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Hi everyone,

So recently, Canadian tenor sax luminary Kirk Macdonald switched from his Mark VI to a new TM horn. After seeing photos of his new horn, I had but one question: what is the difference between P. Mauriat horns and TM horns?

I originally thought it was a P. Mauriat dark finish horn, but after bringing it up in small talk with a couple pros and teachers, I found out it was actually a Tenor Madness horn. This surprised me as it looks exactly the same as my horn (66rdk). Plus, I found out today that, apparently, TM buys their parts from Mauriat factories and then assembles the instrument in the US.

So, can anyone offer any wisdom as to:
If the parts are indeed the same as Mauriat horns, and if so, which line of Mauriat are they using (66, 76, 86...)?
What TM brings to the table in assembling Mauriat horns in the US and rebranding them?

Thanks
JC
 

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My guess would be the 66-Line of PM as the TM horns also got the "real rolled toneholes" Also the neck may be different to a super VI neck as TM seems to experiment with different Necks on these horns.
 

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Both te mauriat and the tenor madness are probably ver decent horns to begin with. The difference is probably in the set up. From the looks of it I get the feeling that the people of TM are really
taking pride in offering the best possible product. And they seem to know their stuff. Not saying that the Mauriat people do not, but it' s just a bigger company/factory where there are more things to consider.
So if I needed a new horn and had those two options to choose from I would choose the TM. just a gut feeling though.
 

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Having tried a few of his tenors a few years back I can guarantee that Randy Jones' setup alone is worth choosing his horns over Mauriats. Also, from Randy's website:

The latest and most significant development is the new neck. We experimented with annealing necks to improve tuning, but found that some of the tone quality was lost in the process. These new necks are the best of both worlds! The same complex tone is there, but now with a hint of resistance and increased focus of sound. And, we can confidently say that this is the best-tuning neck on the modern market.
Randy was kind enough to let me try a few necks that represented chronological development steps (including the annealed revision) and I heard a major difference between them. What's written above isn't just marketing BS.
 

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I agree with what's been written above. I like the P Mauriat horns, but I REALLY like the TM customs, especially the most recent versions. Randy Does a lot of set-up work, and a lot of small mods. For one, the rolled tone holes aren't on the palm keys, so it's sort of a hybrid. I think this balances really well. The action is crazy smooth, and the overall padwork/regulation/etc is fantastic. I think the final, and most important part is what he does with the necks. They are a big part of the sound of a horn, and he's gone through TONS of work to get necks that really make a difference. His latest optional neck (which he reshapes himself) is incredible. I think that neck is a slightly higher cost, but IMO it's well worth it.
 

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I have heard that the TM tenors are pretty awesome players! Made many dedicated Mark VI fans witch and never look back haha
 

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I agree with what's been written above. I like the P Mauriat horns, but I REALLY like the TM customs, especially the most recent versions. Randy Does a lot of set-up work, and a lot of small mods. For one, the rolled tone holes aren't on the palm keys, so it's sort of a hybrid. I think this balances really well. The action is crazy smooth, and the overall padwork/regulation/etc is fantastic. I think the final, and most important part is what he does with the necks. They are a big part of the sound of a horn, and he's gone through TONS of work to get necks that really make a difference. His latest optional neck (which he reshapes himself) is incredible. I think that neck is a slightly higher cost, but IMO it's well worth it.
+1 - I just traded my PM Sys-76 plus some cash for a TM Custom. The sound is in the same vein as the PM 66Rs but the modifications and adjustments Randy makes just take these horns to a different level. Firmer pads, custom necks and resonators , modified keywork, and a master setup makes these horns feel and play amazingly well. I bought my TM from Sax Alley, the original P. Mauriat dealer in the US and one of the best in the world at setting Mauriats up. So I played the TMs alongside of some of the best setup Mauriats you could find anywhere and picked the TM hands down.

The horns may look similar in pictures but you'd feel and hear the difference if you played them.
 

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I have an early PM 66 rul, made in 2008. it's a great wailing horn....not much in the finesse dept tho.

I been lucky enough to play several iterations of the TM horns -- including a very recent silver plate, which is my current horn. it's got that big Conn(like) sound but also a nice focus and way more color/nuance possibility than any of the other Taiwan horns I've played. plus it's set up perfectly!
 

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The TM customs are very nice horns and benefit from all the work that Randy's team spends on them. I have seen that KMac is endorsing them but I personally doubt that he has ditched his VI completely. I could be wrong but I expect he is using the TM as his gigging and workshop horn. He played Dizzy's last year on the VI and sounded amazing. His sound on the TM for me is broader perhaps and I think you sum it up well- its a hotn that has a sound concept of a conn but with some focus- but does not have the same thing as what a selmer has. Not better or worse just different. Either way he is a monster player and more pro players endorsing the modern brands is a positive for the asian made horns for sure
 
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