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I've been loving on my 1973 MKVI alto for a couple of years now. I recently bought a 1938 Selmer BA as a backup. I notice it is lighter in weight and though my hands probably aren't as sensitive as a micrometer, the bell wall feels thinner. The BA turns out to feel and sound more resonant. They are both a great pleasure to play. In fact the BA with MKVI neck is the best combination of parts. Anyone else experience a preference for a thinner walled sax (if that is actually the cause of the increased resonance)? Thinking too much...
 

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I was actually thinking the same thing when I got my Buescher TH&C a while back.

Before then I was using a yamaha yas-23 and when I picked up the Buescher for the first time I noticed a resounding difference in weight. I was surprised to find that the Yamaha weighed more than the Buescher! I was expecting a pro model vintage horn to weigh more mostly due to the construction differences and maybe a heavier and better quality brass but it seems I was incorrect. It also, like you noticed, seemed to be thinner and more sensitive.

This wasn't what I expected but I guess in hindsight it makes sense that a lighter thinner sax would vibrate more than heavier thicker one.

This also drew a connection to guitars. My Fender Strat (alder) is about 7.5 pounds whereas my buddies' Squire (ash) is about 10.5. Mine is noticeably more resonant and better sounding and feeling while played unplugged.

So I think based upon what I've seen that it is an increase in resonance with the lighter instruments.
 

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Some measurements would help. The thickness of the metal should not make a difference acoustically, as it's the air column that makes the sound, rather than the container (horn). The difference in bore taper certainly would.
 

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Some measurements would help. The thickness of the metal should not make a difference acoustically, as it's the air column that makes the sound, rather than the container (horn). The difference in bore taper certainly would.
The thing I don't understand about material not mattering, then what is the big deal about vintage horns if the material has no affect, Does it matter how pure the alloy is? Wooden saxophones sound very different even if the bore size is the same. What is the difference between a student horn and a pro model if they both seal well and have the same dimensions?
 

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The thing I don't understand about material not mattering, then what is the big deal about vintage horns if the material has no affect, Does it matter how pure the alloy is? Wooden saxophones sound very different even if the bore size is the same. What is the difference between a student horn and a pro model if they both seal well and have the same dimensions?
Bores aren't even the same between horns of the same brand and model. Why would anyone think that they would be identical between brands? I disagree that plastic and wood horns sound any different. I daresay that a significant percentage of people could not tell the difference in sound between a wooden, resin, or metal clarinet.

I have a yamaha YSS 61 that I always thought was 'light'. During a discussion on here, I weighed it. It was within a few ounces of all the other horns.

Granted, there are differences in weight, but these differences, I believe, can be accounted for in the keyguards, posts, and keywork.
 

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The thing I don't understand about material not mattering, then what is the big deal about vintage horns if the material has no affect, Does it matter how pure the alloy is? Wooden saxophones sound very different even if the bore size is the same. What is the difference between a student horn and a pro model if they both seal well and have the same dimensions?
It only matters for vintage horns if they were manufactured out of impact-hardened shell casings from the spent artillery shells of either of the World Wars. The bigger the shell, the bigger the bore, the greater the projection, darker the sound, and louder the horn. :TGNCHK:
 

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It only matters for vintage horns if they were manufactured out of impact-hardened shell casings from the spent artillery shells of either of the World Wars. The bigger the shell, the bigger the bore, the greater the projection, darker the sound, and louder the horn. :TGNCHK:
What was that part about "the bigger the bore"...? :whistle:
 

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It only matters for vintage horns if they were manufactured out of impact-hardened shell casings from the spent artillery shells of either of the World Wars. The bigger the shell, the bigger the bore, the greater the projection, darker the sound, and louder the horn. :TGNCHK:
I'm just trying to learn
 

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I'm just trying to learn
Just trying to inject some levity quickly into a topic that gets beaten around quite a bit. Do a search on material for either sax or mouthpiece and see what I mean. Not trying to demean your question, please don't take offense. That topic can take off into areas rather abruptly and derail the original topic of the OP.
 

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Just trying to inject some levity quickly into a topic that gets beaten around quite a bit. Do a search on material for either sax or mouthpiece and see what I mean. Not trying to demean your question, please don't take offense. That topic can take off into areas rather abruptly and derail the original topic of the OP.
I've read alot of threads on the subject on this forum, but I feel nothing gets resolved, noone has proof either way. I should leave it be, and let the OP's question get answered. I figured my question was along the same lines, but i'll go read more on it.
 

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Granted, there are differences in weight, but these differences, I believe, can be accounted for in the keyguards, posts, and keywork.
I think (but don't know for sure!) that this, the different keywork on a modern horn, is largely what makes a modern horn heavier than many vintage models. Not the thickness or weight of the brass.

However, among some vintage horns with similar keywork you can find differences in weight. My series one Aristocrat tenor is noticeably heavier than my later 156 Aristocrat, even thought the keywork is very similar. I can only attribute that to a heavier body in the older horn.

