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Discussion Starter #1
Got a new tenor HR Link-clone with the unusual feature that the barrel is slim (for easy adjustment from a metal piece, per the maker); an alto old Selmer 2-screw-on-reed ligature fits perfectly.

I'm adjusting to the timbre and trying different reeds, but noted straight away that the in-tune position (ensemble pitch consensus, measured with Tunable from a register-spanning tune played at tempo) on cork is significantly further out than my more typical HR Link piece by about 3-4mm--so using less than the outer ⅓ of cork.

We know that the end of the neck truncates an acoustic cone, and the MP provides the missing volume to a virtual apex. So was my new MP in-tune position further out on the cork because the MP internal volume was less, hence requiring more neck volume to be equivalent? Seems obvious, but why not try to verify.

Broke out my nifty new digital postal scale and measured mass of tap water each MP holds (thumb over shank, filled to top of side rails with table held level--yes, missing a tiny amount from facing break to tip; tared the container and dry MP, then put entire water-filled MP into container to weigh).

Found the new slim MP has 12.5 to 20% less internal volume (precision limited by available measurement units--whole g or 1/10 oz) than the traditional piece. Data matches theoretical model.

This new piece is considered a MLL chamber. So is chamber size M to LL reflected by internal volume, or do MP makers compensate in some way to keep internal volume constant? Generally according to Wanne the chamber size is estimated by comparing the diameter to the shank bore. Fine, unless the bore wall is thin, or thicker, than the standard piece.

At this point I would (tongue firmly in cheek) suggest for the greater good of the data-driven sax community that henceforth all MP should have internal volume measured and disclosed as a key specification parameter for quantitative comparisons, but there is a problem--shank length. Longer shank pieces are simply pushed further onto the neck, collapsing and nullifying any MP internal volume provided by the longer shank. So adjustments must be made for that, against a common standard, and that is more work than I and I am most certain you all are interested in.

And I know, before you say it--did this in my free time, still practicing two hours a day.
 

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Over-thinking. If a mouthpiece gives you what you want, including intonation, while being reasonably stabile on the neck, just use it. I don't believe the theory of the mouthpiece making up the 'missing volume' of the 'acoustic cone' is valid. Neither is the suggestion to make all mouthpieces have the same volume/water capacity. You can try to make this scientific but it will always remain artistic. Science is not yet up the task of describing every nuance of a sax or mouthpiece and why they work together - or not. The permutations possible in the neck and mouthpiece are nearly infinite, especially in combination.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Over-thinking
Yes, my flaw: I think.
Respect and appreciate the art vs. science point of view. And also reserve my privilege to strive to explain physical phenomena, with measurements and physics.
Small point, possibly I was not clear in my verbose post: in no way suggesting that maker artisans and artists alter anything about how they MAKE MPs, simply that we players have some objective ways to standardize comparisons between them beyond "the tip and rail work was impeccable and it took reeds with ease..."
It's a hobby, I'll enjoy it the way I want to : ).
 

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Most mouthpiece makers have developed their designs so that they tune within the same ballpark location on the cork. Most, not all. It sounds like your new mouthpiece needs to evolve to have a longer shank length. The maker could have learned this by making volume measurements of mouthpieces that tune at good spots on the cork. Or, they could have had several players test the mouthpiece prototype.

You can send your tuning spot experience to the maker and if they get enough of the same kind of comments, they may change the design. If this was a one batch run they may just sell them out and move on to a different design to market.
 

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Wanderso, it's a good thing to try to understand the physics behind tuning and or sax related topics and a lot is know. Probably your method of measuring is not precise enough and the theory is also more complex than most of us know, but in the end your outcome was in line with what the (known) theory predicts (lower internal mouthpiece volume => put it more to the end of the cork).

Of course what 1saxman stated (the practical approach) is very valid: in the end it's always about what your ears tell you when playing the mouthpiece/horn and if you like that or not.
 

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This is a subject I have been interested in for a long time. My mouthpiece "physical volume" measurements were done by sealing the facing of the mouthpiece with duct tape and then filling it with water. The volume of water was then poured into a graduated cylinder to be measured in cubic centimeters also called milliliters. I then calculated the volume displaced by the length of the shank covering the cork using the formula for the volume of a cylinder V=πr2h and then subtracted that from the measured "physical volume".

Benade writes that it is the "equivalent volume" of the mouthpiece that needs to be a close match to the volume of the "missing cone". The "equivalent volume" is roughly 30% greater than the measured physical volume due to the opening between the reed and the tip of the mouthpiece and the "elasticity" of the reed. According to Benade, the player can also control the effective volume to some extent through changes in the blowing pressure and embouchure tension.

The question I would like an answer to is if the length of the mouthpiece from the end of the neck is kept the same and the volume inside the mouthpiece is increased, what is the effect on the pitch of the fundamental. Also is the tuning of the modes (harmonics) affected in some way by the change in volume relative to the length.
 

