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https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/your-skull-shapes-your-hearing/#transcripts-body

"there’s actually a lot of variability in the way people hear. Some frequencies can appear tens of decibels louder or quieter than average—based on the resonant properties of a person’s skull. "

I read so many posts on the forum by folks asking how a horn or mouthpiece sounds, perhaps compared to another. No problem with that, there will be an ensemble of responses which on average should ideally approach an accurate impression by the average experienced musician's ear. And who doesn't like to talk about their favorites, and perhaps influence another to join them in brand or model ownership and enjoyment.

But beware!, those who seek to employ the ears of others to decide what horn or piece is right for them, their concept, their preferences.

The above study suggests that even if there seems to be anecdotal consensus from a sample of query responders that a particular horn or mouthpiece or reed is bright, or warm, or whatever, the OP may not hear it that way at all.

There just is no substitute for listening to a bunch of horns from YouTube demos with good audio quality, or visiting shops with deep stock to try for yourself. I have read more posts revealing a change in opinion following such visits than agreement with the forum consensus in a thread.

And I would also point out that you can never know how a horn will feel in your hands until you have handled it. While if there were just one horn in the entire world you would no doubt cheerfully adapt to it in order to make sax music, it is equally almost certainly true that if you demo five or ten different brands and makes, some will just feel right from the get-go and others will be strange under your fingers.
 

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Very interesting study and actually not at all surprising, even, or especially, in light of the variety of opinions expressed on here regarding different horns, mpcs, reeds, tone quality of various musicians, etc. What the study found helps explain why there is very little consensus on any of these topics among members of this forum (and probably other forums, focused on other musical instruments, etc). We don't all hear exactly alike. However, I suspect this is mostly restricted to tone quality (a very important parameter, no doubt). There may be more consensus on melodic content and rhythmic elements, which aren't quite as dependent on hearing, or not hearing, various overtones.
 

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This shows that if you want to know how you sound to an audience you need a quality recording. The sound going from your teeth through your skull bones to your inner ear will be very different from what someone 20 feet away hears. But we knew that already.
 

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I get that to some degree we all hear things a little bit different but I think that some factors we all identify them same. Hence we have two schools of sound. I.E. when we talk about Lester Young VS Coleman Hawkins most folks will agree that Lester's sound was on the light and airy side while Hawkin's was more gruff and edgy. Yet you can listen to a lot of the players that came out of the school of Lester and not tell them apart because that by sharing the same concepts, there were only minimal differences in their sound. Anyway, maybe I'm all mixed up because tinnitus is slowly scrambling my brain...
 

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I really discount listened critiques these days. In a band I play in , the guitarist is deaf in one ear, the singer has tinnitus in one ear and cant hear pitch. frankly most of the people I know that are above 50 and musicians who performed regularly have significant hearing loss. So a critique of a mouthpiece or horn might be from a small room with lots of highs, a big room with lots of lows, a person off the road after a tour who no longer can hear out of one ear ( I know people like this) or someone who's played a year and a half and bases an opinion at a low skill level. so I go to yOu tube and listen to quite a few clips of whatever I might buy before I jump, and then I make sure I can send it back if its not the way I like it when I play it. Just my process. K (and I will take ears to a trial but they are good ears and not signicant hearing loss.) and all that being said I have no doubt we all percieve sound differntly. A high sax alt note I might love and someone else hate? K
 

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I've learned a lot from YouTube videos of great players on great gear. However, I wouldn't assume that such videos render audio with a high degree of fidelity or transparency. So much depends on the room, the mic, mic placement, audio processing, video compression, the viewer's audio playback rig... too many unknown variables.

There's no substitute for hands-on testing of gear; that's not perfect either, but at least is first-hand perception.
 

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Ah, the golden ears argument is apparently a fact. What a surprise...
As a still say, when choosing instruments, you want to both play yourself to see what you think and also use the ears of a trusted and honest great musician. Sometimes people really can hear things others cannot.
Also, protect your ears on gigs! I always use custom ear plugs on gigs nowadays. I suggest everyone to do the same. It only costs like $200.
 
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