Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Any suggestions for modifications on a Yanagisawa T-500? I mean like pads, resonators, screws etc. - for upgrading the horn?

And anything to make the sound darker?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,983 Posts
:bluewink:.....What is your definition of 'upgrading' ? I mean, a new set of pads is probably gonna make the horn perform a whole lot better, since a repad should include new regulating materials all around as well as keyheight adjusting and spring adjusting where the tech would see fit.

I don't think types of resos are gonna do much, as far as sonic change, unless your current pads are reso-less.

So, a repad will likely make the horn respond a bit better and probably feel better under the fingers.

But none of the list you mentioned will alter the tone.

So if your pads are fine and your horn plays up and down nicely without having to exert effort on certain notes, it probably doesn't NEED a repad.

For massaging the tone...do some mouthpiece hunting. Go try some different mouthpieces at a music shop. Using this avenue you can likely start hearing a change as far as brightness, darkness, edginess, mellowness, articulation, etc....and you can move your horn and setup towards your desired tonal identity.

And I am not saying "you gotta go buy a $200+ mouthpiece," either (although if you wanna, sure....)

One can take 3 or 4 cheapies and playest them against one another and it will be pretty obvious how each one changes the sonic character of the horn (say: Brilhart Ebolin, Hite Premier, Bari Esprit, and Fobes Debut as for very inexpensive examples. In the next price rung up, you can throw in something like a Meyer Rubber or a Selmer S80 as well...)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, JayeLID. I am not an expert in the mechanics of the saxophone.

I know that mouthpiece is the importartant part in that matter.

I just feel that the sound of a newer sax can have a less solid tone. Hard to describe.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,983 Posts
Thanks, JayeLID. I am not an expert in the mechanics of the saxophone.

I know that mouthpiece is the importartant part in that matter.

I just feel that the sound of a newer sax can have a less solid tone. Hard to describe.
Well that's valid. A lot of new-ish horns are thin and bright sounding. A 500 is a pretty substantially built horn, and by the time the 500's came into production, Yani was beginning to hone their skills as far as tone goes.....

So are you finding that different mouthpieces alter the tone significantly for you ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yes.
I have compared a T-500 to a SML GM, on a STM NY mouthpiece. I also played both on a Tone Edge.

The ergonomics on the yani is of course better. But the sound on the SML feels more solid - in my ears.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,983 Posts
There you have the difference between a vintage tone and a modern tone. SML's are sonic beasts.

It's unlikely you can get your 500 to sound like an SML or old Conn, because the tonality of a sax is built into the specifications/design of the horn's body and neck.....but you can certainly find mouthpiece setups which move your horn in that direction...a mouthpiece choice can likely move your horn towards a more dark tone with some of the harmonics boosted so it sounds 'lusher'.

So you have tried a Tone edge and an STM. Have you tried any Meyers ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Never tried a Meyer mouthpiece. Can you recommend a model?
I am currently thinking about buying Ambika 2 or Gaia 2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Screws ?????
When i wrote screws, I meant Key Guard Adjusting Screws. The ones on the Yanagisawa, I believe are made of plastic. Not that it would change the sound, but it would look better. I also thought about chnging the thumb rest to metal. Just a mod of cosmetic value.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Yes.
I have compared a T-500 to a SML GM, on a STM NY mouthpiece. I also played both on a Tone Edge.

The ergonomics on the yani is of course better. But the sound on the SML feels more solid - in my ears.
Be aware that you cannot even begin to compare the sound and response of saxes unless you know absolutely that they are both as leak free as possible. That is actually not common for saxophones!
Is it the case for your (single!) comparison?

Also it seems you have generalised far too much from very little comparison.
I think you will find that top players can get awesome sounds from a T-500.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Before you say too much:

It is not at generalised single comparison.
For a number of years I owned a T-500 and a GM - for years at the same time.
And I think they are both good horns.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,865 Posts
I am not quite sure of where this is going.

It has the definite feel like when people accessorize a cheaper car with sport exhaust and a stirring wheel cover and a stripe on the car. It would dress up the car but won’t change its nature.

Some folks out there have made a fortune with petrol additives supposedly giving extra “ performance”


I wouldn’t do anything to it. It is as good as it may get as it is. A different ( than what?) mouthpiece is always a good idea if it helps you expressing your sound. There isn’t one, per se, better on any particular horn because the mouthpiece is part of your embouchure as you oral cavity is.


The T 500 was made with some cheaper details as compared to other series but there is nothing that you can do to “ improve” its performance by changing resonators, screws or whatever. The mouthpiece MAY improve your sound but YOU will improve it more than the mouthpiece, ON ITS OWN, can.


 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Before you say too much:

It is not at generalised single comparison.
For a number of years I owned a T-500 and a GM - for years at the same time.
And I think they are both good horns.
OK, perhaps I was reading too much into your statement, "I just feel that the sound of a newer sax can have a less solid tone. Hard to describe."
IMO to validly make that statement I think you would have to have played a wide range of "newer" and older saxes, all with mechanism in top order and no leaks.
I suspect very few people have done that... possibliy only good sax technicians who don't specialise in any one type of instrument, who are also accomplished players.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top