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I currently play an Antigua 586 which plays rather well for me and my style of play. One thing that I have tried in recent years in my search for the right setup to tame my Antigua as an effort to get a really sweet, warm tone without the ussual brightness. I have gotten rather close to the sound I want with a VAndoren V5 S25 . . . . . then I listen to some of Dave Koz's sweet curvie and wonder . . . . how does he get that warm pretty sound.

Now I know all about what can be done to recordings but I know of several players that get that sound I am looking for and some of it has to be real. My question is: Will having pads that have more pad surface exposed (less or no tone boosters/domes) warm a horn? Will it deaden the horn or what? I have plenty of projections so I don't mind if that is effected. Or, am I just chasing a sound that the Antigua can not deliver?

Anyway - one of you technicians have any ideas or solutions.

Thanks in advance,

Glenn Perry
Fredericksburg, VA
 

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Nope. It's the archer, not the arrow.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Hakukani means it's in large measure the player, although, the mouthpiece and reed setup can make a very substantial difference. Horn -- not so much, but there are some subtleties in the sound the horn can certainly account for. Removing the resonators isn't a spectacularly good idea, unless you just want a dead-sounding horn and problems with pads later on.

Look for a mouthpiece with a large chamber and low baffle. I have a Morgan Vintage that gets close. An old Buescher or similar piece is probably going to be darker than you want. Theo Wanna's threatening to make a sop Ambika that could fit the bill, and there are a number of mouthpiece refinishers that can probably make what you want out of something you already have.

"Soprano Planet" may be able to help you out with something in stock.
 

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Glenn: I think hakukani is right.

I am not a technician, but I take resonators with a grain of salt. Maybe someone who has installed MANY pads/resos over the years will have a different take than me, but I'm thinking that judging resonator-styles can be difficult. After all, it is a lot like the "finishes" debate. How does one know? You take a saxophone, remove all the pads and resos then re-install a different kind and re-assemble the horn. The whole basis for comparison has been changed. True, if one can remember that far back, one may be able to say the horn has more edge or less response or whatever, but a real test of the results is certainly not objective.

I have a 590LQ (similar to your 586 except for the hi-G key). My Antigua has a pretty bright tone compared to my bronze Yanagisawa S992 (although the difference is subtle), but my Antigua sounds similar to my S901 lacquered brass Yanagisawa. Meaning, the lacquered brass sopranos sound similar and not too different from other sopranos in my closet.

But I can affect that bright sound by using a different mouthpiece/reed/ligature combination. I think you'd be wasting money to hire a pad/reso switch. In the end, most sopranos are going to sound like you regardless of their brand, style, or pads/resos. DAVE
 

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Does your soprano have a curved neck with it? The curved neck alone makes a huge difference in mellowing the metallic sound of some sopranos, plus you probably will have to find another mouthpiece as stated above. Changing out the pads will will be somewhat of a waste if the original pads are good, but replacing them with pads with no tone boosters will definitely darken the horn. I have been playing a Taiwan soprano for years. Every time I play a 'better' soprano with the idea of replacing it, I end up keeping it. These horns can be played in public but you may have to aggressively seek your solution to get the sound in your head out of the horn. Would a Sterling Yanagisawa be better? Yep. Would listeners know? No.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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A good 50% of sop pads are plain or single rivet--so changing them to alter tone is a bit of a no-no.IMO a fairly close lay m/p--- up to Link H/R 5* suits me--and a stiffish reed 3+
should 'sweeten' things somewhat
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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If it was me, I would try a non destructive experiment (after exhausting the possibilities with mouthpieces, reeds or person). Cut out some circular discs of leather and temporarily glue them over the resonators (e.g. with uhu or some glue that isn't too permanent). If you notice an improvement then go for it, get them repadded without the resos.
 

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I had a soprano repadded without resos a few years ago - it sounded totally dead. It also didn't "feel" right (which is maybe more important). I ended up selling it rather than having it repadded again.
 

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its not the pads, its you. take in more mouthpiece and make your mouth rounder (like saying 'o'), and relax. maybe try different reeds - like orange box ricos.
 

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Also, more area of lip in contact with the reed? (i.e. opposite to a clarinet embouchure)
 
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