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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if this is the correct subforum to post this but i was wondering if any of you has ever seen or heard of or even played a saxophone made completely of wood (as it was supposed to!) Please DON'T mention those recorder-sized wooden or bamboo-made "saxophones" (known as Xaphoon) because they are just recorders with mouthpiece;)
So... what do you have for me?
 

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I have often thought about constructing a saxophone of wood, but I don't have the technical know-how to even start.

I think it would sound incredible.....

Aren't the Serpent and the Ophecleide wooden?


dv
 

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yeah this thing comes back regularly , I too took the time to post many links to many sources another time here some pics of the most extraordinary (saw it on e-bay too) here posted by Jason Dumars
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=50749
there are other ones made of bamboo (not the xaphoon type)in South America or even made of plastic pvc tubing

Many of us are waiting for the Vibratosax (look for this) made of a polymer plastic........
 

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Well, the closes thing is the romanian Taragot.
It really is a kind of soprano sax in wood, almost the same fingering also.
Beatiful sound!!!
The new ones are made in Germany and cost around 3000$
(I consider selling my romanian one.........)
Do a searce on Goggle and you will find some good Taragot information.
Best
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well I think it's time to see a saxophone made of African hardwood [EDIT: yeah, yeah i mean Blackwood] or something... It would sound B-E-A-utiful!!! Of course weight and maintenance would be a little bit tricky but would definitely worth it
 

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I think you mean African Blackwood. As a player (and maker) of the Great Highland Bagpipe (most current GHB are made from African Blackwood) as well as Sax etc., I can say that this species of wood is just too damned heavy and lacks tensile strength to make into a sax. If one were to craft the body and bell out of African Blackwood, to the thinness one would want for resonance and response etc., it would be far too fragile.

Additionally, the wood isn't really available in the dimensions required for much more than a soprano. Only the heartwood is deemed suitable for fine quality instruments, and this doesn't provide huge blocks to work from. Thus, the horn would have to be built up from a laminate. Unfortunately, this wood has such a high oil content (making it quite moisture resistant), that it is difficult to get a good, permanent bond with adhesives.

Let's not even get into the cost issues.

A thicker walled, smaller instrument such as the Taragot ( and of course the Clarinet, Fife/Wood Flute/Piccolo and Oboe, commonly made from AB) is perfect for such a wood however.
 

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Seems interesting, but I agree with saxismyaxe on the wood just being too heavy for a comfortable sax. Maybe just stick with those wooden necks or mouthpieces?
 

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Well, the bassoon is a large instrument that is made of wood. However, it would probably be easier to make the smaller saxes, soprano/alto/tenor, out of wood, than the large ones. Also, the bore and taper of a sax is probably greater than a bassoon.

In addition, most wooden instruments, e.g., flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, are largely straight. The curved sax would be difficult to do in wood.

Regarding an earlier post, the serpent is wood, but an ophicleide is made of metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I must admit that your statements seem logical, however (correct me if i am wrong) wasn't the first ever saxophone made of wood? About the wooden necks and mouthpieces now I find them quite interesting but they look (in my opinion of course) awful on metalic body (whatever is the finish). Of course, insted of laquer, it may be possible to cover the body with a layer of wood (you may know one that would be the most suitable for our purpose?)
 

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oh my God, this is bound to be another version of the old lacquer/finish topic......:shock:

No, Adolphe Sax made saxophones to be made of metal, he did indeed invent a new bass clarinet though, which you are possibly confusing with the first sax.

What purpose woudl it precisely serve to cover a metal saxophone of wood? :?

Please don't tell me that you think that it would change the sound into something mellow and sweet, we have been debating ad nauseam the debateable question of whether lacquer or finish (silver, nickel or whatnot..) has any influence on the sound and we couldn't agree based on scientific or not evidence. Can you imagine the level of difficulty (if at all possible) to coat with thin wood the tubing of a saxophone? Can you imagine how easily thin veneer would spit under the moist conditions of the inside (because that is what you want to suggest won't you?) of a horn?:) ;)
 

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The question has to be asked... why make a sax out of wood? I mean, wasn't the whole idea of the sax in the first place to combine the benefits of a woodwind instruments tone with those of a brass instruments materials?

Paraschos make wooden sax necks http://www.paraschos.gr/ if that's of interest, plus there are several wooden mouthpiece manufacturers as well.

In my opinion a wooden sax would be a nightmare for maintenance!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
milandro said:
No, Adolphe Sax made saxophones to be made of metal, he did indeed invent a new bass clarinet though, which you are possibly confusing with the first sax.
I know that i am perhaps too young to doubt you but (i know it's shocking) adolphe sax was not the first that constructed the saxophone! Adolphe Sax was the father of saxophone but the man that first ever made one remains unnamed and was a watchmaker of Lizie( i am not sure if that's the way it is written i read it in greek) in 1807 and was certainly made of wood!!!

milandro said:
What purpose woudl it precisely serve to cover a metal saxophone of wood? :?
Absolutely none! I just think that wood is way more good-looking that any metal finish (maybe except the Smoke Black Nickel with Gold Keys that Topsax-Bob Campbell sells legendsax.com) and has definitely nothing to do with the sound although some members of the forum support that it would affect the sound for better result, as i said earlier i am too young to know that so that's a subject you are supposed to know better

milandro said:
Can you imagine the level of difficulty (if at all possible) to coat with thin wood the tubing of a saxophone? Can you imagine how easily thin veneer would spit under the moist conditions of the inside (because that is what you want to suggest won't you?) of a horn?:) ;)
Yeah that's my suggestion but as you may have read above the suggestion is african blackwood (if it is in any way possible) or a similar wood. Those are woods that are used to make other woodwinds such as clarinet, oboe etc so it won't be that bad inside the instrument. I know of course that the bendings on the body would be a huge problem but the whole idea is to experiment and find out why a wooden saxophone would or wouldn't be ideal

Rick Adams said:
The question has to be asked... why make a sax out of wood? I mean, wasn't the whole idea of the sax in the first place to combine the benefits of a woodwind instruments tone with those of a brass instruments materials?

