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All that is needed is someone with a microphone and a spectrum analyzer so we can see which, if any, frequencies are different in a sound made by one piece of equipment versus another.

If KB already did that and is interpreting results, just show the waveforms so we can see the data behind conclusions.
It all seems so simple. How do you remove the effect of the player? I can make profound changes in the sound of my horn by adjusting my embouchure and air stream.
 

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Of course if "science" and "scientific research" and "scientific data" all say it is so, then it must be true. Like when science and its research and data concluded that the world is flat. I guess it must have been true back then because they said it was so.

Turtle
You've got that 100% dead wrong.

No scientist and no scientific or pre-scientific research ever indicated the earth was flat. That came from myths and theologians.

Mariners have known for thousands of years that the earth was curved. People were making (sometimes surprisingly accurate) estimates of the diameter of the earth before the birth of Christ - long before the concept of science even existed.

And for the next example I expect you'll pull out, the geocentric solar system: long before Copernicus people knew that the apparent motions of stars and planets were more easily explained by a heliocentric system, but due to fear of being burned to death for heresy they developed an incredibly complicated set of theoretical motions about the earth to explain the apparent motions of heavenly bodies. Again, it was not scientists nor scientific research that were claiming geocentricity, it was theologians and the Inquisition and its equivalents.
 

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Makes sense. I was thinking of the same 'proof' in loose parts vibrating from playing notes that excite their own resonant frequencies. Certainly these side vibrations are not driving the waveforms but they are adding some color to the sound from whatever spectral content they are adding. Thanks!
The vibrations of wall materials in musical instruments and their effects upon the soundwaves in the column of air inside the instrument have been studied extensively by acoustic scientists---especially with regard to brass instruments. In brass instruments it has been found that vibrations in the large surface area and thin metal of the bell flare does influence the sound giving a more "brassy" tone at the loudest playing levels.

The attached study is one of many that have addressed the question in woodwind instruments. The introduction of the study provides an overview of prior research and the findings in the present study. It contains the following information (paraphrased): To find measurable effects of wall vibrations upon the soundwave inside, "the tested tube has to be very thin 0.2 m and slightly oval shaped, which is not realistic for a wind instrument."

The conclusion of the study adds: " An artificial oval shaped and thin walled system has been constructed for these effects to be measurable. For real orchestral instruments, although the previously described mechanism is not to be excluded completely for a particular instrument, similar effects are thus unlikely to be measurable and, even if they were, would only occur for one or a few notes."
 

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Science is not a set of facts, but a set of methods for evaluating the relative validity of competing factual claims.
Precisely.

If, therefore, there exists a methodology to determine the answer to a hypothesis....I don't see why that reality/methodology should be dismissed or called into question.... when in fact, it is the exact path necessary to put all doubt aside.

All we are doing here is spinning our wheels until that is done and the results are available.....
 

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All that is needed is someone with a microphone and a spectrum analyzer so we can see which, if any, frequencies are different in a sound made by one piece of equipment versus another.

If KB already did that and is interpreting results, just show the waveforms so we can see the data behind conclusions.
Correct, and ...also a confirmation that there is only that single particular variable which differs between the two subjects.
 

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I find in interesting that experts who are NOT selling something tend to move away from the material matters arguement whereas thise who are selling items invest heavily in material snd finish differences.
This is where I take my hat of once again to Buescher. (Pronounced Buescher BTW)

8015
 

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Sure, I'll buy that. For me it was a pretty strong difference, but it does come down to a preference. No other variables have been excluded, I don't have any time for that, or horns to compare, etc. Keilwerth has basically nothing to say on the subject, they don't even include the shadow tenor on their website. I had to find out somewhere else that the body is made of nickel-silver, the one known difference from the other SX90R horns, which are brass.
So then it is stated...'you don't have time for' determining whether there are multiple variables at play in your comparison.

Which is the exact information needed to determine if your comparison and your opinion is valid/correct.

It's NOT that hard to determine the variables. Simply measure up the two subjects with calipers and see if anything else differs. No, YOU may not have the ability to do it...or, perhaps...it's just inconvenient to do it.
But it isn't hard to do it.
One could, for example, collect that data from other owners....if the owners would be willing to calipre-measure their horns in maybe two dozen areas.

Likewise in the case of a manufacturer of a product...who is claiming a discernible difference due solely to finish/material....except it (ostensibly) is easier for them....because, all they have to do is confirm and possibly illustrate to us that the subjects are the exact same specification with sole exception of the finish/material.
Then, again, next show that the sonic differences are discernible to the human ear.
 

