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This has been disgussed to death, i doubt it makes a damn bit of difference except the non laquered horn will corrode. Its set up that makes the difference and mpc+reed combo
Dave
 

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Hi saxagogo,

I'll save you the searching and just answer your question as best I can. The truth is there is absolutely no consensus on this. Some people swear that there is a difference and that they can tell the difference, while many also say there is absolutely no difference. Various semi-technical (or perhaps pseudo-technical) theories have been put forth one way or the other, but again no real definitive answer. It is a very difficult thing to test as you can't have the same horn with the same setup at the same time doing the test. There's so many variables at play.

But, what does seem to be fairly non-controversial is that, IF there is an effect on the tone (and I'm not saying there is), it is fairly subtle, and is far outweighed by many other factors such as the player, the mp, the reed, the horn design, the horn setup, etc.

What also seems fairly non-controversial is that the experience of the sax sound (and this is a general statement, not limited to the lacquer issue) is very different for the player than the listener, as the player is actually physically connected to the instrument and can pick up through contact vibration differences that may not be perceptible to the listener at all, who is only experiencing sound that comes from the air column through the sax.

Hope that helps.

Pete
 

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This is a real sore point for me. I've known lots of Saxplayers in my life and a few of them have owned (old) non-lacquered horns.

Sorry to burn a few ears here but.....

Most of the ones who say stuff like "Oh I couldn't Possibly get my horn lacquered" are the ones that have a tone like a 29 cent Kazoo. :)
I've told a few of them that "Well..it couldn't get any worse." LOL!
 

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My experience and a story.

I have had two Mark VI's, one re-laquered and one not. I liked the way the not re-laquered had because it seemed like a very old warrior, even getting green at some parts. Of course, perfectly balanced.

Both sounded identical. Yes, identical. I sold one (the one that was not re-laquered) after relaquering it. In Mexico, there is an expert that does a magnificent job relaquering saxophones. He is the member of a family that learned how to do that from an injured french soldier that survided during the french invasion to Mexico.

His job has been very well accepted by experts world wide and my saxes have been heard at some clubs, outside Mexico with no complains.

Just my contribution.
 

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I say it is all a bunch of hype. For me the only bad part about a relacquer is the work done to the body for removal of the old finish. Shortcuts make most of the horns look bad like buffing off the finish and dips around the tone holes and ribs. As far as playing, I see no difference. Where I DO see a difference is with plated horns. I have had Mark VIs in silver plate that are not as "live" but I wouldn't throw one away. My 42 year old Alto is looking pretty grim in the finish and I will redo it someday as I will keep it the rest of my life and I don't care about the value. I will chimical strip the old finish, hand polish the brass, clean the acid off and do it myself. I may even satin silver the body as it has silver plated keys from the factory. Purists still insist on the original finish but I would rather have a decent redo than an ugly old toad.
 

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yes, but what I want to say is that.. it's a personal choice.. let's say that we can play the sax at the professional level.. non-laquer horns often are more free-blowing, and with different finishes.. some have differnt sound because differnt partials of sound will come out. and please dont bash me because you have differnt experiences with it because everyone is different. We all hear different things through our ears.. it might be the shape of the ear tunnel or whatever that effects it. Lastly, a comment from a known pro.. Eric Marienthal says he prefers his non-laquered VI cuz it's more free-blowing.
 

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It may be informative, but some of the information is definitely controversial.

Indeed, some of it is definitely untrue. For a start, parts of "The larger, heavier and the softer a metal part is, the lower the resonant frequency produced. The smaller, lighter and harder the metal, the higher the resonant frequency produced."

Just because it is in print, does not mean it is true. It is still only one person's perspective.

And all the arguable points have been argued ad nauseum in this forum. At least reading what there is already in this forum presents reasonably full spectrum of fact, human subjectivity, and belief on the issue.
 

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sycc: Thanks for that link. I read through it.

I wouldn't call it informative as much as "marketing." Saxforte is selling products and like all sellers, he may add some info that may or may not be true. I am NOT bagging on saxforte, but I am bagging on the myths surrounding the various comments in this link.

Big bore/small bore? I don't buy it. I recently measured three of my altos because of a comment about bore-sizes. I measured one from the 1920's, one from the 1940's, and a new Ref 54. I measured the outside diameters at three points. They all measured the same. I am guesing that most altos will measure the same.

My sopranos (six at this count, from 1928 to modern) all measure the same.

