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I've noticed that when I switch between my Conn 6M and my Custom Z, the Custom Z blows way louder with much less effort. All the pads in my Conn seal perfectly fine yet it still doesn't project nearly as much as my Custom Z. Is this because it's a vintage saxophone? Is there something wrong with it?
 

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It could be a combination of factors. Vintage horns can be pickier about the choice of mouthpiece, for one. I'm not sure how it works for the Conn 6Ms, but I know my TH&C plays better on pieces with straight side walls. What are you playing on? And what type of reed?

There could also be a tenon leak, and I wouldn't rule out the pads unless you've actually had it checked out by a tech (and not just for seal, but to make sure there's no damage, or issues with seating or alignment). IIRC the tunable neck on those Conns can be problematic if they're not maintained or repaired properly, so maybe there could be a leak there. Also, does it have all its resonators?

Being a vintage horn isn't itself necessarily going to be an issue; I have no problems at all filling a room with my sound on the Buescher.
 

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It could be a combination of factors. Vintage horns can be pickier about the choice of mouthpiece, for one. I'm not sure how it works for the Conn 6Ms, but I know my TH&C plays better on pieces with straight side walls. What are you playing on? And what type of reed?

There could also be a tenon leak, and I wouldn't rule out the pads unless you've actually had it checked out by a tech (and not just for seal, but to make sure there's no damage, or issues with seating or alignment). IIRC the tunable neck on those Conns can be problematic if they're not maintained or repaired properly, so maybe there could be a leak there. Also, does it have all its resonators?

Being a vintage horn isn't itself necessarily going to be an issue; I have no problems at all filling a room with my sound on the Buescher.
I play on a standard production Meyer 6M, with JAVA Green 3's. I noticed that there's a bit of a wobble on my microtuner, so I'll definitely get that checked out.
 

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I've noticed that when I switch between my Conn 6M and my Custom Z, the Custom Z blows way louder with much less effort. All the pads in my Conn seal perfectly fine yet it still doesn't project nearly as much as my Custom Z. Is this because it's a vintage saxophone? Is there something wrong with it?
Well, I've been playing the same 6M since 1978 and it's the loudest alto I've ever played. So, no, it's not "because it's a vintage saxophone". Either something's off with your individual instrument, or you haven't learned how to blow through it properly. You may also be confusing a bright buzzy sound with true projection.
 

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Well, I've been playing the same 6M since 1978 and it's the loudest alto I've ever played. So, no, it's not "because it's a vintage saxophone". Either something's off with your individual instrument, or you haven't learned how to blow through it properly. You may also be confusing a bright buzzy sound with true projection.[/QUOTE]
I think I might take it to get checked. It HAS a bright buzzy sound that my Custom Z doesn't have and I like that very much about my Conn but still it lacks projection.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm definitely going to get it checked.. I've tried some different mouthpieces and I don't think it's just picky.
 

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I play on a standard production Meyer 6M, with JAVA Green 3's. I noticed that there's a bit of a wobble on my microtuner, so I'll definitely get that checked out.
I never personally had great experience with Meyers. The ones I played on when were all kind of stuffy to me. I had some better luck with a Berg HR before I tired first a vintage Personaline (which was a marked improvement) and finally my Great Neck.

You might also check your mouthpiece placement. I believe how they work is that you're supposed to push the piece all the way on it.
 

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I play on a standard production Meyer 6M, with JAVA Green 3's. I noticed that there's a bit of a wobble on my microtuner, so I'll definitely get that checked out.
I never personally had great experience with Meyers. The ones I played on when were all kind of stuffy to me. I had some better luck with a Berg HR before I tired first a vintage Personaline (which was a marked improvement) and finally my Great Neck.

You might also check your mouthpiece placement. I believe how they work is that you're supposed to push the piece all the way on it.
I have a couple vintage mouthpieces but they're no better than my Meyer. I've always found myself just not using the microtuner. However, it still has the same problem when using it as it was supposed to be used.
 

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Modern horns, for me at least, definitely have the illusion of being louder whilst you're playing them, but I find the vintage horns throw the sound out into the room more.
 

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My 1947 6M is the loudest horn I've ever played.

Try another mouthpiece: say, a stainless steel Berg. If that doesn't work, get a repad with domed metal resonators.
 

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Though the pads are closing they may be old and porous. When you repad an old sax it can transform it. But folk don't like to be told, 'it needs a repad'.
 

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My 1947 6M is the loudest horn I've ever played.

Try another mouthpiece: say, a stainless steel Berg. If that doesn't work, get a repad with domed metal resonators.
The design of the horn was different than modern saxes which, starting with the Balanced Action, were made to get more projection because of the demands of live playing with more and more amplification on stage, as well as recording a big band where one mic was used for multiple players. One of the key differences was the use of 'Tone-Boosters' (sometimes called 'resonators', which they are not) by Selmer, then others, to get a quick and easy boost in projection.
The Conn probably doesn't have them if its in original configuration, and the value of the horn is being in that configuration which contributes to the thicker and more complex Conn sound.
 

