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Discussion Starter #1
You, the Martin cognoscenti, keep banging on about the "Martin sound".
Today I took delivery of an immaculate 1929 Handcraft Master (typewriter) C tenor, & now I know what you are talking about....a massive solid thumping sound. A sound that will stand comparison with any of my Bb tenors.
I would like your advice....I was intending to re-pad with large resonator black Roo Pads, but the sound I have with the original small rivet pads is so good that I am undecided. Has anyone tried it? If a change to resonator pads gives the same solid core sound....but even louder, then I will change....but the sound is really something special as it is.
May I explode a myth?
Every report that I have read about the "Typewriter" key-work states that it is awkward......emphatically not so. Perhaps I am lucky in having the same sized hands as the designer, but, for me, it is as good or better than any vintage horn that I have played.....& it looks so dainty.
Oooohhh......that sound. :lick:
 

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Hot dog! Another Typewriter convert. I have three in the family ('29 gold alto, '30 brass sop, '31 silver tenor). Each has a tone quality I would call darkly powerful.

I had the tenor 'hauled with plain tan pads and nylon resonators by Tim (Sax Alley) Glessmann and the sop with plain pads & metal resos by Matt (abadcliche) Stohrer. Neither horn played well before the work, so I haven't any basis for comparison. But now...!!!

The only key transition I find unworkable is the right pinkie movement between low C and Eb, and that's only because I haven't messed with the keys much. Sliding the left pinkie from B to Bb is actually easier than on a Conn 6M (which has rollers, but the angle of attack is poor).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hot dog! Another Typewriter convert. I have three in the family ('29 gold alto, '30 brass sop, '31 silver tenor). Each has a tone quality I would call darkly powerful.

I had the tenor 'hauled with plain tan pads and nylon resonators by Sax Alley in Colorado and the sop by Matt (abadcliche) Stohrer, now of N. Carolina, plain pads with metal resos. Neither horn played well before the work, so I haven't any basis for comparison. But now...!!!

The only key transition I find unworkable is the right pinkie movement between low C and Eb, and that's only because I haven't messed with the keys much...
Well that's a start, for which I thank you...."darkly powerful" with resonator pads.....that's encouraging.
The low C/Eb is no problem for me....my finger just slides across as if on rollers....ie. sliding around the outer curvature of the pearls.
 

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Ooo, I'll have to try that. I'd been hitting the Eb dead-on, like a pushbutton, then the C wouldn't budge.
 

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Welcome to the club!

I've had quite a few Martins redone w/ everything from fancy Hollywood resos to plastic to flat metal to old school rivets. It doesn't really affect much, as far as I can tell, although I do sense a little more volume to the sound when SOME decent size resonator is used (e.g., not small rivets but something with some dimension to it). But, I can't tell much difference between the different types of resonators.

Therefore, I usually use flat metal resonators on Martins. But plastic selmer style work fine too.

The few Martins I've gotten playing well on just rivets or rivetless have lacked just a little bit of volume / punch, for my taste. Don't worry -- the horn will still be very dark and powerful regardless of what resonators or pads you put on it -- that's why I love my Martins.

I'm jealous about you guys and your typewriters. That's one of the few models that I don't own. I've heard great things, and I've heard that the keywork is very reasonable to play. Someday, someday....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My thanks to you all....most kind.
MyMartinTenor....Because of your comments I have decided to stick with the rivet pads, at least until I try it on stage surrounded by hostile amplified guitarists.....I just love that thick sound.
I have spent most of the afternoon with my collection of mouthpieces. A D7 Dukoff which looks like a badly made lump of melted down slot machine & which I have never liked, has come to life on the Martin....immediately I see what makes some people rave about the Dukoff....the horn retains it's unique sound but a bit of edge is added....very nice.
 

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A D7 Dukoff which looks like a badly made lump of melted down slot machine & which I have never liked, has come to life on the Martin....immediately I see what makes some people rave about the Dukoff....the horn retains it's unique sound but a bit of edge is added....very nice.
You're welcome. This is part of what I love about Martins. You can put a large chamber, low baffle piece on and sound very very very fluffly dark. But, if you put a higher baffle piece on, you maintain core thickness but can get a solid old-school 'bite' to the sound. Mouthpiece that would be hostile and over-bright on a selmer become playable on a Martin.

