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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious to know what makes the weight difference between old vs new saxes. In my experience, some modern manufacturers are getting closer to making good sounding saxes but they're horrible to handle. Better ergos and lighter build is something I'd really like to see implemented in modern saxes.

So... what factors make the difference in weight between, say, a SBA and a post MKVI horn (even MKVII's are significantly heavier).

I would say less keywork and non-ribbed construction probably play a part but I doubt this is the only reason. Were body tubes made of thinner sheets of brass?
 

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It's a bit of a vague question. I find older Selmers can be heavier due to thicker metal. The MkVI used a harder, thinner brass at the latter end of construction run to the beginning. The Reference tneors were down to around 3Kg and felt pretty light.
Some of the new Chinese horns use a cheaper brass which is pretty heavy. The type of brass affects how heavy it is and the hardness may allow for thinner construction so it's a combination of dimensions and type of metal that give you the weight. Then the keywork and post all add to the equation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a bit of a vague question. I find older Selmers can be heavier due to thicker metal.
Sorry. The horns I'm comparing are specifically a SBA, a MKVII, and modern Taiwanese horns (like a Mauriat). The SBA was significantly lighter and felt easier to handle.

it's a combination of dimensions and type of metal that give you the weight. Then the keywork and post all add to the equation.
When you say dimensions, do you mean size of the body tube?

So if I understand what you said correctly, one way to make a lighter horn would be to use better quality brass which can be made thinner without impacting its strength? Thanks, that makes sense.
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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…some modern manufacturers are getting closer to making good sounding saxes but they're horrible to handle…
Interesting. I feel just the opposite. The modern horns (especially Yanagisawa) have wonderful ergonomics. I do agree with you about the Mk VI tenor which had the perfect neck angle.

…what factors make the difference in weight between
I can't really help on the weight issue which is a good question. But one thing I have found is that the location of the strap ring can make a horn feel heavier or lighter. There were horns I thought were heavy but after moving the strap ring location, they felt light. It's amazing.
 
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