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I found a local ad with a black nickel SX-90 tenor in which the seller suggests that his modified SX-90 neck improved the upper register that was noticeably flat.
In his sale ad he goes even further suggesting that ALL Keilwerth necks are poorly designed in respect to their too heavy reinforcement plate.
As you can see in the picture the original reinforcement plate was removed and a cross bar was soldered on instead.
Does it all make sense?
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I can only speak for myself, but I've been playing on the same Keilwerth SX90R tenor for over 20 years. In that time, a significant portion of the lacquer has worn off of my horn, I've had to replace many pads and adjustment materials, I've had to have some keys swedged, and I've replaced the neck cork more than half a dozen times. However, I've never experienced any pull-down or other type of neck damage.

I don't know whether I've been lucky or what this guy's experience is, but I'd be at least a little bit skeptical since he's selling a modified horn and thus has an obvious interest in advertising that modification (which might generally hurt the horn's resale value) as having added value.
 

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LOL what a scam. Stay away from that thing. My Keilwerth tenor necks are just fine. 1960s-80s Bundy Special tenors and a Conn DJH Modified from the mid 80s
 

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Its possible his claim has merit. Its common knowledge that the lesser amount of soldered-on plates/reinforcements increases resonance. Selmer did this with the 'Jubilee' necks. The crude and poorly-soldered brace he shows might not be such of an improvement - its the principle that is at issue, not the execution. I have a Jubilee Sterling tenor neck which is incredible but I am getting ready to put a brace on it somewhat like the one shown here because the neck is too flexy - I think about not putting weight on it when playing and that takes away from my concentration on what I'm doing. I'm willing to give up some resonance to stabilize that neck - but I won't do it myself. :)
 

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In his sale ad he goes even further suggesting that ALL Keilwerth necks are poorly designed in respect to their too heavy reinforcement plate.
I'm sorry, I missed this detail in the original post. As you can tell from my initial response, I thought his claim was that the reinforcement was inadequate and had led to some type of neck damage.

Having reread this, I agree with turf3. The suggestion that the neck reinforcement is too heavy and that the extra mass somehow audibly impacts the sound is just silly.

Ironically, it's also the inverse of the (equally silly) claim of the Klangbogen, mass screws, etc. salesmen that attaching extra mass to the horn somehow improves the sound.
 

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I'm sorry, I missed this detail in the original post. As you can tell from my initial response, I thought his claim was that the reinforcement was inadequate and had led to some type of neck damage.

Having reread this, I agree with turf3. The suggestion that the neck reinforcement is too heavy and that the extra mass somehow audibly impacts the sound is just silly.

Ironically, it's also the inverse of the (equally silly) claim of the Klangbogen, mass screws, etc. salesmen that attaching extra mass to the horn somehow improves the sound.
One way to determine whether something is likely to be snake oil is to see if conflicting claims are made about its effects.

Add mass to the outside of the horn! No, remove mass from the outside of the horn!

Silver plating makes it brighter! No, richer! No, darker! No, poorer! No, it gives it a smooth chocolatey goodness!

The Selmer Mark 6 sounds special because Selmer built a brass foundry and rolling mill to convert World War 2 shell casings into sheet brass, rather than just buying sheet brass from the local metals distributor!

And so on.

Let's face it, no one disputes the claims that high baffle mouthpieces produce a brighter sound containing more high partials, or that raising key heights will make certain notes play sharper, or that the tuning of the sax to itself can be adversely affected by a mouthpiece whose chamber size is so different from design intent that it has to be positioned way further out or in on the neck. Why does no one dispute these things? Why does everyone seem to agree on what their effects are? Maybe because these statements are based on the REALITY of the way the saxophone ACTUALLY WORKS.
 

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So you would say that Selmer, by introducing the Jubilee neck with it's resonance-enhancing modifications, is snake oil? Have you played one of these necks and compared it to their previous models? They even install shorter neck corks for less damping effect. These things are not new - makers have been doing them for many years. Have you never experienced the very noticeable increase in response on a sax that has lost its thumb rest/hook? I had one pop off a Martin in the middle of a set and I didn't want to get it fixed - it was great but I had it re-soldered anyway. Manufacturers use post-only construction without the reinforcing plates sometimes to increase resonance. Silver necks always have to be braced, but when they use one like the one pictured above, they also do not install the regular soldered-on brace under the big bend. Its not a matter of weight - they delete it because it has a damping effect on the neck.
I'll believe Selmer, other manufacturers and my own experience before you, no contest.
 

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No, it's a common BELIEF, which is not substantiated by what is known about the way the saxophone actually works.
I have to sorta agree with this.

Again, the reason I say so is..the whole 'resonance' thing when it comes to saxophones...that has always been a very, very arguable claim. I mean, for example, if that were the case, one could argue that Ribbed Construction is a very bad thing, right ? Because all of those continuous plates are actually negatively impacting the resonance of the body tube. There are tons of 'discussions' on this....but my understanding has been that brass instrument bodies do not 'resonate' the way a wood stringed instrument does, for example. So the resonance of a sax is negligible at best. The tonality and performance of the horn being more connected to its geometry.

In the case of a neck, a tube which (to begin with) is relatively small....I would challenge anyone to present hard data which shows that different neck braces on a Tenor neck actually effects the neck's performance. I am not soapboxing here....I am asking for someone to point me to data (not hypotheses) which illustrates this.

