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Aside from looks and possibly a slight bit of speed, what is the advantage of an underslung octave vs traditional? Additionally, with the plethora of custom mpc names out there is the custom neck the next best thing since II V I changes in C?


K
42 yrs of sax and going strong
 

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-Aside from the old Conns most underslung necks are simply perfectly normal necks with a zippy looking mechanism. Interior configuration and pip placement ETC is the same. The leverage is the same (motion at pip pad to motion on the octave arm by the activating lever). Both seem to flop shut when placed on a sax without a spring in place. I suppose one could try to make an argument that there is less mass in one than the other.... but just eyeballing it they look pretty darned close and I'm not sure that effective mass of the octave arm is a notable parameter in any case.

The one argument I've heard that had any life to it was that sloppy neck and mouthpiece putter oners would be less likely to bend the octave arm assembly when grappling with the neck since it was down under the neck in the front where pressure would be applied. Pretty slim and outweighed in part by the fact that most of the underslung necks appear to be slightly less braced than the normal ones.


-The custom neck world- underslung and otherwise is out there as an "if you like it- good for you, feel free" kind of endeavor. There is no objective "custom necks are better" standard at all- just preferences. Having ploughed through quite a few I by and large found in the long haul that the original necks pretty much always were quite satisfactory and usually went back to them. Ponzols, Glogers, Barones, ETC are finely made products and there are of course a wide array of OEM necks from major manufacturers but again, no one is "better" overall. Just slightly different.


-Purely my own take on the two issues.
 

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The one argument I've heard that had any life to it was that sloppy neck and mouthpiece putter oners would be less likely to bend the octave arm assembly when grappling with the neck since it was down under the neck in the front where pressure would be applied. Pretty slim and outweighed in part by the fact that most of the underslung necks appear to be slightly less braced than the normal ones.
On the one hand, you have less of the octave key exposed to knocks from above. Hits from below are a little less common. On the other hand, the neck has to take the damage instead. On the third hand :? , you are right about less bracing. There's just nowhere to put it. On the fourth hand :shock: , it does make it easier to fit the neck in some ways (on the C-mel, it makes little difference on soprano), since I can wrap my hand around the neck in a way the octave key normally hinders. It's not enough of a difference for me to really care.
 

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I have a Cannonball alto with both a standard neck and a "Fat" (underslung) neck. There's a HUGE difference between the two, but I don't think the underslung octave arm has much at all to do with the difference so I can't really say if there's an advantage. I've never played another alto with an underslung octave arm. The difference between the Fat neck and the regular neck really amazes me though. I can even feel the difference in the back of my throat.
 

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Are there any problems with water and gunk collecting
in an underslung ????
Kavala...I've read numerous suggestions that this could be a problem. All I can say from personal experience using my underslung Fat neck almost exclusively for the last couple of years...is that it hasn't been an issue for me at all. I would have suspected that water might collect inside the octave pip more easily...but if anything, it seems to be blown clear every time the octave pad opens. I'm not saying that spit blows everywhere every time the key is opened. I've never even noticed any water coming out at all. In comparison...I sometimes have to forcefully blow water out of my top mounted octave pip after I've been playing for a while.
 

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Are there any problems with water and gunk collecting
in an underslung ????
As was mentioned previously, some underslung designs (King Super 20, Yanigisawa) have part of the mechanism mounted below the neck with the pip still located on the top. I have an aftermarket underslung silver plated brass neck for my Cannonball '98... performance-wise it doesn't make much difference, if any. Looks kinda cool but that's about all. My C'ball tenor has both necks standard on top octave keys one black nickel and one lacquered brass. The only "real" advantage I see to two necks is that you can have different diameter corks on each one and thus accommodate mouthpieces that have slightly different bores. To me the rest has been cosmetic.
 

