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Yeah, good stuff, and I did take physics in h.s. and college - but I'm not normal. :) When they say wall vibrations contribute only a "small fraction of the sound" they don't say inaudible. I don't know how one would go about measuring the contributions to the sound of the actual sympathetic vibrations of the instrument itself, other than by totally "deadening" an instrument with padding or lead to keep it from starting sympathetic vibrations and then testing that against an unrestrained instrument, then acoustically separating out the sound, however slight, of the instrument vibrations alone, and seeing if that's detectable to a "normal" human ear. There's a Phd thesis in there somewhere for somebody. Or maybe it's already been done?
It's been done. Backus took the radiated sound and inverted it, then added the inverted signal to the original signal canceling it completely. What was left was only the sound of the body vibrations, which were barely audible in a completely quite room and completely masked by the normal signal. Quantitative tests have been done showing the body sound to be -40 dB, 10000 times weaker than that of the air column.

Further Smith did a test with trombone bells, which do radiate sound rather strongly. Ten top pro trombonists played a horn fitted with different bells in a double-blind test, and none could tell them apart, even though certain harmonics had a 2 dB difference when measured at the players' ear position. That should have been perceptible, but it was not to the players when they couldn't identify the bells by sight or weight.

Enjoy your vibrations, but don't credit them unnecessarily....

Toby
 

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selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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Okay,

Here's the problem with all this acoustical theory. It's the same thing I have to debunk all the time at work.

Unless you have empirical data specific to the saxophone, your theories cannot be validated due to numerous random variables. Basically, don't get into this argument on either side unless you can cite an actual scientific experiment with an actual saxophone.
Not necessarily. As long as the variables are not germane to the question at hand, you can appy some results. For instance, if the vibrations in a flute body are of similar magnitude to those in a sax body, there is nothing to stop you from applying flute results to a sax. There is quite a bit known about this kind of stuff--a lot of work has been done on it. I mean, if you wanted to be finicky, you could say that tests done on a Selmer don't apply to a Conn, because they are different instruments. You could even say that a test done on Selmer Mk 6 #103,221 doesn't apply to #103,222. It is simply a matter of knowing the range of the variables and their importance in what you are testing for.

The conventional wisdom says that brasswinds and woodwinds are quite different, but that woodwinds are similar enough that you can generally apply results across the field.

I've mentioned this before, but Dr. Wolfe told me of the latest research done into the question: a French team tried to get a metal tube into breathing mode (where the walls couple at a playing frequency and the walls REALLY vibrate) to check the effect on the radiated sound. Even at 15 micrometers, or about 1/40 the thickness of a sax body, the tube did not enter breathing mode. Finally the researchers made the tube elliptical to lower the resonance frequencies, and got the tube to breathe, and even with the walls heavily vibrating, they could not detect any change in the radiated sound.

I'm always amazed that people think that acoustic scientists are so dumb they forgot that clarinets and flutes are not saxophones.

Toby
 

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So many variables, so little time...
That's why they invented multivariate stats, I guess. It's beyond my understanding...

Thanks, Kymarto.

Back to rolling toneholes.

@enviroguy: We were talking rolling our own Sushi or musubis, I thought.
 

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Not necessarily. As long as the variables are not germane to the question at hand, you can appy some results. For instance, ..............

Toby
Again, no actual saxophone and no saxophone performance was involved. Sure, we have to make some educated guesses. But there is always a tendency to over simplify the problem at hand and then apply a simple academic principle. But outcomes with systems involving actual people in repetitive activities are usually much more complex that the theorists would imagine.

From the discussions here, I would venture that what some acoustic scientists are forgetting is that sax players may be unconsciously augmenting otherwise insignificant acoustical effects. I believe in some areas of saxophone playing, this is the rule instead of the exception. Thus, the de minimis can quickly become the major.

I see this in occupational studies all the time. And I constantly have to remind engineers that they really will not be able to understand a labor-intensive process until they observe actual workers performing the tasks. The saxophone is no different. In performance, the human factor can make things play out much differently than on the chalkboard.

