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Distinguished SOTW Columnist / Forum Contributor 2
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever tried a Selmer Paris neck on a Keilwerth tenor? I picked up a stencil that has a non-original neck and am looking for options.

I have an American Selmer neck (looks to be a lot like a late VI neck) that I'll try when the horn arrives but wondered if anyone had tried anything.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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never tried... but Keilwerth=big bore; Selmer=not.
FYI a fellow SOTWer told me his JK's neck is interchangeable with his Beaugnier/Vito (makes sense, Beaugnier is big bore); my Beaugnier/Vito takes a Kohlert neck with no intonation problems either.
I'd say you try and score a cheap Kohlert stencil (eg Edgware); that should fit your JK.
 

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Hurling, I tried it and it wasn't even close....:cry:
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2008
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The neck tenons on Selmer necks is way too small for a JK tenor. I tried several of my necks to see if any would fit my SX90 and none came close.

You'd have to get the tenon really stretched out, but I have seen Ernie Watts with a Selmer neck on his JK, the only problem is once you've stretched it I doubt it's going back.

Why not buy a JK neck.
 

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Hurling, one idea, although pricey, would be to get a Stephan Boesken neck. He makes wonderful necks for both JK and Selmers. I got his nickle silver neck for my straight tenor and I really love it.
 

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Oleg necks

Sax Gordon Beadle uses a Selmer neck on his Couf Superba 1. I believe he has both a MkVI and a MkVII neck, which Ernie Sola fitted for him. Since you indicate that your horn is a stencil, I'm assuming it is an older "Tone King" type stencil and thus more like the Couf than the current SX-90 series.

I have to put in a plug for Oleg necks, however. On the recommendation of HonkBopSax, I got an Oleg neck from Hollis & Germann for my Couf S1 (Honk uses one as well and may want to chime in here). H&G special ordered it with a larger tenon receiver designed for Keilwerth (and presumably other large bore) made horns. This neck is a great match for an S1 and seems to correct some of the "accoustic flaws" in it's design such as flat palm keys (althought mine weren't bad anyway). Notably, I'm finding that the sound is somewhat more focused and somewhat brighter, but without losing the tonal mass characteristic of Keilwerth made horns. Before using the Oleg neck, my S1 was so dark and spread that I had to use a higher baffled, smaller chamber mouthpiece or the sound was dark to the point of being muddy. With the Oleg neck, I'm back to being able to use Link or Link-type pieces and very happy about it.

At about $600.00, the neck is quite a bit cheaper than Boesken or Golger necks too. Finally, I have to put in a plug for Jim Germann, who is great to deal with.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist / Forum Contributor 2
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I found a modern Keilwerth neck and I'm going to try the American Selmer neck I have on hand. I may even see if my VI neck works (but I won't modify it for the purpose).

Intonation reports will be coming as soon as possible.
 

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Bringing up this old thread because it's the first one I hit, searching for past web posts (at large, not just on this forum) re "Selmer tenor necks Keilwerth."

I did not have the same finding as reported earlier (which, who knows, may have also changed for the posters in 14+ years).

I have a Bundy Special that I did a big experiment on (not the bore, just the hardware other than the bore) because, worst case, I would probably end up with a Keilwerth that, after experimenting with necks, I would like better than or as much as anything preceding the SX90, maybe even including the SX90. That was the goal.

I finally (last week) picked up what seems to be a lacquered SX90 neck, and spent a few days playing (in the Bundy Special) the original Bundy Special neck, a Selmer Ref 36 neck, the (putatively, by me) SX90 neck, and a Crescent 1 (my line's) neck.

Long story short, they all matched. BUT, each had differing results not only individually, as far as consistency of response over the range of the horn, but relatively to each other in terms of comparing intonation, tone and response not just across the scale, relative to that mouthpiece on that neck on that horn, but between necks -- i.e. what was the case in comparisons (e.g. "this one's lower end plays easier and better than the other") with one mouth could completely reverse with another mouthpiece. The mouthpieces: Vintage 8* metal Link refaced by me, Stephan Kammerer "Omnis," Ponzol II-V-I, and Ponzol M1 refaced by Sakshama.

