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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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This discussion is missing the mark, #17 and #20. I collect saxophones and am very reluctant to buy a vintage horn that had only a replacement neck. It may play, it may even play better than the original, but it's not part of the horn. Having original case, original mouthpiece, original papers makes it even more valuable as a collectable. I do in fact have a M6 tenor with original and replacement necks in which the added neck works better.
Your comment is of course valid, but perhaps it is you who have missed the mark. The thread isn't about maintaining the historical correctness of a vintage horn, nor is it about endeavoring to keep as much original accessories or documentation as possible for valuation reasons. Nor is it necessarily about grail horns as sought after and wildly priced as VI's. Nor is it about making any permanent change to an existing intact combo neck + body.

Regarding the two comments you cherrypicked out of the thread...the point there ( a valid one) was that matching serialed necks, at factory, were not magically 'chosen' by a special tester for a particular body based upon the outstanding qualities that combo of neck + body produced.
Factories made the bodies, factories made the necks (identical necks and bodies of a particular model - as best they could produce identically given whatever time period of fabrication). Factories then slapped a neck on a body and fine-fitted the tenon. Ergo matching serial #. End of story.

The 'point' was...the argument that a horn 's performance will will somehow suffer sans its matching serialed neck is highly dubious (ridiculous, quite honestly).

As a collector of collectable models, one may argue 'that effects the value !' and for grail horns this may be so. As a professional refurbisher, my argument was clearly stated: given same mfr of both horn and neck in era where neck spec did NOT change, it is highly specious to claim that the sax, as a musical instrument, is taking any sort of 'hit' by not having its factory-matching serialed neck but rather the same model neck with different #.

This thread is about players...who for whatever reason wish to pursue how a different neck can alter tone, response, etc. (Going back to the OP, really what this initially started out as was a query on whether 'one neck fits all' claims by a replacement neck sellers/mfr's. can actually be valid).

...therefore most of the commentary has been focused along the lines of how necks can change how a horn performs for the player...thus my comments were in regards to those aspects...
 

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Collecting saxophones is a very different predicament than using a saxophone for what its intended use really is.

So if the collector cares about "originality" tout court of course none of the things that didn't come with the saxophone when new belong with it. Paradoxically not even an identical replacement. Still all major companies do sell replacement parts, including necks.

Anyway the discussion on whether something like a new, aftermarket neck, could improve the saxophone performance is a rather academic one because we all agree that different mouthpieces are important for all manner of reasons and attribute tonal and intonational qualities to the sound and yet there is no one whom really thinks that there is a " proper" mouthpiece to play with any given horn or an " improper" one.

I think that if we accept that different people may want to change to an alternative mouthpiece compared to what the company may have considered to be the standard with which they adjusted the sound of the entire system, then anyone may similarly change a neck too.

The proof of this kind of pudding is in the eating. If it works and you are happy with it, so be it.
 

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This discussion is missing the mark, #17 and #20. I collect saxophones and am very reluctant to buy a vintage horn that had only a replacement neck. It may play, it may even play better than the original, but it's not part of the horn. Having original case, original mouthpiece, original papers makes it even more valuable as a collectable. I do in fact have a M6 tenor with original and replacement necks in which the added neck works better.

And of course makers and after-market makers sell replacement necks. Necks are small and easily damaged. They do need to be replaced from time to time. Which is what makes an antique horn with original neck more valuable.
Well, believe it or not, I'd say 98+% of the membership here on SOTW are players and not collectors and I quite frankly think it's laughable that you think this discussion is "missing the mark". Oh and necks need to be replaced from time to time? Like what, maybe 2%? A saxophone neck doesn't "wear out". The biggest reason people seek aftermarket necks are because they think it'll change their sound or how the horn responds. Or most likely because some ham fisted idiot tried to do a repair on a neck or the neck tenon and ruined it. As a professional player, I value sound and how the horn plays far more than having original papers and the freaking case.
 

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This discussion is missing the mark, #17 and #20. I collect saxophones...
Or you have have a mark that is looking for a discussion. :shock:

Did you read the opening post? It's not about collectible value at all.