In any case, I'm reasonably sure that different tonal characteristices are more down to the shape/size of the bore than to any difference in material or thickness of the brass.
 

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What was that part about "the bigger the bore"...? :whistle:
Common, you know what I mean. Sopranos are extruded from what, the 4 inch mortar rounds, the alto from the 6 inch howitzer, the tenor from the eight inch canons and the bari from the 10 - 12 inchers! Variation of resonance within horn types come from within the minor variations of the powder density and manufacturing tolerances allowed within each shell size. Well, that and differences in manufacturing techniques between the two wars! :mrgreen:

(Yeah, I'm bored - got waaaaay to much time on my hand this afternoon. But hey! It's kinda plausible, ain't it? Ok, I'll be quiet now.)
 

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Just trying to inject some levity quickly into a topic that gets beaten around quite a bit. Do a search on material for either sax or mouthpiece and see what I mean. Not trying to demean your question, please don't take offense. That topic can take off into areas rather abruptly and derail the original topic of the OP.
No offense taken here. It is interesting to me. I don't know if I would file it under lacquer vs no lacquer, though I think some would. Probably the most impact comes in the form of how the musician experiences the quality of the resonance while playing and listening. The tactile/sonic feedback. Obviously not inconsequential.
 

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I've read alot of threads on the subject on this forum, but I feel nothing gets resolved, noone has proof either way. I should leave it be, and let the OP's question get answered. I figured my question was along the same lines, but i'll go read more on it.
You're kinda correct. In a sunflower seed nut shell, my take on the discussion is that science has not conclusively proven that material of a sax has any effect on the sound, rather, the experimental data indicates that it does not. However, there are those that affirm that there is an effect of material on sound, through their own personal playing experience and that science has just not confirmed that effect empirically, yet. Neither side can "convince" the other, apparently, conclusively. if you have something new to add though - don't hold back!
 

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You're kinda correct. In a sunflower seed nut shell, my take on the discussion is that science has not conclusively proven that material of a sax has any effect on the sound, rather, the experimental data indicates that it does not. However, there are those that affirm that there is an effect of material on sound, through their own personal playing experience and that science has just not confirmed that effect empirically, yet. Neither side can "convince" the other, apparently, conclusively. if you have something new to add though - don't hold back!
I think it's all been covered
 

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I had (didn't own, just borrowed) an SBA tenor that had the original neck in good condition. Yet, also in the case was a MkVI neck. The SBA neck played stuffy, and the MKVI neck played nice and open/full. I always assumed the necks had completely different tapers, and thus a completely different sound.
 

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I always assumed the necks had completely different tapers, and thus a completely different sound.
I would think that even slightly different tapers could produce a completely different sound. I may be wrong of course.
 

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This will never be resolved. Each horn is a separate entity. No two horns are exactly alike. No two sax necks are exactly alike. This is where the difference is.

LET ME SHOUT THIS. NO TWO OF ANYTHING ARE EXACTLY ALIKE IN THE UNIVERSE. GOT IT?

" There Will Never Be Another You " or me ( thank goodness ).

When players compare lacquered to unlacquered, VI necks to BA necks etc. what they are really comparing are the bores and dimensions of the taper of different horns and different necks like Hakukani and Pete Thomas alluded to.

Of course horn "A" sounds different with neck "B". It's a different neck. Duh!

There may be a similarity of results within models but not identical results.

In a somewhat loose analogy a basketball player that may be considered a problem with some teams goes to the right team and they win a championship. He went where he was a good fit.

Some necks just match up better with some horns. I don't know why. They just do.

Then a player will look for an obvious distinction between two horns and erroneously ascribe the difference in sound to differences in appearance or thickness or gold vs. silver plate vs. lacquer etc.

So the player assumes it was the "vintage' brass" or "French brass".

Now some think a horn is born with a neck. No they just grab some necks off the line and try them.

Of course some will work better with that particular horn than others but they have to keep the line moving so if it plays reasonably well they match them up. I'm not sure they care as much as we do.

Then the mythology of "try this model neck with that horn" is born.

Again the difference is not in the model but in that particular neck. Now certain models have certain bore tapers but I guarantee if you try different necks from the same model you'll get different results.

Of course you can hear and feel a difference when comparing two horns because they are two DIFFERENT horns. Not because of the alloy or whatever.

Maybe NASA with their strictest tolerances could settle this but it will never be settled from what's coming out of your favorite brand's factory.

This reminds me of an animal in the wild that feels an earthquake in a specific location. The animal incorrectly believes it was the location that caused the earthquake and will never return to that location. Not understanding that the earthquake was felt over a much wider area.

So the sax player sees a distinction in two horns and figures the difference in sound must be what he sees. Not understanding the complexities of tapers and bores. Not a good analogy I know but just as ridiculous.

Oh and Ratracer you almost nailed it.

The 6M comes from 6 inch shells, the 10M from 10 inch and then you got your 12 inch shells producing your 12M's.

It's so obvious.
 
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