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I have been asked more than once in the past few months, "Did you come home last night?"
Hahaaa.. to me that sounds hilarious! "ofcourse I came home, honey, I'm here ain't I?"
You are one lucky...musician to have married such an understanding and
sleep loving wife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I've been enjoying these immensely. The left hand pinky table has been a problem though. It's not so much placement though as how much strength is required for a good seal. G# is a breeze. Moving rapidly from low C# to B to Bb and back however, is a bear. While I rarely practice more than what's on the books, I've devoted a couple of 20 minute sessions just to this and it's still not what I would call fluid.

I can say that all the intonation quirks just miraculously went away over time... A couple of critical practices with a tuner seemed to cement the connection between my fingers, ears, and embouchure. To test this in the real world, I recorded a few recent live gigs where tuning is as much memory as ears when playing in loud bands. What I found was that my tuning was spot-on. Of course I also found I'm not half as good as I think I am and maybe only 10% as good as my drunk audiences tell me I am. I spent yesterday on the road with nothing to do but listen and I could hardly bear it. I suspect concentrating on what I'm playing rather than hamming it up would help but even with that in mind I'm horribly disappointed. (in me - not the Conns)

In the end these wonderful instruments may well have convinced me I need a "real" practice routine. That alone is worth the price of admission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I'll often do some left hand pinky exercises, starting with low Bb and going up three half steps then back again, both tonguing and slurring as quickly as I can. Then I move up half a step and continue in that manner.
I need an itty bitty barbell for my pinky. That thing is tough but I'm gonna whoop it.

On a side note I'm currently sporting a blood blister on my left cheek thanks to that damned Conn Cobra. Stupid move too. Playing an upstairs bar with a porch and while walking the bar some of the patrons outside started diggin it - so I went up to the window to play. This caused even more merriment outside so I went to open the window. (instead of just going around and using the freaking door like all the normal people) It was stuck and so it required two hands. That's when things went south....

I keep telling myself it's time to grow up....
 

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I keep telling myself it's time to grow up....
Nah... :mrgreen:

What's a scar or two in the name of a good time? At least you didn't dent or damage your horn. That would have been way worse.

I fell off a riser while sitting in a chair at a sound check once and wrenched my back pretty bad. Somehow, I managed to keep my alto from getting anywhere close to the floor. :cheers:
 

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As I have mentioned, I have about 20 altos including a 6M, Mark VI and Magna and my NW is my main alto. As to the LH pinky, try adjusting the low keys really light as they don't need strong springing (maybe the C#). Make sure the Bb closes well as sometimes the B lever gets a bit bent (don't press too hard on the B).
 

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I haven't had my hands on a chu tenor but I've overhauled a number of alto chu's and wonders (Hopefully this isn't the reason they are notorious for intonation problems lol!). I was just curious how you felt about the palm keys. I know that the series I new wonder is really awkward and you pretty much have to take your fingers all the way off the top stack just to play the palm keys. The chu altos use very similar if not identical palm keys to the conn naked ladies and are a big improvement over the series I. I was just wondering if this was the same for the tenors.

My first non-student horn was a conn series I alto and since then I've owned quite a number of these old Conns. It was my first taste of what a saxophone is really supposed to sound like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
My hands must be made for the palm keys. Neither the Chu nor the new wonder caused me a moments notice. I'm still fighting the pinky table though. I feel like Rocky in the 15th round. I'm gonna win - I'm just going to have to take a few more punches to do it.
 

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A saxophone sounds like a saxophone.

That whole notion of "this horn is what a saxophone is supposed to _____" is complete bunk. :tsk:

Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but I had to say it. :mrgreen:
Don't be silly. Everyone has a certain sound in their head of what a saxophone is supposed to sound like, and sometimes people only feel that that sound is realized with a certain horn (or mouthpiece).
 

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No, I know what you mean. What I was saying is that I played a long long time on a student yamaha and a student bundy II. The conn new wonder alto was the first saxophone I tried other than student horns. I was astonished at how different it sounded compared to what I had played on before. Student saxophones may play in tune and have nice ergonomics, but do you personally love to play on a Yamaha YTS, Vito, Selmer bundy II, etc? You probably don't because your mind has decided these saxophones are not what a good saxophone is supposed to sound like. To most students, these saxophone models sound fine because they haven't played on a conn yet :)
 

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Well, I'm sure Mr. A. Sax would have something to say about that!!:mrgreen:
I have read both Adolphe Sax Biographies, & I think he would agree with me.

