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Hello! I'm Maxime, french researcher in acoustics and co-founder of Syos mouthpieces,

We made two studies on the acoustic of pad resonators that I published on my blog, I can share that with you. First one focuses on the acoustics of pad resonators and how we can measure their effects using acoustic input impedance. The second one is more like a blind test with different resonators, to check if the musician perception is consistent with what the acoustic says.

Part 1: What is the acoustic role of pad resonators?
Part 2: Plastic or Metal? Saxophone resonators blind test

Happy to read your comments :)

Max
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Your findings are what I would expect.
I do wonder why you did not go into higher frequencies. The upper partials affect tone, but perhaps less than I imagine???
 

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Interesting to know. I have been moving towards selmer plastic resos because in my experience they seem to take the edge of my soprano tone. Probably just wishful thinking on my part.
 

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Interesting read though it's just a sample of one compared. Were the pads the same apart from the reflector? You'd ideally have pads which could have the reflector unscrewed whilst in situ so it could be replaced whilst keeping all other factors the same. Comparing four saxophones and finding they are different may be down to the four saxophones being different.
 

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Nice research. Question: You didn’t show or describe the resonators you used. They were only described as metal and plastic. Were they the exact same resonator just made of different materials? They would need to be the exact same size and shape to give accurate results.

Ralph Morgan and the engineers at Selmer Elkhart did this in the early 1960s. They did tons of research on resonators when the Mark VI was switched from metal domes to plastic domes. They determined the material makes no difference in the reflection of the sound waves. However, the size and shape of the resonator (the arc of the dome) did make a difference. Also, the weight of the resonator made a difference in the action of the mechanism. They switched to the Nylon resonators because they were physically lighter which helped reduce key bounce and allowed for greater spring tension range.

You can read more about it on the Morgan Blog:

https://www.morganmouthpieces.com/blogs/news/162689607-a-conversation-that-resonated
 

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Nice research. Question: You didn’t show or describe the resonators you used. They were only described as metal and plastic. Were they the exact same resonator just made of different materials? They would need to be the exact same size and shape to give accurate results.

Ralph Morgan and the engineers at Selmer Elkhart did this in the early 1960s. They did tons of research on resonators when the Mark VI was switched from metal domes to plastic domes. They determined the material makes no difference in the reflection of the sound waves. However, the size and shape of the resonator (the arc of the dome) did make a difference. Also, the weight of the resonator made a difference in the action of the mechanism. They switched to the Nylon resonators because they were physically lighter which helped reduce key bounce and allowed for greater spring tension range.

You can read more about it on the Morgan Blog:

https://www.morganmouthpieces.com/blogs/news/162689607-a-conversation-that-resonated
Junkdude, thanks for the Morgan link! A quick side question please: do you know approximately when Selmer made the transition to metal resonators by curiosity?

Edited answer: ‘61~62 according to the article (I should have finished reading before asking)
 

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However it would seem from JunkDude's post that the switch was in the opposite direction: not from plastic to metal, but from metal to plastic.
 

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Junkdude, thanks for the Morgan link! A quick side question please: do you know approximately when Selmer made the transition to metal resonators by curiosity?

Edited answer: ‘61~62 according to the article (I should have finished reading before asking)
I've seen modern Selmers with both plastic and metal. They seem to choose material almost at random for each model.
I just wish they had not used poorly nickel-plated steel. It sometimes rusts around the edge (Perhaps from a corrosive tanning material left in substandard leather on the pads?).
How much more would it have cost to use stainless steel? A couple of dollars per sax?
 
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