In the NECKS thread, I saw and followed the link to Nefertiti's (Steve Neff's) review of the Warburton neck system with sound clips. Eric Falcon at Warburton shipped me the system in the copper neck variant with several different initiators (that screw onto the front of the neck where you put your mouthpiece), as well as different tenon screw-ins to fit my MAC 8, my Cannonball Stone, and my Reference 36. I simply sent back all the initiators and tenons I did not keep.
While I enjoyed the sound of my PB MAC 8 with the stock neck as it was, it was immediately apparent that the W neck with the "Flare-50" initiator NAILED the sound I was looking for. Even my wife, who is not a musician, thought that my tenor sounded nicer with the W-Flare-50 compared to the stock neck, when she listened to both back to back. I also decided to keep the RT-47-48 (reverse-taper), because it also sounded great-- but with a slightly different variant in tone-- a little more edge maybe that makes it a little better for big band.
I took the time today to record the head of "Peace" (Horace Silver) on my PB MAC 8 tenor, using each of stock neck, W neck with RT initiator, and W neck with Flare-50 intiator. I used a Phil-Tone tenor mouthpiece (because I like it best for these introspective-y kinds of tunes) and RJS 2H reeds. I played into an ElectroVoice RE20 mic with no preamps or reverb or any other effects. I tried to keep the ad libs to a minimum to make the performances as similar as I could.
It's hard for these clips to really capture the difference "live" in person, but they give a clue. It would be interesting to hear from folks who have tried both of Phil's models to see if the W neck makes the "Vintage" sound more like the Classic.
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