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The pitch of the fundamental of a given note is one thing. The frequency of its harmonics is something else. A really thorough test of a neck (or saxophone for that matter) is to get a tuner that shows the pitch of the fundamental and the closest harmonics and check the "harmonicity" of the body and neck tube.
I am sorry but you lost me here, aren't the frequencies of the harmonics a strict function of the fundamental pitch? Or are you talking about amplitudes of the individual harmonics. Apologies if I am missing something here
 

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I generally agree with this. Occasionally when I sell horns which had the serials stamped on the neck (Martins for example), but I matched up a still-by-the-same-maker-and-of same-era-and-same-model neck to the body.....just obviously not matching in serial #...I will get someone trying to talk me down in price because 'the neck isn't the original neck'.

That moves into absurdity. It's a Martin Indiana (or Comm II or whatever) on the same model body....it's the same fookin' neck specification. I ask them to direct me to anything factual which suggests that the same-mfr/same-model neck I have matched to the horn somehow will compromise the horn's integrity.

These things get nuts...and really, IMHO...all it is is people trying to lowball/devalue what I am selling so they can pat themselves on the back as 'wily consumers'.

I remember several years ago a thread by someone who purchased a vintage classic model horn from me...one which I had gone to some effort to find a matching, good condition, by-same-mfr. neck for. The horn model only had a run of around 8 years. Serial numbers were off by less than 1000. Two months after I sold it, he starts a thread lamenting the fact that his horn doesn't have its original neck.

Unless there is clear proof that the neck spec changed on a model at a certain time (Buescher for example)....this is purely just stupidity.
Well, people get all prissy about things when they have no idea what they're talking about. Those of us who are familiar with factories and how mass produced items are made, know that what really happens is that there's a big rack of necks and a big rack of bodies and just before final test someone grabs the body and a neck of the same finish and puts them together, and starts the final testing and adjustment. There is no magical process where super musicians painstakingly match each body with its most perfectly matched neck.

In fact, it's pretty rare that necks are serialized to the same number as bodies, and there's a good reason for this: If either one gets damaged or has to be reworked, you have a problem of keeping them together, or having to make an out of sequence SN for a replacement part.

And yes, yes, I know that I haven't worked in a saxophone factory, but I've been working in factories including the design of assembly lines for mass production, for over 30 years now. How you assemble mass production assembled products varies in details but not in principles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Well, people get all prissy about things when they have no idea what they're talking about. Those of us who are familiar with factories and how mass produced items are made, know that what really happens is that there's a big rack of necks and a big rack of bodies and just before final test someone grabs the body and a neck of the same finish and puts them together, and starts the final testing and adjustment. There is no magical process where super musicians painstakingly match each body with its most perfectly matched neck.

In fact, it's pretty rare that necks are serialized to the same number as bodies, and there's a good reason for this: If either one gets damaged or has to be reworked, you have a problem of keeping them together, or having to make an out of sequence SN for a replacement part.

And yes, yes, I know that I haven't worked in a saxophone factory, but I've been working in factories including the design of assembly lines for mass production, for over 30 years now. How you assemble mass production assembled products varies in details but not in principles.
Sure, but in the case of where they DO put serial numbers on necks/bodies, there would be a case to say a horn without the matching neck is not as valuable as it would be if it had the matching neck. Speaking strictly from a value standpoint, and not from a playing standpoint.
 

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I am sorry but you lost me here, aren't the frequencies of the harmonics a strict function of the fundamental pitch? Or are you talking about amplitudes of the individual harmonics. Apologies if I am missing something here
I used to think that too, and in an ideal world it would be like that. My reading of Benade and other sources has taught me that harmonics of woodwind instruments are not necessarily whole number multiples of the fundamental. When there is not good alignment, the intonation in the upper register suffers, the instrument is less responsive, and it requires more input energy from the player to produce the same intensity of sound. This study provides an overview in much more detail. A lot can be learned by "reading between the math" as I do. Advanced string players have to replace the strings on their instrument on a regular basis to maintain a good tone since they lose their "harmonicity" over time as a result of being stretched.

Some Aspects of Tuning and Clean Intonation
 

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It is probably similar to the way that flute players change headjoints, clarinets change barrels, brass players change lead pipes. Some work or fit the player, some don't. I would not make any permanent alteration unless I was sure it would work.
 

