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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,I play an 80.XXX silver VI.The sound is damn good,but compared to other VI (that were all unlacquered) my horn is harder to blow,and it's very difficult to subtone low B and Bb.I sent it to a tech for a complete overhaul and he assured me that the horn has no leaks.If you don't play subtone on those notes the sax works super.The tech told me that my VI it's heavier compared to other ones and so it's harder to blow and to "subtone it".I really like my sax and I want to know what's your experience on this problem.The tech also told me that the low notes on VI respond in a different way compared to today's horns and you gotta work on them.Bye
 

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I've never known any well set up tenor that won't subtone so I would get a second opinion from another repairman..even the best sometimes miss something. Also have another experienced player try your horn with his own and your piece/reed. It's a process of elimination. Do this first then the second opinion and you'll solve your problem.
 

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I didnt make districts because I accidentlly put a subtone on my scales the guy took off 21 points for it. But I think you can either get a horn where its easier not to play a subtone or put more lower lip on the mouthpiece, or practice enough so that it doesnt happen.
 

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Hotspur said:
I didnt make districts because I accidentlly put a subtone on my scales the guy took off 21 points for it.
I'd have added 21 points. Tell them next time to get a judge who knows what a tenor saxophone is supposed to sound like.
 

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Not to burst a bubble or anything, but before all VI tenors skyrocketed in price, the silver ones always seemed to sell cheaper; with most players preferring the lacquered models.
 

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Grumps said:
Not to burst a bubble or anything, but before all VI tenors skyrocketed in price, the silver ones always seemed to sell cheaper; with most players preferring the lacquered models.
That's interesting. My friend has a silver Mark VI 80,000 serial # tenor and it has one of the best sounds I've ever heard (or played).
bb: I don't think the weight of the horn will effect subtoning. My Yamaha YTS 61 weighs alot and subtoning is no problem.
 

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Dave dix said:
With the correct reed/mpc on any leak free horn it will subtone, get a second opinion
Dave
I'll second that. Inability to subtone is due to either too much resistance or a leak. If not a leak, you can change the low end resistance by changing your mpc or reed. Some horns have more resistance in the low end than others. In my experience, Mark VIs are not among the most free-blowing horns in the low end. But that shouldn't stop you from subtoning. Try a softer reed or a larger chambered mouthpiece with a low baffle and you will be subtoning with ease.
 

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You may also want to check your throat position. Mark VIs definitely don't speak their low ends with the ease of some other horns (vintage American saxes in particular). You really need to open up your throat (think "aww" or "oh") to get it to speak.

I learned this in one of my sax lessons with Chris Vadala years ago. We were working on altissimo notes, which do require a good bit of throat manipulation to speak properly. However, after I tried shooting for some altissimo notes, all of the sudden I was able to get the low end of the horn (a later Mark VI) to speak easily, where I had been having problems before. What was happening was after shooting for altissimo notes, I'd relax my throat and it would open up, making the low end easy to speak.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I discovered the problem:my VI doesn't have any protection on the side low F#,unlike today's horns have a "cage" to protect it.Because I played a super action II before the VI I often touch the side low F# with my clothes.My posture caused a leak and slightly decentrated that key.Now I set it right and I can subtone,but I've got to slightly change the posture.it's not so hard,but it's surely annoying.
 
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