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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone! :)

I'm an Alto player and I plan to buy an upgrade of sax. I've chosen Selmer SA80 Series II Jubilee and I'm confused about the finish/plating I should choose for the sound that I want. I'm a huge smooth jazz fan and I'm inspired by the sound of Gerald Albright, David Sanborn, Dave Koz, Nelson Rangell, and Nicky Manuputty (you may not have heard of him before but check him out on YouTube he sounds GREAT).

So what finish should I choose? BTW if you guys think that the setup I'm trying to build for this "smooth jazz" sound is not that okay, kindly leave suggestions about a better setup. I play on a Beechler ARB Custom #6 metal mouthpiece with Vandoren JAVA 2.5 or 3 reeds. :)

Every response would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Why would finish matter, if it's the same instrument underneath the sparkles?

If that's the case, go silver, just because it looks way cooler ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why would finish matter, if it's the same instrument underneath the sparkles?

If that's the case, go silver, just because it looks way cooler ;)
I agree it looks really cool and it even suits the color of my mpc. :D I heard that silver plating easily tarnishes over time. And silver plated saxes sound slightly brighter. I've also read somewhere that older SA 80 IIs sound darker than modern ones which are the Jubilees. If I get a silver plated jubilee and play it with my ARB wouldn't I sound overly bright?
 

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I believe silver does tarnish over time, but I'm sure it can be managed with lots of care. As much as equipment can matter, you still sound like you, and in time, a more developed version of yourself :)

If you don't want to sound overly bright but still play in the style you love then go for it. People can play in a certain way and still achieve many different tonal colours in the spectrum, regardless of the mouthpiece they play.
 

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There are many things that will make much more of a difference than the finish of the horn (if that makes a difference at all). What horn are you playing now, and for how long have you been playing? In my opinion the java reeds are more harsh than smooth, but that ofcourse differs a lot when someone else is playing.
 

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Does Candy Dulfer play a silver horn? Does David Sanborn?
 

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Get the finish you prefer, and stop overthinking it.

I like 'em shiny.



Any hint of influence by the finish on the sound of the horn can be easily tempered with selection of reed and mouthpiece. A silver plated Serie II will still be darker sounding than a Serie III with black (or any other) lacquer.
 

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I was a dedicated alto player. I hear differences in the sound of the players you like. Sanborn has his own special sound. Michael Lington and Everette Harp can sound very much like Sanborn. Gerald Albright has a very bright thin sound. I think you can get this type of sound with a Mark VI or an alto that sounds like a Mark VI and a Van Doren A45/A55. One thing about the metal mouthpieces like Sanborn's Dukoff, they sound different as recorded by the greats than they often do when we play them at home, and they can be difficult or unforgiving.
 

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silver plated saxes sound slightly brighter.
I can guarantee that a silver finish does not make a horn sound brighter. I stake my untarnished reputation on it. I will eat my hat if silver plate makes it sound brighter.

I have had many silver plated horns and yes, they could sound brighter, but only because I wanted them to.

I heard that silver plating easily tarnishes over time.
This is true. You can polish it though.

Some horns these days come with silver plating that has been lacquered, and those ones don't tarnish
 

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Keep the ARB. It's the preferred mouthpiece of MANY smooth jazzers. The finish makes ZERO diff.
 

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I am of the school of the player having the sound and the mouthpiece only helps him achieve it. I sound like me (unfortunate at times) and certain mouthpieces make it easier and others more difficult. Only the wearer of the shoes know how they feel. Granted certain baffles will change the edge but if a player hasn't mastered "his" sound on a basic mouthpiece it will lead to years of switching mouthpieces to find the right one....or maybe the next one...or....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for your responses!

I guess there's really no difference in sound when it comes to different finishes, I'm convinced enough. I see players even with black lacquer horns sounding really bright. What confuses me more now is the proper horn for this style I'm trying to get good at. I think I'm gonna try to explore a wider range of saxophones not just Selmer. Can you guys suggest some? :D

I'm thinking about 82Z, MKVI, SA80II, Ref 54, some Yanagisawa etc. For a few years already I'm still using my first sax which is my Jupiter JAS-769 and I feel like It's time to step my game up!

Keep the ARB. It's the preferred mouthpiece of MANY smooth jazzers. The finish makes ZERO diff.
Hell no I'm never giving this up man! It feels like a worn out converse that I grew up with and I love it. How come I never see many pros using this though? Most of them settle for a Dukoff or something.
 

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Hell no I'm never giving this up man! It feels like a worn out converse that I grew up with and I love it. How come I never see many pros using this though? Most of them settle for a Dukoff or something.
You mentioned Nelson Rangell....he plays an ARB and IMO he's among those at the top of the heap. Do a little research on the web and you'll find more. Forget about equipment and just play along with your favorite records (or mp3's). Your sound will develop on it's own.
 

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Great thread. I've been thinking about getting into smooth jazz for some time, but never really known what type of instrument to buy for it. This has really given some guidance.
 

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As has been said, most any horn will allow you to play smooth jazz. I'm generally a pretty smooth player, lots of ballads, and about the only horn that I can think of that I have to think about keeping on the leash is the 82ZII. When you push it there's a real bark and bite there (but not thin and bright, just a lot of upper partials). But I love it, played softly it can be a great ballad horn, with always some punch just a breath away.

When I say I have to keep it on a leash, it's only because I find myself playing louder and louder, really exploiting that gritty dynamic sound it can do so well. I bet other necks (the II has the V1 neck, and that's all I have) would tone it down, from what I've read.

The other horns you list certainly would do the trick, the Ref 54 being the darkest of the bunch IMO. But you have to play every horn you can to get a feel for what differences you can not by just changing horns, without mp or reed change, and what you really like. Finally, make it fun! If you have a horn that plays well then there is no pressure in finding a solution quickly.
 
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Hi everyone! :)

I'm an Alto player and I plan to buy an upgrade of sax. I've chosen Selmer SA80 Series II Jubilee and I'm confused about the finish/plating I should choose for the sound that I want. I'm a huge smooth jazz fan and I'm inspired by the sound of Gerald Albright, David Sanborn, Dave Koz, Nelson Rangell, and Nicky Manuputty (you may not have heard of him before but check him out on YouTube he sounds GREAT).

So what finish should I choose? BTW if you guys think that the setup I'm trying to build for this "smooth jazz" sound is not that okay, kindly leave suggestions about a better setup. I play on a Beechler ARB Custom #6 metal mouthpiece with Vandoren JAVA 2.5 or 3 reeds. :)

Every response would be greatly appreciated!
You forgot the originator of "Smooth Jazz"

Hopefully you have heard Mr Washington's way smooth, way cool sound?

Any how lets all have a listen again to one of his most popular and successful recordings. Why not?:whistle:


The following is some info on his "Smooth Jazz" set up.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?63026-Grover-Washington-Jr-s-setup

More of the "Smooth Live"

 
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