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I used to think that too, and in an ideal world it would be like that. My reading of Benade and other sources has taught me that harmonics of woodwind instruments are not necessarily whole number multiples of the fundamental. When there is not good alignment, the intonation in the upper register suffers, the instrument is less responsive, and it requires more input energy from the player to produce the same intensity of sound. This study provides an overview in much more detail. A lot can be learned by "reading between the math" as I do. Advanced string players have to replace the strings on their instrument on a regular basis to maintain a good tone since they lose their "harmonicity" over time as a result of being stretched.

Some Aspects of Tuning and Clean Intonation
Thank you! Very interesting, indeed. I am well aware of the aging of strings and the loss of, let me call it "transparency" of the sound but I wasn't aware of the root cause. It'll take me awhile to read through the Dalmont paper but hey, I am still trying to learn something new every day!
 

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It is probably similar to the way that flute players change headjoints, clarinets change barrels, brass players change lead pipes. Some work or fit the player, some don't. I would not make any permanent alteration unless I was sure it would work.
There can't be a permanent alteration when trying out saxophone necks unless the player foolishly sells or trades away the horn's original neck. I don't think I've ever heard of someone intentionally getting rid of a sax's original neck, even if he prefers an aftermarket substitute.
 

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Advanced string players have to replace the strings on their instrument on a regular basis to maintain a good tone since they lose their "harmonicity" over time as a result of being stretched.
Really? I should think that the primary reason to lose "harmonicity" is due to imperfections that change the distribution of mass from an ideally homogeneous distribution - "aging" defects would include wear, corrosion, etc. If the string were maintained under tension in an inert environment with no accumulation of wear, the deformation mechanism would be creep, and I would suspect that is a very slow process (decades?) at typical stresses and temperatures. It would be interesting to see some data on that, and to see how well the experiments are controlled.
 

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There can't be a permanent alteration when trying out saxophone necks unless the player foolishly sells or trades away the horn's original neck. I don't think I've ever heard of someone intentionally getting rid of a sax's original neck, even if he prefers an aftermarket substitute.
I took it to mean an alteration of the tenon to make the aftermarket neck actually fit.

If you buy an aftermarket neck and do any adjustment like that, bang goes your return policy or warranty. Just don't do it unless you get something from a company such as as Gloger that is deigned for your actual instrument.
 

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Really? I should think that the primary reason to lose "harmonicity" is due to imperfections that change the distribution of mass from an ideally homogeneous distribution - "aging" defects would include wear, corrosion, etc. If the string were maintained under tension in an inert environment with no accumulation of wear, the deformation mechanism would be creep, and I would suspect that is a very slow process (decades?) at typical stresses and temperatures. It would be interesting to see some data on that, and to see how well the experiments are controlled.
Not arguing one way or the other but to your point, most high end guitar strings are sold in air tight pouches, I always thought that some of the grime from the fingers (even if you wash your hands) goes in between the windings and causes some dampening of the higher frequencies (harmonics), not to mention corrosion in the areas of the string that is played most. Definitely an interesting subject. And I know first hand that Martin Titanium core guitar strings sound awful :)
 

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Not arguing one way or the other but to your point, most high end guitar strings are sold in air tight pouches, I always thought that some of the grime from the fingers (even if you wash your hands) goes in between the windings and causes some dampening of the higher frequencies (harmonics), not to mention corrosion in the areas of the string that is played most. Definitely an interesting subject. And I know first hand that Martin Titanium core guitar strings sound awful :)
I've have airtight pouches for bulk strings, but most string sets (Ernie Ball, John Pearse, for instance) usually come in paper sleeves. On wound strings, I agree that grime accumulation is one factor - another is wear of the windings. And now that I live in a more humid environment, I am actually witnessing mild corrosion with time. Ever use Elixirs? They sound like they are a week old when new, but they stay that way for quite a while.

There's no reason to use a titanium core for a string - steel is great - although I could come up with many reasons NOT to select it. FWIW, I maintain that Ti is a lousy candidate for most any part of a saxophone.

Cheers!
 

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Yes, Elixir Nanoweb are my favorite, like you say, they don't sound as bright as some others right out of the box but they maintain a clean sound for a long time. And, of course, I wipe off my strings after playing.

