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We’ve all read numerous threads here on SOTW that include recommendations for certain “boutique” mouthpieces and various rebranded Asian saxophones. We see the names bandied about so much that we begin to get the feeling that these are widely used and/or generally accepted brands. I call this “The SOTW Effect.” I am in no way doubting the quality of these mouthpieces and saxophones, but is their use commonplace outside of the SOTW community? And if so, how widely accepted are they in your experience?

Again, I am not implying, nor should you infer, that these SOTW-favored brands are anything less than outstanding. I just want to know if any of you are seeing many non-SOTW people out there using them. Most non-SOTW musicians and techs that I come into contact with have not even heard of them, and most of those who have heard of them are still using something else.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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I love this forum but I don't admit in public to spending countless hours here....

....that is unless it turns out to be someone who has the same habit.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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We’ve all read numerous threads here on SOTW that include recommendations for certain “boutique” mouthpieces and various rebranded Asian saxophones....

....but is their use commonplace outside of the SOTW community? And if so, how widely accepted are they in your experience?
Interesting point, and I agree to a very large extent.

But which ones brands in particular are the ones you are thinking of?

I meet sax players all the time and I mention SOTW and they have never heard of it.
This is very true, many people here think that SOTW is representative of saxophone players. Recently at the Frankfurt Musikmesse I mentioned it to many people, only a very few knew what I talking about.

This effect is possibly stronger among the younger members, though I hate to generalise.
 

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I also find locally younger people are more hip to this site than the older players. I am slowly trying to get them to join (and I ain't no spring chicken). B
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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We would probably never know the statistics, however anyone who advertises on SOTW either officially (or unofficially via shills, pseudonyms or "encouraged" customer reviews) may take an interest.

I have done my own market surveying via my PPT waiting list. Forum members are encouraged to make themselves known in order to get a priority position on the waiting list, the percentage of forum members is actually surprisingly low.

I am very interested in various forms of marketing, so at some stage I may conduct a more scientific survey among my mailing list.
 

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There are saxophone players who aren't members of SOTW?!?! :cool:
 

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As I don't play in big bands with saxophone sections or still go to school, my interaction with other saxophone players outside of this site is very limited. That was actually part of the draw; to get to know other players from around the world, learn from them and help out others when I can.
 

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As I don't play in big bands with saxophone sections or still go to school, my interaction with other saxophone players outside of this site is very limited. That was actually part of the draw; to get to know other players from around the world, learn from them and help out others when I can.
I DO play in big bands with sax sections, and even then, I don't have much occasion to talk gear etc. Indeed this forum is helpful.

I think a bigger problem with this site (if it's even really a "problem") is not the small proportion of saxophone players in the world who have heard of it, but rather the lack of representation of performing-artist caliber players. It's as though these people are spending their time woodshedding to be world-class players instead of wasting time reading what a bunch of hobbyists and weekend warriors have to say. :)

There are, however, some members too who profess to be "all-that" as players, but they choose to remain completely anonymous, perhaps so that they can snipe with impunity. These people and their opinions have no more credibility with me than does a hobbyist.

One could also argue that with the extant membership, we already offer a dizzying array of opinions or recommendations on any particular subject (that probably confuses novitiates as it is)! The value would be in more players having access to the body of information/opinions. Indeed, it seems that at any given moment, there are more anonymous lurkers than members on the site.
 

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There are certainly a lot more pro players out there than SOTW regular posters, but there are some great players included in our ranks as well as some working pros. As for the gear itself - it's not just us buying it or the manufacturers would never exist. Also - some of the weekend warriors as you put it, are better than many full timers. They just don't want the lifestyle or uncertainty required to go pro. Probably the best guitarist in the ATL area and beyond is a computer programmer by day. I bump into him on gigs frequently and he never fails to tell me how much better life is for him since he gave up the grind.
 

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There are, however, some members too who profess to be "all-that" as players, but they choose to remain completely anonymous, perhaps so that they can snipe with impunity. These people and their opinions have no more credibility with me than does a hobbyist.
Really, I can only think of one, Thomas.

Addition: However, I enjoy his posts!

oops, forgot about 1saxman and saxmanjack
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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This is an interesting topic...because I, myself, would not have interpreted the SOTW Effect as what Buck necessarily describes...although now that he has noted it, I would probably agree with the assertion.

The thing I HAVE noticed...coming from a more 'vintage' direction...is that the repute and popularity of certain older, non-grail 'player' horns has risen due to conversation and commentary on this Forum.....

.....and also some previous myths of both player and 'grail' horns have been dispelled to varying degrees....

...I also oftentimes think.... if we all would get a real life...we'd be spending far less time here (whether covertly or publicly)....
 

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Another trap one can fall into online relates to that - the impression that actually playing non-Mk-VI vintage instruments is more common than it really is.

A lot of it has to do with forum members trading info on these instruments that was previously unavailable or lost. A lot has to do with a rise in market value, which may be influenced by a factor as small as nine or ten more bidders on an eBay auction. How many of those horns become regular giggers vs. showpieces in a collection?

