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Discussion Starter #1
Hello people of the Martin Club,

I've looked through the search function but have not found a thread that specifically talks about what pads and resonators they've put on their "The Martin" horns. Its probably here somewhere....

I've recently picked up a "The Martin" Tenor made in 1955. I want to get my tech to do a very nice overhaul on it and I want to get your opinions and feedback about what pads and resonators have really given you the best results. I have looked at what Sarge does at World wide sax: Prestini Hermes pads (it seems) and large flat resonators. Any thoughts on this? Has anyone had their horn done this way? Thanks!
 

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If it were my horn I'd definately go with flat metal reso's and white roo pads from MusicMedic. The soldered Martin toneholes have a thicker seat and therefore tend to stick more so I would want the roos to take care of that and the the flat metal reso's would be keeping with the horn's original design and sound concept.
 

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I have about 10 Martins with all types of pads. I find very little difference with the plastic vs. metal resonators and even the old rivet pads are OK. My the Martin Alto from 1961 has the original pads and they have medium metals so I would go with the original look. Whatever you use, make sure they are the thin pads, thick will not stay correct on Martins as the back side will hit first and not stay in adjustment. I don't like the fancy new pads in colors for vintage horns. Stick with brown!
 

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I've purchased a Martin tenor (specifically a HC Comm II) from Sarge that is set up exactly as you describe in your initial post, and it plays & sounds like a dream. No problems with it and I wouldn't change anything. Sarge definitely knows these horns. Follow his lead and you're doing fine.
 

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Congratulations for the new acquisition, Larry. With a MVI and a Martin Committee you are really well equipped with tenors!

I am sure Bruce Bailey has seen more Martins than me. However I do want to report that my experience is that resonators do make a difference: I definitely prefer the plastic ones to get that extra-warm sound that in my personal opinion is the biggest strength of the Martin tone.

I presently have 2 units whose SN are just a few hundreds away in the 186K range, both relacquered. The only visible difference are the resonators: the one equipped with plastic selmer-style is much warmer than the one with flat metal (not oversized), which is more modern-sounding (not bright, but certainly brighter than the other).
I like both but prefer by far the sound of the first. I am selling the other one (see signature), which is visually stunning and also a bit more in tune: the tone of the other is just too good to make me consider anything else.
 

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I've got the thin brown Selmer style plastic dome resonators and they sound and function great.They don't stick any more than any of my other saxes. Mine is a '53 The Martin tenor- my main horn for the past 7 years.
 

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I use flat metal reso's and with great results and close to the original design and they look better then plastic
Dave
 

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My vote goes to the Selmer style, brown plastic resos. They are sublime on my The Martin Committee Tenor.

I find the Flat metal ones to work well too, but DO NOT recommend the domed metal resos on these horns.
 

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Tough call huh?

I went with the flat metal resos on Prestini pads from Music Medic when I did my The Martin Tenor two years ago. Have been very happy with the horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Martin overhaul

Thanks for the input everyone!
Sax is My Axe...why not the Domed shaped metal? I had thought they might give it a little more "punch". I had thought (probably incorrectly) that given that the Brown plastics are domed, that that might be the way to go but with metal. Hmmm, Maybe I'd better e-mail my tech before its to late!!
Some horns I've tried with metal reso's seemed to have more punch and life, but I realize there are a lot of factors in that outcome.
 

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As Andrea (Rispoli) astutely touched upon, one of the major attributes of the Martin horns is their lush, warm and dark core tone. Adding the METAL domed resonators thins this out quite a bit, and brightens the horn to the extreme that one might as well buy one of the modern, bright horns out there. Or better yet, get a horn that is both dark/American in basic tone, but has some added punch like a King Zephyr or Super 20.

This is at least true with the Tenor and Alto models in my experience.

Hey, this might be exactly what you are looking for, so your mileage may vary.
 

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YES! THANKS! My Martin has domes and it is brighter than a Yamaha. Beautiful but too bright. Everyone always described Martins as dark and I just couldnt figure out why mine wasnt...now I know. I think they mess with the intonation a little too.
 

