I must admit I was a bit nervous about this at first, wondering what would happen if it fell off the wall. My house was built in 1925 and I'm not sure I completely trust the walls to hold something as heavy and valuable as a saxophone. Added to that the best place in my musicroom was immediately above my wife's harpsichord, so a fall would have truly catastrophic consequences.
The first thing I thought was that the mounting plate has 3 screw holes, configured with one at the top and two at the bottom. My knowledge of physics is a bit sketchy, but I presumed that the top of the plate was more imprtatnt, as the weight from the saxophone would be attempting to pull the screw out at the top, but pushing the bottom of the plate in against...
I use a harness when I am playing my baritone sax, and for the last month I have been using a Thomann harness:
Thomann S 20HS Saxophone Harness – Thomann Mobile
This is the most comfortable and useful harness I have found so far, and also the cheapest. It has wide pads on the shoulders and there is no pressure on the back of the neck. It works fine for standing and sitting and It is easy to adjust. The Thomann web site says it is OK for women as well as men, but I can't comment.
Others harnesses I have tried are BG, Kölbl, Neotech, and (very briefly) the very expensive Vandoren one. The Kölbl harness is as comfortable, or perhaps slightly more comfortable when I am standing, but less comfortable when sitting.
The only downside...
There have been plenty of demos and discussions about this, and much of the discussion has been negative.
I do not consider this a saxophone at all, any more than my midi keyboard is a piano.
Keep reading through, there are many comments and updated information. Nearly four months have passed since I got the YDS-150 and much has been learned. There are now 25 audio tracks of several music styles, and 13 YouTube videos after several days with the YDS-150.
(Original post): I have had about two hours total to play around with this, and I intend to do several other tests, but this is an initial first look.
The instrument has its weak points, amply discussed elsewhere (sounds aren't particularly good, it doesn't do MIDI, it doesn't have...
I originally posted this in my pseudo-blog musings thread… but thought it would be useful to abstract this to a more relevant section of the Café.
I bought a silver-plated Hanson ST8 just over 4 years ago(Oct 2012) from Hanson’s. It's generally been fine. It's had a light service every year. Two observations: it is 'modelled' on an older Selmer design e.g. No front F# key, and it is heavy. Ergonomically, I find the bottom Bb key a stretch (I can stretch a 10th on a piano just about) and pinkie table is a bit clunky.
Over time, I have found that the weight has been an issue so I moved to a Cebulla strap and more recently a Jazz Lab Sax holder, both of which help a lot. The other ergonomic issue is the palm keys which I find to be low and...
So I have been curious about these for a while, never really took the chance on buying a fixer and seeing what they were all about. Fairly ubiquitous on the eFlay US market, and they tend to go fairly cheap on auction.
Ultimately, I didn't have to buy one...a repeat customer of mine won one on auction and sent it to me for refurb/servicing.
ST-90, ROC-made (the first ones were actually assembled in CZ...at some point, apparently JK subcontracted to china).
This is a pretty good sax, really. I was pleasantly surprised. In general it is modeled after a Yamaha 23 as far as most keywork mechanics and such, although the feel of the JK's keys under the fingers is slicker, more responsive. Body gauge is quite robust, heavier than a student...
D'Addario finally released a tenor mouthpiece.
After the excellent alto a couple of years ago (reviewed here), I was very curious about it. D'Addario UK kindly sent four mouthpiece for cafemembers to try.
Thanks again Tom
D'Addario uses a different numbering system.
This gave me the rare opportunity of testing the same model in four different facing; recently I started experimenting with smaller tips, away from my usual 9
I received the four mouthpieces. I roughly tried all of them with some Jazz Select Unfiled reed I have around, finding the best matching reed for each mouthpiece.
Surprisingly my favourite combination was JS 3s on the 7 mouthpiece.
Recently I had to...
Tom Chapman at Howarth's has been kind enough to lend me one of each of the three new D'Addario Reserve alto mouthpieces: here are my thoughts.
