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Hello,

Here is my full review of the new Saxmute One for sax tenor.

Playing sax can be problematic related to neighbourgs tolerance. It's a loud instrument, and us players have to practice a lot, many hours per day everyday to have good skills. Some appartments don't even allow to play pianissimo, everybody will hear you because of resonance. In the past, I had an isolated booth but had to sell it because of space in the appartment for my children. To be honest, it was efficient for isolation, but wasn't that good for acoustics with harsh and short reverb and lot of disturbing stationnary waves. Even practicing scales and arpeggios was sometimes odd and uncomfortable because of those resonating notes, and recordings were hard to mix well because of those colorations. A good acoustically corrected isolated booth is around 8000 euros, which is a big budget BTW.

So since a while, I play outside which is perfect for tone practice, as you can play as loud as you want. But as I have to take my car to go playing, I play only one time per day. Biggest issue is if it rains there is no music, if it's cold no music too. So here in France, playing outside will be 4 months per year… not acceptable solution.

I tried the sponge mute you put in mouthpiece, neck and bell. Works OK for pianissimo playing but not that efficient, still a lot of resonance, and too big alteration of playing techniques when returning to normal playing.

So I've started thinking about plastic enclosure systems. The Japanese mutes available seems to be efficient enough, but with weight, hands position, and low notes playing issues.

Then I've found on the net a new thing : Saxmute One, from Russia.

http://saxophone-mute.com/

https://www.facebook.com/saxmute/

A new plastic mute with improved concept. The whole thing is in two part which are assembled with ingenious magnets system, with a sax holder inside. It's pretty easy to put the sax inside. The mute itself is mounted on a speaker stand, which is stable and leaves your neck and shoulders free of any weight. The mute has lot of space inside, so your hands have room and it's easy to play all notes even palm and side keys. Space allow for more easy playing of bell low notes too. The mute looks nice with a cool shape, it's classy. There are mount and hole for mic/wire, and a hole to hold a lyre for reading music. Intelligent conception.













I play with this mute since one month now. The isolation is impressive. If you play at normal volume, no neibourghs will hear you. Even my wife and daughter in the appartment barely hear me when I play in the kitchen and they're in other rooms. If you play pianissimo, I can play even until 11 pm or midnight. If you play very loud FFF during the day, it's more noisy but totally acceptable, no neibourghs nor family have complained yet. So it's a total winner here. It cuts low and high frenquencies a lot, and sound core pretty much too, so much resonances are removed in the room where you play. You can practice only with the mute your scales, arpeggios, studies, and have fun. You can play as much times per day you want, so it's better than car/outside solution in this sense.

I've mounted a clip-on mic inside the mute. The idea is to correct low and high frequencies and add a physiological compensation by monitoring system. I've mounted a SD systems SX-1 without the original metal mic holder, directly between two pyramidal foams inside the mute. It stay here and allow for angle adjustments. The SD systems adjustable preamp is holded with a velcro strap on the sax/mic holder. The wire go through foam and wire hole, with no to little modification. Then I've mounted a car smartphone holder on the side of the mute. I use a mic/headphones adapter, CTIA norm, 2 euros on amazon. This allow me for direct monitoring on 5 euros Garageband app on my Iphone. For novices, I can hear the sax in headphones while playing. Using simple Earpods give better results than any studio heeadphones I had, because you want to hear your natural sound from the mute as much as possible, so any close or semi-open cans will cut too much your natural sound. The goal is truly to have your true sound and mic sound mixed together in a natural way. The sound I get from this system is very good and fun to play, very close to my real sax sound unmuted. You will have a great control on your tone, as you will hear it better with low and high frequencies close to reality. And it allows you to play quieter, because you don't have to overcompensate the mute effect by playing louder. You will play really quiet.

Other good things mic/headphones/Iphone allow is playing on some playalong, like Aebersold series. It's quite fun and useful to practice improvisation. And you can record yourself with surprisingly good results. I suppose it's explained by foam and space/shape of the mute, but the tone recorded is pretty natural and warm. It's a huge and unexpected bonus, and allows for real homestudio recordings with your own music.

