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This is a great thread, thanks for doing it, Pete.

My guess would be exactly the same as Rispoli, i.e. the same way you listed them: 10m, Martin, VI, Yani, Chinese sax.


And Pete, it's interesting you mention that you think it would be more noticably different with a much less experienced player... well let's test that! I certainly fit that description, and as it so happens about a year ago I did a test with a mix of horns: a Conn 30m, a Buescher TH&C, a Selmer VI, an early Pan American, and a King Cleveland, using an RPC .120B and Vandoren V16 #3 reeds.

At the time, a bunch of folks listened and commented, and similarly only one person got them all right, most weren't even close.

The link to my own "shootout" is at:

http://www.schlap.com/music/shootout.php

(Sacto)Pete
 

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Go Cleveland!!!:D

Rory

hey, this thread isn't an ad for RPC mouthpieces, is it?
 

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I found it not surprising that our lists of preferred sounds varied quite a bit (BlueSax list was the exact inverse of mine). My favorite sound is throaty and warm (vintage) and least favorite is pure and bright (modern), but many players prefer the opposite. I puzzles me though to see so many say they don't hear a difference. I wonder if the reason is computer speakers? I've got Logitech Z-10s that deliver a very clear and nuanced midrange and I heard distinct differences, but it varied from title to title. In listening to the 6 samples on the 5 horns and scoring them on a spreadsheet (obsessive, I know), I found consistent groupings more than a consistent order. Five and 3 really did it for me, with 2 being in with them as the "preferred" group. One and 4 were my least preferred for the above reasons, but 4 was always dead last.

But that's what's great about everybody being different, and exercises like this reveal that nicely. And I'm ready to be revealed as a complete know-nothing.
 

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At least a bit of consensus on #4:

brasscane said:
I don't care much for the sound of #4
saintsday said:
I haven't a clue, but I like number 4 the least.
Billt4mn said:
4 (Even YOU couldn't give that tube any soul)
This is a lot of fun I have to say. Great thread - thanks! Wish that more would pitch in.
 

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Well I would have to say they all sounded very similar. Minor differences and certainly not enough to make me want to throw a train load of money towards any particular horn.

I'd have to say Pete Thomas sounds like Pete Thomas regardless of the horn he's playing, which confirms our deepest fears....its not the horn its the player.

By the way there's a similar type of comparision in the flutes section. I posted links to two different flutists (one of them being Sir James Galway) who each played a bunch of different flutes and you come to the same conclusion with flutes....namely the player seems to be the primary factor, not the instrument.
 

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UncleClark said:
.....
I'd have to say Pete Thomas sounds like Pete Thomas regardless of the horn he's playing, which confirms our deepest fears....its not the horn its the player.

.........
I would slightly alter and precise this sentence : "for people having the mileage and experience of Pete Thomas, it's more the player than the setup".....
 

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Ike Webkins said:
I would slightly alter and precise this sentence : "for people having the mileage and experience of Pete Thomas, it's more the player than the setup".....
That's right, I think. More experienced players automatically adjust for weaker speaking notes and have a more focussed concept.

But there are still differences.
As I've said before, my teacher would sell his Reference 54 in a heartbeat if he knew how much better he sounds on my Buescher NA.:twisted:
 

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saintsday said:
......
But there are still differences.
......:
that's the reason why I did'nt say:" ...it's not the horn, its the player", but rather:"it's more the player than the setup".....;)
 

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To me, with very little side by side multi sax listening under my belt, 5 sounds most different, ie stands out for me from the rest. More centred sound, cleaner (as it were). Perhaps best for classical. The only other one I felt I could single out was 4. Too me sounded a little stuffy at times, at other times a little 'thin'. DIdn't like that much. OOps, never go out on a limb, maybe it was the Vl.....TO name them, don't have the experience?
 

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Billt4mn said:
It puzzles me though to see so many say they don't hear a difference.
Look at the posts again. NO one said they didn't hear a difference. A few of us commented about how similar the sounds were, but still said there were differences. How notable those differences are depends on the listener.
 

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As so many have said, thanks to Pete for doing this. I have no idea which horn is which, but I like #5.
 

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Sticking my neck out in my first post ...

Order of preference based on the first couple of tunes:

Body and Soul ... 1 5 4 3 2
1, 4, 5 , for the first phrase
2, 3 better on second phrase 4 loses ground here and so does 5
2, and 3 drop back on third phrase, 4 stays behind, 5 nyeh
1 is still strong all the way to the end, 2 gains on last phrase, 3's alright there, 4 is reedy and not bad, 5 airy and not bad, either

Calypso 1 3 4 2 5

I can't wait to learn which is which. All I've ever played on tenor is Martins -- "The Martin" and "The Indiana".
 

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Nice work!
And gutsy putting up so much naked, unaccompanied playing.

It was sort of like good multiple choice questions:
One is highly unlikely
Two are very close
One sounds right?
Or none of the above.

The sound of a sax is attributable to (according to me and in this order):
player
mouthpiece
reed
sax

Thus, from my point of view, any of the sample saxes would sound different with different mouthpiece/reed combinations, and the choice of the RPC .120B and Vandoren V16 #3 reeds may have brought out the qualities of one sax while it may have hindered the voice of another. I have two late twenties Martin Handcrafts, and they do better with different mouthpieces and reeds.

So, now to answer the multiple choice question: I'm making up my own question. After doing lots of side-by-side comparisons, the answer to my question is: I like the sound of sax number 1 the best.

Yes, they all sound a lot like tenor saxophones.
But after I listened for a while (and with cans) I picked up nuances, inflections, personalities:

5 was a bust. Dull, distant.
2 and 3 were close. Nice and clear and with guts.
4 was probably as nice as 2 and 3...
But number 1, especially on Harlem Nocturne, had an inner quality, a resonance and complexity of voice not heard in any of the others. I liked it.

But when I learn what sax it is, I will not have a sudden GAS attack and go out and get me one of 'em. Because, in a million years, I wouldn't sound like Pete Thomas even if I did use an RPC .120B and Vandoren V16 #3 reeds.

What fun.
Thanks!
 

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I have no idea which is which, but I liked the sound of #1 the most, and #4 the least, at least initially. If I were to listen again, I'd probably just get more contradictory.

I race a BMW M3, I have beaten Lambos and Ferarri's on occaision, and there is a guy in our club that cleans most everyone's clock in a Honda Civic ....
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Here they are:

1. Conn 10M
2. The Martin
3. Selmer MK VI
4. Walstein
5. Yanagisawa 901


There is also a summary of my observations on the page.

Interesting to see the variance of opinion, I must admit that if I was to have to choose from the soundclips without knowing, I would probably get it completely wrong, and in fact when it comes to favourite horn, it would probably be different for each tune.
 

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hornimus said:
No confidence in this but ...

1 Yani t901
2 Mark 6
3 Martin
4 10M
5 Walstein
Hornimus is completly wrong! :D
 
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