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· Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going back to 1998, I bought my third MK VI tenor (only have one at a time, not a collector) which was a good one. Then about ten years later picked up a very decent Selmer USA. Could not use it with the original neck but with a MK VI replacement neck it played pretty well. Meanwhile I was just digging having something new and a little different so from then on I played mostly the USA. Over the last year, the USA has been overhauled and I am now playing it with a Series III brass neck or Sterling neck which actually is great on the VI too. The VI has also been overhauled and the neck was sent to Kim Bock for evaluation, and he made some re-shaping repairs - very subtle but its much better. So now the VI is actually more monster than ever and the USA is too, but the VI is decidedly better and more fun to play.
The thing is, I'm having to really work with it in this down time to get used to playing it again. I'm starting to think I hurt myself some by not taking care of the VI earlier and spending basically a year on the USA. It is great to have a horn that can sub for your primary but sticking with a great horn and keeping it in condition is better than just dropping it and picking up a decent horn that is really not in the same league. Let the back-up stay home unless its really needed.
With me its evidently the same as mouthpieces - I have to use the same mouthpiece all the time. If I start trying mouthpieces, I have tended to bond with another one and suddenly my primary piece seems strange - you don't want to go there. For example, I was playing a Level Air in 1989 and tried a Guardala. Naturally it felt strange and seemed very bright, but I bonded with it and started using it, getting my sound back quickly. Just trying the Brilhart again, it was like I could not even play it - just seemed dead, and I had used it for 23 years. BUT! I could still play a Level Air on baritone (and still do) with no residual effects.
Just saying get your primary horn right and keep it that way. If you need the back-up, use it, but don't delay what might need to be done to the primary.
Its funny - I only had one horn for most of my life and I was playing up to six nights a week. Now I play 20 gigs a year, have five saxes and I need a back-up tenor.:cool:
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