Here it is again.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but, how can a company make a neck and market it for several different makes/models of horns? From what I gather, they basically say "Adjust the tenon to fit your horn and off you go!"

I was under the impression that different sax makes/models have slightly different lengths/curves etc... things I would think could affect tuning and what not?

Is it as simple as "adjust the tenon and go"?
Have an original lacquer day! :bluewink:
 

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I played the neck game for a good two years with an SA 80 II Tenor and nothing worked better than a genuine Selmer neck. The tenon has to be replaced completely on these chinese knock offs and then you still have to deal with octave key fit.
 

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Here is an example of the one-size-fits-all category:https://musicmedic.com/products/saxophone-necks/dacarbo-saxophone-necks/dacarbo-saxophone-neck.html

Alto and Tenor


The neck of your saxophone has a huge influence on sound and playability. daCarbo uses the freedom offered by carbon fiber alignment and composite construction in building its instruments not to cut down on weight, but primarily to optimize the instrument's vibration. It becomes possible to suppress those vibrations in the tube that simply waste energy.

Exchangeable Tenon


daCarbo necks can easily be adapted to almost any saxophone: Various tenons are available, which can be screwed into the threaded ring on the necks end.
Instrument-makers, engineers, acoustic designers and musicians have worked together intensively to minimize the energy loss in the air column, where the sound is generated. Resulting in necks that are remarkably easy to play also in the highest and lowest registers at supreme sound quality. They allow excellent articulation and direct control. The sound of the saxophone opens up, allowing a better projection.


Prices for alto and tenor are $1220 and $1260, respectively.

On the other hand, there is Music Medic's own "Wilmington" series: https://musicmedic.com/products/saxophone-necks/wilmington-saxophone-necks.html

... We've combined the knowledge we have gained about neck alterations to improve tone and intonation on specific models of saxophones to produce superior necks that have that difficult-to-define but 'you-know-it-when-you-hear-it' sound. The extra clarity, the added confidence that the note is going to be right where you need it, and the amplification of that specific tone which is why many players still prefer vintage saxophones. Wilmington Saxophone necks offer real and practical improvement.

These super premium necks are made based on and played on the actual horns they were intended for by professional saxophonists. They are fine-tuned to be even better than the originals in most cases players will notice an improvement in tone, intonation and response. All necks are handmade right in the Sax ProShop in the USA, and can be customized to your specifications.
 

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The neck of your saxophone has a huge influence on sound and playability. daCarbo uses the freedom offered by carbon fiber alignment and composite construction in building its instruments not to cut down on weight, but primarily to optimize the instrument's vibration. It becomes possible to suppress those vibrations in the tube that simply waste energy.

The first part of that sentence is a known fact. The statement that the material "da Carbo" "optimizes the instrument's vibration" makes no sense because the vibrations of the walls or body of the instrument (or neck) or lack thereof have no effect one way or another on the soundwaves in the column of air inside.

Instrument-makers, engineers, acoustic designers and musicians have worked together intensively to minimize the energy loss in the air column, where the sound is generated. Resulting in necks that are remarkably easy to play also in the highest and lowest registers at supreme sound quality. They allow excellent articulation and direct control. The sound of the saxophone opens up, allowing a better projection.
"The energy loss in the air column" is due to imperfections in inner surface of the wall material. Roughness, porosity, or leaks to the outside atmosphere are all ways that sound energy is lost along with the "heat losses" that naturally occur even when the surface is perfectly smooth. The suggestion that the "carbon fiber alignment" in the material the neck is made of has an influence over "energy loss" has no scientific basis whatsoever. I have the greatest respect for Curt Altarac and the staff at Music Medic for their contributions to the industry, but these statements demonstrate a basic lack of understanding of acoustic principles.

Both Dr. Joe Wolfe at UNSW and Dr. Gary Scavone at McGill University are acoustic scientists who have demonstrated a willingness to discuss ideas and and answer questions from the general public. It is my hope that leaders in the music industry would make use of this resource to check advertising claims before publication.
 