Myths die hard. SaxtoPete had it right as did others here. DAVE
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
Indeed, some of it is definitely untrue. For a start, parts of "The larger, heavier and the softer a metal part is, the lower the resonant frequency produced. The smaller, lighter and harder the metal, the higher the resonant frequency produced."
Just curious Gordon. Which parts of this are untrue and why?

John
 

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Dave Dolson,Keilwerths really do have a larger bore. My daughters Keilwerth definetely has a bigger diameter receiver than my selmer Usa omega. But Keilwerths are probably the exception to the rule.
 

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We have the luxury of actually having all of the saxophones we refer to in our posession and we stand by our comments and the guidance we provide to clients.

If anyone would like to dispute the facts we present, at least do so in a scientific manner. We'll engage with any serious critic who provides serious information. However, we can not take criticisms based on "guesses" very seriously.

We invite readers of this forum to read everything posted here with a critical eye.
 

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Admittedly I'm a seriously rubbish player but I tried the Yani 901 and 902 and the 991 and 992 and I couldn't tell any difference, but admittedly that's empirical evidence of only the very shadiest kind. Much more importantly, the research is all there, in fact there's heaps of it. All you need to do is play around on Google for a few minutes and you'll find loads of stuff on wind instruments and how sound is produced by them. I like the fact that you can get a sax in any finish you like, but it's really not going to affect the tone and if you can be botheres to read it the science proves it. :)

jbtsax said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon (NZ)
Indeed, some of it is definitely untrue. For a start, parts of "The larger, heavier and the softer a metal part is, the lower the resonant frequency produced. The smaller, lighter and harder the metal, the higher the resonant frequency produced."

Just curious Gordon. Which parts of this are untrue and why?
I realise you were specifically asking Gordon, but I thought I'd have a crack at it, although I',m strictly amateur at this but anyway... the science shows that a wind instrument is merely a tube that is open at one end that allows a column of air to vibrate inside. It's not like hitting a bell or a triangle where the material itself will determine the sound, with a wind instrument the tube is just there to form the profile of the tube that the column of air vibrates within. One of Steve Howard's favourite expressions is that you could make a sax out of cheese and it would still sound the same. Personally I think you'd need to choose a hard, non-crumbly cheese though - say an edam or a gouda ;)
 

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sycc: Have you measured the JK at several locations and compared those measurements to other marques? I don't think the diameter of the neck's tenon joint is a good indicator that a saxophone may or may not be a "big-bore" model.

I don't have the tools nor the mathematical expertise to measure the internal diameter of any instrument. but I did use a set of ammo-reloading calipers and measured three of my altos (and all of my sopranos) at various locations. They were all similar - close enough that I doubt that any significance could attach to the one/two-thousandth of an inch differences, if it was that much.

I've owned a JK alto but I did not measure it. Whatever it measured it wasn't much different from any of my other altos. I've owned many of the models mentioned on saxforte's linked site, and in my opinion, little difference exists, especially in their bore sizes.

Saxforte is free to hold whatever opinions he wants, and he can write anything he wants on his site (and elsewhere). All I'm saying is I don't believe it - ESPECIALLY his discussion of lacquers, thickness of lacquers, and plating. Yes, he has a nice selection of saxophones for sale and most if not all of them have sterling reputations. They all should play nicely. DAVE
 

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tenor saxman said:
is it in everybody's opinions that a re-laquer job should cause the value of the horn to depreciate?
No. One of the best saxophones I've ever played is relacquered (Mark VI sop). Actually, I've heard about relacquering being a "no-no" for the first time on this forum. I think this is mainly a "sax culture" thing in some countries (maybe mostly USA?). I would say, since I don't believe relacquering would make a difference in playing/sound, that relacquering should make the sax value more - exactly by the cost of the relacquering.

Consider this - I managed to convince some people, that were absolutely sure the material/plating makes an important difference, that it doesn't make a difference, by blind and non-blind tests. I don't know anyone who was conviced the lacquer makes no difference who then changed their mind.

Lucky for us, the store had six Selmer SIII altos, three lacquered and three silver plated. One person, a VERY high level classical alto saxophinst wanted to buy a Selmer alto sax. He played all six and claimed he heard a difference between the lacquered and silver plated ones (and just in general he was sure there was a difference because of the plating long before that). First I asked him if he notice a bigger difference between the differet platings, than between two of the silver plated saxes, and he wasn't sure. Then someone else played the same saxes. This person also believes the plating makes a difference. The first person listened without looking, and couldn't detect which were lacquer and which were silver plated.

This test is maybe even stronger than a double blind test, because the person playing, if anything, would make more difference than there was with his playing, because of his believes.
 
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