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Discussion Starter #1
I have been searching the SOTW but cant seem to find a thread on whether or not the pads affect tone. And if so, which pads tend to a brighter tone and which to a darker tone ?

Any ideas or comments ?
W.
 

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Well, tell us what'a trying to do? And maybe somebody can tell you how to get there. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Effect on tone ...

Enviroguy said:
Well, tell us what'a trying to do? And maybe somebody can tell you how to get there. ;)
Well ... I love the deepest and darkest tones possible. I have a 1920 Conn curved sop that I am having repadded. Will the type of pad and resonators that I use affect the tone ? If so, what pads | resonator will give me the desired tone ?

Thanks
W.
 

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W.: I suppose some have an opinion about this issue, but I see it much like finishes and plating discussions. The proof of any difference would require hundreds of similar instruments being padded, re-padded, recorded, tested, etc., torn down, re-padded, ad nauseum. The mere tearing down and re-padding distorts the whole test. I realize that some pads may be thicker than others, thus the "feel" may be affected, but the tone? Who knows?

I recently had my S992 re-padded. I chose the black roo-pads and seamless, chrome-domed resos. I like it, but I am not prepared to defend my choices over other combinations. And if someone else will/can defend it, I'd again raise my myth protector. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pads - Reality or chimera ?

Thanks Dave for the breath of reality !

But then the question is ... why "roo" or "non-roo" pads ? Why resonators of different materials ? Why Pisoni over other brands ? Is there ANY "rhyme or reason" to Pads and Resonators ?

Cheers
W.
 

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W.: I have no idea why I chose those pads and resos. Jimmy Scimonetti showed me all the possibilities (pads and resos) and I chose those. It was really a W.A.G. Thankfully, they work great - but I don't know why other than they were properly installed. I took the horn in last week for a follow-up check. Everything was still tight. DAVE
 

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I have a vintage Evette/Buffet straight soprano sax whose key cups were so narrow that I had to use bassoon pads (without rivets or resinators) to repad the saxophone with. It has a warm mellow sound, especially in the lower register compared to every other straight soprano that I have heard and played so far. I might also say that it is a very heavy sax with a relatively thick walled body and tone holes. I think that this might account for the dark sound as well.

If a dark mellow tone is what you are after, you might consider no resonators in the pads at all. I do believe that the mouthpiece and player has a far greater effect on the sound than the pad or resonators (or finish of the horn for that matter).

John
 

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I'd be more concerned about the quality and appropriate thickness of the pads than the idea that they influence the tone to any degree.

The resonator size, shape and material can impact certain things such as projection, response and in some extreme circumstances,tuning. To what degree is open for debate.

On a Soprano, the surface size of the resonator is so small (those pads that are big enough to even have one), I wonder if it is even pertinent.
 

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I like to use flat brass resos as large as possible while still remaining the integrity of the pad. The reason for this is that I feel a lot better about as much of the interior of the sax bore as possible being a uniform material. I think, but I can't prove, that this allows less room for error in terms of tonal distortion in the bore of the instrument and everything seems to resonate more uniformly. Pure speculation but, yea, I just feel better about knowing that it's mostly bare brass that the sound waves are bouncing off of ;)
 

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I have always been a fan of no-resos. I know this puts me in a tiny minority but I was surprised to see that Bob Ackerman apparantly agrees.
http://bobackermansaxophones.com/articles/perspective.html
I have seen it stated [I think on here] that anybody who repads a sax with rivet pads is a hack who doesn't know what he's doing. I especially like altos to be "reso-free". But, I certainly appreciate the theory set forth above by Razzy. It seems to make sense. I've never experienced flat brass resos and am curious to give them a try. However, from my current experience framework, I like the sound of no reso.
 

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I recently played a fan's '30's-era Conn alto at my regular gig. It had been padded without resos. It played very nicely.

The trumpet player sitting next to me (who is trying to add tenor saxophone to his stable) observed that he thought my Big B alto (with snap-ins) had more edge than the non-reso Conn. I agreed. Still, only one experience - and between two different brands. Not an objective test of the premise by a long shot. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great comments and thanks to everybody ...

LBAjazz seems to indicate that, without resonators, the thing to do to affix the pads is "rivets" ? Is that correct ?