Paraschos make wooden sax necks http://www.paraschos.gr/ if that's of interest, plus there are several wooden mouthpiece manufacturers as well.
That question was answered and the answer is that MAYBE wood will affect sound to be (in my opinion) sentimental and moving(smoother) without the sharp tone of brass. I am informed about the wooden parts made for saxophones Rick and i have stated that they look terrible on the metalic finish although they produce a better sound (that was stated by players that use such components OK milandro;) )
 

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JimiDS said:
That question was answered and the answer is that MAYBE wood will affect sound to be in my opinion) sentimental and moving(smoother) without the sharp tone by brass.
and...

JimiDS said:
I am informed about the wooden parts made for saxophones Rick and i have stated that they look terrible on the metalic finish although they produce a better sound (that was stated by players that use such components OK milandro;) )
So you obviously know a lot more about the subject than I do. I'll leave you to it!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Rick Adams said:
So you obviously know a lot more about the subject than I do. I'll leave you to it!
I hope this is not ironical...:( I just read threads about Paraschos and visited the webpage so did with the matter of wood affecting the sound
 

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oh my Gwad!:)

If anybody ever made a conical reed instrument before of Adolphe Sax was obviously not a Saxophone (it would have been a unknownwatchmakerphone ;) ) .....but at the very most might have been a Tarogato, a conical instument like this which did exist at that time Sax invented his own toy but had a double reed and not a single one like the modern Tarogato. Perhaps the unknown watchmaker was the inventor of the modern tarogato. That is possible. But He couldn't have been inventing a Saxophone because he was not called Sax!


We have no way to know how things happened, the tradition (along with known historical elements in the shape of patents for example) tells us that Lil' Adolphe was working with improving many instruments such as the clarinet (he invented and patented an improved a bass clarinet) and he made or repaired the ophicleide a brass instrument with a trumpet-like mouthpiece. One day apparently good old Adolphe didn't have too much to do and thought , why don't I put a clarinet mouthpiece on a ophicleide and if you look here it is easy to see how the idea developed into a saxophone).


Ok, there is someone who makes a wooden saxophone neck. Why? George knows! There is general agreement that if the shape and material of all things saxophone makes any difference it must be at the mouthpiece, reed and neck level. The further away you proceed in a saxophone the less it makes sense to think that the material would make any difference in sound production.

But this is a minefield and a horse that has been beaten to dead so may times :!:


Coating a saxophone of thin veneer is not only impossible ( and possibly pointless but that is a matter of faith) but no matter how hard the wood would be (see the contraddiction? hard wood, thin veneer in a round shape in a wet enviroment :? ) it would split. Ebony , one of the hardest woods used in clarinets , occasionally splits and clarinet players are a lot more earnest than saxophone players in making sure their horn is dry for a reason.


Just a note about " statements" from players that wood plays better (whatever that means) obviously many more (all the ones who do not use Paraschos necks) don't think that it makes too much sense to buy oneor that their " wooden" sound would be better (whatever that means).

I hereby " state" that wood is not a good idea:D This is also a statement from a player;)
 

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Hurling Frootmig said:
Wood strikes me as not a practicable solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
Great, the art of synthesis, I obviously know nothing about this form of art!:D ;)
 

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Jimi, you're right I was being ironic, my apologies, I was trying to subtly tell you something. What I guess I should have said is that you seem to be making quite a few statements that aren't actually true, or shall I say that most people do not agree with, but you're stating them as facts rather than discussing them as opinions. When I or others voice a different opinion or put up a link in case it's of interest to you or to other people here on SOTW you seem to be closing each of us off with further statements that also are stated as facts when again they're definitely open to debate rather than absorbing anything anyone is saying or welcoming our input, plus you tell us that you already know all about it because you've researched it. All of which makes me feel less conducive to continue to respond to this thread and makes me wonder why you wrote it or what you expect from people's repsonses to it. :)

Hurling Frootmig said:
Wood strikes me as not a practicable solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
That gets my vote :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok i am sorry i didn't want to sound like that i wasn't showing off that i know everything better than you i just presented to you some statements to make MY thoughts clear because i just liked the effects of wooden parts described by other players and WONDERED WHY a saxophone made completely of wood could or not be consrtucted. As for who really invented saxophone it is not that important but just had a place in the conversation because although Sax gave the instrument its final form couldn't it be possible that something like it was invented before saxophone? The link provided by milandro says that Tarogato was invented in Hungary and AFTER saxophone. So i don't care if i sound selfish but the one thing i kow for sure is that the first ever saxophone was wooden!

I'd say that we should keep it right here though and sum up that make a wooden saxophone it is not in any way possible. As of my part that's the last post in this thread...and the rest was history
 
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