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Over-thinking. If a mouthpiece gives you what you want, including intonation, while being reasonably stabile on the neck, just use it. I don't believe the theory of the mouthpiece making up the 'missing volume' of the 'acoustic cone' is valid. Neither is the suggestion to make all mouthpieces have the same volume/water capacity. You can try to make this scientific but it will always remain artistic. Science is not yet up the task of describing every nuance of a sax or mouthpiece and why they work together - or not. The permutations possible in the neck and mouthpiece are nearly infinite, especially in combination.


https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?325130-In-search-of-the-quot-missing-cone-quot
 

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“The question I would like an answer to is if the length of the mouthpiece from the end of the neck is kept the same and the volume inside the mouthpiece is increased, what is the effect on the pitch of the fundamental.”

Easy to test empirically. You do not even need to enlarge the mouthpiece permanently. Just start with a large chamber mouthpiece with some temporary putty inside the chamber. Take your measurements and then pull out the putty and measure again.

I think making the chamber larger while holding the length constant makes the fundamental pitch flatter. But I do not have formal data to support this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
water was then poured into a graduated cylinder to be measured
Appreciate all comments.

My measurement was more qualitative, for a quick kitchen science confirmation of what I believed was true from theory as I understood it.

If the piece I was trying had a longer shank for greater cork overlap and hence mechanical stability, I'd be happy with it. Do MP makers consider these things when they spec their blanks?

I don't have any graduated cylinders, but a small systematic under-estimation error with that direct volumetric measurement is that MP retain some water drops inside when emptied. Weighing the full MP after taring the dry MP eliminates that error. If I were doing this carefully to create a library of MP data, I'd use parafilm to seal the window and a (more expensive) scale with greater precision to acquire more significant digits with these very low masses. That would permit me to fill the chamber only to the throat if I wished to exclude the shank bore, but acoustically I'm confused how one can omit the entire shank bore since a variable length of it (depending on cork position) is used to couple with the neck.

But that is a discussion for your other long thread which is fine and very comprehensive! I simply wanted to share a quick kitchen science way to estimate MP internal volume and how it applied to a novel slim-barrel HR tenor MP design I tried.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another thought--one could easily measure the internal volume of aftermarket necks, as well!

I would love to know how neck volume as one certainly important parameter varies within and between vintage to latest Selmers, and how the aftermarket boutique neck subs compare to the factory neck they replace beyond material and profile curvature. Or report the volume of every in-tune-neck&MP-ensemble combination! One number to rule them all? : )
 

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Well, before you could conclude anything, you'll have to measure each individual's oral cavity, tooth structure, force of air current, tongue size/shape, lung capacity... and that's just getting started. But this is why someone might get favorable results with a given mouthpiece that another player might reject outright. That's why mouthpieces are different. That's why there's a portion of the horn for a neck cork where a mouthpiece can be set at different lengths to compensate for all these variables.

It's really that simple. Keep it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's really that simple.
I am in complete sympathy with that point of view.

But then must I trial every piece of equipment with no prior prediction of success? Common reviews discuss nothing standard, but rather the reviewer's personal and hence unique experience. Marketing material is all vague and black magic.

Is there not any specification parameter that would help each player limit their trials by excluding what clearly would not work for them? "I know I need volumes in the upper range, so those are the ones I'll try." And maybe even include PEF or FEV or VC since those are simple to measure; "I'm looking for balanced even response with high flow because I can sustain that." Or I need a piece that over-responds in high registers because I have trouble voicing those pitches.

I'm not saying my suggestions are even in the ballpark. But holy smokes, we know our shoe size (foot length and width) before we try on every pair in the store. Sure this is an art, but I refuse to believe there are not some parameters that could quantify a mouthpiece (or neck) specification beyond tip opening dimension and subjective description of baffle profile and chamber size. Volume, acoustic impedance, resonance response vs. excitation frequency, dynamic range... These are not difficult nor expensive to measure. Folks are CT or laser-scanning benchmark MPs as we speak to reproduce and eventually understand how they produce desirable sound. I believe quantification is coming.

What is the cost of having a little imagination, here? If you like things just as they were, totally OK. If you have ideas, please share them.
 

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... but I refuse to believe there are not some parameters that could quantify a mouthpiece (or neck) specification beyond tip opening dimension and subjective description of baffle profile and chamber size. Volume, acoustic impedance, resonance response vs. excitation frequency, dynamic range... These are not difficult nor expensive to measure. Folks are CT or laser-scanning benchmark MPs as we speak to reproduce and eventually understand how they produce desirable sound. I believe quantification is coming.
"Hi, my name is George and I'm a gear head"

"Hi, George"

And we call this meeting of Gear Heads Anonymous to order.

Done.

FWIW, I have been playing sax for 50 years or so, and have degrees through Ph.D. in physics and engineering. I love this stuff - except when I see people get so wrapped up in it, yet are unable to sort out the real questions. This problem has too many interdependent variables to start quantifying. And once you start the beginning of a database, you are then faced with educating people how to use it, and how to recognize what variables remain unknown - not so different from where we are now with chamber volume, chamber shape, tip opening, lay, and baffle design.

You say that volume, acoustic impedance, resonance response vs. excitation frequency, dynamic range are neither difficult to measure nor expensive. I call that untrue. Further, there are so many caveats (ex. effects of horn body and neck, reed, and ligature) on each of those measurements as to make them less than useful.

