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okay, so Ive got two martin horns on trial right now, A 1929 Typewriter tenor, and A 1925 ( i think) Handcraft tenor with a silver neck. I have to decide between the two, and it's O so hard!!! The typewriter has a wonderful lush tone, that subtones all the way to the palm keys, But needs a fair amount of air. The handcraft has a brighter, edgier tone, but is pretty difficult to subtone. My problem is, that I can't choose between the two. They are both wonderful, but I'm having a hard time deciding between the two sounds....I don't really know what kind of advice/input im asking for, since it's pretty much a matter of opinion....I just needed A good rant
 

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So buy them both, if your married living in the shed isn't so bad and she will let you back in when she needs some work done :D . Jay.
 

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Cranky Bear said:
ROFL!!!! im not married.....im only 16....marriage is WAYYYY off!!! each horn is 1200, and I have to go halfers with my parents to pay for it...otherwise I would buy both. But, alas, I do not have access to 2400 dollars.
Persuade them to divorce, then con them each for $1,200.:evil:
 

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Hmm... maybe replace the silver neck on the Handcraft with a brass one, or have it gold-plated so you could keep the original which is better, and then work on the mouthpiece reed/combo to find something a bit more lush? I don't think the action of the Typewriter is that versatile, since it has no rollers. I have a '55 Indiana which is basically like a Handcraft with a bigger bell and a little slicker action, I think. I've got a '21 Handcraft here (not playing) that I got for my friend and the body tube and basic design looks pretty close. Mine does have a certain brightness and edge to the sound, especially in the higher notes, and as you say the low notes are a little harder to breath into (subtone.) But to me it is generally warm, complex, and polite, my favorite horn at the moment, and I'm getting pretty good results with a Brilhart Tonalin and a Rico Royal 3. So I would say stick with the HC, if only the fact that you'll be able to roll between low C and C#, which I think its pretty important.
 

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From a purely monetary stand point, the Typewriter model is the much rarer of the two, and actually worth a bit more (although it sounds like your source is selling them for the same amount).

$1,200.00 seems a tad bit rich for both horns, especially the HC (unless the neck is solid sterling silver, and not silver plated). Is that U.S. or Canadian dollars?
 

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Cranky Bear said:
canadian dollars...the neck is solid silver
It may be worthwhile to experiment with using a regular brass neck from another HC of similar vintage, or maybe an early Indiana or other Martin with the same neck. I believe silver can sound slightly bright and edgy and necks do have a lot of an effect on tone. I think silver looks nice but is not my preference for getting the warmest sound, even if the effect is subtle (or psychological?) Anyway, experimenting with mouthpieces, reeds, etc should also be valuable. Getting a warm and lush sound shouldn't be a big issue on a horn like this.
 

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A lot depends on how old the HC is. If it is pre-1928 (under about 80,000) and does NOT have the front F and high C# adjuster, then the typewriter is the best choice as it has both. I have never seen a Martin HC with a solid silver neck, only plated.
 

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Bruce, how do you tell it's only plated? I have a Comm II tenor with a silver neck and am curious. Thanks for the information.

Mary Jo
 

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bruce bailey said:
A lot depends on how old the HC is. If it is pre-1928 (under about 80,000) and does NOT have the front F and high C# adjuster, then the typewriter is the best choice as it has both. I have never seen a Martin HC with a solid silver neck, only plated.
bruce, if the horn does not have the front F, can the C# adjuster still be added? My Indiana has the high F but didn't have the C# adjuster. The C# adjuster is really important, but I could live without the front F. I also thought the solid silver neck didn't sound original, but a silver plated neck can have a subtle effect on the tone, I think.
 

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As I mentioned a few months ago, the C# lever CAN be added to the LH stack bar. On a HC, the adjuster really makes a big difference. The sure way to check to see if it is solid silver is to look around where the solders are and see if you see the solder. On a plated horn the solder will be plated over. Now the exception would be a solid tube that also was plated. You can file metal away and see what is underneath.
 
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