I'll make a follow-up post with sound samples if I can ever get around to it, but my basic finding is that not only are modern Keilwerth necks compatible with old Keilwerths such as the Bundy Special (probably the inverse also applies), but Selmer-compatible necks (which the Crescent 1 is, and the Ref 36 is), are also all potential candidates.

Probably a challenge in testing this is that necks made for Selmer have a much smaller tenon sizing than Keilwerth, and when you're adapting with teflon tape, you're not going to get a true comparison -- your neck is going to be loose and rocking. My surmise is based on the Crescent 1 tenor being Selmer compatible (acoustically, which it is, and vice-versa) but having a tenon almost identical to both the original Bundy Special and (putative) SX90 neck, which are also nearly dead-on with each other in sizing, which allows me to make an educated guess as to how much response I'm missing when I play the Ref 36 neck with teflon tape to adapt its sizing (its scale was tonally uneven, sort of as if the keyheights were all very off, but intonation was great, and response was in some ways an improvement over all the other necks, but I only played that neck with the vintage Link, during the first test session, i.e. not with the other mouthpieces, so the comparison might have changed or even been the opposite with the M1 that I felt was the best mouthpiece for the other necks).

Anyway, my finding is that Selmer necks ARE compatible, and maybe of particular interest to some Keilwerth owners when the owners find their current necks to lack nuance, subtlety or sensitivity -- or, put another way, to have so much power and forward, out-front drive that more subtle articulations are sort of discouraged or seemingly resisted by the horn. BUT they will require a very significant tenon expansion for their ultimate match/form/performance to be unveiled.

Anybody who doesn't believe me is welcome to try a Crescent 1 neck (which has a Selmer compatible bore). Just pay me for my time and the shipping, because I'm not made of money. Sadly.
 

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ALTO: Medusa- 82zii, TENOR: Medusa, BARI: b901, SOP: sc991
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I never tried this on a tenor but I did some experimentation on JK altos. So I might as well add to this thread.

I tried swapping two JK necks and four Selmer necks (mark VI and mark VI inspired). There were serious intonation problems both ways. The Selmer necks did not function better than the JK. They were actually worse.
 

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I can believe that. On the one hand, alto and tenor for any line have differing compatibilities across the board, generally, for necks. Even my own Crescent 1 lines showed this: altos were very compatible with Yanagisawa necks, but not with Selmer necks; tenor Crescent 1, exact opposite. I find similar pitching-specific disagreement (i.e. necks by one brand/maker for alto/tenor not being equally compatible with alto/tenor of a different brnd) in general, even when it comes to boutique necks presumably both originally made for Selmer (e.g., where that boutique neck on tenor matches well intonationally, the alto neck might not match the same brand's alto lines as well -- and vice-versa).

One not too controversial thing I could add is that IMO people will come to different conclusions about intonational matches depending on both ability level and what pitch the player in question mainly plays. For example, tenor players will almost surely get different results on alto intonation as compared to players who primarily play alto, and vice-versa.

I play tenor at least 7:1 times as often and in aggregate. I almost always find the alto necks that very skilled alto players feel at home on to be off for me intonationally, though when necks are on for me they are generally on for more skilled players than me as well. That will probably hold less for the necks I like on tenor (since I mainly play tenor) as compared to which necks even very skilled players who mainly play alto when they play tenor.

You definitely made me curious and I have a Superba 1 alto here so I'll have to try that out for myself. It's weird that I haven't. I will say that the Superba 1, for me, has pretty weird intonation to begin with, but that's part of what I like about it -- possibly significant because I might not be the only one who likes the Superba 1 for what could be for others inherent inaccuracies. If that were the case, that I'm not alone in finding the Superba 1 inherently more inaccurate than some other makes (for me, most other makes), then it would be logical to expect people who are right at home on my Superba 1 (or most Superba 1s if mine is typical) to find other makes inaccurate, aside from purely a neck match.

There's maybe a suspect whiff of contrarian content in that last par -- it's just my real findings, over time, with some off-the-cuff thoughts your post inspired.
 

