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We hear repeatedly that the material the sax neck is made of will effect the sound of the instrument, e.g. a silver neck results in a brighter tone, etc. There is even a source for necks made of copper, silver, and gold.

But is there any evidence for this? It seems as thought the reed and mouthpiece function as a tone generator the output of which is modified by the physical dimensions of the neck and body of the horn.

Even if there is such an effect it would seem trivial compared to factors such as reed composition and manner and point of attachment to mouthpiece, position of mouthpiece on neck, etc.

I would love to hear opinions on this musical urban legend.

Thanks to all.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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We hear repeatedly that the material the sax neck is made of will effect the sound of the instrument, e.g. a silver neck results in a brighter tone, etc. There is even a source for necks made of copper, silver, and gold.
I thought we hear repeatedly that it doesn't have any effect on the tone. I think you are completely correct, and I get the feeling that is the consensus.
 

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Most of the acoustic specialists and scientists around here say that material or finish has no impact on sound. Manufacturers mostly say it does. Check out the thread on the new American sax made by Powell. The designers of that instrument think that finish definitely has an effect. Based on my personal experience, I believe material and finish absolutely have an effect on the sound. But, much smarter people would reference Bonade and tell me I dont know what Im talking about and its all in my head. I think there are just some things we havent figured out scientifically. Just because we cant say exactly why there is an effect, doesnt mean there isnt one. Like someone in another thread said, some things we just cant explain---yet.
 

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I think that it does have an effect on the tone. Maybe not a huge difference, but I difference none the less.

I have a Copper body on my tenor and I put a Yamaha Custom G1 neck (Silver) on it and there was a huge difference. Whether it was because the neck itself was constructed better or the material used, there was a big difference (a much brighter tone).
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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, I believe material and finish absolutely have an effect on the sound. But, much smarter people would reference Bonade and tell me I dont know what Im talking about and its all in my head.
I think the only real proof would be a double blind test. I know that very often if I'm playing something that looks nice, I think it sounds better.

This discussion has been had a lot, many horses have died . Somewhere there is a list of all the threads discussing this.

Of course, manufacturers will make claims, it's marketing. And as it can only be proven in theory rather than by proper testing, they can and do get away with it.

The biggest point in all these arguments is you are just as likely to get two different sounds between necks of exactly the same material.

This is a good place to start understanding about the marketing hype:

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/misc/myths_and_materials.htm
 

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Thats a great article, I just got howards book the other day and Im enjoying it alot. The marketing thing is definitely all over the map. I think they basically just make stuff up so they can justify jacking up the price or can call the same horn a new model. As far as my own belief, I realize its not based on science and that my own personal experience with different finishes is way too small of a sample to really have any credibility. Its just a case of me believing what I want to believe I guess cuz it makes me feel better.
 

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:faceinpalm:

I have owned a brass neck for my super 20, then I changed it for a Gloger solid 99% silver neck and then for an original super 20 sterling 95% silver neck . The super 20 silver neck and the brass I have owed for a while and I've been able to do direct comparison.

The sound , after the honeymoon, is practically the same .......[rolleyes]

The makers, have, nowadays all the interest to propagate thad different material will affect sound outcome , but our friend Pete Thomas has a nice Buescher ad stating exactly the opposite. Phil Barone , who sells mouthpieces, necks and horns also says that material does nothing to the sound..............:banghead:

Regardless, some will always choose to believe that

Silver is bright, copper is warm, gold is even warmer, that is logical, no? ........the earth is flat , anybody can see that!..............:shock:
 

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We are talking about pretty similar metals here. I often hear something like "the difference in sound is so small it is not discernable to the human ear." But if theres any difference at all then it blows away the argument that material doesnt affect sound. What about a sax made of lead or rubber or aluminium? And dont tell me charlie parker played a plastic sax. Those recordings are so old you cant tell anything from them.
 

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Well there you go. I think the consensus was that the two horns sounded different. The material may or may not have been a factor. But even if it was a small factor thats something. Heres something I just dont get about this whole argument so perhaps some of you acoustic wizards can help me(even though I probably wont understand.) Its about resonance. Sound resonates through or off of different materials in different ways. If you play in a room with alot of wood it sounds differnt than in a room with steel walls or padded room. Now I know this has to do with how the sound bounces or reflects but doesnt the same thing happen in a sax?
 

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Good question clwomack. I've got a question. Did Michael Brecker ever talk about why he used the silver neck on his tenor? Not that whatever he said was the last word. Just wondered
 

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yes, I have read somewhere the story, Brecker had lost or damaged the neck of his saxophone and while in Paris he went to see Selmer at their showroom and spent several hours going through necks in no particular order and the one which sounded best he took with him. That sparkled the new fashion of the aftermarket necks.
 

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Well there you go. I think the consensus was that the two horns sounded different.
Yes, butthere were several comments that the plastic saxophone sounded more like a typical saxophone.

And many comments thought they sounded extremely similar.
 

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Yes, butthere were several comments that the plastic saxophone sounded more like a typical saxophone.

And many comments thought they sounded extremely similar.
Well Pete I did say the material may or may not have been a factor. After all, its two completely different horns right? I mean the Grafton is not a copy of the Buescher, right? So they are gonna sound different because of that. My point is, even if its a tiny difference, its still a difference.
So, what is sound difference between plastic and metal resonators? Would there be a difference if the resonators were covered with felt or some other dampening material? Assuming of course this could be done and pads still close properly.
 

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I knew we were gonna come to quote the immortal words of the great Yogi Berra " It's deja vu all over again.........."
 

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Well sorry this bugs you so much Milandro. But just because the issue has been discussed over and over, does that invalidate what Im saying. since you brought up flat earth earlier,Im sure scientists who once thought the sun revolved around the earth and the earth was the center of the universe thought the same way. They knew they had dispelled earlier theorys like flat earth and probably thought, "well thats it, problem solved". Hell, they even had tons of data and could predict the movement of stars and planets through the sky based all on this faulty theory. But they were wrong. They were on to something, but they were still wrong. To me, its just like everyone who thinks this issue has been solved and should be put to rest.
 

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No, it doesn't bug me at all.......... also the resonators thing has been much discussed
 
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