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So i just feel i have to completely disembowel this dead horse.....

it has been proven that the biggest influence on tone and overall playing is the player.

with that said. Why do people (other than collectors) spend absolutely insane prices for horns and pieces when all we need to do is practice more...

I can understand durability and playability requirements a la Michael Brecker's medical condition. but like stated with the AMMA review. Why get an AMMA when you can sound as good on a saxscape.

please note that i am a total hypocrite as i play a JJDV 7* which i sold my soul for. but i did it because i was able to amortize the value and barely feel the stab of price.....

fusing about gear just kinda irks me from a financial piont. comming from someone who has had to struggle to get gear that would be considered "making due". why don't good players buy satisfactory equipment and help those struggling to get on their feet....
 

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You have it backwards. A lack of chops can be a justification for GAS. So?

littlewailer said:
Why get an AMMA when you can sound as good on a saxscape.
How would you know unless you try both?
 

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Eric Alexander goes through a few Florida Links every year and he has chops out the wazoo.
 

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Mike Cesati said:
is GAS the justification for a lack of chops... Yes it is.

No further comment , thank you for your time.


I don't think that is always the case. I'm practicing more in the last 12 months than I have in the last 10 years(except for the case of tendonitis being a hurdle). I'm happy with the pieces that I have but I keep buying and selling them. I don't make money at it, I just try to break even. I consider it a hobby for me outside of sax playing and music. I love trying piece(especially good ones)I love selling great pieces to people and hearing the difference in there playing. It's the coolest thing. I can thing of about 10 students of mine that bought pieces from me at the cost of what I paid and sound 100% better tone wise. I love that feeling. I have 2 pieces I always go to over the last year. the rest are just fun for me.
I do think that advice should be gotten from a competent player and or teacher before buying these high priced pieces. Thought and advice should be received considering what level the player is at and what is best.
 

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Didn't Joe Henderson play with the same Soloist all his life, the one that came with his Mark VI ?
 

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Yes and no. Sometimes. Maybe....

If buying new gear keeps your interest up and encourages you to practice, then it is a good thing.

I think all musicians take a pride and an interest in their instruments. BUT There is a kind of inverted snobbery about the whole thing. I was reading about how Paul Desmond used to tell people he played with a cheap windcraft mouthpiece that was in the case when he got his horn. On the other hand there is talk of him smashing a mouthpiece with a hammer when frustrated, and having his mouthpieces refaced, hardly the actions of someone who plays "anything", so we cannot always believe what we are told.....

Art Pepper does not mention horns or equipment directly at all in his biography "Straight Life"; leading us to believe that he was not much of a gear head. However I have lots of photos of him, with lots of different horns and mouthpieces. A student of his also recounts how Art told him to get a rubber mouthpiece rather than metal. Art Pepper does make one comment about how pleased he was with the Buffet horns he was given as an endorsement (mainly because he was a high-risk advert) He also helped to design a Runyon piece later in his life. The man obviously cared about his tone and his equipment.

I think the person that plays on a $50 mouthpiece, and on the same horn for all their career is a rare breed. Even Stan Getz, who played on inexpensive set-ups, tried a few combinations.

So in short, GAS is harmless, if you can afford it, and it doesn't mess up your embouchure, then go for it. BUT don't go cranking up the credit card, as it just isn't worth it!
 

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If you're buying stuff with notion you'll get better from the next UPS driver delivery, yes you need to practice more. If you're buying stuff with idea of understanding for yourself all that's available to make the best out of your practice time, the answer is no.
 

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after playing 30+ years I can play on a inexpensive sax and make it "sing". I choose to play pro saxes(expensive) because there are less shortcomings to deal with. In other words the sax gets out of the way and I can concentrate on making music instead of compensating for equipment flaws.
 

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Here's a example of good GAS. I love a dark tenor sound. My new Keilwerth SX-90 black nickel makes it easier to get the tenor sound I want. The sterling silver neck I got for my selmer (USA) omega tenor gives it a darker sound but the Keilwerth makes getting the sound I want easier!!!
 

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littlewailer said:
good comments so far. thanks.

what about the mentality don't fix what's not broken. If you have a good set up that would just require you to practice more to get the full potential, why buy more....
Yeah that's my baritone and alto set up. selmer super action 80 series I baritone w/ C** mthpc since 1984. Selmer USA Pro alto w/ larry teal mthpc since 1988.
 

