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selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess most everyone knows that Sax claimed to have made his instruments not with a conical bore, but with a "parabolic cone". This seems to have been confirmed as a myth, since no one seems to have seen one in a Sax instrument. They all seem to be basically conical, without the increasing curve along the top of the bore where the tone holes lie.

However, I seem to have one in my Modèle 26 sopranino...

This horn was a great find--basically a closet horn in perfect condition (even with the original Tonex pads), with only some age spots in the original first lacquer. But I had what I though was a slight banana bend in the body. On closer inspection the bottom of the horn is perfectly straight, but there is a definite increasing curve in the top, such that on viewing straight through, one can't see the end of the bore at the top. In fact the bore opening at the end of the bell is not round; it is definitely elongated on the vertical axis at the top: one can feel this but putting a couple of fingers in the end and rotating them. It is something on the order of a couple of millimeters, which is not trivial.

So this raises the question: was this intentional or some byproduct of the manufacturing process? I'm guessing that this was intentional, and that perhaps these early 'nino bodies came out of Sax's inventory when his shop was bought by Selmer. I also have a curved Modèle 22 soprano, and a number of people think that the few curved sops made by Selmer over the years (the latest was an SBA) were actually made with Sax bodies keyed by Selmer. I have seen pix of a number of examples of curved Selmer sops (1922, Modèle 22 and SBA), and they are exactly the same, except for the stamping of the logo, and pearls on or not on the G# and alt F#. Likewise, I have seen pix of several pre-VI 'ninos, (Modèle 26, BA and SBA) and they too are exactly the same except for those pearls. So perhaps both of these models were made with leftover Sax bodies, since in both cases they are extremely rare, having been made in very limited quantities.

As to the effect of the "parabola" on the sound I really cannot say, except to say that this is a very sweet little 'nino.
 

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well, if any effects from the parabolic cone these would be most probably more apparent in some extreme saxophones and the sopranino looks a very good candidate ( would anyone know how a soprillo is constructed?)

By the nature of the modern process (in the olden days they might have used a different process) the cutting and bending of the body of the saxophone is certainly producing a simple cone but things might have been very different in the past when a larger part of the process was handmade.

In this old Rampone & Cazzani video (only Italian, sorry) around 3:00 one sees how the " cone" is shaped around a mandrel ( the mandrel is not necessarily exactly conical).

 

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selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Grazie! Io capisco Italiano. A very nice piece shot by an excellent cameraperson.
 

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I have always thought the parabolic brought up about saxophones was the taper of the tube increasing at a logarithmic rate rather than being a cone , not an out of roundness to a cross section of a tube --- But I could have been assuming wrong all these years. (also, I never heard this in reference to A. Sax, though I know next to nothing about A. Sax instruments - I've always heard the parabolic stories in reference to Buescher True Tones)
 

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Grazie! Io capisco Italiano. A very nice piece shot by an excellent cameraperson.
Prego, il piacere è tutto mio!

Perhaps nice to compare with this old Buescher film. I find rather extraordinary that it is clear that saxophones were and are made in a very similar and industrial way. The saxophone if anything is a true product of the industrial revolution.

 

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watched it now 4 times, very fascinating- seems modern production methods have changed mass production as well and the authors thought there was big demand in those days......thanks Milandro!
 

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actually, I have compared videos of new factories and the production methods seemed as intensive both now as they were then.

In the case of a small company like Rampone e Cazzani with a production of no more than 500 saxophones a year, they are now less industrialized than they were for Buescher or Conn.

Many describe the " hand making" of the saxophone, but the whole saxophone is still very much hand made....using machines :twisted:, at least in parts, the part that is mostly shown as being hand made is the beating of the bell, and its burnishing.

 

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There is really no myth about the parabolic bore that can stand some scrutiny as to the purpose for it on saxophone. A sax is already an elongated cone from end to end that is generally uninterupted before it reaches the bell flare, and obviously there is not one ideal template for it.

Boehm introduced the parabolic design in his headjoints so that his all metal cylinder bodied flutes would play in tune in the 3+ octave range. Milandro, I don't think that Eppelsheim produced any manufacturing process videos for their soprillo, obviously it is an extreme build if the lower section of the mouthpiece has to also serve as the placement for an octave vent and mechanism.

http://www.oldflutes.com/boehm.htm
 
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