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Tenor 1 seemed a bit more spread and complex to me, tenor 2 more focussed and a bit softer. They are very very close, but I preferred tenor 1 slightly over tenor 2 and think that tenor 1 is the modern horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tenor 1 seemed a bit more spread and complex to me, tenor 2 more focussed and a bit softer. They are very very close, but I preferred tenor 1 slightly over tenor 2 and think that tenor 1 is the modern horn.
Yeah I agree with you on this!
 

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We love to parse these things, don't we? Oh sure, there was a slight difference but I must say - after maybe three seconds, I was into whichever saxophone was being played and I'd forgotten completely about the previous horn. This seems to be MY result every time one of these comparison-posts comes up. Yes, I find them interesting - that's why I open them and listen, but honestly, unless something REALLY bad is evident, it doesn't matter much.

Nice sound, by the way. DAVE
 

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Tenor 1 seemed a bit more spread and complex to me, tenor 2 more focussed and a bit softer. They are very very close, but I preferred tenor 1 slightly over tenor 2 and think that tenor 1 is the modern horn.
I agree, exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We love to parse these things, don't we? Oh sure, there was a slight difference but I must say - after maybe three seconds, I was into whichever saxophone was being played and I'd forgotten completely about the previous horn. This seems to be MY result every time one of these comparison-posts comes up. Yes, I find them interesting - that's why I open them and listen, but honestly, unless something REALLY bad is evident, it doesn't matter much.

Nice sound, by the way. DAVE
Thanks Dave. Yes horn comparisons is as fun as switching mouthpieces!
 

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Wow, All the terms are so subjective and good job keeping everything equal otherwise.
I would describe tone one as focused, warm, and full of overtones.
Tone 2 sounds more spread, still warm, but lacking in complexity.
I prefer tone one personally, but both are pleasing because you have a good sound.
 

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I pretty much agree with what everyone else said. I'd be interested to hear which was which.
 

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so, does that mean not much improvement has been made in 50+ years?
Well, that would be one possible way of looking at it. Another one would be that there hasn't been much drop off in quality. Or that the differences, whatever they may be, are not readily apparent in a relatively brief recorded sample heard through computer speakers.

I myself do not have enough first-hand experience to have a strong opinion the age-old "vintage vs modern" question, but I do find it interesting that in most of the blind tests most people seem to find the differences to be relatively minor.
 

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so, does that mean not much improvement has been made in 50+ years?
Well also just because there is not a difference or improvement in tone, doesn't mean there hasn't been improvements. Actually it is actually more of a sign of improvement. The argument for a long time was the the improvements to intonation and mechanism on saxes had a negative impact on the sound and tone of the horns... which is why there are plenty of people that still swear by vintage horns even with all the negative aspects there are to a number of them.
 

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so that sounds like when they were first engineered to have perfect intonation they lost their personality and with further refinements they are getting their personality back'. Makes sense.
 

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I think we as players are more critical of each instrument than are the listeners. Holding a horn and having part of it in your mouth gives one a solid connection to the instrument. Tactile inputs make a huge difference.

If I were to be playing my '27 Conn soprano or my '26 Martin soprano, my MKVI's ('59 and '72), or my modern Yanagisawa soprano, the listeners probably could not identify which one was being played - or even the vintage (meaning age). I'll even so far as to say that if I was blindfolded and randomly handed soprano saxophones, it would be difficult to differentiate among them. Oh, I could feel the keywork and probably be able to say vintage vs. modern, but that's all. The tone would not give it away, even if each saxophone may have its own peculiar tone, that isn't because of age.

Some, of course, want to drink the vintage cool-aid (or the modern cool-age - both sides have their opinions) and are convinced that age is the issue. I don't believe that. DAVE
 

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After listening through better speakers I much prefer 1. I'd guess that is the SBA, but secretly hoping it's the Raw.
 

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Tenor 1 – to my ears – has more character/complexity/layers to its sound. There's more to listen to with this horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I will add that the Trevor James is played with the new version neck that comes with the raw models sold these days. I bought my raw two years ago and they came with another neck back then that has a bit softer character. This new neck really make the horn more aggressive and put some more overtones to the sound as well as improve the intonation slightly in the palms. It’s a great add on really. The new neck is on loan from the Swedish importer for Trevor James saxophones and it seems very hard to get a hold of these necks as aftermarket items. Don’t know why?
 
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