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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody! I'd like to discuss a topic about the position of the neck octave vent on a Conn New Wonder II tenor neck.
Well, I'll try to be straight to the point: I recently acquired a 1929 Conn NWII that makes me very happy tonewise. However the intonation from octave A and above is about 20 cents sharp and I have to lip down hard these notes. The thing is I've been playing on a 1955's 16m before, and switching the necks magically puts the NWII intonation on spot for these notes. The tone, however, changes a lot to me, with the original neck being more vivid and full, and the 16m's being drier.
I've made my measurements following this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1d3ACFPGzU and the necks are almost identical, the only thing is that the 16m's octave vent is like 7mm closer to the wide end of the neck. I've been comparing several photos of 16ms, 10ms and NWs necks and the first two seem to be identical in size and position of the octave vent.
My questions:
1 - would be worth it to change the location of the octave pip of my original neck? It would make my life much better but I wonder how much would the sax lose it's value for such modification.
2 - has anyone tried a 10m's neck on a NWII? How did that change the intonation?
 

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Try taking the NW neck and putting a "liner" inside the pip hole. This would make it smaller and perhaps flatten the A and above notes. A small piece of tubing should work. Maybe a plastic Q-tip shaft or the tubing of a spray can. I have also used some plastic wood filler to make the hole smaller. Easy task that can be reversed.
 

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Try taking the NW neck and putting a "liner" inside the pip hole. This would make it smaller and perhaps flatten the A and above notes. A small piece of tubing should work. Maybe a plastic Q-tip shaft or the tubing of a spray can. I have also used some plastic wood filler to make the hole smaller. Easy task that can be reversed.
Bruce, was there also something about glueing a women’s stocking over the hole? Can’t remember what that fix was for.
 

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Bruce, was there also something about glueing a women’s stocking over the hole? Can’t remember what that fix was for.
That's about the faint "hiss" that some people notice, from air rapidly going in and out at the vent. It seems like it's mostly been mentioned for Bueschers so maybe that faint "hiss" is more common on them.
 

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I'd think about getting hold of a 10M neck for experimentation.

At a minimum to relocate the pip you'll also have to modify the key which is non-trivial.

In theory the value of the horn would be reduced by this modification, but I suspect that would apply mostly to one in really nice condition. If you have the more typical multi-relacquer, lots of dent work, numerous re-soldered joint, NWII (of which there are thousands) then probably it wouldn't ever matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks everyone for the ideas! I'll first try reducing the size of the venting hole... the thing is it's already pretty small, I hope it doesn't change the responsiveness of the octave. I'll get back to ya'll with the results. Getting the key way closer to the venting hole also brought the intonation down a little, but I really suspect the main issue is the location of the pip, not so much it's size.

My horn is not a Virtuoso deluxe series or something. It was probably a bare bass with a really old factory aftermarket lacquering, but ilooks and plays pretty good. It's in the shop now, my tech is fixing a little bit of pulldown the neck had and I'll se if this also improves the intonation. The thing is that the only difference in intonation between the original and the 16m's neck is located on the notes with the open key, so...
 

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I've made my measurements following this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1d3ACFPGzU and the necks are almost identical, the only thing is that the 16m's octave vent is like 7mm closer to the wide end of the neck.
When it comes to body specs on saxophones ..."almost identical" doesn't quite mean a whole lot. Even more so when it comes to necks.

I too have measured up 10M, 16M, and NW necks.....and no, they are not identical 'except for pip location' (which is why the tonality changes when one puts a NW neck on a 10M/16M or a 16M neck on a NW series horn).

The vid you linked to, BTW, does not demonstrate how to measure the specifications of a neck. This would require digital calipers, as well as a piece of string. That vid (which I LOVE, actually) is about how to match up a non-original neck to a body by relying upon the 'natural pitch' of the neck as the most important factor (advice which is 100% correct, actually - as I have used this method very successfully well over 60 times and never has it failed).

So......your query is based on the premise that the only significant difference between those necks is the octave pip....but it isn't. There are other specs of the NW neck which doesn't match a 16M or 10M neck.

(I also gotta say....20 cents sharp ?...on a vintage horn....is hardly anything dramatic. You may indeed need to drastically lip down to get those notes to zero....but why bother ? When I do my final regulating on horns, particularly old splitbellkey horns....if I can get intonation up and down within 15 cents, I am good with that; and 90% of the time so are the horn owners. If I can get the horn within 10-12 cents up and down....I am a happy repairman....and the client is a very happy client. Which is to say, the 'mountain' which you see...is almost a molehill even now).

With that said, moving an octave pip on a neck is certainly doable. BUT, given the problem you are having - upper octave sharp by 20 cents (20 cents again ain't much) I would not suggest neck surgery until more conventional fixes are tried. Bruce's is one idea.
Mouthpiece matching is another.
Yet another would be to have a tech (who is GOOD at regulating keys for intonation) to see if some keyheight adjusting on the upper stack and perhaps the palm keys can remediate the problem some.

Remember, you only need to make up between 5-10 cents; if your expectation is to have a Chu play straight-arrow intonationally up and down, the needle never straying from within a few cents of Zero...I might posit that you are gonna remain being frustrated with your Chu.
 

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Hey gabito, you've already broiught this up over at https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?39353-Chu-or-Tranny-Tenor&p=4013800#post4013800 three days ago. Here's the answer I gave you over there:

One basic principle is never to mess with the design of an individual neck: the slightest alteration can make a massive difference, for the bad as easily as for the good. You only get one chance with that sort of job — if you stuff it up you'll be obliged to source a replacement neck.

If you feel it needs to be done, however, you're better off finding a replacement neck before you start messing with the one you have already.

Keep an eye out for a replacement neck from a Tranny or an early 10M — or look for a whole instrument being sold for parts.

You could also check out the various modern replacement necks that are available commercially.

In the meantime, either try adjusting your mouthpiece so that A2 is in tune, then use a tighter embouchure below it — or just learn to compensate for the sharpness above G2, by using a slacker embouchure on the high notes.

Finally, always remember that Lester Young played one of these, unmodified and to great effect, as do various contemporary players, such as Scott Robinson and Nubya Garcia.
 
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