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Bird probably sounded great honking a car's horn ..... He sounded great on a plastic sax, that you would expect .... doesn't mean it sounded the same as his brass horn. Doesn't mean that materials don't effect the sound of a saxophone.

If the material makes no difference to the sound, then why haven't we seen aluminum saxes? They would weigh less than brass, I assume, and be a selling point.

Turtle
Aluminum is hard to work. It doesn't bend and form like brass does. It doesn't braze or solder like brass. It has to be welded and if you've ever tried welding aluminum you know that it's notoriously difficult to control. There are materials engineers here who can give you a host of other reasons brass is superior to aluminum for building saxes. I'll wait for them to chime in.

I can see this thread is gonna be as conclusive as the other three dozen on the subject over the years...

I do agree with @mmichel ....if you are gonna go to the trouble of testing various samples where only ONE single variable is changed ( a good method, btw)....then for goodness sake...don't just post your interpretations/conclusions.....post the darn results for all to see and hear....

(regarding anyone who makes the claim of a discernible difference....be certain there is only the sole variable of material (or finish, or whatever). Because if there is more than a single variable (say it is finish and geometry/spec)....the veracity of your conclusion flies out the window....)

For example:

"other nearly identical".... is akin to "kinda pregnant"

If the specs of your nickel silver horn are absolutely IDENTICAL to the specs of the 'other models' you claim sound different...with the sole exception being the nickel silver....then you are on terra firma.

If you do not know whether every other spec is identical....then it holds little water. A small difference in neck spec, body tube spec, bow spec, etc...just added a second variable so one cannot conclude that it is the finish/body material which makes it sound different.
Add tho THIS, the serviced condition of the horns. Are they all in the exact same good tack ? If not, there's another variable right there.

So, if one wishes to state with confidence that there is or is not a difference, one has to have the information/confirmation that everything else is in fact identical.
Easiest way to do this is accurately measure up the two or three horns, maybe weigh 'em too.. and see if in fact their specs are identical.

Then after that is done, have a tech assess each one to confirm whether they are in the same playing shape.

When all of that has been confirmed....now you have some grounds to claim the sole variable among the test subjects is the material/finish.
I agree about posting the results. In fact, I tried to make the point a couple of times on the thread with no end, that this could all be settled easily by recording tracks and comparing the sound waves ( can't remember the term ) produced on a spectrum analyzer. It's so simple and it requires zero subjective opinions from listeners. Record it, overlay the various recordings of instruments with different materials attached and look at the results. There will be some differences in the spectra but anything with a strong enough signal to be audible to human ears will show up on a printout.
 

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I think what's opaque is not acoustical science, but how to relate the knowable and measurable factors to the subjective experience of playing.
Only opaque to people without any background in experimental science. There are well established protocols for doing things like this, when effects are subtle and vary amongst individuals. Medical science uses such methodologies extensively.

Further, given the significant body of experimental evidence already present that was done properly, it's safe to say that any new evidence for effect of materials in the sound production of the saxophone will be very very small only present in certain very specific circumstances. No "overturning" of current knowledge. Just like quantum mechanics and relativistic effects didn't "overturn" Newtonian mechanics; they just filled in the areas where Newtonian mechanics lose accuracy - namely very tiny distances, very enormous distances, and speeds approaching the speed of light. Anyone who's taken freshman physics knows that the relativistic term in any equation of motion is vanishingly small except at these limit conditions.
 

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Well, there is the whole double-blind thing and avoidance of confirmation bias, but generally this is all sales pitch and is more driven by the eyes rather than the ears. Like comparing other finishes to lacquer:

Unlacquered is less restrictive.
Black lacquer plays darker.
Silver plate plays brighter.
And of course, you get a richer sound from gold plate.

Seems like Kim isn't wholly immune from this phenomenon...

In front of the bell, a silver plate will sound brighter than a raw neck
 

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Aluminum is hard to work. It doesn't bend and form like brass does. It doesn't braze or solder like brass. It has to be welded and if you've ever tried welding aluminum you know that it's notoriously difficult to control. There are materials engineers here who can give you a host of other reasons brass is superior to aluminum for building saxes. I'll wait for them to chime in.
Some aluminum alloys are great for forming - witness the deep-drawing capability as demonstrated in beer cans. Then take a beer can and crush it in your hand... Yeah, there are trade-offs. You are spot on about the joinability - aluminum quickly forms a native oxide that precludes soldering.

Brass is really good for this application.
 

