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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it's Sunday, and after a healthy glass (or 2) of Bordeaux, I finally got around to something that I had been intending to do for ages; an objective comparison between two well known French tenors; a '54 Buffet Dynaction, and a '59 Selmer VI with high f#, (currently my only 2 tenors left).



Since I know from experience that sound perceptions are highly dependent upon mpc and reed I, made short clips with 4 quite different mpcs; a wooden 8* Lebayle Jazz? (modified by me to include a small baffle), a vintage steel Berg 130/1 M, a Lawton 9*B, and a JodyJazz ESP 120 with baffle included. The JJ and the Berg were used with a std. Dukoff Lig, the lawton with it's own lig, and the Lebayle with a BG soloist lig. All recordings were with with the same LaVoz medium reed, and recorded with a SM57 onto laptop via a Digital soundcard. All recordings are NON-normalised, so differences in volume should also be evident.

In all cases the order of play with each mpc is the same, and I always start with an ascending scale. One set of recordings is with the sax close to the mike ('close'), but to try and emphasise the differences between mpcs I also repeated the recordings with the mike approx 1 m distance ('far').

So there are four ~3min recordings, '1. close', '1. far', '2. close', '2. far'.


Who can discern between the saxes?!! and which setup sounds better to you?? Is the VI worth the price?

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=517549

For the foolhardy and/or brave, you can also try and identify the individual mpcs used in each set of recordings.

Finally this was Sunday afternoon - and I just slapped one mpc on after the other.. - so don't expect much in terms of content!
 

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I like the soundof the #1 best as it seems more centerd and richer

Steve
 

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I'll go with bfoster64...
 

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I know SM57's are sacred, but I always felt like they compressed (perhaps not the right technical term) the sax sound a bit...so I think these recordings might not be telling the whole story. That being said, both of these recordings sound a bit better than my recordings with an SM57, so maybe I had a screwy soundcard or just didn't know what I was doing with the darn thing.

The high end seems a little less round and full on the second horn to me whereas the bottom sounds huge. On a more subjective note, though, it almost sounds like you're having to work harder at playing the first horn. Perhaps it could use a bit of adjustment? Or maybe it just blew freer with certain mouthpieces than others?
 

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ryp(nz) said:
Never, NEVER clean the inside bore of your sax - just the neck and your mouthpiece...
Why is that? Are you a biologist? What are you trying to grow? :shock:
 

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I like the #2 far recording the best. It seems much more free blowing and flexable. I play the Dynaction tenor in my avator and like to utilise its free blowing nature. The #1 recording was resistant sounding, I think a lighter reed would be needed to achieve the sound concept that I favour.

I have noticed on a Dynaction, as on a Conn, that with increased resistance and focus, the tone can become darker and denser with more buzz closer to a Mark VI. A Brilhart ebolin 80 tip on a Dynaction with a 3.5 -4 blue box vandoren sounds Stan Getzish to my ears.

It is possible that the #2 is the Mark VI, and the #1 is the Dynaction, but on my Dynaction with a Link STM, NY, or HR, I sound closer to #2.
 

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superbaguy said:
The high end seems a little less round and full on the second horn to me whereas the bottom sounds huge. On a more subjective note, though, it almost sounds like you're having to work harder at playing the first horn. Perhaps it could use a bit of adjustment? Or maybe it just blew freer with certain mouthpieces than others?
Assuming these observations are based on differences between the horns and not some other factors, they are consistent with my opinion of the primary differences between Buffet and Selmer tenors. Buffet = free blowing and huge bottom end. Selmer, more resistant and better high end. That having been said, I think both horns sound good and I would take either of them over many of the most popular modern horns. The comparison also confirms my opinion that a vintage Buffet is one of the best values in a pro tenor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
interesting comments from everyone,

for Superba - when I bought the SM57, I was expecting a real quantum leap in recording quality, and while the sound is definitely better I was still somehow a little disappointed with the result - but I can't rule out that this is down to me.

regarding the condition of the saxes, I had the pads/cork/felt in the upper stacks replaced about 6 months ago with Selmer's + plastic resos. Horn 1 had the pads on the lower stack fairly recently replaced, but I still feel that it is not functioning to it's full potential - and this is probably the 'extra work' you noticed in Horn #1. Ideally I should get the lower stack replaced on horn 2 as well, but for the moment I don't notice too many problems and cash is at a low ebb.

As for the question of 'resistance' - each horn favours a slightly different setup, due to bore and neck angles. So that I think that they each play best with different mpcs. As always, a comparison like this is a compromise.

anyone want to hazard a guess at mpc identity? lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well I'm leaving for vacation in a couple of days, so here are the results;

sax 1 = Dynaction, sax 2 = VI, order of mpcs = Lebayle wood; Berg 130; Lawton; ESP

Which just goes to show that you can do worse than an early Buffet for a fairly decent sound (!).
 

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madav said:
well I'm leaving for vacation in a couple of days, so here are the results;

sax 1 = Dynaction, sax 2 = VI, order of mpcs = Lebayle wood; Berg 130; Lawton; ESP

Which just goes to show that you can do worse than an early Buffet for a fairly decent sound (!).
Wow! I'm surprised! As a Buffet tenor player, I thought I had 'em pegged. I'm going to go back and listen to your recordings.
 
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