Neither of these quite adds up to popularity, tho they both indicate some degree of acceptability.

For the great mass of performers, there is still Selmer, occasionally Yamaha, then Everyone Else. Playing one of Everyone Else's horns may no longer be wrong, inadvisable or even strange, but it's still unusual.
 

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Another trap one can fall into online: getting the impression that using non-Mk-VI vintage instruments is more common than it really is. In the real world, there is still Selmer and occasionally Yamaha, then there is Everyone Else.
Just the sorta myth which this site has been dispelling - the idea that only one or two makers have produced professionally-worthy instruments. And only worthy players, worldwide, play 'em.
Thanks for giving such an archetypal example......

You see, my point was just the opposite....most folks DON'T own a mark VI, and for decades upon decades of hearing that these are the best saxes on the planet, an internet Forum such as this has finally connected people who now realize that, in fact (and as one would expect when the notion that only one or two brands ...of all of those produced over almost a hundred years...are top-notch and worthy)...these are myths...which reality does not bear out. Once you hang here for a while you sorta realize the relative absurdity of the exact claim you just made above.

That this site gives the impression that most people don't use your aforementioned models ...is simply because.....they don't.
(And this doesn't mean they are not good or 'worthy' players...it means they are quite happy with a plethora of other models).

Thus the entire concept of 'having' to own one particular model in order to be taken 'seriously'...is something which just doesn't hold water when a society becomes connected in such a way as it has become on Forums like this....The idea that 'most folks who are serious really only play XXX or YYY'....
These are exactly the sorta misconseptions which very deservedly are getting busted open on places like this....

That such notions are slowly being dispelled and replaced with the reality that there have been many incredible, top-notch instruments produced by a number of different makers over quite a long period of time....is completely laudable.

If you want another example...just so I do not get accused of being myopic or having an agenda....here's the most obvious one:

Conversation on this site has also broken through the misinformation that all contemporary, asian-produced, budget or reasonably-priced horns (which don't read Yamaha) are crap....and there's no real separating one from the other. Again...just another misconception that had long been held as true.
 

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I admit that I probably am old-school enough to put credibility in real-world myths (the kind people tell you over the counter in music stores, over the bar at a gig or that you think you see with your own eyes), whereas I might not do so with internet myths.
 

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I think a bigger problem with this site (if it's even really a "problem") is not the small proportion of saxophone players in the world who have heard of it, but rather the lack of representation of performing-artist caliber players. It's as though these people are spending their time woodshedding to be world-class players instead of wasting time reading what a bunch of hobbyists and weekend warriors have to say. :)
I've read threads that have alluded to there having been name brand players on SOTW in the somewhat distant past. For whatever reasons, they got beat-up on or at the very least, felt disrespected by some SOTWers and decided they'd rather not participate.
 

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I've read threads that have alluded to there having been name brand players on SOTW in the somewhat distant past but for whatever reasons, they got beat-up on by SOTWers and decided they'd rather not participate.
When such allusions are made, it's usually done to put somebody down. The professional folks that come and quickly leave usually do so when they learn they can't dictate policy and methodology to others; whether they be the amateurs or even the other pros on the site. The best ones simply offer what they can, leave room to learn from others and don't take extreme offense for simple disagreements in regard to the art.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I've read threads that have alluded to there having been name brand players on SOTW in the somewhat distant past. For whatever reasons, they got beat-up on or at the very least, felt disrespected by some SOTWers and decided they'd rather not participate.
I've never heard of anything like that. Perhaps some people feel disrespected if they have a rather high opinion of themselves, and are then brought down to earth by not being idolised.
 

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Wise words indeed Pete.

My very limited experience with famous world class musicians is that the ones I met and have had the joy of getting to know some, is that they were pretty down to earth about themselves. Not falsely modest just real hardworking people dedicated to what they do.


Given the rants about Kenny G's work, by people who probably don't know him, I can understand if some felt they had to wade through more stuff here than they wanted.

I am truly thankful for the successful, very experienced players and techs who do take the time to be part of this community as I think they bring a valuable perspective to us.

SOTW effect ...... while I am sure it exists ... I have no idea how to quantify such a phenomenon.
 

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Another trap one can fall into online relates to that - the impression that actually playing non-Mk-VI vintage instruments is more common than it really is.

A lot of it has to do with forum members trading info on these instruments that was previously unavailable or lost. A lot has to do with a rise in market value, which may be influenced by a factor as small as nine or ten more bidders on an eBay auction. How many of those horns become regular giggers vs. showpieces in a collection?

Neither of these quite adds up to popularity, tho they both indicate some degree of acceptability.

For the great mass of performers, there is still Selmer, occasionally Yamaha, then Everyone Else. Playing one of Everyone Else's horns may no longer be wrong, inadvisable or even strange, but it's still unusual.
I rarely run into anybody that knows how to play and doesn't play a Selmer. It has been that way for as long as I can remember.
 
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