Thanks Dave for your comments on the non-reso Conn. It would seem to be that , if I dont want an edge, I should go non-reso.

Comments anyoone ?
Warren
 

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Warren: Just today I stopped into a local music store near where I'd been at a retirees' breakfast (old cops telling war stories, mainly). The guy who clerks the store is a kick to discuss vintage saxophones with.

He showed me a Buescher 400 alto from after the Selmer buy-out that he'd recently bought off of eBay and re-padded himself, using cheap plastic resos. He thought the cheapie plastic resos helped the horn play darker. I did not play the horn and I'm not sure that what he claimed is accurate. After all, I hadn't played it before the re-pad, let alone afterwards.

Still, I suspect that had he used domed smooth resos or Noyeks (those rippled metal resos) that the reasults MAY have been brighter. But who knows?

As to the "rivets' comment, I think that referred to a brand (or design) of metal reso where the center has a rivet in it, so that the reso is NOT smooth. What I had installed was the slightly domed-but-smooth (no rivet in the center) reso that covers a large portion of the tone hole. My results are not bright, but very responsive.

If I were you, I'd listen closely to a trusted technician, then the two of you should make the decision - and live with it. And, I'd choose the roo pads with the smooth domed resos AGAIN because that's what I had done and it worked great. Some pads may be too thick and result in there being too deep of a seating groove, thus causing excessive stickiness. DAVE
 

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Re: the Buffet soprano with no resonators and "warm and mellow" sound - several people I know who tried Buffet saxophones described them pretty much like this. I think this is common for Buffet saxophones in general and not something about the resonatorless pads.

I agree with most of what Dave Dolson wrote :)

Here are some of my own comparisons of different pads/resonators - Yesterday I've played two alto saxophones with identical pads and resonators, they sounded very different. I also played earlier this week a couple of Selmer SIII with same pads and resos, and they sounded a little different. More different than two SII altos with different pads and resos. A few weeks ago I compared three Mark VI tenors, one with domed metal resos, one with plastic resos, and one with pretty much every type of pad and reso on it (it had mostly dome plastic resos, some smooth metal domes, and a few riveted dome and flat metals). The one with all the different pads/resos and the one with domed metal sounded very similar, the one with just dome plastics sounded more different.
 

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clarnibass said:
Here are some of my own comparisons of different pads/resonators - Yesterday I've played two alto saxophones with identical pads and resonators, they sounded very different. I also played earlier this week a couple of Selmer SIII with same pads and resos, and they sounded a little different. More different than two SII altos with different pads and resos. A few weeks ago I compared three Mark VI tenors, one with domed metal resos, one with plastic resos, and one with pretty much every type of pad and reso on it (it had mostly dome plastic resos, some smooth metal domes, and a few riveted dome and flat metals). The one with all the different pads/resos and the one with domed metal sounded very similar, the one with just dome plastics sounded more different.
It makes sense to me that pads and even resonators have little to no affect on the tone and maybe some minimal affect on projection and perhaps intonation but I'm not expert enough to yet grasp that side of it. At the end of the day the pad is there to create an airtight seal when the key is closed and to do that time and time again without sticking and without altering it's "feel" for the player.

The reason kangaroo leather had recently taken off for pads is not because it's going to affect the tone in any way but because it's natural qualities of uniformity, strength and non-stickiness make it great to perform that airtight seal. I'm very interested in the potential use of man made materials for this purpose as well.
 

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Rick, I'm not claiming pads or resonators make or don't make a difference. My examples (which are just a few of many) mainly show that any tests of different saxophones really don't show in any way the resonators or pads make any difference at all. I can think of some tests that would be objective, but I doubt anyone is ever going to make them. I also think it is fine not to know for sure. As long as players are happy with that they have that is best. The problem is when something costs more and people come up with some ridiculous claims to justify the extra price... but I guess that's just human nature.

I heard from several people who are not biased that the kangaroo leather pads are more porous than other top pads. I don't know if this is true or not, but if it's true, it is possibly the reason why they are less sticky. I don't think they are more airtight than any pad with high quality leather, and if they are more porous they are actually less airtight.

If you are interested in man made materials on pads, are you familiar with the micro fibre pads made by Music Center? I'm not, but I heard they are much better than real leather (much less porous than any leather) but much more expensive too.
 
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