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Discussion Starter #1
I do not wish to stir up new controversy, but I do think it is worth posting a response to my question about the effects of a conical vs. cylindrical tenon, which Dr. Wolfe has answered.

The question was originally posed before Mike mercifully executed the relevant thread. Mike, if you want to preventively kill this too, please feel free...

Toby:
"Gday Joe,

Hopefully, this is a quick question with a (relatively-easy-arm-waving) answer. Or an opinion on your part. Do you think that the cylindrical tenon between body and neck causes significant intonational problems? I know that Dalmont made a functioning conical instrument out of cylindrical sections (albeit with acoustic losses) and I am also familiar with Rayleigh and W curves. I'm not asking for numbers, but just your own feeling based on your knowledge and experience.
My intuition is that if the cylindrical tenon caused noticeable problems, we would not see interchangeable-neck sopranos (where the joint is not really necessary for storage reasons), and/or that manufacturers would have gone to conical tenons by design. I'm just wondering your feelings on this."

Joe:
"Gday Marshall,

Pragmatic answer: It wouldn't be hard to make the inside of the joint conical while keeping the outside cylindrical, so if the makers thought it important they'd do it!

Arm-waving answer: There are lots of things involved in getting the octaves in tune, the compliance of the reed being one. The volume difference between the conical and cylindrical joints would be much smaller than the difference between a soft and hard reed (about 2 mL of air equivalent)."

You SOTW folks can take that for what it is worth.
 

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The volume difference between the conical and cylindrical joints would be much smaller than the difference between a soft and hard reed (about 2 mL of air equivalent)."

You SOTW folks can take that for what it is worth.
The difference between a hard reed and soft reed is one of the most profound differences you can have on a horn, so I'm not sure how to take that comment!
 

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Joe Wolf expressed my understanding more succinctly that I could have myself.

There are stacks of patents from the past for innovations that were intended to revolutionize the design of saxophones that have never been accepted as a genuine improvement, and therefore have never become an ongoing part of saxophone design. Innovations that are currently being promoted as great improvements in saxophone design will either go one of two ways. If they are genuine, they will be copied by the major manufacturers and integrated into their future designs. If they are not accepted as genuine improvements in the evolution of saxophone design, they too will be relegated to the category of interesting but useless gimmicks, and fade into oblivion along with their creator. Ultimately time will be the final arbiter in each and every case.

If making the neck tenon conical were a genuine and necessary improvement, it would have been discovered and adopted by the design engineers at Selmer, Yamaha, Yanagisawa, or Keilwerth years ago, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The difference between a hard reed and soft reed is one of the most profound differences you can have on a horn, so I'm not sure how to take that comment!
He was making the comment in terms of the effect on intonation.
 

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There are all kinds of cylindrical tenons. If you think they are all the same, you think like Toby does.

The most neutral are "averaged" - the mean diameter between that of the neck and the body. There are many extreme tenons however. The tenon on a Martin Handcraft, Indiana, Medalist, Olds Ambassador, Wurlitzer Lyric, is 1mm smaller than the neck, and 2.6mm smaller than the body. Choke me! Many tenons are too short for the receiver, leaving a big deep gap and extra sharp edges.

No one ever asserted that the cylindrical tenon caused significant, over-all intonation problems. That it does is Toby's fabrication. He needs to create something that he can disprove. A cylindrical tenon causes some, without a doubt, but nothing major. The most noticeable result of using a conical tenon is in tonal focus and response - elimination of turbulence caused by the step edges and inharmonicity. I notice that the intonation is more stable - less fishy.

The beginner and/or occasional player, perceives his own technical limitations first and foremost.

The advanced player, having mastered the basic technique, perceives the limitations of the instrument. It is he who will appreciate the effects of a conical tenon.

If you want to know if it is a modification worth considering, ask someone who has used one! Ask jicaino, or PM me and I'll put you in contact with some pros who us it. No one else here has the slightest idea what they are talking about.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Just on a "common sense" level (not always the best guide, I will agree) I have to say that differences of dimension around the tenon eg difference between conical and cylindrical affecting sound makes some sense to me. Isn't the old cliche "closer to the player the more difference it makes"? The tenon is fairly close, isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I know that Jim Schmidt builds a conical tenon into his countertenor horn. I don't know if it will be included on the production model.

I'm still wondering whether anyone cares to comment on whether a necked soprano plays differently than a one-piece version. There's a place where we have an example of horns both with and without the cylindrical tenon. Obviously there are no models exactly alike except for the neck, but what's the trend? Are all the necked sops bad? Out of tune? Stuffy? Poor response? Slippery intonation? Are all your serious and sensitive pros playing non-necked sops?

My Conn straight "oversteers" as much as any sax I have ever played; just a stray thought and it'll go 30 cents either way. The newer sops with cylindrical tenons or that huge wide cone section at the top are much more solid intonationally...
 