Cheers
 

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Really? I should think that the primary reason to lose "harmonicity" is due to imperfections that change the distribution of mass from an ideally homogeneous distribution - "aging" defects would include wear, corrosion, etc. If the string were maintained under tension in an inert environment with no accumulation of wear, the deformation mechanism would be creep, and I would suspect that is a very slow process (decades?) at typical stresses and temperatures. It would be interesting to see some data on that, and to see how well the experiments are controlled.
I am certainly not an expert on stringed instruments. What I wrote was told to me by the string specialist who was an accomplished violinist at the music store where I worked. Benade's Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics has several chapters on stringed instruments and the acoustic behavior of vibrating strings. It is quite possible that there are several causes involved when a string loses its tone and response and has to be replaced.
 

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I am certainly not an expert on stringed instruments. What I wrote was told to me by the string specialist who was an accomplished violinist at the music store where I worked. Benade's Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics has several chapters on stringed instruments and the acoustic behavior of vibrating strings. It is quite possible that there are several causes involved when a string loses its tone and response and has to be replaced.
How, then, can pianos work so long? Their string tension is certainly high.

What's different? The lack of environmental distress caused by human touch?
 

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Sure, but in the case of where they DO put serial numbers on necks/bodies, there would be a case to say a horn without the matching neck is not as valuable as it would be if it had the matching neck. Speaking strictly from a value standpoint, and not from a playing standpoint.
In theory this may be true. But again...in a situation where the neck included with the horn is actually a neck from that exact SAME model horn, just of a different serial.....that argument just holds no water whatsoever. UNLESS the person making it can illustrate that the neck specifications changed from the necks of the original serial era to those of the replacement era. Which, again, in the most common cases...didn't happen.

And fact is, yeah...Turf is basically correct. All the 'matching serial' neck means is, when it came time for the factory worker to match up neck with body, they just grabbed a neck from the pile and a body from the pile, and tweak-fitted the tenon to the receiver, then stamped the neck with the final fitted tenon to match the specific body serial.
End of story.
So, again....given that this was about the extent of the 'magic' employed at the factory....what case can really be made ???? IMHO, very little argument to be made that a horn with same model neck, but unmatching, serial has somehow 'lost' anything, either in value or performance.
So that argument simply becomes a mechanism for haggling....
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Matching serial numbers are more valuable, so says the market. I'm not implying is a problem with playability.
 

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Back to your original point, tho’, I once tried a Selmer Sterling neck (intended for a Serie II) on my Serie III, and the intonation of the pair was unplayable.
 

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When I bought a new Yanagisawa A880 in the late 1980's, Zep Meizner (a well-known big band player in the swing era and store owner in Burbank, CA) advised me to buy a Selmer MKVII neck for it and have it fitted to my horn. He said all the studio players were making that switch. What did I know - there was no SOTW to set me straight.

I liked the MKVII neck better and that's what I used. However, when I gifted the horn to my grandson (a superb high school player at the time), he preferred the stock neck.

Theory only goes so far. Practical applications that work go further. DAVE
 

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I took it to mean an alteration of the tenon to make the aftermarket neck actually fit.

If you buy an aftermarket neck and do any adjustment like that, bang goes your return policy or warranty. Just don't do it unless you get something from a company such as as Gloger that is deigned for your actual instrument.
At 99% accuracy ( his words) Karsten Gloger are the closest thing to original that you are ever going to get.

As for differences in manufacture it is obvious by the famous Selmer video that bending a neck (containing some form of semi soft melting material to prevent creasing) , manually, with a lever, around a mould, cannot achieve a degree of precision to insure that all the necks will be exactly the same.

Hydro-forming has more chances to achieve a higher degree of precision.

However, about precision, after I watched the video by Bob Magnusson I am absolutely baffled.

 

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I’ve had great success with a number of necks on my YBS61.
Jupiter, Barone, Selmer.
They all work perfectly fine intonation wise and tone wise.
There are variations in their lengths which was easy and effectively overcome by moving the mouthpiece in or out.
Playing wise I didn’t notice any more or less resistance with either of them.
Personally I prefer the Barone neck but perhaps that’s because of its engraving and copper colour.
When I had my MKVII Tenor, I really liked a series III neck on it.
It tuned slightly better for me than the original neck, which tuned very well anyway.
I don’t think an aftermarket neck is always a compromise, sometimes I feel it can actually be an improvement.
Of course there is no way to predict which it will be though.
But you can get lucky.
 
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