Mine was not recently. I just had mine redone. He says he always covers the ring. I cant say I can tell a difference or not. There are two schools of thought and I really dont know if there very many people have A/Bed the results. Seems to me its fine either way.
I always have the ring covered. why have that extra bit of space between the mouthpiece and neck ring. It seems like that would or could impede air flow or something. It's a small detail but I swear my mouthpieces play better without that gap there.
I recently started working with a great tech, and he's showing me everything, and that situation has come up a bunch. He says he always covers it. He says he's tried both, but hasn't found a noticable difference in sound. He does say that by corking all the way to the edge, it helps (slightly, admittidly) with the seal and sturdyness between the mouthpiece and neck cork. So, there ya go...
If Steve says its so I will go with it. The perceptions of a long time player of everything under the sun is good enough for me. It makes sense and I cant figure any way in which the alternate method would be better for anything other than long term reinforcement of the neck. I do like that the ring serves this purpose. Covered or uncovered it still supports the integrity of the tube.
I put the cork out over the ring to eliminate the spit/condensation reservoir that is created when the end of the cork doesn't go all the way out to the end of the neck. It makes a big difference (for me).
It always sounds good in theory to cover the ring on the end of the neck, but sometimes it is not possible. It all depends upon the diameter of the ring and diameter of the interior of the mouthpiece shank. For example, on my SBA alto the ring is just .44 mm smaller than the inside of the mouthpieces I play. That means the cork would need to be sanded down to around .25 mm to fit. Even if that could be done, cork that thin on the end of the neck would never last very long anyway.
I've always had that damned ring removed. It does serve a purpose to keep the tube reinforced but in 5 decades I've only had a neck split once and it was no big deal to have it resoldered. Could just be a personal thing but I think the horn responds better and sounds warmer without it.
For some reason engineers and designers put things on cars, motorcycles, trumpets, saxes, etc, for a reason. I guess I am one of those people that never would modify anything because I always think that it affects something else. I would just leave it showing since it is easier than having someone screw your neck up trying to remove it.
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