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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, a question for those that have been on the quest for the right piece.

I picked up a grained HR Berg today 85/2/M (alto sax.) There are some things I really like about the piece. I love the low register sound, the subtone and the overall huskiness of the sound - not bright, but with an edge.

On the flip side, there are some significant issues with the piece that include upper register intonation, a thinning of the sound above upper octave (non-altissimo) A, and an issue that I can only describe as lack of flexibility with tone production. If my vibrato goes beyond an extremely narrow range on this piece, the sound begins to dramatically change. Much more so than on any other piece I've used.

Here's my dilemma - I really love the core sound of this piece - there's a complexity there that I have not found on other HR pieces I've played, but I would need to have the other issues fixed. I can either return the piece and look elsewhere for my sound or I can find a refacer. Opinions anyone?
 

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If you like the piece enough to second guess returning it...I would say hold on to it, play it for a few weeks, and then decide. Your control will get better, which will let you bring out the qualities you like from this piece.

As for the issues with upper register intonation and vibrato, your ability to control those parts should get better within a few weeks, and you'll have a better idea if the Berg is good.

For the most part I've held onto the pieces I buy... there's been one or two that I know right away are not for me, and I send them back. but when there's a quality to the sound that I like, I try to work with the piece for the while.

Same thing before getting any refacing work done on it. Get to know the details and quirks of the piece so you can better describe what you'd like when you talk to a refacer.
 

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Ignore Grumps :twisted:
keep it, practice, get some control b4 you alter it...it could be your lack of familiarity, if it was easy everyone would play sax!!!
 

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Bergs are also notorious for having poor factory facings on them....but once properly specced by a refacer, these pieces can play great. I know several great players who gig full time on refaced bergs. I'd say give Ed Zentera, Mojobari, or Brian Powell a call.

Saxaholic
 

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I've handled a few brand new HR Bergs recently that I thought were quite well done - finished better than any other original HR Berg I've ever seen. What pieces have you been playing on up until this point? What reeds are you playing with it? It might just not be a good match for you or takes some time getting used to. That's a great alto Berg choice. Good call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
EZ said:
I've handled a few brand new HR Bergs recently that I thought were quite well done - finished better than any other original HR Berg I've ever seen. What pieces have you been playing on up until this point? What reeds are you playing with it? It might just not be a good match for you or takes some time getting used to. That's a great alto Berg choice. Good call.

I've tried a number of things so far Vandoren ZZ and Java 2.5's, Rico Royal 2.5's, Vandoren traditional, Alexander Superials. So far, I've been able to fix the upper register intonation a bit with a stiffer reed.

Prior to this, I was playing Meyer style Mpc's. I had a Meyer 6 that had been opened up a bit by Jon Van Wie. He also added a bit of rollover baffle. That piece was almost perfect. Alas, it is no more thanks to the combination of clumsiness, gravity and a wooden stage. I have tried the V16 small chamber mpcs but find them lacking in character for my particular sound - I know others who sound great on them. I tried this Berg because I have really liked them on Tenor and would like to get a little of the Berg huskiness in my alto sound.
 
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