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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in players' experiences with neck straps that have an extra-wide adjuster or spreader piece, e.g., some models of Cebulla, Forestone, or Air Music straps. I'm not really looking for brand recommendations (as in this thread: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?271570-Best-neck-strap-with-wide-adjustment-plate), although feel free to make one if you wish. What I'd really like to know is:
  • How does it feel to use one of these straps? What is the comfort like for your neck, back, and shoulders? Does it affect your playing at all, or the ease of balancing/positioning the sax?
  • What size horn have you played with this type of strap?
  • How wide is the spreader on your strap (inches or centimeters)?
Thanks.
 

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I have a Cebulla with the extra-wide separator; it's maybe a few inches wide? The Cebulla's good for*players who aren't so tall who need to cinch up other neckstraps to the point that they almost strangle. It's pretty comfy overall, though the leather can get sweaty against the neck on a hot gig, to the point that I've considered wrapping it in some kind of soothing gel pack.

My Balam is also great, and with the right adjustment, redistributes most of the horn's weight onto the shoulders, relieving all pressure on the neck. Its actual front separating piece is smaller than the Cebulla's, but the design of the Balam is such that it spreads the strap out to the shoulders and away from the neck. I use the Balam for tenor and the Cebulla for alto.
 

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The Cebulla's good for players who aren't so tall who need to cinch up other neckstraps to the point that they almost strangle.
That's not a problem if the neck strap is the correct length.
 

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I use the Cebulla with the wide adjuster, it's about 100mm wide i would say. I find it very comfortable, but i find it tends to slip a bit while playing, i have to re adjust it maybe 3 to 4 times during a 2 hour gig. I am using it on Tenor
 

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you can buy (or make) a spacer

buy here

https://www.andyscott.org.uk/store/p1/Libero.html

( it is relatively easy to make a spacer yourself just get a bit of aluminum or plastic tubing and cut two slots for the cord to be fitting, tightly, in the slots)

 

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The best solution for me has been to ditch the straps with the strangulation adjuster altogether, and to use instead straps that go clear around the neck and fasten with a buckle (imagine a belt for your pants, only around your neck with a hook to hang the saxophone from). None of my saxophones need so short a strap that I can't easily slip the strap over my head. An added advantage is that the sax is always at the right height, until you change the hole where the buckle is.

I have been using straps of this type since about 1984 and have not felt the need to try anything different.
 

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the saxholder takes care of any and all these problems and many more.

Yet, when somebody asks a question regarding a spacer I tend to answer with and answer regarding a spacer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The best solution for me has been to ditch the straps with the strangulation adjuster altogether, and to use instead straps that go clear around the neck and fasten with a buckle (imagine a belt for your pants, only around your neck with a hook to hang the saxophone from). None of my saxophones need so short a strap that I can't easily slip the strap over my head. An added advantage is that the sax is always at the right height, until you change the hole where the buckle is.

I have been using straps of this type since about 1984 and have not felt the need to try anything different.
Do you make these yourself, or do you buy them? I've never seen a saxophone neck strap of this design.

I don't have a problem with "strangulation" except on curved soprano. I may just need to get a Cebulla strap for that horn, because they make an extra-short model for that purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I use the Cebulla with the wide adjuster, it's about 100mm wide i would say. I find it very comfortable, but i find it tends to slip a bit while playing, i have to re adjust it maybe 3 to 4 times during a 2 hour gig. I am using it on Tenor
It looks to me as though the adjusters on the Air Music and Forestone straps are at least 50% wider than the wide adjuster from Cebulla. They are shaped differently too: the Cebulla is a Y shape, whereas the other two are more like straight rods.

Assuming that there's a comfort advantage in having the pressure of the strap directed away from the sides of one's neck, I'm trying to figure out just how big the spacer device needs to be to best achieve this effect. If the Cebulla is "wide," then Air Music and Forestone can be considered extra-wide.
 

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I have a Cebulla with the extra-wide separator; it's maybe a few inches wide? The Cebulla's good for*players who aren't so tall who need to cinch up other neckstraps to the point that they almost strangle. It's pretty comfy overall, though the leather can get sweaty against the neck on a hot gig, to the point that I've considered wrapping it in some kind of soothing gel pack.

My Balam is also great, and with the right adjustment, redistributes most of the horn's weight onto the shoulders, relieving all pressure on the neck. Its actual front separating piece is smaller than the Cebulla's, but the design of the Balam is such that it spreads the strap out to the shoulders and away from the neck. I use the Balam for tenor and the Cebulla for alto.
I use both the Cebulla and the Balam with my tenors. The width of both adjusters (haven't measured either) very effectively takes the pressure off the side of your neck. The Balam, when properly adjusted, takes the weight of the horn off of your neck and puts it on your shoulders; it's my new favorite strap.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I use both the Cebulla and the Balam with my tenors. The width of both adjusters (haven't measured either) very effectively takes the pressure off the side of your neck. The Balam, when properly adjusted, takes the weight of the horn off of your neck and puts it on your shoulders; it's my new favorite strap.
The Balam strap appears to be an ingenious design, but looks more complicated than I'd like. (I saw the how-to video.). I don't want a strap that presents many of the adjustment complexities of a harness. I'm also concerned about how it would feel when wearing just a T-shirt. Conventional straps don't bother me much, even with a tenor. My goal is not really to avoid neck strain or pain, because those aren't present to a noticeable degree, but rather to enhance neck comfort if that's possible with a simple change.
 

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The Balam is indeed complicated to adjust, though in theory you only need to do so once. In actuality, I'm still tweaking it a couple months on, and it works better with my TH&C than my Armstrong tenor--maybe because of the strap ring placement? Not sure. And yeah, I find that it's less comfy generally in a t-shirt. Plus if the shirt's too loose, the strap tends to slide around on my shoulders.

But I still prefer it to my Cebulla. Since switching, my neck vertebrae seem to "crack" less.
 
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