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I recently bought a new Cannonball Tenor Sax. It is a BBSS Hotspur. I love this horn, with the standard neck it plays like a dream. The problem is the "Fat neck". With the Fat neck the horn is darn near unplayable between middle D and G sharp. I am going to inquire to Cannonball about the issue, but wanted to ask here if anyone has had a similar problem with their "Fat" neck?

Thanks.
Dave
 

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I have a Big Bell alto and the only problem I had with the fat neck was the small adjusting screw. It somehow backed out and the octave key was only partially opening. I adjusted it and have not had a problem since. I have no idea if this would affect the horn the way you describe, but it's a place to start. Cannonball customer service is very good and you'll get help there.
 

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No problem on my alto, or on the tenors I've tried. Did you try swabbing it out?

Btw, Cannonball has been really responsive with emails I've sent them before, so don't be afraid to get in touch with them.
 

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I recently bought a new Cannonball Tenor Sax. It is a BBSS Hotspur. I love this horn, with the standard neck it plays like a dream. The problem is the "Fat neck". With the Fat neck the horn is darn near unplayable between middle D and G sharp. I am going to inquire to Cannonball about the issue, but wanted to ask here if anyone has had a similar problem with their "Fat" neck?

Thanks.
Dave
Check operation of the two octave vents, particularly to see if the neck vent is opening slightly with the octave key starting on D2. The body octave vent should be fairly wide open with the D2 but the neck shouldn't open at all until A2. Aside from that, does the tenon have a good fit in the sax?
 

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I recently bought a new Cannonball Tenor Sax. It is a BBSS Hotspur. I love this horn, with the standard neck it plays like a dream. The problem is the "Fat neck"...
If the standard neck plays like a dream, stick with it. Sell the Fat Neck.

Done.

FWIW, I have some horns that came with three necks. Find the one that is the best match for the horn and player, and sell the rest - no looking back.
 

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From your description the octave mechanism is out of adjustment. Finger low G and pop the thumb key several times while watching the neck octave. It should not bounce or move. Next push the thumb key hard and see if the neck octave raises a little bit. There should be about a 1/16" gap between the lever that extends from the end of the sax and the part that it contacts to open the neck octave key. Take it to the store where you bought your Cannonball and have the service department adjust it for you. The Fat Necks are a little bit more tricky that the regular necks to put back in adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Check operation of the two octave vents, particularly to see if the neck vent is opening slightly with the octave key starting on D2. The body octave vent should be fairly wide open with the D2 but the neck shouldn't open at all until A2. Aside from that, does the tenon have a good fit in the sax?

From your description the octave mechanism is out of adjustment. Finger low G and pop the thumb key several times while watching the neck octave. It should not bounce or move. Next push the thumb key hard and see if the neck octave raises a little bit. There should be about a 1/16" gap between the lever that extends from the end of the sax and the part that it contacts to open the neck octave key. Take it to the store where you bought your Cannonball and have the service department adjust it for you. The Fat Necks are a little bit more tricky that the regular necks to put back in adjustment.
This was exactly the problem. The nick pip opens just a fraction from D2 to #G2. Enough to render the horn almost unplayable. Will have it adjusted. Thank you all for your help.
 

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From your description the octave mechanism is out of adjustment. Finger low G and pop the thumb key several times while watching the neck octave. It should not bounce or move. Next push the thumb key hard and see if the neck octave raises a little bit. There should be about a 1/16" gap between the lever that extends from the end of the sax and the part that it contacts to open the neck octave key. Take it to the store where you bought your Cannonball and have the service department adjust it for you. The Fat Necks are a little bit more tricky that the regular necks to put back in adjustment.
Why are the Fat Necks more difficult to adjust?

Thanks, btw, John, for catching this diagnosis. Now that you’ve zoomed in on the neck octave as the culprit, I’m recalling that I seen the issue manifest on students’ horns just by rotating the neck to the wrong position (or by bending the octave key with bad handling).

P.S. I still advocate keeping only one neck for each horn. Of the set of necks on a recent horn, I sold a solid silver OEM neck, and a Paraschos, keeping the Gloger. All were great necks, but I would rather not have the distraction of swapping necks and having to keep track of which mouthpieces work best on which necks.
 

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Traditional neck octave keys with the pad cup on the top are a one piece mechanism. As you can see in the photograph the "Fat Neck" with the octave vent on the underside has a 2 part mechanism. Normally adjusting this just requires turning a screw. However in some cases it takes more manipulation (bending) of the parts and carefully adjusting the spring tension. It is a "good" design---just a bit more complicated than the 1 piece mechanism.


View attachment 198922
 

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Thanks, John. I haven’t seen that mechanism before. That looks like it adds a lot of extraneous parts - extra pivot, a sliding interface - just to achieve a look.
 

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Why are the Fat Necks more difficult to adjust?

Thanks, btw, John, for catching this diagnosis. Now that you’ve zoomed in on the neck octave as the culprit, I’m recalling that I seen the issue manifest on students’ horns just by rotating the neck to the wrong position (or by bending the octave key with bad handling).

P.S. I still advocate keeping only one neck for each horn. Of the set of necks on a recent horn, I sold a solid silver OEM neck, and a Paraschos, keeping the Gloger. All were great necks, but I would rather not have the distraction of swapping necks and having to keep track of which mouthpieces work best on which necks.
Man, that is extreme - having different mouthpieces for different necks. I would never do that - if the neck doesn't work with my mouthpiece I don't try to find out why - its outta here - I just figure its a crummy neck. There are too many necks out there that will. I do keep an extra neck for my MK VI tenor (Series III Sterling) and they are fully interchangeable. I have finally got to the point where I love my mouthpiece and if I need to get a different sound, I do it with reeds or just play it that way. The silver neck technically is better than the original but the original has that funk.
 

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Thanks, John. I haven’t seen that mechanism before. That looks like it adds a lot of extraneous parts - extra pivot, a sliding interface - just to achieve a look.
Cannonball claims that moving the octave vent to the underside of the tube has an effect on the acoustics of the neck which is plausible since it involves a change in the interior geometry.
 

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I would think it would have an effect on the acoustics but my untrained ear can't hear it. I've used both necks with the same mouthpiece and reed and noticed no difference. I use the standard neck and keep the fat neck in case I damage the standard.
 

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Cannonball claims that moving the octave vent to the underside of the tube has an effect on the acoustics of the neck which is plausible since it involves a change in the interior geometry.
Assuming the axis is the same and that the neck is round, how does that change the geometry?
 

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Assuming the axis is the same and that the neck is round, how does that change the geometry?
Air molecules have mass, and are therefore subject to gravity. In space, no one can hear wrong notes.

On the other hand, if there is condensate in the bore of the neck, you’ll be more likely to hear the sizzle.
 

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That changes the location and it might have other effects as G suggests. But the geometry?
That term is often used to describe the dimensions inside the bore of an instrument: diameter, taper, tonehole placement, protrusions, smoothness of the surface, etc.
 

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That term is often used to describe the dimensions inside the bore of an instrument: diameter, taper, tonehole placement, protrusions, smoothness of the surface, etc.

Assuming C'ball doesn't use different pips for the fat neck, which is certainly possible, how are any of the factors you mention efffected?

Are you saying that the protrusion along the same axis will make a difference if it is on the top, bottom or side? That would imply that holding a sax like Prez would change the geo.
 
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