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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all
I am a sophmore studying at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
My major is in sax performance and my setup is a 1948 Conn 10m tenor and a current production Link 6*
I am deeply in love with my horn as it was sold to me by my private teacher for many years and he owned it since he was in high school.
Recently my teacher has been giving me lots of things that are really technical and they are very difficult to play on my old horn. Those of you that are familiar with 10Ms know how they are.
Anyway he brought it to my attention that I should start considering a more modern horn.
I played exclusively my high schools yamaha 52 tenor until i got my own horn so my first thought was to look into a yamaha.
Does anyone out there own a Custom 82z tenor UL that can tell me how they like it?
Is it possible for me to get one of these horns and maintain my sound? I go for the big fat Dexter Gordon sound and my Conn certainly has helped me achieve that but I'm very afraid of losing that sound with a new horn.
Please help!
And if any of you are selling one of these horns please let me know.
Thanks everyone
 

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Go and try some and see if you like them. No point buying a horn you don't like.
The 82 is a fine horn but if you want a big sound there are horns like Trevor James RAW and Keilwerth that have the modern action and the big sound. Or perhaps it may be worth looking out for a King Super 20.
But really 10Ms are fine horns.
 

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Selmer Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone, Powell Flute
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My question would be, why can't you achieve the technical passages on the 10M? I don't honestly think a new horn will help you. No offense meant by any means. I'm just trying to say that the ergos on a 10M really aren't that bad. It's all what you get used to. I know plenty of players that get around fine on all sorts of vintage horns and can play circles around most players. In my opinion, you should stick with the horn you love and just practice like a MF to be able to play the technical passages. I know you can do it!

****not that an 82Z is a bad horn by any means and if you want to upgrade to a modern horn then do it. Just know that there is NOTHING modern that sounds like a 10M. Modern horns can sound great, but they don't sound like a 10M. BTW an 82Z is about as far away tonally from a 10M as you can get:)

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The mouthpiece can make as much difference as the horn. If you want a fatter sound, you could try a wider tip and softer reed.

You won't find a new horn that sounds like your Conn, but you might find one you like anyway.
As for the ergonomic, intonation, and response of modern horns, that might be worth it to you, but based on your wording you obviously haven't had much experience with the Z as yet. It doesn't matter who plays it or what the marketing says, do NOT buy anything unless you try it AND several alternatives first. I expected to put the Z in my favorites as well, but the day I tried it alongside a dozen competitors was the day I learned what my signature says. In fact, I actually hate the Zs - I find the Z to feel very clumsy, and the Z-II to a lesser degree.

Be patient, do a little research, and try a bunch of saxes. I'm sure you're limited by budget, so that basically rules out Yani and most Selmers, but there are plenty of others. For the same reason, the last thing you want to do is spend 3 grand on a new sax, only to find one six months later you prefer. Don't get a horn based on the way it looks, who endorses it, or what the ads say about it. Get it because you like it.
Here are some links to get you started:
http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musi...443158_34000_34007_34002_&page=2&mode=compare
http://www.cannonballmusic.com/saxophones.php
http://www.pmauriatmusic.com/en/products/items/4-tenor (Beware the quality control with these ones. I've had bad luck with them, but some people swear by them.)

Good luck.
 

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Stick with the 10M. I use a 10M for all of my professional work, have no problems executing the technical demands of whatever I'm playing, and no newer horn is going to give you that kind of sound.

The setup of the horn has a lot to do with how easy certain passages can be executed. Look into everything - key heights, sloppy key fit, spring tension, the infamous left pinky table (although I love having low Bb in two places!) With a good setup, these horns can be fast and facile. If the pads are good, you can address these things without totally redoing the horn. Take the horn to a tech who has experience working on Conns and get his/her opinion on where you are setup-wise.

That being said, if I had to buy a new horn, I'd go with the Z. I really like how those saxes play.
 

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"Try before you buy" is great advice especiallyl if you are in a metropolitan area with a lot of opportunities. One problem is that it usually takes weeks of playing before you really make up your mind. I've tried a bunch of different tenors (King, Conn, Yamaha, Yanigisawa, Cannonball, Macsax, TK Melody, Viking) looking for a backup horn but keep going back to my trusty old Mark VI (I might just be used to it but it has great egro's and the exact tone I like IMHO). I had a King Zephyr that was the best sounding tenor I've ever played but I could not deal with the old style keywork.
I've found that if you get a good deal on a used horn from one of the big 4, you can usually get pretty close to getting your investment back (being patient) if you decide to sell and go a different route. The Taiwan horns are not the same. They just do not seem to hold their value. There are some good players out there (I've had a couple great Vikings and they are not extra heavy like most of the other Taiwan horns - I probably should have kept the M40). The unlacquered 82Z I have for sale sounds and feels great but the left hand plam keys just feel way too high for me. I don't feel like changing my playing posture at this age. I have a YTS52 being rebuilt that I'll bet will be a great inexpensive backup for my Selmer when it is done.
 

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Get a good modern horn. A Z is a good choice and you won't lose your sound on it. You'll sound just like you. And I guarantee the scale, response, keywork, action, intonation, power will prove to be much better once you get used to it.

If you believe the horn is holding you back, then it is.
 

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Selmer Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone, Powell Flute
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....will prove to be much better once you get used to it.
This same thing can be said of a good 10M or any pro level well regulated horn. Practice is what this kid should focus on. Not gear or horns in my opinion.