In the case of the OP's example...Hogwash. A neck brace is going to change the intonation a neck-body combo produces ? Wowzer....

So you would say that Selmer, by introducing the Jubilee neck with it's resonance-enhancing modifications, is snake oil? Have you played one of these necks and compared it to their previous models?
The HUGE question here is: were any OTHER specifications of the neck changed ? IOW....when you wanna figure out if one design change actually effected the entire whole...EVERYTHING else...every other spec...has to remain constant. So...are you certain EVERY other specification of that particular neck remained constant ? Because if anything else is different (neck taper, pip location, tube geometry, the list goes on) then one absolutely cannot conclude that the reputed 'improvement' or 'enhancement' is the reason for the difference in the neck's performance.

 

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So you would say that Selmer, by introducing the Jubilee neck with it's resonance-enhancing modifications, is snake oil? .
Yep, snake oil. Also called "advertising". Well, let's be clear here; if they changed the inside of the neck (different surface finish or dimensions) no one disputes that has an effect. Changing the brace on the outside and claiming an effect on "resonance"? Snake oil.

Do you realize that Yamaha's advertising materials actually claim that the plating on clarinet keys has an effect on sound? Do you believe that too, because it comes from Yamaha's ad agency?

I'll believe Selmer, other manufacturers and my own experience before you, no contest.
Well, I am not trying to sell you anything. They are. Are there any conclusions that one might possibly be able to draw here? Why do you think there are annual model changes in automobiles? Do you really think that there are significant technical advancements in each product line of automobiles every fall?
 

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Sadly, I would tend to agree. Cannonball has said their keytouch and bling materials effect the tone, even R&C claims that their decision to sell their brass horns as bare brass only is because of acoustic/sonic improvement (as opposed to, say, the fact that the production costs become cheaper for them not ho have a lacquering station any longer).
So, in this brave new millenium, one might ask why the marketing of Selmer be any different, really ? They are trying to compete just like anyone else.

Again, IF someone presented me with exact measurements showing that the 'new' Selmer neck was the exact same specification as the previous one, with the sole changes being something soldered to the outside of that neck... and a shorter neck cork....then I am open to that consideration.
 

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Silver necks always have to be braced, but when they use one like the one pictured above, they also do not install the regular soldered-on brace under the big bend. Its not a matter of weight - they delete it because it has a damping effect on the neck.
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Well, no, they delete the stamped brace underneath because there's no need for two braces. Note that older tenor saxes with "wire" type braces also don't have the little plate under, as Buescher or Conn.

One more for you:

Why do you think that "superior resonance characteristics" ALWAYS exist in more expensive materials? Have you EVER seen someone offer a saxophone option neck, or body material, or accessory, made of - let's say - anodized aluminum, or simple mild steel with zinc plating, claiming that THIS material is better for "resonance"? No, no, no, a thousand times no. Ordinary brass sheet (inexpensive) will do for ordinary mortals, but if you want best performance you need ever more expensive materials. Last I looked there were no mechanical properties of silver or gold or platinum that would imply superior "resonance" properties. Have you ever noticed that bells, expensive bells, the kind that cost many tens of thousands of dollars, are invariably made of brass or bronze? Why, if more expensive materials are better, aren't they made from sterling silver for example? I mean, the body of a bell actually DOES resonate. Or piano strings? They really, really, really do resonate and vibrate and have a HUGE impact on piano sound. How come they're made of plain old boring high carbon steel, not some kind of ultra-unobtanium?
 

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I can believe that the properties of various metals -- ductility, malleability, etc. -- might dictate tooling & methods of manufacture, which might influence the internal air column & therefore tone. But no, I don't believe that the body of a sax vibrates audibly; it's not a drum or a bell or a ukulele. Granted, I'm neither a metallurgist nor an acoustician, just a sax player who reads science books.

Yep, snake oil. Also called "advertising"... Do you realize that Yamaha's advertising materials actually claim that the plating on clarinet keys has an effect on sound? Do you believe that too, because it comes from Yamaha's ad agency?
I worked in advertising, once upon a time. Some of my bosses & co-workers lacked ethics, but most of us understood that telling lies would be counterproductive; our job, as we saw it, was to tell the truth persuasively.

Sometimes the manufacturer makes a decent product. Sometimes the folks who craft the ads are decent too. Where do the outrageous claims come from? The manufacturer's marketing department. When they understand neither the product nor the customer, they make stuff up.

Or this happens: I had a client once who came out with a great product. The prototype was stellar, & we proudly devised an epic ad campaign for it in multiple media -- radio, TV, print, point-of-sale. Then the product launched, & to our dismay we discovered that the client was making it out of cheap crummy materials rather than the quality materials we saw in the prototype. The advertising was truthful, yet the product was false.

Just sayin'.
 

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Recently I had my S20 silver neck straightened out by a well-known maker of boutique necks. He had me try some of his also, with fancy nodes and weights added. I could not appreciate a difference, and to my ears the OEM neck, after repair, sounds better. In reality, they probably sounded the same, but I admit to bias, as I went to him with the express goal of having the original fixed and not to buy his bespoke replacement. I am sure that others have tried his necks and found them to be superior to their own. Classic case of confirmation bias, all around.
 

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When I purchased my SX90 tenor from a shop overseas over 20 years ago, the intonation was off. I contacted the local Keilwerth rep and he sent me a new Neck. Problem solved.
 
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