I am certainly entertained by the idea, but let's keep it relevant and realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This problem has too many interdependent variables to start quantifying.
Nope.

Duke mouthpiece project: https://bassconnections.duke.edu/project-teams/art-and-craft-saxophone-mouthpiece-design-2019-2020

Syos using CAD/CAM additive manufacturing to reproducibly tweak any dimensional parameter within .001", guided by art or science: https://www.syos.co/en

My iPhone has amazing acoustics applications that hold up well in reasonable fidelity comparison to lab reference gear. My preliminary home studio acoustic analysis with phone and PC agreed exactly with that of a pro sound designer I hired, using pro gear. Heck, even Capo amazingly displays ten overtones in a qualitative pitch spectrum analysis of a mouthpiece blown at the iMac's mic. Reproducible frequency power spectrums at specified sound levels are simple.
Have you used any of the cheap and widely-available public software tools? (Aside: any conscientious player who uses their ear rather than Tunable to verify, or improve upon, intonation, well, I'm sorry.)

I'm lazy, I prefer to kvetch with other wild speculators, but when there is a reasonable consensus framework with which to begin, I'll start measuring, and I can with what I already have. In fact, I have. What can you offer?

It is happening. I trust that I can sort out my real questions in this thread, and I'm eager to hear positive contributions.
 

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Nope.

Duke mouthpiece project: https://bassconnections.duke.edu/project-teams/art-and-craft-saxophone-mouthpiece-design-2019-2020

Syos using CAD/CAM additive manufacturing to reproducibly tweak any dimensional parameter within .001", guided by art or science: https://www.syos.co/en

My iPhone has amazing acoustics applications that hold up well in reasonable fidelity comparison to lab reference gear. My preliminary home studio acoustic analysis with phone and PC agreed exactly with that of a pro sound designer I hired, using pro gear. Heck, even Capo amazingly displays ten overtones in a qualitative pitch spectrum analysis of a mouthpiece blown at the iMac's mic. Reproducible frequency power spectrums at specified sound levels are simple.
Have you used any of the cheap and widely-available public software tools? (Aside: any conscientious player who uses their ear rather than Tunable to verify, or improve upon, intonation, well, I'm sorry.)

I'm lazy, I prefer to kvetch with other wild speculators, but when there is a reasonable consensus framework with which to begin, I'll start measuring, and I can with what I already have. In fact, I have. What can you offer?

It is happening. I trust that I can sort out my real questions in this thread, and I'm eager to hear positive contributions.

Note to self: Don't feed the trolls.


Kvetch on.
 

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Is there really that clear a correlation between chamber size and where a mouthpiece tunes on the neck?

I was messing around with a dental wax baffle in my Link over the weekend and at one point was playing it with a pretty sizable baffle that absolutely would have reduced internal volume by a noticeable proportion. When I put it on at exactly the same point on my neck cork as normal, it tuned exactly the same as normal.

By the same token, my Berg is longer overall than the Link, but has what Theo Wanne calls a small chamber. If intonation were correlated with internal volume, the distance from the end of the cork to the tip of the mouthpiece would be longer than for the Link, right? When I put my Berg on my 10M, my Selmer or my Yamaha, I end up pushing it onto the cork far enough that the distance from the end of the cork to the tip of the mouthpiece is almost the same as for the Link.

Same for my Robusto. Its overall length is only a few mm shorter than the Link, but it has a slightly smaller chamber and a lot of internal volume taken up by the step baffle and the sloped transition from the baffle into the chamber. Without measuring it, it would logically have to have a smaller internal volume than the Link. But it sits about 3mm further out on the cork than the Link. Pretty much exactly the difference in overall length.

I know that three mouthpieces on three horns doesn't exactly constitute a thorough scientific experiment, but it does demonstrate to me that there's more to intonation than mouthpiece volume.

I would tend to agree with Dr. G that, while it's potentially interesting to know how these things, it's hard to draw much causal relationship between mouthpiece volume and intonation, especially when different people's experience of intonation/playing in tune can be so wildly different. For example, there are a significant number of people who will insist that one must play a large chamber mouthpiece to play in tune on a 10M and that nothing else will work. Others (myself included) have no trouble playing any decent mouthpiece in tune on a 10M.

There are just so many factors involved in playing in tune and probably 85% come from whoever's got the mouthpiece in their mouth. When we talk about other variables, they can be interesting, but it's hard to isolate something like chamber volume and say that we can know much of anything about how it will affect any aspect of actually playing the mouthpiece. It's hard enough to draw any meaningful conclusions from a tip opening!
 

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But then must I trial every piece of equipment with no prior prediction of success?
Not every piece of equipment. Certain differences are obvious; such as high or low baffle, tip opening, etc. But yeah, no scientist is going to tell you what you will like to avoid trialing mouthpieces.

Just a guess here, but would you be a Millennial?
 

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It is happening. I trust that I can sort out my real questions in this thread
Please tell us what reed and ligature we should all use as a standardized reference. I want to be sure that I can replicate your results like any other good scientist.
 
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