And I believe this is why acoustic discussions always turn out this way. Those with training in acoustics cite academical principles and studies and those that just play sax often have years of anecdotal experience to the contrary. The only way to bridge this gap is to actually perform field studies. But sadly, I see few if any references here of studies of actual saxophone players with actual saxophones. :bluewink:
 

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..I don't know how one would go about measuring the contributions to the sound of the actual sympathetic vibrations of the instrument itself...
Maybe you don't, but it's been done, and found to produce a volume of sound that is not significant.

Read post 41, and digest.
 

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what would be sweet is if someone made a small extension that fits slightly inside of the regular tone hole and just has a roll....it would be easy to put on, easy to remove, and would strengthen the tone hone a lot as now the tonehole would have a double wall at the outer part.
First, that extension would have to be tailor made to fit the exact inside dimensions of every tone hole. Quite a major exercise. It would have to seal completely inside the tone hole, so it would have to be tight enough that it was not so easy to put on or remove. Furthermore, because it would raise the height of the tone hole, the key cups would have to be re-aligned to close in the same plane as the tone hole edge. That would displaced the pads towards the axis of each key's hinge. That would mean the pads would no longer seal. That would mean all pads needed to be replaced every time you put them in or took them out.

In short, putting it bluntly, quite a silly idea! :)
 

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I've always thought of rolled tone holes as a mark of quality construction similar to ribbed keywork. Neither does anything for the performance of the sax but they indicate more detailed time was spent in the manufacturing process.
OTOH, a certain amount of time and money goes into making a saxophone. If a saxophone has rolled tone holes (or soldered rings) I'd think how much better that time and money could be spent, like a better design of key arms and linkages, better fit, etc. etc. I have never seen a saxophone with rolled tone holes that couldn't use that time and money in other areas instead.

However, I have read that soldered tone holes may have a performance advantage. But I've never played a Martin so I don't know about that personally.
If you do try a Martin you won't find anything about any changes from soldered tone holes. You will just find how Martin saxophones play. If you think some of that is because of the soldered tone holes... well I can't see why someone would think that. However (if you think the same as me) you might find what a great tone and response Martin saxophones have. Then (if you'd still think the same as me) you might also find how terrible the left pinky keys feel.

Re rolled tone holes, they have only two advantages. These are making the body and tone holes stronger and less abrasive on the pads. There is enough experience with saxophones that to me is PROOF these advantages are actually insignificant. With good pads and regular tone holes without a bur on their edge, cutting the pads is almost never a problem. It is rare that a tear is a reason for replacing a pad. When it is, it is usually obvious the pad needed to be replaced long ago. So replacing a pad only because of a tear is actually rare. Re the other advantage, there is just no problem of contruction with regular tone holes. It is just not a problem. I see old saxophones with rolled tone holes thta are very distorted, no difference from saxophones without rolled tone holes. However the main disadvantage, which is much harder to level, especially after bends and dents, is extremely important.
 

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selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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Again, no actual saxophone and no saxophone performance was involved. Sure, we have to make some educated guesses. But there is always a tendency to over simplify the problem at hand and then apply a simple academic principle. But outcomes with systems involving actual people in repetitive activities are usually much more complex that the theorists would imagine.

From the discussions here, I would venture that what some acoustic scientists are forgetting is that sax players may be unconsciously augmenting otherwise insignificant acoustical effects. I believe in some areas of saxophone playing, this is the rule instead of the exception. Thus, the de minimis can quickly become the major.

I see this in occupational studies all the time. And I constantly have to remind engineers that they really will not be able to understand a labor-intensive process until they observe actual workers performing the tasks. The saxophone is no different. In performance, the human factor can make things play out much differently than on the chalkboard.

And I believe this is why acoustic discussions always turn out this way. Those with training in acoustics cite academical principles and studies and those that just play sax often have years of anecdotal experience to the contrary. The only way to bridge this gap is to actually perform field studies. But sadly, I see few if any references here of studies of actual saxophone players with actual saxophones. :bluewink:
How can sax players "augment otherwise insignificant acoustical effects"?

