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Hey guys, I was playing my tenor today, while i was playing my mind wandered off and i thought of this question

When you choose a horn, what is the priority. what i meant was do you go for the:

1. intonation.
2. the tone on the horn.
3. the physical feel of the saxophone
4. the physical look of the saxophone.
5. maybe add your own thoughts?
I know they are all important factors of the saxophone. for me because i am a classical saxophone player, intonation is a key factor.

sorry for my bad english, and this question is probably a really noob question, but i am just curious[rolleyes]
 

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First I look to see if its a C Melody.... then I check that its a C Melody :p
 

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2,3,1,4....... intonation is not something that I would expect to be immediately secure on a new horn and the one primary factor that I would be looking at, as this is a something that requires choosing the right mouthpiece suited to my embouchure and the horn and my (as a player) adapting to the new mouthpiece horn-combination.

In other words, we all know that a saxophone is not (in looks as much as in sounds and way of playing :) ) not a piano, so despite what people say about " locked intonation" all wind instrument have a certain variation when it comes to it and wind instrument players are continuously adapting their embouchure to the horn-mouthpiece combination whilst the ear analyses the sound produced and feeds the brain the information which brings the rest of the body to continuously alter all sorts of components to produce the intonation.

In time this becomes an automatic process but by choosing a new instrument we make it necessary for our body to re-start learning alls sorts of automatisms all over again. Goes without saying that some instruments are closer to what our body already has been training itself to do. Some instruments can prove too hard to control and we might never be able to intonate them but I doubt that you can find out in 5 minutes or even one hour of playing.
 

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I wouldn't think so, but I must admit that some of the Jazz players (especially of the past) had perhaps a less than perfect intonation but a great sound all the same.
 

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I only go for number 5, in order of priority:

First: It must be a Selmer Paris Saxophone.
Second: It has to be a Mark VI, or, in the case of tenor, perhaps an SBA.
Third: The serial number must have five digits for tenor, possibly six digits for alto but below 150K.
Fourth: The number on the neck must match the number on the horn.
Fifth: It CANNOT come with a high F# key.
Sixth: Must have lacquer finish. Silver plating makes the horn whiny. Nickel (they do exist) is associated with cheapness (even though it lasts 500 years). Gold is opulent and the horn will never achieve the "right" look.
Seventh: The lacquer MUST be original, even if there is nothing left of it.
Eighth: The case should be original. This is important in terms of assessing the lacquer.
Ninth: Saxes that cost less than $10,000 at the moment are probably no good and definitely suspicious.
Tenth: If the horn plays, that is considered a plus.
 

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bitter-sweet (and sour!)..........:twisted:
 

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I think tone is the priority. If that's not happening, then intonation doesn't really matter if you don't like the sound to begin with. So first tone, then intonation, then ergonomics, and lastly appearance.
 

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I'm with Milandro on this one - on saxophones (and on reed instruments in general), the player is fully responsible for the intonation; the only thing a good horn (and setup) does is make things easy enough.

That said, there are setups that don't work at all intonation-wise. But again, if the player doesn't realise that, it's his or her fault, not the instrument's.

Of the OP's suggestions, I can fully skip 4 as far as I'm concerned (now - I used to fall for those looks until not so long ago). So, like Milandro, I'm a 2-3-1 guy - of course, if it comes to my own contribution to the overall performance of the instrument, it's 1-2 and a very distant 3. 4 only comes in when our wind orchestra participates in a competition (including marching).

As for 5, I suggest "friendliness" - being able to put whatever mouthpiece and/or reed on it I like is a boon.

M.
 

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5. Durability. I know a lot of people who were very excited about a couple of particular horns about 10 or so years ago. Now the horns are nearly impossible to keep in adjustment. This includes tolerances as well as material.

-anchorsax
 

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and which would these impossible to maintain ( but at some point exciting) horns they be? I am not aware of any but if you are, name and shame!
 

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I only go for number 5, in order of priority:

First: It must be a Selmer Paris Saxophone.
Second: It has to be a Mark VI, or, in the case of tenor, perhaps an SBA.
Third: The serial number must have five digits for tenor, possibly six digits for alto but below 150K.
Fourth: The number on the neck must match the number on the horn.
Fifth: It CANNOT come with a high F# key.
Sixth: Must have lacquer finish. Silver plating makes the horn whiny. Nickel (they do exist) is associated with cheapness (even though it lasts 500 years). Gold is opulent and the horn will never achieve the "right" look.
Seventh: The lacquer MUST be original, even if there is nothing left of it.
Eighth: The case should be original. This is important in terms of assessing the lacquer.
Ninth: Saxes that cost less than $10,000 at the moment are probably no good and definitely suspicious.
Tenth: If the horn plays, that is considered a plus.
This is soooooo 2010! The real sax snobs have moved onto cheaper pastures. :)
 

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This is soooooo 2010! The real sax snobs have moved onto cheaper pastures. :)
I am always a bit behind (and sour ;)). Otherwise, I agree with all of the above but would not know how rank the factors. To me, they are all equally important. I like the big sound of Keilwerth and Conn but their keyworks does work well for me, at least not on tenors. Also, many if not most of the new looks simply don't agree with me. So while sound and intonation ought be more important, they are not.
 
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