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This same thing can be said of a good 10M or any pro level well regulated horn. Practice is what this kid should focus on. Not gear or horns in my opinion.

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...but he wasn't asking for practice advice! He was asking about gear.
 

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...but he wasn't asking for practice advice! He was asking about gear.
I can respect that. I just don't understand how you can say that the scale/intonation/egros etc. will be better on the Yamaha. Now obviously there are different strokes for different folks and some will lean towards one as opposed to the other, but there is absolutely nothing you can do on a Yamaha that you can't do equally well on a 10M or any other horn whether it be vintage or modern. Once again there are always going to be horns that are duds, but in my experience 10Ms have just as good if not better intonation as any Yamaha and I quite like the conn egros (they are fast and light and don't bother me.).
 

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By all means it's worth trying a different tenor, and I have plenty of experience both of Conns and Yamahas. but I wouldn't see an 82z as un upgrade from a 10M. They good horns, but so are 10ms. Just try the 82z, or whatever other tenors you can get hold of and make up your own mind but I certainly wouldn't switch just based on other people's advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
While I do admit that I can get into gear and stuff, this post is NOT about being obsessed with gear. I'm so used to this horn and I'm in love with it. But all my teachers that give me their horns to try out admit that I can get around a lot easier on them. Trust me when I say I know practice makes perfect but if I can spend more time working on music and less time fighting the quirks that come with my beloved 10m, then I'm at least going to think about a more modern horn. As far as scale/intonation/ergos being better, I don't think anyone can honestly say that there haven't been a lot of improvements to horns in all those departments in the 60 or so years since my horn was made.
 

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If there are certain things about the ergos of some modern horns that allow you to play technical things better than on your Conn, that's the way it is. I don't see the point in arguing the merits of Lady Faces if you are obviously having problems. Greg, I've had some of the same experiences as you -

My first tenor was a Conn 10M (60s version) but about a year later, I was able to replace it with a 10M Lady Face and I loved that horn. I'm sure, to a large extent, it has been the influence of that Conn's sound that has fixed in my ear a certain kind of tenor sound I want. But regarding the ergos, for some reason, I just could not get along with the LH pinky keys. I also had a 6M alto, which I kept much longer than the tenor, and had no noticeable hang ups with the ergos on it. So perhaps my problem was with the dimensions of the larger horn.

I went back and forth over several years between Yamaha Zs and Keilwerths (with a Selmer III thrown in for good measure). If I were interested in getting a Z - I'd get the Selmer. It just was an amazing horn. I'll admit that I used a Ponzol neck on it to broaden up the sound a bit. My Zs were also excellent horns. I just couldn't fall in love with the core sound, though, when compared to that of the Keilwerths. Is the core JK sound the same as the Conn? IMO, no. But it's a heck of a lot closer than the Yamaha or Selmer.

Some people have a bit of a problem with the more spread out finger positions on the JKs vs the Selmer or Yamaha. I don't. As a matter of fact, when I finally went back to the JK from a Yamaha Z, it felt like I was home again. But you should check that out. No use trading one set of problems for another. But of the comparison you're making of the Conns to modern horns, I think you would be most comfortable with the JK sound.

If you're looking for a horn you can drive like a Lamborghini, get the Selmer III. If you're after a more Connish spread, darker sound, check out the Keilwerths. Whatever the case, "try before you buy". To that end, I've had good luck "borrowing" horns from wwbw.com to try out and compare. Good luck.
 

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Any chance you can afford to keep the 10M and get a Yamaha? That would give you the best of both worlds. Modern horns are great fun to play.

I played a 6M all through school before college. I sold the 6M and got a Mark VI alto for college in 1975. The Mark VI served me well for 35 years. finally I got into a rut with my alto playing and needed a change. I now have a 6M alto that I just love. It is sonically very different than the Selmer. Pitch is great too. That said.......the ergos are not the same as the more modern horns. Moving from C# to Bb in the low register is tricky for example. Set-up was very critical to really loving this horn as much as I do.
 

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Yes, genius players can get by fine on a 10M. Mortal players can't. I seriously think it's denial when people believe advances haven't been made in 60 years of saxophone technology. Name one thing that was better 60 years ago that aint better today. One thing.

And if a user has practical experience with modern horn and asserts and believes that it's easier to get around on, then who am I to argue. Who said it..."Whether you believe it or not...you're right!"

You're already sold on a midern horn. Dude, get a modern horn (used 82Z UL) and get on with your practicing, but keep your 10M just to periodically remind yourself that at one point in time you thought this was the best horn available. ;-)
 

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... just keep the Conn in the closet. You'll be back. :)
 

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Yes, genius players can get by fine on a 10M. Mortal players can't.
I'm hardly a genius, and AFAIK I'm mortal (hopefully I'm wrong), but I am a working pro (along with having the repair shop). I manage just fine on my 10M. In my case, I've always played vintage American saxes, so I'd had plenty of time to work out the technique.

Name one thing that was better 60 years ago that aint better today. One thing.
The tone of a good 10M. Along with, of course, the other fine vintage, mostly American, saxes.

I will concede that ergonomically, most newer saxes with a good setup are superior.

You're already sold on a midern horn.
With some "gentle encouragement" from his teacher, of course. I heard the same speech during my freshman year at Berklee. Some things never change...

Although, I think the Z is a fine replacement, if the OP finds one that he's happy with.

... just keep the Conn in the closet.
Or ship it to Florida...Christmas is almost here... :mrgreen:
 
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