Most studies show that players delude themselves about what they are hearing, and suddenly are unable to tell things apart once vital clues are removed. This was quite clear in the Smith test of trombone bells. Smith found that players were able to distinguish between the bells in blind tests, and were reporting differences in response. He then realized that actually they were distinguishing between the weight of the bells and falsely reporting heard differences. Once the bells were weighted to remove the differences, all of a sudden the players could not tell them apart, even though there were significant differences in the sound radiation from the bells that ought to have been perceptible.

The classic Coltman experiment shows this quite clearly. Players who found and could describe differences in his three flutes in the light were surprised to find that they could no longer tell them apart in the dark. No one was able to do so, even though they thought that they could tell them apart easily in the light.

As Coltman points out, players who perceive a difference (or who think they perceive a difference) are unable to pinpoint the variable causing that difference in uncontrolled situations. This is where analysis shines, in its ability to isolate and test variables. So far, every test done in double-blind situations has the players suddenly unable to tell the instruments apart.

Using Occam's razor, it seems reasonable to assume that if flute players and trombone players who think that they can easily distinguish between instruments really cannot under controlled conditions,even when the instruments really are different enough to distinguish, and knowing that the body vibrations in the sax and the flute are similar in magnitude (and even instruments whose walls are an order of magnitude thinner than normal do not change their sound based on wall vibrations), it seems reasonable to assume that we can predict that sax players suffer under the same delusions as do trombonists and flautists.

There are a couple of other points germane here. First is that the final sound of any instrument is very much a proposition of how it is played. It is the placebo effect in a new costume. If a player expects an instrument to play in a certain way, s/he can unconsciously adjust embouchure and breath until it actually plays that way, reinforcing the perception that the instrument actually plays that way. This is well-known in psychology.

Recently a group was hooked up to fMRI machines and given two different wines to drink. One was a decent table red, the other a rare and costly vintage. You know what is coming. They were the same wines in different bottles. The group reported enjoying the "fine" wine much more, and not only this, the MRI scan showed much more activity in the pleasure centers of the brain--not only did they think they were enjoying it more, they really were physiologically. But the wines were chemically identical

So you can go on about how the present level of research is insufficient because it doesn't specifically apply to saxes, but I think that is basically disingenuous, and doesn't speak to the question of how all those other professional wind players could be fooled. Are we saying that saxes are somehow special or sax players different from other wind players? Neither makes much sense to me.

If you are, on the contrary, saying that sax players can vary their perceptions and their playing based on what they believe or what they feel, I have no argument with that, but that is not a primary physical effect of the material on the sound, any more than a joint or a gin and tonic is.

Finally it needs to be said that the top people working in the field of woodwind acoustics are all accomplished players themselves. Joe Wolfe was a professional saxophonist before studying for his doctorate at Cornell. Nederveen is and Benade was an excellent player as well.

Toby
 

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We went on at length about this is an earlier thread, but rolled tone holes do offer acoustic advantages, as they lessen turbulence at sharp edges. Nor is this a minor issue, as Benade and Wolfe and other acoustic scientists are on record as saying that rounding edges in the air column is extremely important, and that small differences in edges in the air column are the major determinant in response differences in otherwise identical horns.

You think your Mk VI is great now? Try it with rolled tone holes :D
 

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We went on at length about this is an earlier thread, but rolled tone holes do offer acoustic advantages, as they lessen turbulence at sharp edges. Nor is this a minor issue, as Benade and Wolfe and other acoustic scientists are on record as saying that rounding edges in the air column is extremely important, and that small differences in edges in the air column are the major determinant in response differences in otherwise identical horns.

You think your Mk VI is great now? Try it with rolled tone holes :D
Well, this, after all, is, I believe, the entire object of the OP after all. Alright , a retro fit with rolled rims could be very difficult but not impossible .............after all some techs do that if they have to repair a horn with butchered rolled toneholes which have been " flattened" a bit too much

I doubt anyone has ever attempted re-doin and entire horn but, at least in theory is possible to add rolled rims.

