Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen some people in other high schools with different necks on their saxes. I’m curious about what it exactly changes. Does it make as big of an impact as getting a different mouthpiece?? Or is it smaller? And what are the perks of getting a different neck? It obviously changes depending on the sax and neck. I’m not planning on buying one or anything I just want to know.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
I have seen some people in other high schools with different necks on their saxes. I’m curious about what it exactly changes. Does it make as big of an impact as getting a different mouthpiece?? Or is it smaller? And what are the perks of getting a different neck? It obviously changes depending on the sax and neck. I’m not planning on buying one or anything I just want to know.
Reeds and mouthpieces make by far the most difference. Necks make a small difference, about as much as the rest of the horn; my general feeling is that the neck is half the horn, the body the other half, and both of them combined are about 10-20% as important as the mouthpiece and reed combo (provided that the saxophone is in good playing condition - a leaky horn will negatively impact performance a LOT).

What do necks change? Degree of resistance, the response, and intonation, and the timbre to a somewhat lesser degree. It can be worth playing around with them and seeing how they feel - lots of people on here are (IMO) overly pessimistic about the idea of after-market or non-original necks, but they're a whole heck of a lot cheaper than an entire saxophone so if you find one that does something that you like, it can be cool. Having said that, most "gear quests" are a counterproductive distraction :)
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
4,133 Posts
Hi. You could apply some kind of half-half-half-half-.... rule.
Reed: 50%
Mouthpiece: 25%
Neck: 12.5%
Horn: 6.75%
I keep this in mind just to stay realistic.
As a longtime owner of a generally overlooked horn, the MkVII tenor, I could very clearly feel the improvement by changing the neck. 2 times.
2003: Ref54 neck, after testing Ref36 & Ref54, S-III and Ponzol, 2 of each. Easier response all over the range, and a livelier horn. I could feel the difference in the fingers. I've played it like this until about a year ago.
2022: S-III neck, another step easier response in the low end at low volume, one of the key challenges of the MkVII, a horn designed to be played loud.

Speaking of bank account, both are standard Selmer necks, so nothing exotic. The latest S-III comes from the used market, I could sell it break-even.
The MkVII is a great saver: you get the roar of a King S20, the Selmer sparkle and an almost Yamaha intonation and build quality for the price of a used Mauriat.

I did some "neck swapping" for fun on alto and soprano, it had less effect, probably due to the relative shortness, and maybe the simpler geometry. I keep playing those horns with the stock neck. I could also be less demanding on the small horns.
On baritone, I bought a "pink brass" original Selmer neck, and keep playing it. I'm not sure if it really changes anything, I assume it is pure coquetry.
Voilà.

I recently started I thread regarding Yamaha tenor necks, as there is quite some fuss around the V1, the C1, the M1 and maybe the ZZ or XXL, some brass, others solid silver. The buzz is fueled by Yamaha themselves, having all of them in their product list.

I know it can make a difference, but keep in mind it is somewhere around 12.5%...
12.5% of what ? Oh man, don't ask me.... Certainly more about response and intonation than sound.

Edit: 2003, I was 40++. Highschool ? Do they really know what they are doing ?
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
38,399 Posts
It depends on where you start. If you have a terrible neck, there might be benefits from a change. I have had a few horns on which I’ve tried changes. On the best horns (Selmer Ref 36 and Borgani Jubilee), I could find no improvements, and some necks were worse with regard to response and intonation.

I find it hard to believe that so many people are touting their replacement necks. Most horns are likely at their optimum.

If you want to improve the performance of your horn, I would first look to two things: get all the leaks out and optimize the fit of the neck tenon (arguably just another potential leak).

P.S. and OBTW: If you are buying a new neck, get it fitted properly to the horn, else you are right back to “optimize the fit of the neck tenon”.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
4,295 Posts
Interesting ! How do you proceed ? The neck of my tenor does not seem to leak but it can rotate a bit even though I tighten the screw at its standard torque..
The standard I use for neck fitting is after the tightening screw starts to meet resistance, giving the screw a quarter turn prevents the neck from turning. A test that is sometimes used is to tighten the screw to where it meets resistance and then see if the end of the neck can be made to rock up and down. If it does there is probably a leak. A more accurate test is to insert a neck leak checker and use your mouth or a magnehelic to see if it holds the pressure.

Cylinder Tool Auto part Metal Engineering
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
I got a new Mark VI tenor when I was a freshman in college (1969) I found it difficult if not impossible to play A, Ab, and G in the staff at low volume. I bought another factory neck which was about the same. Trips to the tech helped a little but did not solve the problem. Came to the conclusion the problem was with me and bought a second tenor, a YTS-62. On a hunch, I tried the Yamaha neck and the problem completely went away. Bought a Ponzol neck and the issue was in my past.

I don't know why the neck switch solved the problem.
 

· Registered
Alto YAS-32f and Tenor Selmer Axos
Joined
·
40 Posts
if the end of the neck can be made to rock up and down. If it does there is probably a leak
Thanks for your suggestion. Well, in my case, the fit is perfect and no tilting/rocking whatsoever. Yet, the neck can rotate smoothly with a bit of pressure on its end. I don't have the feeling it affects my air blow in any way but I'll check on this..
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
38,399 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4,308 Posts
All that neck discussion reminds me of should I buy a new tire when my pressure runs low? Get the darn thing fitted correctly and see/hear/feel how things improve.

Aside from obvious leaks, that is the most important maintenance / improvement you can do to your horn!
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
38,399 Posts
All that neck discussion reminds me of should I buy a new tire when my pressure runs low? Get the darn thing fitted correctly and see/hear/feel how things improve.

Aside from obvious leaks, that is the most important maintenance / improvement you can do to your horn!
I tried some high(er) performance tires on my Saab 9-5 at the recommendation of my mechanic. They were fun while they lasted. The car was noticeably tighter in the mountain twisties that were part of my daily commute (I had already replaced my suspension bushings). Too bad they only lasted a little over a year. Meh, what’s $900??? Oooooh, maybe a new neck that I don’t need for my saxophone, or perhaps a nice mouthpiece.

FWIW and OBTW: To be abundantly clear, OP, the chances that you NEED a new neck on a new horn are just about zero. And if the neck on a new horn is that bad, then you should send back the entire horn for a full refund.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
38,399 Posts
I could not imagine necks could affect tone that much..
What do you think makes the difference between a Selmer and horns that sound different?

Hint: Geometry
 
  • Like
Reactions: lostcircuits
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top