I almost always start to play without monitoring to have a physical feedback in my body. After half an hour, I swith to monitoring. This way, I continue to get used to the mute. It's winter so I don't play outside anymore, perhaps one time per two weeks. No huge issues for mute/unmute switchching. Air column is still strong, the biggest thing is to adapt for neck strap and sax position, but it's ok and don't take too much time. When meteo will be ok again, I will use outsides and mute in alternance.

Some limits of this mute are bell notes. They are totally playable, but depending on the your mouthpiece/reed, they will be harder to reach, especially C and C#. At normal volume, they play well, but if you play pianissimo they will be unstable. Your embouchure position is important, you have to not put your upper teeth too close to mouthpiece tip. As I don't take a lot of mouthpiece in the mouth, I have to move a little bit my low jaw forward and to widened my low lip for bell notes. Then low notes play well at normal volume. Another solution is to put a ball, like a golf ball in the bow. This allow for easy playing of C and C# even at pianissimo. But this alter resistance and tone on whole sax register a little bit. I use sometimes the ball for playing exercices. But for improvisation and recording I prefer playing without. Bell notes are colored and more muted than other notes, this is the nature of plastic enclosure mute. Altissimo play fine, a bit harsh but not that much. Growl is ok too like overtones. You can practice almost everything. I'm a kind of sax screamer sometimes, as a huge Pharoah Sanders fan. As playing that way is very loud and needs natural acoustic environment for low overtones acoustics reactions, it's another limit. But I accept it, and will wait for the sun !!

About monitoring, the reason I've chosed IOS and Iphone is because of no latency capabilities. Android devices will have too much latency for proper monitoring. Those who don't like this brand, can still buy a used Ipad or Iphone (5 minimum for proper performance) for 120/150 euros. Or you can go through little mixers solution, some are around 40/50 euros, or even laptops and audio devices. I'll use my laptop for quality recording, but I like the compacity and convenience of my holder/Iphone system.

The mute arrived in two weeks. It's selled now 369 €. You will add to this customs (I paid 50 euros), the speaker stand starts at 19 €, and add to this the whole monitoring system if you want/need it. Total Price if you need everything will be between 500 and 600 euros, but will be less if you have some devices. I had the mic and the phone/app, plus obtain a preorder discount so the whole thing costs me around 360 euros. It's a good price for a very effective system.

Here are some sounds exemples, with Gear4music tenor and Lebayle LRII 8 * mouthpiece >>

First recording the day I received the mute, after two hours playing inside it with Plasticover reed :
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2knW0hIt_dcN2xmR1dNVFl6MkE/view

Sax only, after three weeks, better mic placement and gain setup, with Ponzol synthetic reed :

*m4a file you can listen on web:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2knW0hIt_dcZWswbldWaHFiSnc

*aiff file you need to download or compatible web app but much better sound:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2knW0hIt_dceV93QzFCN2Ewb1UteFNjcXU3Y1hFVjU4dkFv

An audio test of the Saxmute One efficiency. Living room TV is set at moderate volume, I play sax inside the mute at pianissimo to moderate volume in the kitchen which is just near the TV. The recording IPhone is on the living room table. I play at first with kitchen door closed sax is barely audible, you have to push volume or use headphones to hear the sax. At middle of recording I open the kitchen door and play again and it's not even louder than TV. Sax distance to Iphone mic is 3 meter, TV is 2 meter:

https://allihoopa.com/s/mYDikBY0?embed

I'm in contact with the Saxmute One conceptor/seller, he's a very kind guy. He works on some improvements like built-in ball for low notes, adjustable holder, improved molding techniques, easier stand solution and such things. He will send me a new exemplary of this improved mute, so he's really a good seller IMO : )

This mute changes my sax practice life, nothing less.

Feel free to ask me any questions on my specific setup.

Jean
 

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ALTO: Medusa- 82zii, TENOR: Medusa, BARI: b901, SOP: sc991
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Jean, thank you for this very complete and comprehensive review. It looks like a great product and I think they will sell many of them.
 

