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I think saxes peaked a long time ago in design and construction, [and popularity]. I play 95 year old and 15 year old saxes interchangeably, so I think the "ergo" thing is exaggerated. I can't really think of a single performance-based innovation [not cost savings] to have happened in sax design in the last 60 years? Maybe longer.
Yep you're right.
As soon as they started tilting that pinky table and jamming it as close as humanly possible to the G touch, it's been downhill from there.
 

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I'd posit there's a pretty good likelihood that if one analyzed the Brass alloy composition of this horn vs. that horn, and vintage American or European horns vs., say, contemporary Taiwanese ones...they would find that the compositions are not the same.

This is the way it is with cymbals, and although they are bronze vs. brass, a B20 or B8 alloy asian-made cymbal vs. a B20 or B8 N.American one, are not the same. Impurities and trace elements present in the alloys differ.

So that asian horns access/utilize slightly different alloy compositions is a reasonable assumption.....whether because of unintended impurities/trace elements present, or intentional ones (elements introduced as either cost-cutting measures or to make the brass more easily workable during manufacture).

That these differences may cause some brass to be 'softer' than others is also plausible, IMHO.

But I agree that the 'toughness' factor (ability to resist a good whack, more difficulty in removing dents in horn A vs. Horn B, etc), is probably more the result of the metal gauge than the alloy.

The 'tone' argument becomes something which has been discussed here ad infinitum.
 

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My concern of vintage saxophones is not about the tone, nor alloy, nor ergonomics; but whether it is in excellent playing condition. In other words, my problem is finding a well maintain vintage horn, or finding a good tech that can make it plays great without causing an arm and a leg.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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... and I am amazed on how people cannot accept that can be other opinions, and/or have different views.
I accept that your tech has an opinion. I also accept that your tech has not had the same experience and education as me, with more than three decades in the study and application of materials science - explicitly regarding deformation mechanisms in structural metals.
 

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Don't forget that dimensions and design are key.

For example, the stress in a solid rod subjected to torsion (as a long key rod) is proportional to the fourth power of the diameter. Small differences in diameter will make big differences in either elastic torsion (as in deflection when playing) or ease of bending beyond the yield stress. For a typical key arm being bent sideways, the force required to make a permanent deformation (to exceed the yield stress) is proprtional to the cube of the arm's thickness, but only directly proportional to the yield strength. So if you have two arms one 10% thinner than the other, that's a 35% reduction in the force to cause a permanent deflection. But if you pick an alloy that's 10% lower yield stress, that's a 10% reduction in the force to cause a permanent bend.

Now if you start looking at the detail design and shape of those key arms the picture gets even more complex. For example the common S-bend in bell key arms is an inherently weaker design than the straight arms that were used back in the 1920s, as key closing force gets turned into torsion of the key arm, which is much less stiff in torsion than in "hard-way" bending.

I'm suspicious that the technician who made a blanket statement that "new horns are made from softer brass" has measured the relevant dimensions of the parts in question, tested with actual force gauges, and analyzed the mechanical design of the affected components. Just because it's easier to bend the xyz component with your hand doesn't mean it's made of "softer brass".
 

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Don't forget that dimensions and design are key...

I'm suspicious that the technician who made a blanket statement that "new horns are made from softer brass" has measured the relevant dimensions of the parts in question, tested with actual force gauges, and analyzed the mechanical design of the affected components. Just because it's easier to bend the xyz component with your hand doesn't mean it's made of "softer brass".
Respect, also, to turf3 for taking the time to share his engineering experience-based opinion.

It's times like this when I miss former members like Juan ("jicaino"), but understand why he left.
 

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VI Soprano, Searchlight Alto, TH&C Tenor
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http://saxforte.com/saxophones/materials_and_finishes/materials_and_finishes.html

briefly, saxforte says a horn with a lot of high harmonics sounds brighter. thinner, more rigid horns (like many student horns) can be outright annoying. heavier horns with softer metal have less harmonics and sound warmer. i've got no data to vouch for this, nor am i at all certain if this is of any concern to the conversation of potential material differences at hand. but "bright" and "warm" are familiar descriptors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
I accept that your tech has an opinion. I also accept that your tech has not had the same experience and education as me, with more than three decades in the study and application of materials science - explicitly regarding deformation mechanisms in structural metals.
Well, that's good for you. Then, bring the data please since you know so much.

