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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every time I read a post about some aftermarket neck or someone on a search for the perfect mouthpiece, I wonder....Why not make a horn with a user-interchangeable bell, or keys, or other appurtenances?

It wouldn't matter if they made a measurable difference, you could market different materials, different shapes, heck, you could even glue stuff on to them and claim they created a mystical vortex around the player. Chi-Ching!
 

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Every time I read a post about some aftermarket neck or someone on a search for the perfect mouthpiece, I wonder....Why not make a horn with a user-interchangeable bell...
The Borgani Jubilee straight sop has threaded interchangeable bells.

The J-K horns have adjustable palm keys. Do they cover the height span from "vintage" to "modern"? I haven't played with them.

I won't make any of the easy cheap shots about stones...
 

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Heck, since necks supposedly make a huge difference, why isn't there more availability and selection of those???
 

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It's a nice idea, but it's rather scuppered by the fact that of there are any toneholes on the replacement part it'll mean the pads will very likely require resetting or replacing.
You'd be very lucky if you could even take a low Bb key off, say, a Yamaha and put it onto another one without having to sort out a leak.

I suppose at a pinch you could have a replaceable bell section (from the bottom bow upwards - it gets messy if you want to swap out the bottom bow) and have it 'pre-fitted' by a tech so that it aligns with the pads...but then you'd need some sort of adjusting mechanism to allow for that.
I suspect at that point (and given the resultant costs involved) most people would say 'Meh'.

Regards,
 

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Heck, since necks supposedly make a huge difference, why isn't there more availability and selection of those???
Having been-there-done-that, I'd say there are. Of course, to do it well, each neck needs to be fitted to the individual horn to determine its contribution in optimum conditions. Anything else is just not worth it.

In each of my neck trials with various horns (Serie III, Ref 36, Borgani Jubilee), once the honeymoon(s) were over, the best neck was the original neck. Maybe I just got lucky - I certainly played some poor Selmer necks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's a nice idea...
I suspect at that point (and given the resultant costs involved) most people would say 'Meh'.
I imagine a bell with attached keys, such that the joining mechanism is sort of an overlay between two pieces at the lever/fulcrum (?). You would then merely have to line it up and go. Did I explain that terribly or can you picture where I'm going?
 

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Yep,

I've often wondered if a lot of the parts off of the current crop of Taiwanese saxophones are more interchangeable than you would suspect. An example might be taking the double armed bell-keys off of a Phil Barone horn and bolting them onto an Antigua Winds or Jupiter sax that came with single arms. In most industries, there is always a tendency toward standardization. So I wonder how much it applies here.
 

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Add to the problem that even from the same brand and model to the next of the same, the parts don't always fit.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I imagine a bell with attached keys, such that the joining mechanism is sort of an overlay between two pieces at the lever/fulcrum (?). You would then merely have to line it up and go. Did I explain that terribly or can you picture where I'm going?
I think I got that, like a bass clarinet?

Either with a clarinet style corked push on tenon or a screw up metal tenon it will work I think. I like this idea, I will nick it and use it on the saxophone I am about to produce. I hope you don't know any good lawyers.
 

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I imagine a bell with attached keys, such that the joining mechanism is sort of an overlay between two pieces at the lever/fulcrum (?). You would then merely have to line it up and go. Did I explain that terribly or can you picture where I'm going?
I got it - and that's actually a very good idea, just like the mech used on vintage horns.
My only reservation about it is that that type of linkage for the bell keys doesn't give as precise and slick a feel as modern bell keys - but as a means of overcoming the technical problems it's definintely a viable option.

Regards,
 

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I imagine a bell with attached keys, such that the joining mechanism is sort of an overlay between two pieces at the lever/fulcrum (?). You would then merely have to line it up and go. Did I explain that terribly or can you picture where I'm going?
Hmmm, that too, I believe has been done - on the J-K straight tenor (aka "The Manly Sop").
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I got that, like a bass clarinet?

Either with a clarinet style corked push on tenon or a screw up metal tenon it will work I think. I like this idea, I will nick it and use it on the saxophone I am about to produce. I hope you don't know any good lawyers.
Yes...and further more....you could have keys that are of a minimal area and thickness that hold the pads (as a typical key would) and accept a snap on key cover with the touches. This way you could create an entire line of key covers and touches of different materials, colors, and textures. You could start by making available alternating red, white, and blue key covers for those overtly-patriotic Americans...flat black key covers for those techno-stealth types, or sell them in solid white with do-it-yourself paints and decals.

I know several good lawyers, in fact, often I feel as though I am surrounded. But I am the idea guy, not the application guy. One fully outfitted "Erector-Sax" would be payment enough for me.
 

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I find the biggest and most immediately discernible difference is interchangeable players. Once you've got all the other things happening on your horn, try switching the person playing it. If you get the right combination of horn and player you will be AMAZED at the difference it makes. Just last week I got a friend to play my new tenor and I couldn't get over the difference, not only in tone, but also in execution and ideas. I'm convinced. I'm going to keep looking until I get the best possible player, I don't care how long it takes. I just know that I'm not happy with the current player.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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You could start by making available alternating red, white, and blue key covers for those overtly-patriotic Americans..
Much as a I dearly love overtly patriotic Americans (some of my relations fall into that category) I worry that it could be confused with Francophilia.
 

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I find the biggest and most immediately discernible difference is interchangeable players. Once you've got all the other things happening on your horn, try switching the person playing it. If you get the right combination of horn and player you will be AMAZED at the difference it makes. Just last week I got a friend to play my new tenor and I couldn't get over the difference, not only in tone, but also in execution and ideas. I'm convinced. I'm going to keep looking until I get the best possible player, I don't care how long it takes. I just know that I'm not happy with the current player.
<applause>
 

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Much as a I dearly love overtly patriotic Americans (some of my relations fall into that category) I worry that it could be confused with Francophilia.
Yep,

Here in the US, that "Francophilia" will get you one to three years in the state penitentiary along with a permanent listing in the sex-offender's registry. :bluewink:
 

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I won't make any of the easy cheap shots about stones...
Way to not mention stones Dr. G. I just love it when I see personal growth in my fellow SOTWers. :TGNCHK:

Having been-there-done-that, I'd say there are. Of course, to do it well, each neck needs to be fitted to the individual horn to determine its contribution in optimum conditions. Anything else is just not worth it.

In each of my neck trials with various horns (Serie III, Ref 36, Borgani Jubilee), once the honeymoon(s) were over, the best neck was the original neck. Maybe I just got lucky - I certainly played some poor Selmer necks.
This statement about "once the honeymoon is over" reinforces my belief that all to often players confuse "different" with better. Those who purchase a new and untried mouthpiece, neck, or saxophone on the internet with a short or non-existent return privilege often rave in public about how well it plays up front, but we seldom hear from them two weeks later. This is why I believe it is better in most cases to be able to do a thorough A-B playing comparison between your current set up and the new equipment before making a commitment to purchase. Some internet vendors are far more flexible and reasonable on returns than others.
 

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I find that if someone is looking for a new horn they tend to try to remedy problems they have with the old one. If low notes are bad on the oldie, they look for a new horn that has a good low end even if the rest of the horn is not that good. Granted it is nice to have a modern horn and a vintage for different styles but looking to alter necks, bells, chairs or anything else may take time away from learning a specific model.
 
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