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No, it doesn't, but if the OP wants a louder sound installing domed metal resonators is one way of getting it. I said "domed metal resonators," because everyone knows what they are. My 6M doesn't have them; but it has had the original resonators replaced with Maestro Star Classics (see photo below) - and it is LOUD. It still has that wonderful Conn tone, though ! You can get them from musicmedic.com.


6M5.JPG precision_saxophone_pad_maestro_star_classic_silver_plated_resonator.jpg

Here's what musicmedic have to say about resonators (https://musicmedic.com/mainpads/saxophone-resonators.html):

Resonators are attached to the pad with a rivet and they reflect sound back into the bore of the saxophone. While there are a lot of theories in the saxophone repair field about the different sizes, shapes, and types of metals used in resonators, it is often difficult to pinpoint with certainty the specific differences that resonators make. Generally, increased surface area of the resonator is attributed to free-blowing and "brightness".

Less surface area is attributed to a "darker" sound. Because the resonator is only one contributor among many factors in sound production, it is best to let the player decide what they like best.
From least surface area to most, the resonators go from: rivet, flat metal, domed, seamless domed, Maestro Classic, and Maestro Airtight. In the Sax ProShop, we generally like to use flat metal resonators on vintage instruments that originally came from the factory with them, such as Conn and Martin saxophones. For most other saxophones, Seamless Domed metal resonators are a great choice because of their versatility. Many players who are seeking more projection will choose Maestro resonators.
 

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I think, quite honestly, this may be a matter of one's definition of "Projection".

Modern horns are brighter and reedier (yes a generalization, but with foundation). The Tonal Paradigm (a term I borrow from Tim Price) of the sax shifted with the introduction of the Japanese brands to the market in the 70's-80's. A brighter sound came into favor in that period, which makes sense if one considers the genres of music a sax was most involved with in those eras.

So the change in tone resulted in sax models being able to sonically 'cut through' the band contexts 'better', in a sense. More focus, more brightness. The flip side: the lushness, width, and darkness has been sacrificed.

So, yeah, I would tend to agree with someone if they said 'my Yama cuts thru more than my Conn'. I guess if that is a main sonic factor to you, then perhaps a modern horn is more apropos (although to me it always still begged the question: perhaps turn up your levels in the sound mix ?).

As others have replied, I would not consider a 6M a 'tame' or 'quiet' horn in any way, shape, or form. Everything about it, tonally, is 'balls out'. But if you want it to 'cut' like your Yama...a Meyer is a poor mouthpiece choice. I would experiment with mouthpiece selection if you want to get more 'edge' out of your 6M.

Have a tech heck your current pads, to make sure there are no significant leaks. Make the horn leak-free. Then investigate/try some other mouthpieces; checking both for tonal signature AND intonation up and down the horn.
I'd probably do THIS before repadding the horn with a certain resonator style, as I think a mouthpiece switch would be a more cost-effective move which would result in a more dramatic sonic change.

Best of luck.
 

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I've noticed that when I switch between my Conn 6M and my Custom Z, the Custom Z blows way louder with much less effort. All the pads in my Conn seal perfectly fine yet it still doesn't project nearly as much as my Custom Z. Is this because it's a vintage saxophone? Is there something wrong with it?
How are you measuring projection? Have you listened to recordings of your horn in an unamplified context?
 

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It is common to think that a bright sound containing lots of high harmonics will "project" or "cut through" better, but my experience is that this is not actually the case; that the audience can actually hear a more moderate tone with a full range of harmonic components better when you learn how to blow through the thing.

When I hear younger players play on modern instruments I generally remark weak airstreams and lack of projection to the far side of the bandstand or the back of the hall. I think this is probably the results of lots of hours in small practice rooms, an emphasis on "blending at all costs", and the use of amplification in louder contexts (like taking a solo in a big band). I think further that the tendency of these instruments to have a bright sound makes people believe they're putting out a lot of sound when they're not. Think of the difference between the vocal styles of, say, Cindy Lauper, and Aretha Franklin. Which do you think would be heard over a 16 piece band with no microphone?

By the way, to clarify, as far as I know all 6Ms would have come originally with the Conn "Reso-Pad" which has a medium size flat metal booster. As far as I know the rivet-only pads would not have been used on the 6M. (Someone who genuinely knows different may jump in here and correct me.)

Don't forget, too, that the 6M IS a "modern" saxophone. Unlike the 10M and 12M which were very closely based on their ancestors, the 6M differs considerably from its predecessors. I'm not sure of the earliest 6M, but I think it's around 1935, which is almost exactly the same time as the Selmer Balanced Action. If you look at pictures of big bands of the 40s and 50s you will see an awful lot of 6Ms being used by lead players.

To finish off, I've been using a Meyer #7 on my 6M for the last 20 years or so and haven't needed anything louder, not even when playing lead alto in overly-loud big bands. It's got the slightly domed plastic boosters on the pads. Personally I'd recommend lots of tone building exercises, preferably done outdoors, to build that big projecting sound rich in tonal complexity - after confirming the horn doesn't have a problem. All that said, a modern top-line Yamaha alto is nothing to sneeze at and there's no harm if you just decide the Conn isn't the right horn for you.
 

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i bought a Martin that is likely contemporaneous to your Conn, that came with an old Meyer 5M. projection is definitely not a problem.
 
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