For example, I used a Durga in this video (I was selling the horn so blew the video to post on ebay):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JQPitaIayc

Durga is obviously capable of extraordinary brightness, but sounds nice and "middle-of-the-road" played in this style on a Martin. Makes mouthpiece selection fun.
 

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I have been redoing my Martins with MusicMedic flat metal resos. I find they are the best overall and look close to the original rivets. I have a gold plated Martin C melody which is great but the stars are my 2 Martin C sopranos, by far the best C I have owned. I am OK with the Typewriters and have a bari and 2 altos, one silver and one gold plated. Looking for a typewriter soprano in silver or gold plate!
 

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I've got 4 Martins- a mid-fifties Indiana alto, a '56 The Martin Alto, a '53 The Martin Tenor, and a '29 Typewriter tenor in silver.
The Typewriter has brown plastic domed Selmer type pads on it- that's how it came when I bought it. They seem to work quite well. i'm not experiencing any unusual problems with intonation as was suggested in the Cybersax article from above.
My experience is similar with the above statements regarding mouthpiece choice. My NY Otto Link STM gives it the big old sound from the 30's, and a Dukof D7 will give a nice brighter but with lots of character R&B type tone like the old honkers from the 50's. I also get along quite well with the keywork. My only issue is the placement of the thumbhook. If it was a little higher up the body I wouldn't have as much strain on my thumb. It seems it has to stretch too much. Maybe it's a function of the neck strap holder ring postion. Not quit sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am pleased that my half day's experimentation & conclusion is backed up by someone with rather more experience.....thank you.
 

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OK this is bringing up something I've wondered before, in terms of Martin saxophones and pads: I've bought / played / seen a bunch of Martin tenors & altos, including a good number of "closet queens". The only ones I've personally seen that had resonators at all had either been fairly recently overhauled or were player's horns that had been in regular use. So: back in the day, when you bought a new Martin horn, did they come stock with plaid rivet pads unless you ordered it with reso's?
 

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I don't recall Martins ever having resonators from the factory. My typewriter silver alto ahs plastics and it is fine but I still like metal as they did exist at the time but plasitics didn't.
 

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If it helps any, My oddball late 50s' Pan Am was still wearing it's original 'from the factory' Martin pads when I bought it.
No resos' of any kind, anywhere. Just plain brown pads with little 'nail heads' holding them in.
When I had it repadded I had the Selmer style flat brown plastic/nylon resos added.
Still dark with a little added oomph when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If it helps any, My oddball late 50s' Pan Am was still wearing it's original 'from the factory' Martin pads when I bought it.
No resos' of any kind, anywhere. Just plain brown pads with little 'nail heads' holding them in.
When I had it repadded I had the Selmer style flat brown plastic/nylon resos added.
Still dark with a little added oomph when needed.
Your rivet pads sound identical to the pads in mine.
The general consensus seems to establish that there is no "night & day" difference in the sound using large resos....."just a little more oomph".
Many thanks everyone.....I shall leave mine well alone, it sounds super as it is.
 

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I don't recall Martins ever having resonators from the factory. My typewriter silver alto ahs plastics and it is fine but I still like metal as they did exist at the time but plasitics didn't.
Bob Ackerman had a great article about this--strongly pro rivets I think--but I can't seem to find it on the web. Anybody have it?
 

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If it helps any, My oddball late 50s' Pan Am was still wearing it's original 'from the factory' Martin pads when I bought it.
No resos' of any kind, anywhere. Just plain brown pads with little 'nail heads' holding them in.
Take a look at the price guide thread I just put in the Martin section -- it shows that in the 30s Martin was offering two kids of pads, "Martin Neverleek" with rivets and "ordinary" pads without rivets.
 

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Both my Searchlights (alto/tenor) have flat metal resos, and I like them. They add a touch of edge and volume, to my ears, that the dark Martins like. The resos don't brighten up the Martins (thankfully), just add some "push." If you have a choice, I would consider adding flat resos.
Sax Magic
 
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