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i've read several posts where people assume that smoother inside surfaces will enhance resonance and therefore sound better. well, i make alto flute headjoints out of wood and plastic and a smooth interior sounds different but not necessarily better.

others say that you need to have an impartial listener help you decide what sounds better. the trombone listserve extensively went through that discussion (yes i play low brass as well) and they decided that if you need someone else to judge the tone, there isn't enough difference for you to be concerned. so play what YOU prefer.
 

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selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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i've read several posts where people assume that smoother inside surfaces will enhance resonance and therefore sound better. well, i make alto flute headjoints out of wood and plastic and a smooth interior sounds different but not necessarily better.

others say that you need to have an impartial listener help you decide what sounds better. the trombone listserve extensively went through that discussion (yes i play low brass as well) and they decided that if you need someone else to judge the tone, there isn't enough difference for you to be concerned. so play what YOU prefer.
It's not so much that it enhances "resonance" since nothing is resonating in the air column. It is that there is less energy loss at the walls in the standing wave formed inside the bore. It has been calculated that the roughness and microporosity in wood, for instance, reduces the output of a wood flute about 2 dB as compared to that of an equivalent metal flute. This is actually pretty small, just on the edge of perception. It is possible that there are differential losses according to frequency, so that the actual timbre of the sound would be somewhat altered, but again, at those levels, it would be small. But polished wood and sandpaper are two different roughnesses, and the losses in a sandpaper-lined bore would be much higher than those in wood.
 

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I bought a Chinese made low C bass clarinet from an Australian shop - Tritone in Canberra - apparently from the same maker as the American Kessler. The interior of the neck is rather rough and my pull-through snags on it.I have been tempted to find a way of smoothing it down but as the horn sounds good and plays well I'm prepared to have my pull-throughs having a shorter life.
I'm always suspicious of unusual ways to improve the sound of a horn, though I did suggest to a former student, who has devoted years to such a quest, that it might be possible through surgery to have his entire oral cavity reshaped at not much more than the cost of a new Yanagisawa bari, new mouthpiece, etc.
Haven't heard from him since.
 

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[QI'm always suspicious of unusual ways to improve the sound of a horn, though I did suggest to a former student, who has devoted years to such a quest, that it might be possible through surgery to have his entire oral cavity reshaped at not much more than the cost of a new Yanagisawa bari, new mouthpiece, etc.
Haven't heard from him since.[/QUOTE]

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Distinguished SOTW Member
selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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3,406 Posts
I bought a Chinese made low C bass clarinet from an Australian shop - Tritone in Canberra - apparently from the same maker as the American Kessler. The interior of the neck is rather rough and my pull-through snags on it.I have been tempted to find a way of smoothing it down but as the horn sounds good and plays well I'm prepared to have my pull-throughs having a shorter life.
I'm always suspicious of unusual ways to improve the sound of a horn, though I did suggest to a former student, who has devoted years to such a quest, that it might be possible through surgery to have his entire oral cavity reshaped at not much more than the cost of a new Yanagisawa bari, new mouthpiece, etc.
Haven't heard from him since.
You can definitely smooth the interior of the neck enough to get rid of the roughness without adversely affecting the sound or response of the horn. It will improve response, though probably not enough to make a big difference. Use 800 grit sandpaper to start and 2000 grit to finish. If the thing is plated you will lose the plating, but that should not make any difference to anything.
 
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