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Discussion Starter #1
Tell me if I am boring you lot...

This is a little soundclip of my new "The Martin Alto" 1950's with a JodyJazz HR5

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/songInfo.cfm?bandID=646818&songID=5264111

I am not asking for any opinions on my playing!! I am just noodling around. You will hear the odd unwanted harmonic, as I am struggling with the G/G# as posted already (getting there now)

I thought some of you might be interested in how this combo sounds. I am using a Vandoren ZZ 2.5 reed

I think it sounds nice, bright, but nice.
 

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Really nice Matt. So what would you say are the principle differences between your modern and your vintage saxes?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Rick Adams said:
Really nice Matt. So what would you say are the principle differences between your modern and your vintage saxes?
Good Question Rick.

I would say the Martin has a faster, looser feel. This thing is really quick. It is not "balanced action" like most other horns, but it sure is zippy. The keywork is different, but still ergonomic. No F# key, but I never use it anyway.

The Yamaha has a very clunky, positive action. There is a lot of key travel before sealing the pad, whereas the slightest touch on the Martin does the job.

The Martin is a tad brighter, and slightly less complex in tone (with the same mpc). It is less heavy in weight, and I think this makes it more resonant. You can certainly feel the sound in your fingers if that makes sense. It buzzes and fizzes which is nice

The Yamaha is mellow, with a clarinet type core sound, less brassy. The only buzziness I get from it is if my reed is getting old.

To sum up, If I pick up my Yamaha it feels like a really heavy, quality piece of kit, wonderfully made, lovely to play and sounds great.

The Martin feels more lightweight, more fragile, and with a more fragile tone to match. That suits my playing.

At the moment I prefer the Martin, and when I get the small splitting G problem sorted, I'll love it even more. But the Yamaha is still a fab horn. I suspect the Martin is more like the Yamaha Custom, which everyone describes as lighter and more resonant than the YAS-62.

Thanks for asking.....!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
danarsenault said:
That sounds good, like it should. One thing though - in tests like this I like to hear stress at both end, power lead alto sound and subtoning as well, just to hear what any particular setup lends itself to.
If I could, I would:D I think I can do subtone, I'll have a go soon. Power lead is not my bag. I think I would collapse:shock:
 

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Your Martin , and you, have a nice sound.:)

Not unlike my RMC Martin 1963 the Martin or Committee (still trying to work out which is which.....,) sorry I have no sound clips at the moment and have no idea of how to publish some, perhaps one day.. .

I achieve this with a competely different mouthpiece, at the moment I have a Otto Link stm (new york? I believe.. ). I can get a much brighter sound with a Selmer Metal Jazz D I have but it plays very loud and not as good when playing soft. My subs are not really that good but I get a better sound with the link (by the way, lots of people don't like metal links for alto and all the recognized gurus advise ebonite pieces for vintage altos such as the Martin but I sincerely disagree, you can tell I'm not a guru and never will be...). I am experimenting a little with reeds, at the moment I am trying Alexander superial DC. I am not convinced the normal Alexander feel better to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
milandro said:
Your Martin , and you, have a nice sound.:)

Not unlike my RMC Martin 1963 the Martin or Committee (still trying to work out which is which.....,) sorry I have no sound clips at the moment and have no idea of how to publish some, perhaps one day.. .

I achieve this with a competely different mouthpiece, at the moment I have a Otto Link stm (new york? I believe.. ). I can get a much brighter sound with a Selmer Metal Jazz D I have but it plays very loud and not as good when playing soft. My subs are not really that good but I get a better sound with the link (by the way, lots of people don't like metal links for alto and all the recognized gurus advise ebonite pieces for vintage altos such as the Martin but I sincerely disagree, you can tell I'm not a guru and never will be...). I am experimenting a little with reeds, at the moment I am trying Alexander superial DC. I am not convinced the normal Alexander feel better to me.
Thanks milandro, I have just been playing with the Selmer s80 c* which I initially thought was to thin and fuzzy on the Martin, but it has grown on me, and my embouchure has altered slightly to overcome the harmonics on the 2nd G'

Here is a clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YoE1Sb5Mrc

What do you make of this combination? It is a much easier blow for me than the Jody Jazz, and it is reasonably in tune. The s80 suits my style of playing, not exactly dynamic;) I am not after comments on the playing, just the tone;)
 

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crazydaisydoo said:
What do you make of this combination? It is a much easier blow for me than the Jody Jazz, and it is reasonably in tune. The s80 suits my style of playing, not exactly dynamic;) I am not after comments on the playing, just the tone;)
The recording sounds great to me. Very clean. Not sure how much of it is the change in horn and mpc, though, and how much might have to do with a new recording setup? It certainly doesn't jump out at me from the sound that it's a "classical" mouthpiece.