To start, I liked the D'Addario Reserve alto pieces. They are made particularly with classical players in mind and achieve a very good, warm, exceptionally consistent sound with great intonation very easily. So I hope D'Addario will forgive my occasional criticism and the -obvious- comparisons with other mouthpiece manufacturers. Classical mouthpieces occupy a much smaller slice of the industry than do jazz mouthpieces, so a newcomer is well worth testing out, especially from D'Addario, who are proving themselves to be a very serious in this area, for a company that is principally into mass...
Today I took delivery of my new Jean Marc soprano sax ligature, and have just been giving it a play with my usual set up of BW Bronze Curvie, Berg Larsen 70/1 ebonite and Marca 2.5 reeds. Having focussed a lot on soprano over the last few weeks, and preferring the sound of my Selmer 1 screw metal lig over my Vandoren Masters metal lig, I was quite amazed at the sound resulting from the JM metal ligature.
The sound was immediately more 3 dimensional, unbelievably tuneful and had a beautifully resonant tone too. It was so much easier to produce a sound than previously - quite effortless - and I continue to be amazed at how good the BW is.
I read Steve Neffs online review and some of the comments on SOTW, and have to concur with the...
I live in a flat, and would like to practise without disturbing anyone around me. For this reason, I have bought this mute. I am reviewing it here so that others can judge if it is worth getting one.
The E-Sax Mute is made in Japan by Best Brass, who also make silent practice systems for brass instruments such as trumpets. It is a lot easier to mute a brass instrument than a woodwind instrument, since all the sound of a brass instrument comes out of the bell, while with woodwinds the sound comes out of tone holes down the side of the instrument as well as out of the end. Therefore in order to effectively silence the saxophone, it has to be encased.
The Best Brass E-Sax Mute is more of a muffler than a mute. It greatly reduces the...
So, this model came into my shop as part of a buy-trade. I am usually interested in Jupiters above their old 5XX series horns because I have found most of them to actually be very respectable, and they continue to go completely ignored on the used market.
Also, because (admittedly) I am always interested in expanding my experiences of models which exist at the same price point as the ubiquitous and ad-infinitum-suggested Yama 23's. Not because I have anything against the latter...it has achieved its rep for a reason...but more because as the years go on, it's become quite clear that other companies produced good models which possess their own attributes and are worthy of as much consideration.
the JK ST90's (up to and including the...
First thing to say is I have been playing alto 2 years 8 months and soprano, a year and a half. My alto is a Yamaha YAS-480 and the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece came with it. Like many "serious" beginners, I got the itch to try other mouthpieces and see what they were like. The first was a Vandoren V16 6M. It seemed great in the store, then very hard to play at home. I eventually had it refaced to reduce the opening, but that's another story. I tried at least one other before seeing a bunch of bright colors on a rack in the local music store. I was immediately interested. After some back and forth on the Syos site, I asked them to make me a custom mouthpiece based on my uneducated "wishes", something with an opening between the 4C and the V16...
I mentioned in some other strap reviews that the important thing to help your poor old neck is the area of the strap in contact with your neck. Well, with the saxholder, nothing comes in contact with your neck. In fact this is not really a strap, it's more of a, well, sax holder. As you can see there are two "handles" which hang over your shoulders so the weight which would have been on your neck with a conventional strap, is on your shoulders, possibly a much safer situation for your long-term health.
But that's not all. Only part of the weight is displaced on to your shoulders because there is a pad lower down which rests against your stomach, so much of the weight is also distributed down there. "Is that a good thing?" I hear you...
Here is my full review of the new Saxmute One for sax tenor.
Playing sax can be problematic related to neighbourgs tolerance. It’s a loud instrument, and us players have to practice a lot, many hours per day everyday to have good skills. Some appartments don’t even allow to play pianissimo, everybody will hear you because of resonance. In the past, I had an isolated booth but had to sell it because of space in the appartment for my children. To be honest, it was efficient for isolation, but wasn’t that good for acoustics with harsh and short reverb and lot of disturbing stationnary waves. Even practicing scales and arpeggios was sometimes odd and uncomfortable because of those resonating notes, and recordings were hard to mix...