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Kavala...I've read numerous suggestions that this could be a problem. All I can say from personal experience using my underslung Fat neck almost exclusively for the last couple of years...is that it hasn't been an issue for me at all. I would have suspected that water might collect inside the octave pip more easily...but if anything, it seems to be blown clear every time the octave pad opens. I'm not saying that spit blows everywhere every time the key is opened. I've never even noticed any water coming out at all. In comparison...I sometimes have to forcefully blow water out of my top mounted octave pip after I've been playing for a while.
All the current ones I've seen still have the vent on the top. The only one I've ever seen with the vent actually on the bottom is the Conn 6M and some of the mid-60s Conn tenors. Because the vent sticks into the bore, water collection is not a problem. At least it hasn't been a problem for me in the 38 years I've been playing my 6M Conn.
 

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Slack in the octave can be adjusted in seconds so that is a non issue.
The only real difference is looks.
Bracing is not a real issue either.
If you are clumsy enough to damage an octave key then you're more than capable of damaging a neck with the octave key underneath.
Two identical necks, one with octave above and one with octave below will sound and function identically.
Provided the finish is the same :bluewink2:
 

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the characteristics and advantages of the underslung neck have been discussed many times before.

http://www.saxontheweb.net/Resource...w.saxontheweb.net/&ref=&ss=56738j826164204j47

Stephen Howard says this

"..The 6M gets its nickname 'Underslung' from the design of the crook octave key mechanism. The principle behind this mechanism is that a normal crook octave key runs over the top of the crook. This makes it quite vulnerable when it comes to fitting or removing the crook, and it's extremely easy to bend a crook octave key in this fashion. A bent octave key can also stop a horn dead in its tracks (though it's easy enough to fix, if you know what you're doing), and this design attempted to alleviate that problem.
You'll see modern horns advertised as having underslung crooks, but in fact they're simply variations on the ordinary crook key - a true underslung also has the octave key hole on the underside.
It might seem like a particularly bad idea to place the octave key hole on the underside of the crook, given that there'll be a lot of moisture running around at this end of the horn. Conn thought about that and made the tube tapered to prevent any bubbles of water from forming in the tube. Seems to work, I've never encountered any moisture problems when playing these horns.
The underslung mechanism also has a slightly different feel to an ordinary octave key mechanism insomuch as the pin which actuates the crook key does so by forcing the key down (rather than up). It gives the mech a very precise and fast feel...."
 

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true, the latest thread appeared few weeks ago (06-11-2016, 05:28 PM) and was discussing the very same matter.

What is with an underslung octave key on a Conn 10? Is that good or bad?
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?238721-Conn-under-octave-key

A true underslung key, with an octave pip positioned upside down on the neck, as the one made by Conn (as opposed to the other brands like King which made a hybrid of underslung lever and a pip positioned above) delivers the quickest octave key action of them all.

Also it is very difficult (or almost impossible) to bend by accident. This arrangement has never produced any problem and was used by many players.

In the words of Stephen Howard, technician extraordinaire

" It might seem like a particularly bad idea to place the octave key hole on the underside of the crook, given that there'll be a lot of moisture running around at this end of the horn. Conn thought about that and made the tube tapered to prevent any bubbles of water from forming in the tube. Seems to work, I've never encountered any moisture problems when playing these horns.
The underslung mechanism also has a slightly different feel to an ordinary octave key mechanism insomuch as the pin which actuates the crook key does so by forcing the key down (rather than up). It gives the mech a very precise and fast feel...."

The underslung neck, of the three available for many Conn top models such as the 30M Conqueror ( a 10M on steroids) , is one of the MOST desirable one, although I personally prefer the New York neck but for aesthetic reasons only.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?122468-Underslung-versus-traditional





 

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The Cannonball Fat Neck definitely feels different than the standard one. Though it's most likely unrelated to the octave key placement.
 

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A saxophone salesman once told me that the FAT necks were made to help with the lower range of the saxophone due to the dimensions or some mystical way.
 

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A saxophone salesman once told me that the FAT necks were made to help with the lower range of the saxophone due to the dimensions or some mystical way.
Probably the stone. :lol:
 
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