For instance, he knew absolutely that material doesn't matter to the sound.

He did, however, feel that the use of anything but the highest quality brass wasn't acceptable. This certainly had everything to do with durability & aesthetics.
 

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No, I know what you mean. What I was saying is that I played a long long time on a student yamaha and a student bundy II. The conn new wonder alto was the first saxophone I tried other than student horns. I was astonished at how different it sounded compared to what I had played on before. Student saxophones may play in tune and have nice ergonomics, but do you personally love to play on a Yamaha YTS, Vito, Selmer bundy II, etc? You probably don't because your mind has decided these saxophones are not what a good saxophone is supposed to sound like. To most students, these saxophone models sound fine because they haven't played on a conn yet :)
Right. I understand what you mean. Going from a 23 to a New Wonder is quite a jump!!!

Actually, I have a Conn 7M (Made in Mexico :)) coming to me presently from www.2ndending.com

It shares the bore with the 6M. The keywork was "modernized", with a Selmer style LH pinky table and the bell keys on the right. I must say, for the record, that I do not believe in the myth that all Mexican made Conns fall apart.

I will report back with my findings on how it plays.

I am excited to be entering the world of Conn!!! :mrgreen:
 

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My hands must be made for the palm keys. Neither the Chu nor the new wonder caused me a moments notice. I'm still fighting the pinky table though. I feel like Rocky in the 15th round. I'm gonna win - I'm just going to have to take a few more punches to do it.
I never had much trouble either with the palm keys. However since I tried a set of
rubber key extenders on them they feel much more comfortable and respond as
quick as on any other modern sax.

Good luck with your pinky table. You are going to win i am sure... just belt them...
and play the crap out of them.
 

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1. They are both great horns!
2. Intonation is somewhat better on the II but that may be the set-up. The fork Eb pad has the spring reversed on the NW and functions well on the NWII. That might
3. I could hear very little difference in tone - both are set up with new pads with metal resonators and new springs but by different techs. The pads are not the same but very similar. The NW is a little brighter in the higher notes. The NWII speaks more easily in the low register but there may be a slight leak from shipping. I wouldn't say the NW is fuller in tone but it might well be a bit "edgier".
4. Ergonomics are better on the NWII. In addition to the nail file G# which is tilted to angle a bit below the other left pinky keys, the octave key is a bit more manageable than the teardrop shaped key on the NW. The action in general is pretty smooth. IT takes a very light touch - more like the old MKVI I held once than other saxes I have played. This too is probably the way the instrument is setup.
Ahh I found your thread Fader... It sounds like exactly what I experienced with my Conns. A touch edgier and more flexible on the NW, and more centered on the NWII. To me the "Chu" just feels so much smoother, very lightly set up. My NW seems to beat it on tone just a hair though, IMO... Lets do some recordings with our Conns, NW --> Chu, maybe play a scale and some licks in a key on both!
 

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For the prices today, just get one of each. I have been using a series one for about 5 or 6 years and recently got a Chu in minty gold plate. I am thinking of selling the series one, also gold plated but just can't part with it as they are so different. Hard decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I know it took a while for me to figure out the Conn's could sound different than my modern Selmer. It almost happened by accident. First impressions were that I sounded like me on both horns. Since I was doing retro music, I stuck with the Conn's for a while and found my tone just getting bigger and ballsier. I thought I was just getting better. That happens as the sax is a fairly new area of study for me so progress is noticeable. Then I had a gig that I really needed the shiny new , and I realized that I had just adapted to how hard you can push the Conn's. Every time I went to really push the Selmer, it broke up in a not nice way while the same approach on the New Wonders just screamed. The Selmer comes close when I'm careful but those old Conn's can be played with reckless abandon... I've got some concert video of the Chu in post production this week and I'll post it when it's done. I'm always a little reluctant to post live clips because there are so many great players here. Somehow I get the good gigs, but some of you make it seem so effortless while there is no doubt I'm working my butt off when I play. My studio work is always more consistent and with enough time I can make it sound just fine. Anyway - sound and video clips to follow...
 
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