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I am seriously considering installing a neck pickup in my "new" Mexi-Conn tenor. Yes, yes, I know perfectly well it is not the choice for quality reproduction of acoustic saxophone sound. That's not what I want it for. I want to run effects. You know, just for fun. The kind of thing I would never dream of doing to my fine quality instruments.

Given how few people these days have experience with these things, I thought I would ask early, as it might take some time to get feedback. (pun not intended)

Does anyone have any idea of the best location? I am not concerned about drilling a hole in the neck of a $200 horn. What I am hoping is that someone has some knowledge of what would be the best location. It seems that most installations have it somewhere between the end of the cork and the octave vent, but does anyone have advice about a more specific location? I mean, I am not afraid of putting one hole in the neck, but I don't think I want to drill five holes to try to find the best spot.
 

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I play an original Selmer Varitone . The response of the affected sound is excellent ,in my opinion due to the neck pickup. I highly recommend the placement Selmer used. If you’d like me to measure the exact distance from the tip of the neck for you, I’d be happy to do that
 

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Cool project! Though what works for a Selmer might not work for a Conn. How much variance is there among neck octave pip locations generally?
 

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Best thing to do is to get a cheap but good mouthpiece and install the pickup on that. Tracking will be better than with the pickup on the neck. Plus you get to play the Varitone on other horns.
 

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some Selmer original necks have it right on top where the cork ends







, my mark 7 neck with a King/Vox octavoice has it on the side


 

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Generally it doesn't matter as long as it is high enough to "catch" all the sound so the exact location is not that important (i.e. not below any tone hole). What I don't know is what happens if it is lower than the octave hole, since I've never tried that. I have never noticed any difference when the location was above the octave hole, including on the mouthpiece itself. This is from trying a few instruments, not the same pickup in different location on the same neck, etc. Basically any of those locations worked excellent.

These are usually piezo mics so would capture the key noise through the material itself and the difference of those few cms doesn't matter for that either. Some mics isolate this better than others (I purposely have the least isolation and use that).

Yes, yes, I know perfectly well it is not the choice for quality reproduction of acoustic saxophone sound.
True, but...

That's not what I want it for. I want to run effects. You know, just for fun. The kind of thing I would never dream of doing to my fine quality instruments.
It's fun, but it doesn't have to be just fun. I use a pickup to do things that are not possible without it. It just a means of doing something, just like having four strings and not three on a violin, or having a reed on a saxophone, etc. All are just ways to achieve certain things. It isn't always just a gimmick.
I now use the pickup in most of my concerts, either to do things that are just impossible otherwise, or for difficult amplification situations where it is more important than having the most authentic sound. Though the sound isn't that bad as it used to be with these pickup.

Does anyone have any idea of the best location? I am not concerned about drilling a hole in the neck of a $200 horn.
I drilled my bass clarinet neck, and the neck alone cots several times more than that mexi horn :)

Sorry, I'm just not crazy about all these "disclaimers" apologizing for using a pickup... making it seem like it's not as valid as doing anything else :)
 

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Sorry, I'm just not crazy about all these "disclaimers" apologizing for using a pickup... making it seem like it's not as valid as doing anything else :)
Well, the reason I typed that was that when I used the much vaunted search function, pretty much all the threads on "neck pickup" were chock full of posts saying "oh god, for chrissakes don't use a pickup, it won't give you a good realistic saxophone sound, you need [insert recommendation of some different equipment]" so I thought I would just sidestep all that.
 
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