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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Please, if you've only worked on your own horns, or still in High School, you shouldn't call yourself a Tech here.
It would be most interesting to know how you guys that know the most about the physical differences in horns rate them.
 

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I don't quite count as a fully qualified tech, but it's a hobby, i love chus and wonder series 1s cos they can be such fun working on aesthetic aspects like plating etc. and also play and sound great.
 

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My tech, says he prefers to work on Selmers the most because of the high level of refinement of their horns mechanism and ease of assembly/disassembly.

He says he hates to do dent work on Yamahas due to the hardness (brittleness) in the metal.
 

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i would definitely agree with the Selmer statement, even though i have only done a sort of half overhaul on one
 

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I love working on older horns. Some of the mechanisms (such as the octave vent and fork Eb) may be a little more difficult to get just right, but I always enjoy the challange of making it all work smoothly. Plus, when you take apart an older horn for an overhaul, the things are all built like tanks, even the "lesser" stensils. They're beautiful horns, simple and elegant, and they all play like monsters!

-Scott
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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My tech says modern Selmers are his least favorite -- go figure, still no consensus!
 

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there are things i like about many horns. it's easier to regulate the F#/G# on vintage horns where the G# is on the same axis as the lower stack. the balanced action octave key mechanism is the most simple and functional i've come across. the front F and side key spring placement on the 82z is very impressive. the sml four point neck receiver is genius, i'm also a fan of the optional articulated g# lever (low b is really nice without the g# spring).

so i guess my only option is to make one myself...
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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I enjoy Yamahas. Their factory work is great and I don't have to correct any basics of build quality in order for them to play well.

Saxaholic
 

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Old Selmer's are great! As far as new horns go, I would say Yanagisawa , then Yamaha,then maybe Keilworth. I would put new Selmer's somewhere below the Jupiter saxophones! (I do only pro saxophone and clarinet repairs - 90% of the saxophones I work on are old Selmer's (MKVI, SBA, BA etc))
 

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Randall said:
My tech, ... says he hates to do dent work on Yamahas due to the hardness (brittleness) in the metal.
Some rather loose use of words here, I think.

Yes. At least some models of Yamaha - but certainly not all - have very tough metal. What I mean is that the body is highly resistant to denting, and dents need a lot of force to remove.

However I would not say that "brittleness" was a problem. This implies that the metal fractures easily. Fracturing metal is definitely not a problem with Yamahas.
 

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From a materials science perspective, I'd say that "hard" is appropriate when talking about resistance to deformation. "Toughness" is usually reserved for resistance to fracture or may refer to the integral of the stress-strain curve (a function of strength and ductility. I agree that "brittle" is a characteristic of metal with low ductility.
 

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Mark VI is nicely designed (in a mechanical engineering sense) and well made. However many of them are pretty tired now, so can involve major work to restore to original function.

For modern instruments, Yanagisawa. There is still a real mechanical engineer in their design team, and manufacture is consistent, precise, and good. They are therefore a breeze to work on.

Selmer (Paris) may be good in acoustic design, but they keep doing silly or slovenly things in the engineering and manufacturing department.

Yamaha are close to Yanagisawa in their pro range.

Yanagisawa don't make student instruments. If they did, then they may have to sacrifice some standards (like levelness of tone holes and precision in hinges) as Yamaha has done in their student range.

It is these sacrifices that to me, tarnish Yamaha's name. However IMO, all things considered, Yamaha makes their student sax better than other brands of student sax.

However they had better watch out. I expect some Chinese ones to be better before long. When both quality control and cheap labour are available, there is no need for the mechanical scruffiness that remains evident in student Yamahas.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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I agree with Gordon's last post, with the addition that I like to work on less common and less well-designed vintage horns just for the challenges they present in getting the horn to feel good under the fingers. Guess I'm a bit of a masochist.
 

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Yes, it is always great to experience a customer's feedback "Wow!"
 

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I love working on Conns, but the only thing I hate, is the octave ket mechanisms. :x Those are a big pain in the a*$ to work on. Especially when most of the ones I have fixed, were bent. Same with bueschers. I love working on them except for the octave key mechanisms. The ones on Selmers are so much easier to fix because of the jointed design. :) But I like Conn saxophones mroe, so I have to say Conn, but not including the polishing, and Glass bead Blasting, I would have to say that they are equally as much fun. :) BTW, Dents are not Fun to take out of Yamahas. I just did what I could to fix a Yamaha Bari and there is still work that needs to be done.
 

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abadcliche said:
I agree with Gordon's last post, with the addition that I like to work on less common and less well-designed vintage horns just for the challenges they present in getting the horn to feel good under the fingers. Guess I'm a bit of a masochist.
What Matt said. :)
 

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It depends from what point of view. Woking on the instrument, I really like Yamaha professional saxophones and also Yanagisawa. Although I agree with Gordon about Yamaha students saxophones I still like them a lot in spite of their problems. Mark VI is also good. New Selmers and Borganis are pretty much ok and I'd say they are about the same in that respect. Better models from Jupiter are very good too.

But for factory setup it is different. Yamahas, Yanagisawas and new Selmers are about the same, all have problems with setup and adjustment with pro Yamahas being slightly better than others, and Yanagisawas pretty good too. Surprisingly Selmers are not much behind the Japanese companies here, but they do have problems that might make those necessary adjustments harder and/or longer to do.

For just overall feel and playing I really like some Mark VIs and Yamahas. A few Conns and one Martin I also remember that I liked, and also some better models from Jupiter. Newer Selmers are ok but don't do much for me, and also Yanagisawas, in spite of how great they are objectively.

I'm not a masochist in that sense like abadcliche and jbtsax, although I don't have any problem working on those saxophones too just the same as any saxophone. I think they (and others) might like to work on those because of the emotional effect those "vintage" models have on some saxophoninsts. Maybe because I'm a clarinetist with saxophone as a double, they have none of that effect on me.
 

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I love working on Conns, but the only thing I hate, is the octave ket mechanisms. :x Those are a big pain in the a*$ to work on. Especially when most of the ones I have fixed, were bent. Same with bueschers. I love working on them except for the octave key mechanisms. The ones on Selmers are so much easier to fix because of the jointed design. :) But I like Conn saxophones mroe, so I have to say Conn, but not including the polishing, and Glass bead Blasting, I would have to say that they are equally as much fun. :) BTW, Dents are not Fun to take out of Yamahas. I just did what I could to fix a Yamaha Bari and there is still work that needs to be done.
The question was addressed to techs, not highschoolers. Refer to post #1.
 

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Does that include the Conn 20M, with its extremely sloppy hinge tubes, and its 1 mm tone hole undulations? Not my favourite, by any means.
 
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