiece...in short, I think you have a matching problem between your mouthpiece and your horn.

Why don't you try a smaller mouthpieces on the Coufs? I'm a tenor guy.....Something like Medium Chamber. 110 tip. #3 reed. These aren't too hard to find. Will probably solve your problem.

Side benefit is that these smaller mouthpieces/tip openings are going to feel super easy to play and keep in tune. Hopefully you can get the sound you want. D'Addario Select Jazz D8M would fit. Jody Jazz, Otto, and Vandoren all will similar offerings

New mouthpieces will be a lot cheaper (and likely more intelligent) than raising all of your keys heights or shortening your necks...yikes! Would wreck the resale.

.....I wish my chops were as strong as yours are.
 
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