Can you please show us with numbers and facts how is that you determine that the brass is the same.

I actually do not know but since you know so much you can teach us.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
BTW, I originally posted this thread just to hear the preference on horns between Vintage and Modern, and my intention was not to create any kind of arguments.

I really appreciate if people can be respectful of opinions.

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
I'd posit there's a pretty good likelihood that if one analyzed the Brass alloy composition of this horn vs. that horn, and vintage American or European horns vs., say, contemporary Taiwanese ones...they would find that the compositions are not the same.

This is the way it is with cymbals, and although they are bronze vs. brass, a B20 or B8 alloy asian-made cymbal vs. a B20 or B8 N.American one, are not the same. Impurities and trace elements present in the alloys differ.

So that asian horns access/utilize slightly different alloy compositions is a reasonable assumption.....whether because of unintended impurities/trace elements present, or intentional ones (elements introduced as either cost-cutting measures or to make the brass more easily workable during manufacture).

That these differences may cause some brass to be 'softer' than others is also plausible, IMHO.

But I agree that the 'toughness' factor (ability to resist a good whack, more difficulty in removing dents in horn A vs. Horn B, etc), is probably more the result of the metal gauge than the alloy.

The 'tone' argument becomes something which has been discussed here ad infinitum.
Good point.
 

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Well, that's good for you. Then, bring the data please since you know so much.

Can you please show us with numbers and facts how is that you determine that the brass is the same.

I actually do not know but since you know so much you can teach us.

Thanks!
What does it matter if you choose not to listen? I already responded in post #45.

Composition, thickness, work hardening, annealing, and geometry all varied between manufacturers of the same eras - brass was different then, and brass was different now. Witness how just one manufacturer, e.g. Selmer, uses difference compositions of brass. So yes, some Selmer brass is different, others may be very similar - there is no "same" to prove or disprove, hence data doesn't matter.

That's it. I've now tried twice to tell you the same thing. It is up to you to read, then do your homework.
 

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What does it matter if you choose not to listen? I already responded in post #45.

Composition, thickness, work hardening, annealing, and geometry all varied between manufacturers of the same eras - brass was different then, and brass was different now. Witness how just one manufacturer, e.g. Selmer, uses difference compositions of brass. So yes, some Selmer brass is different, others may be very similar - there is no "same" to prove or disprove, hence data doesn't matter.

That's it. I've now tried twice to tell you the same thing. It is up to you to read, then do your homework.
Well, how you prove that the brass is "the same" or "different"? I can tell you the process. It's outlandish, but here's how to do it.

Cut a piece of the part that you question, whether it be the body tube, or a piece of keywork, from each of the two saxophones in question. Send that sample to a metallurgical laboratory, requesting a chemical analysis, a microstructure analysis, and hardness testing. The chemical analysis will tell you what the alloy is. Between a microstructure analysis and hardness testing you ought to be able to determine the degree of temper (i.e, work hardening and/or heat treating/annealing). With this information you can determine whether one material in itself is harder/softer/stronger/weaker than the other. (You don't need to worry about tensile strength as yielding is usually the mode of failure of "not strong enough" saxophone parts.) Having determined the alloy and its degree of temper, you can look up the yield strength and modulus of elasticity (I generally use MatWeb). Now, do a complete dimensional layout of the parts you're comparing, so you can compare the expected stresses in the part during either operation or some unusual event (like a shock that would bend a key arm). The combination of modulus of elasticity and yield strength, plus the dimensions of the part, will tell you how much force is needed to permanently deform the part in question.

Obviously what I've written above is a reductio ad absurdum. No one's going to do this. But maybe it gives you an idea of why making a blanket statement "new horns have softer brass" is at best an incomplete statement.
 

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Hardness testing on sheet material is iffy at best. Once a sample is too thin, you cannot test to ASTM Standards.

Why not determine dislocation density via TEM, and evaluate residual stresses by X-ray diffraction?
 
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