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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure there's more than one thread of this nature lurking around SOTW, but I figured I'd start one of my own:twisted: Which one of these has a very nice dark warm focused sound? (ie which is better for hardcore classical playing?) If you know of any other brands/models that are perhaps better suited for this (and maybe cheaper?) please don't hesitate to share.
 

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II - It's better, imnsho, for most everything - jazz included. The III is just too bright.
 

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You might want to consider a Yamaha YAS-875EX. They were designed for classical and they cost about $1000.00 less than a seriesII.
 

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consider the Yanagisawa A992 bronze alto. I chose her over a 82z mainly for her "darker" tone quality.
If I have some extra cash, I would go for the Series II black lacquer (rumored to be the darkest of all modern selmer). If I have more money and time to wait, then the inderbinen would be my choice :)
 

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If dark and in tune are your priorities, Yanagisawa is certainly worth a look. It would be my choice, whatever model depending on budget and visual taste (brass vs. bronze). I owned 2 mid range models (A-500 and A-901), you really get a lot of horn for the money. I sold them in search of more power and edge.
The SA-II is the does-it-all alto par excellence, it probably has a bit more punch than the Yanis, but can be a bit touchier in terms of intonation (midrange left hand). Though with Selmer HR mps, you'll get a warm sounding and in-tune horn.
 

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I agree with what has been said about the SA80II - definitely darker than the III and well suited for classical playing, provided you choose the right mouthpiece. But I've also got to say that the Yanagisawa A-991/2 are very well made horns with a warm, round and even tone by which they beat the Selmers for classical playing IMHO; also, what dexdex said about intonation is true. That said, the SA80II has a beefier low end than the 992 - I tried some of them side by side, and the overall power advantage made me stick with the SA80II I already had, but only just. Had I not owned the Selmer, I'd've chosen the Yanagisawa.

The 90* series is bit livelier and fresher in tone, but also a little less cultivated than the 99* series - but I doubt one'd notice if not comparing them directly with the same mouthpiece and reed. That's why I think that the A-901 is amazing value for money...

Depending on purpose and budget, my favourites would be the A-992 first (purely for aesthetical reasons - the A-991 plays just as well as far as I could make out), the SA80II second, the A-901 a very close third. The III wouldn't make it onto the shortlist.

M.
 

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I alsoi would prefer the II for not only the given application, but all playing as well. The recently made ones that I tried earlier in the year were a bit lacking compared to those I tried in prior years. I'd look for a used one; preferably one that came out before the III's were available.
 

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i also hate the ergos on the alto III, especially in the right hand palm keys. it doesn't have enough core for me either. the II is hands down the best horn i have ever played (in my limited experience). :). intonation is fine for me.
 

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About the black lacquered Series II being the darkest of all . . . the word "rumored" sums it up nicely. DAVE
Dave, indeed it is a rumor from the local players and tech. I hope to have the chance to "verify" this rumor.
 

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I hear some of the worst myths from other players and some techs. Find one black lacquered horn that has a dark sound and many will tell you all black lacquered horns have a "dark" sound, when in fact the reason for that horn's tonal quality is something entirely different. It ain't the horn's color or finish. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You might want to consider a Yamaha YAS-875EX. They were designed for classical and they cost about $1000.00 less than a seriesII.
I can honestly say that I had the opportunity to try Yamaha's and Cannonball's entire professional lines (because thats all that the local sax dealer sells...) and I really did not like the 875EX Alto. I found it (at least the one I played) to be play so stuffily that I preferred my used and abused YAS52 and I pretty much lost all faith in the EX line... I did like the 82Z, it certainly was darker than what I can get out of my 52, but the sound more or less just seemed to come SPLAT! out of the horn. maybe it was my mouthpiece, or quite possibly even myself. I dare not comment on the Cannonballs. Yanis I've never really payed much attention to, partly because of their lack of popularity in these parts and my sax teacher's extreme disposition against them (he claims they have a very "rough" sound.... any comments in favor or against this view?). When I get the chance I'm probably going to see about making the 2 hour drive to Washington DC to see about trying some Yanis, Selmers, and probably even an SX90r if I can.
 

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When I get the chance I'm probably going to see about making the 2 hour drive to Washington DC to see about trying some Yanis, Selmers, and probably even an SX90r if I can.
If you can wait till the weekend of Jan. 20-21, and drive a half hour further to Fairfax, Virginia, you can try a hundred or more horns of all different makes and models at the Sax Symposium. That Saturday would be the day to do the play testing, and if you get in the dealler room before noon (preferably 9am), you'll have an easy time of it. Just bring your mouthpieces and reeds; and even your horn if you wish to compare. Plus you'll get to meet a whole bunch of SOTW members and get to see world class players and acts all for free.
 

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I hear some of the worst myths from other players and some techs. Find one black lacquered horn that has a dark sound and many will tell you all black lacquered horns have a "dark" sound, when in fact the reason for that horn's tonal quality is something entirely different. It ain't the horn's color or finish. DAVE
It's not the color of the lacquer, it's the thickness. Colored lacquers are thicker. One article by Greg Vail posted by WWBW notes that the darkest horns of a given model are the ones with white lacquer. White lacquer requires the most thickness for color covering. Layers with different shear wave velocities vibrate differently. Destructive interference occurs when wave energy passes between the layers. In the case of lacquer, the thicker the layer the greater the portion of the energy within it and the more significant the destructive interference. So it makes sense that some dulling of the harmonics within the body of the horn would occur proportional to the lacquer thickness. Keep in mind that some 90% (!) of the player's energy that makes it past the reed goes into the body of a saxophone, according to Fletcher and Rossing.
 

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It's not the color of the lacquer, it's the thickness. Colored lacquers are thicker. One article by Greg Vail posted by WWBW notes that the darkest horns of a given model are the ones with white lacquer. White lacquer requires the most thickness for color covering. Layers with different shear wave velocities vibrate differently. Destructive interference occurs when wave energy passes between the layers. In the case of lacquer, the thicker the layer the greater the portion of the energy within it and the more significant the destructive interference. So it makes sense that some dulling of the harmonics within the body of the horn would occur proportional to the lacquer thickness. Keep in mind that some 90% (!) of the player's energy that makes it past the reed goes into the body of a saxophone, according to Fletcher and Rossing.
True of course, but you can't say that here!!!!! What are you thinking of???

It's a good job this is an internet forum, or the vocal majority would have you burned at the stake!
 

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Suffice to say I disagree with GFC12 and Mike F. based on years of playing experience. I'm firing up my stake now. DAVE
 

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Suffice to say I disagree with GFC12 and Mike F. based on years of playing experience. I'm firing up my stake now. DAVE
I am sure your opinions based on years of playing experience are more valid than Greg Vail's opinions based on years of playing experience.

I will laugh amid the flames because I am........ THE DEVIL!
 

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As a matter of fact, they are! At least in MY opinion . . .

When someone lines up 100 or so black lacquered (or white lacquered) saxophones and objectively determines that they are all "darker" in sound than other saxophone finishes, I might concede. I know - an arbitrary number, but indicative of the effort it would require to confirm your theory, in MY opinion . . .

Let the fires begin . . .
 

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When someone lines up 100 or so black lacquered (or white lacquered) saxophones and objectively determines that they are all "darker" in sound than other saxophone finishes, I might concede.
I used to play a Serie II alto. Whenever there was a break on a gig and I took it out back in the dark, I could hardly see my sax because of the shadows and lack of light. Then I'd blow it and was always surprised at how much more spread and darker sound the sound was than when I was inside and all the lights shone on it.
 
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