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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So what were they thinking?

My thought - without a clamping slot in the socket, the socket and tenon can be perfectly matched and round. With a slotted clamp, part of the socket is always flexing.

Unfortunately, you have to remove the tenon from the neck to fit it to the socket. Am I missing something? Very awkward but maybe worth it? I know my tenor neck has an imperfect fit to the socket because my tech will need to make some kind of jig to hold the tenon while he works on it outside of the neck, and probably nobody has done this task since the horn was new, due to effort/cost...

Thoughts?
 

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I've never heard of anyone removing the tenon from the neck to fit it. If its loose you can still get an internal expander in it. Maybe it has been going on all along without my awareness since I've only had one Martin made this way and I never had to have the neck fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You just can't really turn it on a lathe without taking it out so if you expand it and need to address a high point somewhere I think you would have to either use sandpaper or emory cloth, or else take it out of the neck. I'm not a tech, but that's what my tech anticipates doing if I ask him to perfect the fit of the neck on my Comm III tenor. Which is just slightly loose, probably a bit ovaled or something, and I don't really think it's affecting playability (which is outstanding). So I might just live with it...
 

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another and very much better possibility ( if there is substantial damage) is to buy a tenon and socket arrangement (which will be perfectly fitting) and have your tech replace it (or have the maker of these do the work for you).

In this case , as always, I recommend the Blazersatelier in Tilburg The Netherlands, they are among the best in neck making and neck repairs and specialize in Martin . You can send them the neck and they will return it repaired (in whichever way you or them may want to repair it)

http://www.blazersatelier.nl/galerij/

[email protected]


You may want to mention that I have referred you to them, they know me there.

DSCF0028.jpg
 

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If you have a The Martin that is not of high grade condition (you know, been refinished, old dent repairs, etc., etc.), maybe just replace the socket on the body with one of conventional type, and remove the set screw holder from the neck? It would be a difficult-to-reverse permanent modification, and would seriously degrade the resale value of a collector horn, but if yours is just a run of the mill rough looking player, you could consider that.
 

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I've never heard of anyone removing the tenon from the neck to fit it.
Agreed. Techs modify tenons to fit all the time; they need not remove the tenon.

You just can't really turn it on a lathe without taking it out.....
Typically, a tenon is not turned on a lathe to make it fit a receiver. It is simply expanded or compressed, and if necessary both elements (receiver and tenon) may be tapped w/ a mallet to bring back into round. THEN, if necessary, lapping compound is used to dial in the fit, thus removing any 'high' spots.

If tech does all those things, and can do 'em respectably, then that should address the issue.

Now...you say it's a Comm III...so I am puzzled by your initial comment: III's have the tightening screw on the neck...so there should be no issue with a slotted receiver ferrule in this instance (?)

another and very much better possibility ( if there is substantial damage) is to buy a tenon and socket arrangement (which will be perfectly fitting) and have your tech replace it (or have the maker of these do the work for you).
Certainly if the damage is particularly bad. Gets a bit trickier to make that decision on a III however, since a standard tenon and standard receiver would drop the value of the instrument (since original has the screw on neck and the oval depression on the receiver surface). As you say, something would need to be pretty trashed to use that Rx, IMHO....
 

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Is the issue that the slot in the receiver being pushed in by the neck screw? The original neck plug is a substantial hunk of brass which can iron out an indentation. If lost, I can see how that will become a problem pretty quickly.


So what were they thinking?

My thought - without a clamping slot in the socket, the socket and tenon can be perfectly matched and round. With a slotted clamp, part of the socket is always flexing.

Unfortunately, you have to remove the tenon from the neck to fit it to the socket. Am I missing something? Very awkward but maybe worth it? I know my tenor neck has an imperfect fit to the socket because my tech will need to make some kind of jig to hold the tenon while he works on it outside of the neck, and probably nobody has done this task since the horn was new, due to effort/cost...

Thoughts?
 

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I love everything about my Martins except the neck screw arrangement (okay, and the LH pinky table). It makes no sense to me. It doesn't tighten the neck in the receiver, it only keeps the neck from spinning. It has no "tightening" function at all. The screw sits inside a slot on the receiver collar, which means rather than tightening against the thicker metal of the collar, it's applying a tiny point of force to the body tube itself. If the tenon is slightly out of round or loose in the receiver from rough handling, over-tightening the screw can actually deform the body tube, and a loose fitting neck unconsciously encourages the player to over-tighten the screw, which will make the fit WORSE. It's phenomenally counter-intuitive. It's a ridiculous arrangement, plus the screw attachment to the neck makes working on the tenon a PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think in an ideal sort of world, it would make sense. The seal of a neck needs to be made by the fit of the tenon and socket, not by the clamp. The standard clamp has a slot which is in itself a giant leak. It's only the area of the tenon below the slot that seals. Tightening the clamp and the slot forces some deformation of the socket, at least in the clamp area. So I think the Martin clamp could in theory provide a better seal.

But in the real world, necks get yanked around and eventually need worked on. That's where the Martin concept fails. It wouldn't be that hard (I imagine) to design a variation on this that would allow full access to the neck tenon. Perhaps the tightening ear could be removable, whatever.

Unfortunately these horns sound so great and play so well that we will have to live with it:) unless someone comes up with an improved replacement neck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re the LH cluster, Matt Stohrer also has a video about adjusting that. My tech has got mine now so it's quite light and easy. Loving my Martins but not the alto/tenor neck clamp so much:)
 
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