If Kymarto tells me that there are advantages that could even transform itself into audible effects, I believe him but I still would like to hear that
 

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We went on at length about this is an earlier thread, but rolled tone holes do offer acoustic advantages, as they lessen turbulence at sharp edges. Nor is this a minor issue, as Benade and Wolfe and other acoustic scientists are on record as saying that rounding edges in the air column is extremely important, and that small differences in edges in the air column are the major determinant in response differences in otherwise identical horns.
Is this only for the open tone hole for the note (or other open lower tone holes) or also for the closed tone holes i.e. all those above the open hole? For closed ones, the angle between the rim and pad is sharper for the rolled tone holes. I assume you mean the open hole only. In that case, does it apply only in comparison with a sharp regular tone hole? What about when a regular tone hole has the rim deburred and smoothed (which should be done for mechanical reasons anyway)?
 

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Excellent epistle, Kymarto!

On a flute, the embouchure hole is a "tone hole" for all notes. Rounding it top and bottom (over-cutting and under-cutting) makes a large difference in the way a flute plays.

As I understand it, this difference greatly decreases as the tone holes approach the diameter of the bore. So it is nowhere near as significant for the regular tone holes of a flute, and I presume not too significant for a sax.

Undercutting tone holes is a major issue for recorder making, where the tone holes are small in diameter with respect to the bore. Most quality clarinets have undercut tone holes. It would seem that the undercutting is more important than any overcutting, which suggests that rolled tone holes on a sax may not be too significant. Other bore characteristics, such as diameter and taper must surely be far more significant in shaping the tone. (Otherwise, how can some junk sax manufacturers get it all so very, very wrong compared with say Selmer or Yanagisawa, irrespective of all having unrolled tone holes.)
 

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"...rounding edges in the air column is extremely important, and ... small differences in edges in the air column are the major determinant in response differences in otherwise identical horns."

So, this applies to edges not only at the "top" of the tone holes, at/near the pads, but also, and perhaps more significantly, INSIDE the bore as well? I just peered into the bell of my Serie III alto. Nicely rounded tone hole edges in there. Sweet. Selmer knows.
 

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Extruded tone holes are always going to be rounded, so it is no special thing with Selmer; Conn had them rounded inside and out. For those interested, Benade has a quite detailed but not too technical section on rounding edges in his 1977 paper. Worth a look, go to:

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/marl/Benade/

Writings>the 70's>1977 and download the pdf entitled: "Acoustical evolution of wind instruments", pgs 67-70.

Toby
 

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Is this only for the open tone hole for the note (or other open lower tone holes) or also for the closed tone holes i.e. all those above the open hole? For closed ones, the angle between the rim and pad is sharper for the rolled tone holes. I assume you mean the open hole only. In that case, does it apply only in comparison with a sharp regular tone hole? What about when a regular tone hole has the rim deburred and smoothed (which should be done for mechanical reasons anyway)?
Closed tone holes don't really count, at least at the top where the pad contacts the rim. Smoothing and deburring helps a lot, but the more the better. Benade says that things are not "too bad" if: radius of curvature of the edge > 0.1*(sqrt(250/f)) mm.
 

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Excellent epistle, Kymarto!

On a flute, the embouchure hole is a "tone hole" for all notes. Rounding it top and bottom (over-cutting and under-cutting) makes a large difference in the way a flute plays.

As I understand it, this difference greatly decreases as the tone holes approach the diameter of the bore. So it is nowhere near as significant for the regular tone holes of a flute, and I presume not too significant for a sax.

Undercutting tone holes is a major issue for recorder making, where the tone holes are small in diameter with respect to the bore. Most quality clarinets have undercut tone holes. It would seem that the undercutting is more important than any overcutting, which suggests that rolled tone holes on a sax may not be too significant. Other bore characteristics, such as diameter and taper must surely be far more significant in shaping the tone. (Otherwise, how can some junk sax manufacturers get it all so very, very wrong compared with say Selmer or Yanagisawa, irrespective of all having unrolled tone holes.)
A couple of things. It IS important in flute and sax, although perhaps not as important as with small holes. I wrote to Peter Hoekje about this and he unconditionally recommends rounding all edges. I recently VERY CAREFULLY ran some fine sandpaper around the inside of my Almeida headjoint embouchure hole. It may have helped--it certainly didn't hurt, but it is hard to tell definitively without a direct A/B comparison before/after, which is clearly impossible. It is very important NOT to round the outer edges of any flute embouchure, as a sharp edge here is necessary for correct functioning of the air jet!

Toby
 
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