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I've heard the argument that the larger, Selmer style domed resonators are used in horns that have been acoustically designed for their use, and that slapping them in certain horns, especially older designs, can in fact alter the horn's natural intonation.

Since it occupies so much of the tone hole chimney, there by decreasing the total bore dimensions a bit, this might very well be true.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Martin

True, mileage, tonal concept and mouthpiece will vary. Or something like that...But...I guess I am looking for a different sound than my MKVI. Its the darkest out of the 4 VI's I've had, and originally I was going to try Domed Metal resos on it when it was time to overhaul. It is a good overall horn and should make anyone happy I think. I had wondered if the domed metal resos would change it for the better.

I don't want to "thin out" the sound though(refering to Domed resos on the Martin) I've tried a couple of Super 20s but didn't like them too much. Not my sound I think. Besides the Selmer MKVIs I've had, I would say my second favorite, tonally speaking, has been a Buescher TH&C I had. I felt it was a little too limited though in terms of its versatility. At that time it was the MKVI or the TH&C. Rispoli told me to keep both! I should have!!! I could have said to the wife that "I'm trying to sell it honey, honest!".

I just wrote my tech back and asked him to do the Flat Metal with the .160mm Prestini's. I want to keep this horn close to authentic in case I move it on down the road. This one I might have to keep though. I don't know yet as I've never played a Martin Tenor.

I do appreciate the advise and input, Thanks!
 

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Lairmon said:
why not the Domed shaped metal? I had thought they might give it a little more "punch".
If punch is what you are looking to achieve, metal resos might be the right choice. Among my 2 units previously mentioned the one with flat metal has more punch and perhaps with domed metal the effect would be even more pronounced.

However for a very punchy sound perhaps a Super 20 would have been a better (if more expensive...) choice. Maybe also a 10M which sounds closer to a Martin.

It is my firm opinion that warmth of tone is the biggest strength of Martins so givin'up anyt bit of it seems a pity, to me anyways.

Like others reported, probably the foremost requirement in a repad is to get properly thin pads, though. Make sure your tech is aware of this (might well be already).
 

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Lairmon said:
At that time it was the MKVI or the TH&C. Rispoli told me to keep both! I should have!!! I could have said to the wife that "I'm trying to sell it honey, honest!".
Larry, with a good Martin I believe you won't miss the THC. ;)
 

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If you want a Martin horn, with a bit more punch or sparkle to the sound, then I would possibly go with the flat metal resos, but I would not suggest the domed ones for the afore mentioned reasons.

I still think the best "punchy" tenor that still embodies the best of the dark, American sound is the late 40's early 50's King Zephyr and the Super 20.

I wouldn't want to part with those, or my beloved The Martin Committee horns.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Martin

I do want to experience what the Martin has to offer tonally. In other words not alter it too much from its original sound. I e-mailed my tech and said to go with the Prestini .160mm pads and the large flat metal resos.

I want to believe you Andrea about not missing my TH&C, but I'm not so sure about that. It was a very good one! I almost sold the MKVI you traded me for and was going to keep the TH&C. I pulled back from this because the VI was just a better all around horn for different musical situations.

Thanks again everyone for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Martin Ready to Play!

I wanted to revive this thread to let you know I've gotten my Martin Tenor back from my Tech. He did a complete overhaul, including body work, Chemical stripping/cleaning, new pads, cork, felt, etc. It is probably set up better than when it was new. I did have him do the thinner pads (160 Prestinis) and the Flat metal Resonators.
I now know what you guys are talking about regarding its natural big, dark, lush tone....Wow!! I've only had it back since yesterday, but I've been putting it through its paces and trying different mouthpiece combos with it. I'm trying out a Morgan 7E, Morgan 8M, and my Phil Barone 7* Vintage. I'm trying different combos of reeds, The Javas and Alexander Superials.

The response on this tenor is great! Tuning is very good as is Altissimo. The Morgans are working better up in the high range, but it could be my reed combo as I'm keeping the same reeds on the mpcs as I play them. With the Morgan 7E I could see this horn working great in the "Tower of Power" kind of group I'm in; with the Barone or Morgan 8M the lush, darker jazz gigs.

That's enough for now....I'm off to practice!!
 
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