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Aluminum is hard to work. It doesn't bend and form like brass does. It doesn't braze or solder like brass. It has to be welded and if you've ever tried welding aluminum you know that it's notoriously difficult to control. There are materials engineers here who can give you a host of other reasons brass is superior to aluminum for building saxes. I'll wait for them to chime in.
It's also a weak material in yield strength and stiffness (modulus of elasticity) for its weight, so you end up having much greater thickness for the same dent and bending resistance as brass - and then formability goes out the window. And you sure don't want to be trying to TIG weld aluminum tone holes onto an aluminum body. For deep drawn tubular shapes that need inexpensive mass production, moderately good strength and stiffness, and moderate corrosion resistance, you just can't do much better than good old C26000 brass. Also don't forget that it'll make a lousy mechanism material unless you reinforce all the wear points with brass or steel bushings - and that's still more cost.
 

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Only opaque to people without any background in experimental science. There are well established protocols for doing things like this, when effects are subtle and vary amongst individuals. Medical science uses such methodologies extensively.

Further, given the significant body of experimental evidence already present that was done properly, it's safe to say that any new evidence for effect of materials in the sound production of the saxophone will be very very small only present in certain very specific circumstances. No "overturning" of current knowledge. Just like quantum mechanics and relativistic effects didn't "overturn" Newtonian mechanics; they just filled in the areas where Newtonian mechanics lose accuracy - namely very tiny distances, very enormous distances, and speeds approaching the speed of light. Anyone who's taken freshman physics knows that the relativistic term in any equation of motion is vanishingly small except at these limit conditions.
I'm not in any way arguing against the validity of acoustic science. I was more focused on the other direction: that we aren't able to derive scientific fact from the subjective experience of playing on its own or necessarily to take a scientific concept and put it into use as players.

Our (collective) understanding of acoustical science is enormously detailed, obviously.
 

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Just like quantum mechanics and relativistic effects didn't "overturn" Newtonian mechanics; they just filled in the areas where Newtonian mechanics lose accuracy - namely very tiny distances, very enormous distances, and speeds approaching the speed of light. Anyone who's taken freshman physics knows that the relativistic term in any equation of motion is vanishingly small except at these limit conditions.
Yes, I love that quantum mechanics shows a non-zero probability that the person driving on my bumper might appear in front of me. It could happen...
 

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Oy ...... I knew I should have stayed out of this nonsense. Carry on, enjoy! I'm going back to playing music.


Turtle
 

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Of course if "science" and "scientific research" and "scientific data" all say it is so, then it must be true. Like when science and its research and data concluded that the world is flat. I guess it must have been true back then because they said it was so.
I didn't wade through this entire thread (we've had this long winded discussion before on here many times) but just responding to this statement, that's not how science or scientific research works. I won't go into a long treatise on the scientific method here (it would take up too much space), but you can look it up and find lots of info on it if you are willing to do so.
 

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It's also a weak material in yield strength and stiffness (modulus of elasticity) for its weight, so you end up having much greater thickness for the same dent and bending resistance as brass - and then formability goes out the window. And you sure don't want to be trying to TIG weld aluminum tone holes onto an aluminum body. For deep drawn tubular shapes that need inexpensive mass production, moderately good strength and stiffness, and moderate corrosion resistance, you just can't do much better than good old C26000 brass. Also don't forget that it'll make a lousy mechanism material unless you reinforce all the wear points with brass or steel bushings - and that's still more cost.
I knew you manufacturing guys (turf and Dr G) would know the reasons for not using aluminum. I hadn't considered aluminum beer cans being drawn. I knew it couldn't be soldered. I took welding classes years ago and watched as the aluminum heated by a torch started to glow cherry red then before you could do anything about it a pool of liquid metal formed and dropped out. Ugh.
 

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I agree about posting the results. In fact, I tried to make the point a couple of times on the thread with no end, that this could all be settled easily by recording tracks and comparing the sound waves ( can't remember the term ) produced on a spectrum analyzer. It's so simple and it requires zero subjective opinions from listeners. Record it, overlay the various recordings of instruments with different materials attached and look at the results. There will be some differences in the spectra but anything with a strong enough signal to be audible to human ears will show up on a printout.
Because of human variability playing exactly the same on each trial many acoustic tests use an "artificial embouchure".

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It all seems so simple. How do you remove the effect of the player? I can make profound changes in the sound of my horn by adjusting my embouchure and air stream.
I assume good faith from the people performing the test. You cant easily remove variability of humans but assuming you have someone attempting to play in the same way throughout testing you should be able to get meaningful data. A basic test process would be to have someone play one note, in tune, a minimum of 3 times to try to account for repeatability. Just overlay the waveforms and take the average. Like all testing there is error but in this case if the difference between two products is within a small error percentage then you know there is no real difference considering the player can make drastic changes by themselves.
 
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