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Better equipment allows you to play better. I can see moving from a student horn to a pro horn, for example, or from one horn to another that works better for you. It enables you to approach your playing potential more quickly.

I have two vintage and two contemporary tenors here. I play best on the one that is probably worth more on the market than the other three combined, a beatup old mark vi. A listener might not know the difference, but the horn offers fewer challenges, so I struggle less with the horn and concentrate more on the music.

Better, or I should say, different equipment can help you get closer to the sound you want. Sometimes it lets you discover that you can sound like something you did not realize you would prefer. That's what happened for me with the piece I'm playing today.

I went through a Selmer, a Brillhart, Links, Ponzols, a Dave Knox, a Tenney, a Dukof, a Jumbo Java, a Barone Jazz 8, a Jody Jazz ESP 7*, sometimes discovering a new, improved sound, other times a reject. Who's to say what will happen the next time I try something new.

"The solution to a problem modifies the problem."

It isn't a question of collecting or trying to cure challenged chops. It's a quest for a sound that I prefer to the one I am getting. I see nothing wrong with that if one can afford it. And it benefits those less fortunate, because eventually the pieces I replace will wind up on the market usually for less than I paid for them.
 

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There's are at least three kinds of GAS I can think of:

1) GAS that replaces practicing. It is motivated by laziness and the belief that a piece of equipment will solve all your playing woes and make you into a virtuoso.
2) GAS that supplies you with toys. As mentioned in previous posts, a lot of people like new things; they motivate them to approach their instruments in a fresh way. If the new toy gets you to play more, that's good.
3) Restless GAS. Humans are restless, curious creatures. We need to experiment and like changes especially when we can control them.

GAS is part of all professions that involve the acquisition and manipulation of complex machines. It comes with the territory, and its not all bad.
 

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betelsax said:
GAS is part of all professions that involve the acquisition and manipulation of complex machines. It comes with the territory, and its not all bad.
Yeah. but sax players seem to have the most GAS. Anyone ever seen an oboe player with GAS?
 

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zxcvbnm said:
Yeah. but sax players seem to have the most GAS. Anyone ever seen an oboe player with GAS?

Oboe players have other problems. Like pitch. Seriously though, there are only so many things you can have for oboe.


And I think guitar players have the most gas.
 

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Martinman said:
Oboe players have other problems. Like pitch. Seriously though, there are only so many things you can have for oboe.

And I think guitar players have the most gas.
As a guitar player, I totally agree. Sax players get good value in that respect. If you want the same setup as your "hero" then you are looking at $6000 for the horn, and maybe a $450 mouthpiece (ok maybe $1000 if it is a vintage meyer)

So $7,000 later you are playing with exactly the same gear, and by now have realised your own shortcomings:)

For a serious guitarist, this is pocket money. Want the same guitar as your hero? If it is vintage then maybe 20, 30 40k........., Amplifier?.......... 7k gets you a nice old one.....

Classical musicians suffer from GAS in the same way, OK maybe not the oboe, but talk to any flute player or violinist......serious money.
 

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Yeah, let's say you're a violinist and want to have the setup of your hero, and let's suppose that your hero played on a Stradivarius... 'nuf said
 

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littlewailer said:
So i just feel i have to completely disembowel this dead horse.....

it has been proven that the biggest influence on tone and overall playing is the player.

with that said. Why do people (other than collectors) spend absolutely insane prices for horns and pieces when all we need to do is practice more...

I can understand durability and playability requirements a la Michael Brecker's medical condition. but like stated with the AMMA review. Why get an AMMA when you can sound as good on a saxscape.

please note that i am a total hypocrite as i play a JJDV 7* which i sold my soul for. but i did it because i was able to amortize the value and barely feel the stab of price.....

fusing about gear just kinda irks me from a financial piont. comming from someone who has had to struggle to get gear that would be considered "making due". why don't good players buy satisfactory equipment and help those struggling to get on their feet....



I don't get the question why don't good players help those struggling get on their feet?

Are you suggesting I shouldn't buy a second alto because some other player doesn't even have his first good sax yet? Sounds to me like you might be a communist........A HORN FOR EVERY MAN WOMEN AND CHILD IN MY REALM!!!!!!! :) but seriously how people spend their money is really a personal issue.

On the subject of whether people do it to try and sound better when they should practice I'm sure that is also true.
 
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