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John, I suspect that the ad text for the daCarbo necks is from the manufacturer, rather than Music Medic. It seems hypocritical to sell one-size-fits-all necks on the same site that professes the benefits of making necks for a particular model (ex. necks by Wilmington and Gloger), but that is a business and marketing decision. MM advertises necks by Saxgourmet as well.
 

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That seems almost reasonable - quite the contrast to KB necks.

http://www.kbsax.com/kbsax-necks.html#Neck_Models
What its unreasonable about the KB necks? Is it the assumption that a craftsman work in Western Europe or the US tries to break barely even by offering something that fewer individuals than can be counted on the fingers of one hand can make? My Jessen necks weren't much less expensive at the time I purchased them, worth every dime and run circles around the stock Selmer necks (one damage from the prior owner) that they replaced. Glöger seems to have dropped the prices on his significantly, but perhaps there is some sort of automation involved by now. BTW, none of these guys, or Boesken for that matter makes a one-fit-all neck.

I wonder how many members on this forum would want similar caustic comments attached to their work without proper comparison. I have got zippo against a mass manufactured neck made in anywhere in the world providing the workers are properly treated and paid and the products not made with deleterious effects to the environment (major ifs). And who knows, it might play just as well, but there is probably a fair amount of trial an error involved to find something or perhaps rather anything that does. For the KB sax shop, one can actually walk into a brick and mortar store with a huge selection and try before buying. That is rent slapped on top of something handmade in NYC.

Unless people have actually tried high end aftermarket necks, and found them to be thoroughly disappointing (mostly there appears to be great enthusiasm), how about keeping an open mind? Crazy monies are spent on mouthpieces made new, vintage and then often refaced. New, high-end, saxes are made with flaws that necessitate major repairs, when they should require nothing besides minor adjustment and a pad change or two in the first decade. Perhaps doing something focused and really well to fit a niche that is really important for how a sax plays commands a bit of appreciation and respect, even if the cost to make it happen is not trivial.
 

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What its unreasonable about the KB necks?
My apologies for triggering your emotions with a poor choice of word. I meant "affordable".

I wish I could try several of Kim Bock's necks on my favorite horns. I already have Gloger's work on two of my horns.

...how about keeping an open mind?
Indeed.

BTW, I am not your enemy.
 

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Perhaps not "affordable" to most but it depends on the context. And emotions or animosity have nothing to do with it. I just happen to know that it is virtually pro-bono at current prices, which we would never expect or criticize from a dentist or lawyer or any number of other professions. The sad thing is that saxophones as instrument are so lowly regarded that it is perhaps a poor choice for artisans to expend effort on; even more so when the largest web-based forum for saxophones repeatedly offers criticism.
 

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Never understood those.

They are not an exact copy but they offer the plus of fitting mouthpieces on multiple horns with the same, non original, neck. Very expensive.

Profitability in these things much depends on how efficient is the manufacture process used.
 

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John, I suspect that the ad text for the daCarbo necks is from the manufacturer, rather than Music Medic. It seems hypocritical to sell one-size-fits-all necks on the same site that professes the benefits of making necks for a particular model (ex. necks by Wilmington and Gloger), but that is a business and marketing decision. MM advertises necks by Saxgourmet as well.
Yup...that is exactly the contradiction there.
 

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What its unreasonable about the KB necks? Is it the assumption that a craftsman work in Western Europe or the US tries to break barely even by offering something that fewer individuals than can be counted on the fingers of one hand can make? My Jessen necks weren't much less expensive at the time I purchased them, worth every dime and run circles around the stock Selmer necks (one damage from the prior owner) that they replaced. Glöger seems to have dropped the prices on his significantly, but perhaps there is some sort of automation involved by now. BTW, none of these guys, or Boesken for that matter makes a one-fit-all neck.

I wonder how many members on this forum would want similar caustic comments attached to their work without proper comparison. I have got zippo against a mass manufactured neck made in anywhere in the world providing the workers are properly treated and paid and the products not made with deleterious effects to the environment (major ifs). And who knows, it might play just as well, but there is probably a fair amount of trial an error involved to find something or perhaps rather anything that does. For the KB sax shop, one can actually walk into a brick and mortar store with a huge selection and try before buying. That is rent slapped on top of something handmade in NYC.