That's not the Aebersold Summertime from v54 Maiden Voyage anymore is it? What backup are you using now?
 

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well, once again many compliments for your playing.

In my, not so humble, opinion :)D ) the sound is a lot better in this clip than the previous , I also have been listening to your " my funny Valentine" which I find even better than " Summertime".

It is very interesting to hear that, even though using two deeply different mpcs you still sound basically the same on both of them. But it is evident that control and ease are enhanced to you by the S80.

Funny, I tried this piece as well on my Martin and I liked it but went quickly past it perhaps because I wanted to explore further the metal thing or just because I looked down the most sold mouthpiece in the world, so went through a number of pieces/reeds combinations not as satisfactory as this. Perhaps it is worth reconsidering:? I wonder....:? .

However, good sound , better in the midrange and alto or altissimo than the lower register, with a hint of a good Paul Desmond sound.

:cool: well you are doing very well, if you don't move so fast ahead I maybe reaching you soon....:D
 

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milandro said:
However, good sound , better in the midrange and alto or altissimo than the lower register, with a hint of a good Paul Desmond sound.
I agree, and someone else commented on lower register, I think. It didn't seem like the low notes were very full. Not sure if it's from the recording or the way you were actually playing, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
hsitz said:
The recording sounds great to me. Very clean. Not sure how much of it is the change in horn and mpc, though, and how much might have to do with a new recording setup? It certainly doesn't jump out at me from the sound that it's a "classical" mouthpiece.

That's not the Aebersold Summertime from v54 Maiden Voyage anymore is it? What backup are you using now?
Thanks Herb, the backing is Summertime from Vol 25 of the Aebersolds. I also switch off the R/H piano track for a few bars at a time and pan the L/H bass to centre (I use a multitrack recorder) when mastering so I am just playing with the bass at times. And yes the mic has made a big difference.

I think fundamentally there is not "much in it" sound wise between the two horns, or in fact mouthpieces. I think it is cases of very gradual differences adding up to a small amount at the extremes. Either that or my embouchure doesn't accept or make a wide range of sounds. I suppose mouthpieces are shoes..... they have to "fit"

I would never of tried a C* unless my teacher had persuaded me. I think it is spot on for me.

Oh, and regarding the lower register, I was going for a "honk" on this tune, rather than subtone, so you are correct in your assumption. The Martin has got a freeblowing bottom end (so have I but thats a different story) so it is possible to do some nice Ben Webster stuff (OK, .......it is still an alto)
 

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milandro said:
.

In my, not so humble, opinion :)D ) the sound is a lot better in this clip than the previous , I also have been listening to your " my funny Valentine" which I find even better than " Summertime".
Thanks Milandro,

I prefer the sound on MFV as well, but I put this down to using a little valve microphone preamp, which dulled the sound too much on "summertime" and MFV, as a ballad, suited a darker "muddier" tone. To be honest I am not overkeen on "summertime" from an improvising point of view, it is overdone and has a limiting melody. The only reason why I recorded this version was as an answer to the endless youtube messages I get about the version I did 6 months ago as an almost total beginner (over 7000 people have watched it, and a lot message and PM me, with some frankly daft suggestions, unlike here :))
 

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well, your playing with the S80 impressed me so much that I have ordered one just to check it out, again! :dazed:

Anyway, the fact that you sound so similar with both mpcs confirms what many say which is that, in fact, a mouthpiece is (and all the rest down the line) only an aid to help form the sound, but , that sound is mostly formed in our mind and that one will tweak his embochure to always sound, more or less, like one wants to , shaping the sound to match the idea of sound one has.

This has struk me several times when going to my technician for example and on any horn he tries, even with fairly different mouthpieces, he always sounds more or less the same.

Nevertheles there are differences we can all experience but they might not be as important as we all seem to think.


You said that you started relatively a short time ago (wow! I think I said that already), it is possible that your low notes suffer from a relatively weak breathing support (diaphragm support), I have this on tenor more so than alto. This can account also for some problems with G or D producing unwanted harmonic Overtones (just make them sound cool by pulling " Jazz" faces like in extreme pain when they come out:cool: :D ) be a cool cat!

The Martin is very forgiving about low notes, I think. I like it to bits the only thing is the the palm keys which I find really unconfortable but other than that it is a super horn.
 
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