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It just occurred to me it could be a funny/useful/illustrative thing to post some sound files of me playing the Bundy Special with #1 original, #2 (taken to be) SX90 and #3 Crescent 1 necks both "a capella" and over recordings, to see if any one can identify which is which. I'll at least do #1 and #3 when I have time, and post links to the files (for tenor 1st, then alto 2nd if/when time allows....

Something useful to add now: #2 is a "new old stock" example, and it fit the Bundy Special tenon very closely (identically, practically speaking, to the original neck's fit prior to fine tuning). Kind of cool to discover that.
 

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May it be of use, here are 4 files, two of the Keilwerth Bundy Special mentioned above with Keilwerth-made necks, and two with necks for Selmer (neither made by Selmer, but they play similarly, to/for me, to the Ref 36 neck I played in it previously).

The two Keilwerth necks are: (1) original Bundy Special neck, fitted to the tenon, (2) "new old stock" lacquered neck that is likely for SX90, not fine fitted but it is very snug to the tenon "straight out of the box."

The two Selmer compatible necks are: (1) goldplated Crescent 1 neck (from my discontinued line), not fitted but like the SX90 neck very close to a good "out of the box," and (2) an older Tino Schucht "African Spirit" neck from when more were going out with screw-in sleeves, far from fitted but pretty carefully adapted with teflon tape for 1 quick playing.

Warning: the files are not musical, and I intentionally didn't redo some things where I sound really, really bad. Please do not hold me responsible for any cognitive trauma that listening may engender. If you listen and think I ought to be embarrassed, I know that, and I am. But a useful answer/demonstration is more valuable than worries about how bad I play.

To reduce the drudgery factor, I have an extra copy of Theo Wanne's mouthpiece making booklet. If anybody can ID the necks correctly (first come first served) you can have the booklet if you like. If nobody guesses in 30 days, the offer is over (I don't want someone to hit this in 5 years, guess right, and I no longer have the booklet).

I tried to play as similarly as I could (something I'm not good at, I'm gonna need to up my aspergers quotient to improve, there) on all tracks, and I think my intonation of the front-F high F and the front-F-plus-side-Bb G is more hit and miss because of me than the horn/necks.

All clips are same mouthpiece, same reed, same lig, and I made an effort to sit equally distant from the mic on them all, but inevitably that latter probably was a fail. Anyway, the intent was there. They appear below in the same order they were recorded. I got more familiar with what I was doing as I recorded each track, so the content probably reflects that. No effects were used, the backing track is there mostly to help illustrate intonational tendencies, which don't stand out as well for most people when a horn is played without other instrumentation.

I know some of the altissimo in particular is very painful to hear for people with really accurate ears -- I left it, again, because it may be informative.




 

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Well, as long as I'm obsessively talking to myself here, I tested a silverplated Taiwan tenor neck on the Bundy Special -- its sleeve was resized previously for a Crescent 1 tenor, which it turns out is just about perfect for the (seemingly more consistent in exact sizing, even across decades) KB's tenon, short of being fine-fitted.

The neck at least as objectively good, overall, as the two Selmer necks, but the somewhat inherent stuffy Keilwerth D2 did pretty insistently make its sydromatic nature known. I didn't notice it with the Crescent 1 or Schucht necks, but it definitely was more present than on any of those necks with the Taiwan neck. It stuck out. This does imply that there are a good number of Taiwan necks out there that will likely have this same tendency for most players, IMO. Possibly a player that tunes further out (who plays inherently sharp overall, relative to others) may experience or not experience this differently. My tuning spot is further in on the cork (I would say that means I'm inherently sharp, but in my experience the majority of players playing more than a few years tune further in than those who are out further).

If you can figure out what factory my tenor's from via my site, that is the one whose necks you probably want to avoid if you're considering a Selmer neck for Keilwerth.

Any one who's ever played a Dorfler & Jorka tenor with the narrow neckpipe tip has likely experienced a more exaggeratedly stuffy D2, with a similar cause (a Toneking neck on those, by the way, will help greatly). The D with the Taiwan neck is less stuffy than that, more stuffy than most. It's playable, and it could of course be corrected for on ballads by adding the palm D, but this was worth mentioning. I forgot about the Keilwerth stuffy D topic, and it does belong on any thread about K and S necks, IMO.
 
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