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Well if this were the case… I only have one of each at the moment, Soprano, Alto, and Tenor… I’m an ok player but I don’t play as many gigs as I used to. I think depends on the player and how much need you have of backups.
You are right. I have a "collection" of vintage horns but I only play one in each genre and that's been the case for years.
 

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He stated that there's an inverse relationship between skill and equipment. The better you can play, the less equipment will make a perceptible difference to an audience, but can make a very large difference to your own ear.
The problem with this formula is that it considers only the output -- how someone sounds -- and doesn't take into account how much work is required for a player to get there. E.g., a polished, experienced player may be able to play in tune on almost any working sax, but a horn with lousy intonation will demand constant adjustments and mental monitoring that a quality pro horn would not. And the same analysis applies to other playing characteristics too.
 

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VI Soprano, Searchlight Alto, TH&C Tenor
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I still say sax is unique in how much different it sounds to the player than the audience. Biting the mouthpiece vibrates the skull, which has a perceptual effect to the player not perceptible to the listener. While camouflaging aspects the listener can detect. I know Bird could master whatever horn was available, but I‘m guessing he listened to his recordings as well.
 

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I've seen this discussion also come up in other gear forums. But there are professionals and virtuosos that also collect. There is no correlation, but inverse sounds like a big word. Everybody reaches a plateau and some just stay there. But if possible why not play a good horn from the start. I did start on a Bundy and a junk mouthpiece for a long time and I wished I had a better instrument and all the resources that everyone has now. What I did have was learning from musicians that gigged and I was gigging myself as a bass player, but those resources do not come close to what is available now.

What cannot be bought is commitment and to a lesser extent innate talent. But again these trait have absolutely no correlation if someone is born with money or a family living check to check.
 

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My thoughts:

To an ordinary audience, a good (“pro”) player on a good horn will sound similar if a lesser horn were used - assuming the mouthpiece is the same. The good player will definitely notice the difference.

To an ordinary audience, a beginner will sound the same no matter the equipment (providing there are no issues with the equipment). To the beginner, an equipment difference might be perceived - but it’s imaginary. :)

What may be helpful to beginners is to have the instructor play their sax with their equivalent mouthpiece or a better one. I wish I’d asked my instructor to play my tenor so I could hear what it was capable of.
 

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Agree, I had a dealer tell me I needed the new Selmer Supreme for $8K and my reply was, why?
They threw out that card last time I walked into Saxquest. I got the feeling they were playing with me to see if I gave "the correct" response.
 

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I had a player recently say something that caused me to stop and ponder, and I'm curious what other people think.

He stated that there's an inverse relationship between skill and equipment. The better you can play, the less equipment will make a perceptible difference to an audience, but can make a very large difference to your own ear.

On the flip side, the beginning player will have a much larger perceptible difference to an audience from equipment changes while not being able to hear it as much themself.

Agree? Disagree?
Unless the audience is privy to what each player (pro and beginner) has been playing on previously, how would they know what the difference is? Now, whether you are pro or not, an equipment change is going to make a difference to you. The beginner is going to experience it and maybe not for the better, but he/she will at least notice the difference. One thing's for sure, better equipment is a means to a better performance.
 

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Interesting.

I'm a returning player, and am playing a budget Alto I learnt on at school, with a 4c mouthpiece.

I recently purchased a vintage NWII, and Jazz Select mouthpiece.

The mouthpiece makes the biggest difference to sound on both horns. Despite the conn approaching 100, the keys and action are so light and smooth, and feels much more comfortable in my hands compared to the newer, cheaper beginner horn.

I can play equally as badly on both horns, I do enjoy the conn though, but I'm aware its me that will have the largest impact.
 

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I thought the idea was that better players have fewer horns. Or, the more horns you have, the higher is the likelihood that you suck.
I’ve noticed on here that some have a bunch of clunkers instead of having one good sax.
I don’t really understand that concept. It could be members talking up old junk to sell it makes others believe they’re worth playing.
I remember the days when nobody would bother with split-bell key Conns or stuff like King Zephyrs . You‘re better off spending the money on one sax that has the chance of playing in tune.
 

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I’ve noticed on here that some have a bunch of clunkers instead of having one good sax.
I don’t really understand that concept. It could be members talking up old junk to sell it makes others believe they’re worth playing.
I remember the days when nobody would bother with split-bell key Conns or stuff like King Zephyrs . You‘re better off spending the money on one sax that has the chance of playing in tune.
I do love my King Zephyr as backup for my 12M. The Zephyr is actually a better horn.
 

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I’ve noticed on here that some have a bunch of clunkers instead of having one good sax.
I don’t really understand that concept. It could be members talking up old junk to sell it makes others believe they’re worth playing.
"Clunker" is generally a term denoting the state/condition of a saxophone, rather than its age or brand. Are you saying that people on here are playing horns in bad condition?

If so, how do you know?

If not, why would an old horn in good regulation and working order not be a "good sax"?
 

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They threw out that card last time I walked into Saxquest. I got the feeling they were playing with me to see if I gave "the correct" response.
My local dealer has a pink-gold plated Yanagisawa tenor on the wall. “You’ve got to play this!” was the greeting. “Not really” is my tacit thought. Not that one, nor any of the others on the wall. I’m happy with my horn - no GAS at all.
 
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A saxophone is just a tool to create art, if the artist is bad it doesnt really matter what the tool is. Same with photography, tons of people take boring pictures with expensive cameras.

The companies making various tools have a financial incentive to keep you buying new stuff, if someone actually wanted to be the best artist they could be they wouldn't change their tools very often. People forget no one really cares if youre playing some bozos hand selected mkVI when you cant find your way around a 12 bar blues.
 

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A saxophone is just a tool to create art, if the artist is bad it doesnt really matter what the tool is. Same with photography, tons of people take boring pictures with expensive cameras.

The companies making various tools have a financial incentive to keep you buying new stuff, if someone actually wanted to be the best artist they could be they wouldn't change their tools very often. People forget no one really cares if youre playing some bozos hand selected mkVI when you cant find your way around a 12 bar blues.
I can never make it past the 3rd bar without getting the blues. On a good day, maybe 4
 
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