Unless people have actually tried high end aftermarket necks, and found them to be thoroughly disappointing (mostly there appears to be great enthusiasm), how about keeping an open mind? Crazy monies are spent on mouthpieces made new, vintage and then often refaced. New, high-end, saxes are made with flaws that necessitate major repairs, when they should require nothing besides minor adjustment and a pad change or two in the first decade. Perhaps doing something focused and really well to fit a niche that is really important for how a sax plays commands a bit of appreciation and respect, even if the cost to make it happen is not trivial.
This is a hard one...and I understand your argument and as a guy who has spent his entire life in the field of craftsmanship and creative arts, I wholeheartedly agree with you as far as why our culture should value craftspeople as much as, say, 'white collar' professionals. It is quite galling.

With THAT said, a couple of comments:

~ When a horn has a market value of ..say...$1500-3000...which could describe the value of many folks' horns...the idea of spending $1200 on an aftermarket neck...can be argued to be a bit absurd.

~ Keeping an open mind is very good. Based upon the folks I know, however, the likelihood seems to be that the search for an aftermarket neck to 'improve' whatever it is the owner wishes to improve seems to only be successful a certain %age of the time....and just as high a %age of players get caught on the treadmill of acquiring and selling various necks while never really achieving exactly what they were 'looking' for.

Should we begrudge craftspeople for producing these ? Absolutely not. Remember, there are various echelons here: the highest being a provider who has actually studied and reverse engineered and tested and refined their product. Sadly, oftentimes such crafted objects are well, well outside the means of most musicians.

IMHO a $500-600 neck specifically intended/produced for the model horn one has = reasonable. There is an effort there to make the product available to a larger number of musicians. A $1500 neck ? Most people would say 'No', and this would not be unjustified.
It may be a wonderfully crafted object...but may be just as likely to not 'deliver' what is promised as it would be to deliver it. It will produce something 'different' from the original neck, surely. But many a time once the novelty has worn off, the owner now possesses a neck which they may only use in certain circumstances, or may simply want to unload.
So if there is criticism of such pricetagged necks, this is probably more the reason....

Other problem is, as has been mentioned numerous times on this thread....it can sometimes be hard to discern those folks who truly have a passion and have endeavored to produce engineered, targeted necks...and those who really are just dressing up their asian-factory produced (no serious design development) necks with rosy marketing claims. (The Dr's example is a great one: same shop selling one brand of neck which claims to be specifically engineered for particular models, and another brand which claims its revolutionary product works on any model when simply provided with the appropriate tenon).
 

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I have a couple thoughts on this:

1) Probably most of the saxophones and aftermarket necks out there are Selmer or Selmer copy saxophones with Selmer copy necks, so there's not that much variation. If you put a Selmer copy neck on a Yanagisawa which is basically a Selmer copy, or a Yamaha which is basically a Selmer copy, or any of the many other permutations of this, it will probably play OK with reasonable intonation and the differences will be subtle. You probably will not have a "flat doesn't work" situation. As a lifelong player of non-Selmer/copy horns who has also played Selmers, Yanis, and Yamahas on occasion, to me all Selmers/Yamahas/Yanagisawas from the Balanced Action on are about the same, with subtle differences. Certainly they're noticeably different than my Conns/Bueschers/Holtons/etc.

So the answer to "how can this work using more or less the same design neck just adjusting the tenon diameter" is that all the stuff is more or less the same stuff. It's like asking "how can a 1965 quarter and a 2019 quarter with wildly different degrees of wear and over 50 years between them, both work in the same Coke machine?" Well, because they're both basically the same thing. Try to stick a 50 Yen coin in there and it ain't gonna work.

2) Honestly sometimes the great efforts spent with equipment to maybe get some fleeting subtle difference seem a bit silly to me. I guess I remain unconvinced that the hours spent on these exotic equipment searches and trials are really that effective in getting what you want, when you consider the enormous differences between two reeds sitting side by side in your reed holder, or the enormous differences in how you feel and play from day to day. Monday you were rested and feeling great, Tuesday you were tired because of not enough sleep, Wednesday you had bad allergies, Thursday you had a cold sore. Somehow I doubt that the expen$ive Selmer copy neck replacing the original Selmer copy neck on your Selmer copy saxophone has near the effect of those things.