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Here's a German video of the Saxmute One


There is a link to a Berlin store where it can be bought (mail order), but I can't find an English version of the shop site.
http://saxophone-shop.de/Saxophon-Daempfer/

Google translation of the YouTube description
Today I test the saxophone mute. A hard case with which you can also practice soft saxophone?

From the advertising text of the site (the producer writes about the saxophone mute). My opinion in the video!

Source: http://saxophone-shop.de/Saxophon-D...ndaempfer-Uebungsdaempfer-Schalldaempfer.html

The saxophone tuner reduces the saxophone volume by at least 30 dB - as low as 55-60 dBA,
This is the room volume, or the background volume of an average office.
It will not even disturb your roommates!

Are there other plastic saxophone dampers?
Yes, there are Best Brass E-Sax dampers and its Chinese clone - Vibes Sax Partner.
These also dampen, however, these are at least twice as expensive!

Saxophone drivers have been known for years. The idea of small housings with sound absorbing material has proved to be very good. But so far, saxophone players had serious problems with intonation, especially in the deep register.

Another problem was the limited space for the hands of the player in the damper.

This is why we have developed this new damper for our customers, who wanted to practice easily and comfortably over the entire saxophone range.
We gave more space in the damper - so that the air can circulate more easily and have experimented a lot with the hand holes to make these more comfortable for the player with different constitutions.

Since we are also professional saxophonists, we also realized that the load on the player's neck and shoulders is not very healthy at the same time with a saxophone and a damper - even if you only practice half an hour, your spine will not Be happy to bear this unnecessary weight!

From the many feedbacks from our customers came out that the best option with a saxophone riser mounted firmly on a tripod.

This saxophone is mounted on a normal box stand (included!).
 

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Buffet Clarinet, Conn Soprano Sax, Buescher Alto Sax, 2 Bundy One Tenor Saxes, Conn C Melody Sax,
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Wow! What a difference! I wish I had known about this before I bought my Vibes Sax Partner. AND before I spent several days building a sound proof, (not really), practice room in my garage, (which was hard on my old bod. Still suffering with aches and pains from the effort). Oh well, I'll have to carry on... I'm thinking of putting another layer of Roxul sound proofing insulation on my walls. That is, after I get over this lot of aches and pains. At least now I have a room that is all mine, sort of like a musician's mancave.
Thanks for sharing, Janosax! That woman demonstrating is pretty good!
 

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Hi JanoSax,

Thanks for your thorough review. I've just purchased this (new neighbor downstairs). What speaker stand do you use? It looks like some of the speaker stands on Amazon have pins that fit in holes which means that you can't fine tune the height of them.

Also I see on the SaxMute One Facebook page that it's compatible with the Hercules DS730 tall saxophone stand. I wonder if there is any advantage to that stand?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello,

Some sax music recorded in this Saxmute One, with the same gear described in post one, except that I replaced Plasticover reed by Legere Signature, and switched to Iphone 7 plus with Irig Pro I/O audio interface.

https://soundcloud.com/user-970258578%2Fgadget-sensible-bass-saxes-1
https://soundcloud.com/user-970258578%2Floopysaxes
https://soundcloud.com/user-970258578%2Fchinese-blocs
My original review on FB with pictures, as the ones I posted on first post are not there anymore :


Pic attached below shows SD SX-1 mic preamp and Irig Pro IO audio interface. Can't upload it vertically, SOTW editor seems to don't allow for those settings.
 

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OK.. I got mine yesterday, dropped a 57 onto the mic mount and this is a game changer for me. My situation had devolved to the point that I could only shed one, maybe two days a week. I tested this last night around midnight, no issues at all. The only modification I had to make was to clip one of the sound proofing triangles a bit, so it wouldn't block my low B cup. It was a little bit awkward at first, and scary to mount my horn in it, turn around for a second to grab the lid, but I got over it.. mostly. It seems sturdy. I have the tenor version, mounted on a speaker stand.
 
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