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There are so many variables that contribute to the intonation, harmonics, response, centering of pitch, dynamic range, etc. etc, of a saxophone that to unequivocally assign a definite "cause and effect" to a single factor is absurd---frantic arm waving and bloviating notwithstanding.
 

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Just on a "common sense" level (not always the best guide, I will agree) I have to say that differences of dimension around the tenon eg difference between conical and cylindrical affecting sound makes some sense to me. Isn't the old cliche "closer to the player the more difference it makes"? The tenon is fairly close, isn't it?
Yes, and it's even more critical on baritone, since the neck is so short. Every serious study on wind instruments informs us of the detrimental, energy squandering effects of sharp edges, gaps, step diameter changes and the manner in which bore perturbations affect the frequency of resonance modes with nodes in that vicinity, and how that can affect tone and response. Every serious study on wind instruments informs us of the sensitive nature of the neck taper. Benade elaborated on how on identical instruments, i.e., the same instrument unmodded/modded, the player is very aware of microscopic (thousanths of an inch) differences in bore geometry!

These are all undisputed, basic acoustical characteristics of wind instrument air columns yet the Acoustical Society would have us believe in this case, that either the laws of physics do not apply or that human perception is so blunt as to render all but the grossest effects unnoticeable, and those, so confusing as to defy differentiation from those desirable and undesirable perceptions of the playing experience, even by a master musician. Amusing to say the least.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just on a "common sense" level (not always the best guide, I will agree) I have to say that differences of dimension around the tenon eg difference between conical and cylindrical affecting sound makes some sense to me. Isn't the old cliche "closer to the player the more difference it makes"? The tenon is fairly close, isn't it?
Try the little experiment I described: add a couple of mL of modeling clay to the inside of the neck tenon in different configurations and see how much difference you find.
 

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And the names of those professional players who have had this modification done to their instruments are?
I already addressed this issue twice, but just for you specifically, John, I will repeat the information. Please take note.

1. The pros who use this do not wish their names associated with a certain online forum, due to the amateurish, less that truthful, and base nature of a certain faction. :bluewink:

2. I stated that if anyone was genuinely interested, they could PM me, and I would put them in contact with some of my clients.

You, John, have made your interests more than obvious to them, and to me. You needn't bother.


I will post some anonymous email quotes however, for what that is worth.

"I like what the pips and neck tenon did for me so far, the horn has been a pleasure to play from your work and also your advice on changing reeds."

"Love the way the horn feels and plays now that I've had a little time on it.
Definitely an improvement."

"It plays great. No resistance and quicker response."

"My super balanced alto screams with your conical setup. It's more in tune. The sound was big before but now it's HUGE!"
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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I but what's the trend? Are all the necked sops bad? Out of tune? Stuffy? Poor response? Slippery intonation? Are all your serious and sensitive pros playing non-necked sops?

My Conn straight "oversteers" as much as any sax I have ever played; just a stray thought and it'll go 30 cents either way. The newer sops with cylindrical tenons or that huge wide cone section at the top are much more solid intonationally...
I have a yammy single piece soprano in at the moment, I dont think it plays any better than the yamm two piece units, I personally would be hard pushed to identify any contributable tonal advantages between the two.... to that end it does play better than the curved soprano I have in for repair (ewww)
 

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There seems to be a familiar pattern to these threads. Something is posted that doesn't quite ring true. A follow up question is asked. Then an even more suspicious and evasive answer is given. The "non-answers" do in fact speak loudly in and of themselves. If one's goal is to build some credibility on a forum, there are certainly better ways to do so than to announce that many pro's have had a modification done to their sax, but then refuse to disclose their names because "they don't want their names associated with Sax on the Web". In my opinion, that makes no sense whatsoever.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015
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And the names of those professional players who have had this modification done to their instruments are?
John, are you letting your dark trolly side out again? I was happy to see you back, but really does it only take a couple of weeks to fall into bad habits again? You are better than this.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015
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At the end of the day, the most important thing for these types of mods is how does it change the experience of the player? If he/she likes it, it is worth it. If not, it isnt. And you can nevr get an answer to that on a forum....
 

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I don't believe that asking someone politely for a straight answer or verification of a declarative statement that person made is either "trolling" or "showing one's dark side" whatever that means. It is an attempt to get at the truth of the matter. This exchange of posts is a conversation between Lance and myself. I fail to see how it concerns anyone else. I would suggest that moderating of this forum be best left to the moderators and each of us tried to mind our own business. That's a bad habit that could be noted as well.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
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If it were of any use, everyone would be doing it, is a form of the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum. Maintaining a point is true because it has not been disproven is a form of the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Just some ground rules for rational thought, that's all.

Carry on...
 

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This thread is closed for the same reason the last incarnation was, the inability of certain individuals participating to concentrate on the subject at hand, rather than resort to insults, character snipes, and needling.

If this attitude bleeds over into other discussions, action beyond a verbal warning will be the result per the SOTW rules.
 
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