A possible example of this is our own Dave Dolson who says "heck, all soprano saxes sound and play about the same to me." Why? Because he's been playing the bejesus out of the soprano sax for something like 50 years continuously, so he just takes control of the thing and makes it do what he wants it to. That's what I aspire to, being able to just take charge of the thing and make it do what I want it to.
 

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~ When a horn has a market value of ..say...$1500-3000...which could describe the value of many folks' horns...the idea of spending $1200 on an aftermarket neck...can be argued to be a bit absurd.
Absurd in your opinion. I did exactly this for a Super Action 80(I) tenor when it was sold to me many years ago through eBay and turned out to be blatantly misrepresented. Palo Tung put it back in magnificent shape, but the neck had suffered severe pulldown. That is how I got into aftermarket necks and I am very happy with the neck I ended up with. Had I not gotten bitten by the sax bug on SOTW, I would have been perfectly happy with this tenor and never looked for another. I agree with you that it probably didn't make sense in terms of resale value, but that is hardly all there is to it. By that account, nobody with a Buescher, Martin or numerous other brands should ever look for a replacement neck. From my point of view, the monetary value of these makes is below what they are really worth and it is a pity that they are not more appreciated. In any case, buying an expensive aftermarket neck is an option; not something that is a must or anyone is forced to.

Other problem is, as has been mentioned numerous times on this thread....it can sometimes be hard to discern those folks who truly have a passion and have endeavored to produce engineered, targeted necks...and those who really are just dressing up their asian-factory produced (no serious design development) necks with rosy marketing claims. (The Dr's example is a great one: same shop selling one brand of neck which claims to be specifically engineered for particular models, and another brand which claims its revolutionary product works on any model when simply provided with the appropriate tenon).
That is a fair point but it really has no bearing on the craftsmen, who make this out of passion and serve unmet needs.
 

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The thing is, if you have the original neck and are happy with it, all this 'neck business' might seem ridiculous. Many players, however, have run into problems with their necks as they have worn during use, such as with 'pull-down', cracked tenon or other damage. These things can be fixed, but suppose the neck loses something in the process? We are talking about artistic nuance here, not dropping a new mill into your hot rod. If the player gets it into his head that the neck is no good, its no good. Then, there are the original necks that for whatever reason simply are not good although they may be undamaged. My Selmer USA was like that - if I had not had on hand a Selmer Paris MK VI replacement neck being held in case it was needed for my MK VI, I would have gotten rid of the horn - but I played that neck on it for years even though there were a few problems, like a dull 'D' and other things like that. I just figured it was the horn. I decided to get rid of the horn, and I also tried the neck on my MK VI where it didn't impress me at all, so I sold it. At this time I had a Series III silver neck on hand that I played on the VI for about 10 years but I had lately been playing the original neck again. I realized for some reason I had never tried that neck on the USA - which I did, and was immediately floored - what a combo! I got out the tuner and it was good all around the center of the horn. I don't think you'll find many players or horns with perfect intonation all up and down.
Anyway, then I bought a III brass neck to try on the VI - just got it yesterday and haven't fitted the octave key yet but the tenon fit perfectly. I'm pretty sure this will be another great combo.
Meanwhile the VI original neck has evidence of having been worked-on between the cork and the vent, going by the 'stretch marks' in the lacquer. It is coincidentally this same area where the curve is a little flatter than it should be, throwing the mouthpiece at a flatter angle. I'm going to send it to KB for analysis and possible re-shaping after I prove out the III neck for use.
This idea that there are so many arcane reasons why you can't just swap necks in until you like one is actually crazy. Now maybe if you're some kind of amateur 'hobbyist' or whatever and really don't know what sounds good from what sounds bad, maybe you should listen to the 'naysayers' and get scared off from trying it. When an experienced pro player gets a combination that makes his day, its a very happy time, and these aren't 'nuances' - its like trying a different horn that turns out to be great.
 
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