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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I haven' 't (as far as I remember) posted here before, but would appreciate thoughts if anyone has any...
I have a Martin Handcraft tenor (serial number dates it 1926ish) with a Selmer Super Balanced Action neck (silver) that seems to have had a ring added round the bottom to fit it to the Martin body.
The sound is sweet AND powerful - lots of Martin richness plus some vintage selmer projection. I love it, even if it's a bit of a mish-mash... but I've not found anyone who knows anything about whether this is common... Any ideas?
Cheers,
Tim
 

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I just happen to have several Handcraft tenors without necks. Over the years I've tried many substitute necks but have found one that didn't seem to cause intonation issues: a Buescher New Aristocrat neck from the early 1930's. It did make A2 a bit airy, but I replaced the octave pip with one from a real Martin neck and it was much better. I did try a Selmer SA80 Series-1 neck, but I didn't like the response or intonation as much as a Martin neck. In most cases. I had to replace the tenon of the substitute neck. Most necks have a tenon that is too small, but the Busecher neck has a larger tenon.

So, to answer your question, I've owned, played or worked on 100 to 200 Martin tenors, and I've never come across one with an SBA neck. I wouldn't mind trying one, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply - that gives me a bit of a broader context for understanding what I have - sounds as if alternate necks on Martins are quite common, if not the SBA,... and sounds like you're as familiar with Martins as anyone! Yeah, the SBA neck works nicely, and the intonation is fairly good...the tone is its main strength though. Marvellous - thank you.
 

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I don't think that this was a match born by design but by chance, there are literally tons of saxophones out there (see the constant searching for necks on various sections of this forum) without a neck. This happens because necks are fragile and relatively easy to forget at a gig or some other place where you bring your saxophone. At some point someone lost a neck to your Handcraft and married it to a SBA neck.

You could sell the SBA neck, which is pretty valuable in his own right, and buy an original neck or a perfect reproduction by Gloger or the Blazersatelier.nl for your Martin.
 

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Yes, or you can just buy an entire Handcraft with neck, maybe a project horn...or an old Olds Ambassador with neck (the ones which were Handcraft stencils)...and if you sold the SBA neck you would come out close to even, money-wise.
Basically, it'd cost about as much to buy a beater Handcraft with a neck as it would cost to have a custom reproduction made....and then you could sell of the body for parts...

sounds as if alternate necks on Martins are quite common...
I don't think you can say that. Jorns (like myself) is a guy who doesn't shy away from buying neckless horns, is all...and (less like myself) he has experimented far more with neck matches than I have. To say that people more commonly switch out Martin necks for replacements would be erroneous....no more true than any other brand.

I am glad it works well for you. It isn't easy to find a decent match.
If you don't mind me saying so, however, I respectfully add: your comment "lots of Martin richness plus some vintage selmer projection" is something I take w/ a grain of salt.

...if a Buescher neck works well on the Martin body, would the horn then have "Martin richness with that Buescher punch" ?

If a...Holton neck worked well on a Martin, would the Martin then have that big dark roundness to the bottom that Holtons have ?

I dunno about that.

I think you have already scaled a cliff if you can successfully find ANY replacement (non-custom) neck which can intone the horn properly in all registers....can fit...and can make the instrument sound good.

Also,in my experience....an Indiana neck will work on a Handcraft also (I defer to Jorns that it might not be the optimal choice, but it is quite serviceable)...and like the Ambassadors, those can be bought as project horns for a $ong....
 

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I don't think you can say that [substitute necks on Martins is common]. Jorns (like myself) is a guy who doesn't shy away from buying neckless horns, is all...and (less like myself) he has experimented far more with neck matches than I have. To say that people more commonly switch out Martin necks for replacements would be erroneous....no more true than any other brand.
Agreed. I have not looked for replacement necks as an "upgrade" for a Martin. My search for substitute necks has been a necessity because I "acquired" a bunch of Martins without necks (the story can be found by clicking here). I have never found a neck that I thought made any of my Martins play better than with the original neck.

Also,in my experience....an Indiana neck will work on a Handcraft also (I defer to Jorns that it might not be the optimal choice, but it is quite serviceable)...and like the Ambassadors, those can be bought as project horns for a $ong....
For tenors, I've got a Comm II neck, a Comm I, a 1929 Handcraft neck and then 3 necks from Indiana's from the late 40's through the early 60's, then I have 3 necks from 1930's stencils (Stabile, Indiana Band Instrument Co., Vega). There are differences in the way they all play but I can't say that one is better than another, just slightly different.

Anyway, I don't think I'm really helping answer the timboniface's questions.

Jaye,
We need to come up with a neck cloning machine so that all these nice vintage saxes can go on making good music.
 

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...........

We need to come up with a neck cloning machine so that all these nice vintage saxes can go on making good music.
we have it already.....it is called a tireless artisan like Karsten Gloger or the Blazers atelier.nl .........only is not a machine and therefore the products are not cheap

 

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Discussion Starter #8
A couple of good points there -cheers. Agreed, I'm probably more accurate to say 'I like the sound' than to try and define it :)
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
...Incidentally, anyone have any idea of the market value (ish, obviously) of an SBA neck (silver plated)? Sorry to reduce the discussion to the mercenary!
 

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Hi

Sorry this is not a reply but at least a little connected.

I have just bought a silver plated Selmer Paris SBA tenor and the neck is not numbered just stamped Paris Selmer.

Did all necks carry a number?

Thanks for any info' on this.

Del Jones
 

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no they didn’t ....but this is the Martin section if the forum :)
 
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