After a few cheap and cheerful music stands fell apart on me I decided it was time to get something a little more robust. Looking around during my band rehearsals I noticed that although a few people were making do with the cheap flimsy stands most had opted for or a more substantial stand with a big perforated aluminium music desk. I had originally thought of getting one of these non-collapsible desk types but it was yet another big item to find a home for. Instead I decided to seek out a collapsible desk type, but one that had the more solid construction of the non-collapsible desk types. My search led me quite quickly to the K&M 10810 music stand, which I bought in January 2008 for about £40.
The stand has a good height range from...
Ding Dong PPT calling.
My new Tenor PPT 9* just touched down at the front door.
Ripped apart the packaging.
Frown :doh: Came in a lovely cardboard tube but the mouthpiece was wrapped in a plastic bag :old:
An old crunched up piece of newspaper would have done the job just as well. ;)
Stop moanin' Spike !
Rooted about in my drawer for a lig, and an old reed, slapped the whole caboodle on the horn.
My goodness me this thing is a monstrous work of Amy Zing art.
Need to get my neck cork redone as it's going too far "on" and need to take some time to find the best reed combination.
Right now it's WOW why didn't I get one of these years ago.
I shall post more in the next few days as I explore what I can do with it.
This is the first time I've...
Yamaha have had a superb "Student" sax almost since they started making the things , they`ve had plenty of ups and very few downs - the 275 got bad press for glueing the joint to the bell even when it was made in Japan and further moans when they started making this model in their Indonesian plant - the reality is that the bell joint thing can be fixed and there`s nothing wrong with the Indonesian plant but Both ghosts have been laid to rest with the release of the 280 model ......
Like the 275 made just before it, it`s made in Indonesia , but on going through the horn, you`d not know, the build, parts quality etc is every bit as good as a Japanese Made YAS-62 MkIII and the setup a damn sight better than the 62-III I had (though the...
Ordered their new unlacquered VA500UL after hearing nice things from sellers and buyers alike that the company overall made good saxes. Horn is dipped into some kind of stain to make it look super old. I didn't know this, thought it was some kind of chemical dip. After playing it for 5 minutes I had already worn off the paint on the high D palm key and it was just your basic bright looking brass underneath. Action was strong, like a series II. Horn is very heavy. My fingers smelled like metal for a while after I was done which was cool. I play a 1994 Meyer Limited Edition New York alto mouthpiece (#0698) and it all sounded good while warming up, especially D and lower, nice big full complete bellow of alto saxness. After I was...
I have been looking for a better neck strap for tenor for a long time, and I have found one that works great. It is very comfortable, well made, and comes with options for the type of clasp you want. They are a bit pricey at $79.00 or $65.00 for one with minor cosmetic flaws, but over time it is well worth the cost to have a dependable and comfortable strap.
Unfortunately the shipping to the UK is a bit steep at $34.95, so those of us in the US have a price advantage. Perhaps one of the large music outlets in the UK could become a dealer and order them in large quantities to spread out the cost of international shipping.
Give it a look. I can give it my highest recommendation FWIW.
I received today a 6 and a 7 facing of these new alto mouthpieces.
They are CNC machined from a hard rubber bar, and according to the company, they don't require any hand finishing.
The first look confirms this. the design is very neat and precise on both pieces. Medium chamber and straight baffle. Some undercutting under the siderails. Medium tiprail (not too thin or too wide).
Very well made.
They look exactly as a hard rubber mouthpiece should look: like a mouthpiece. Standard elegant size, cool shank, numbered pieces.
D'Addario owns the well known RICO brand, and decided to release these pieces under their own name. Quite a brave choice.
They are "off the shelf" mouthpieces. Current RRP is £130, in line with Vandoren, Meyer, Jody...
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to review some mouthpieces from Absolute.
Their ST model had a ligature that was a piece of art, beautifully engineered and innovative.
After some pressure, Absolute decided to make the ligatures available for standard size"ebonite" mouthpieces.
As we all know from the internet, ligatures have three main functions:
secure the reed
convince cafesaxophone members to wear a baby-blue mask
Personally I am very sensitive to reed variations and I am a bit fussy about ligatures, but I must say that these ligatures lock the reed in a very efficient way. They seem to minimize the effects of reed swelling. Some extensive gigging on tenor confirmed this feeling. From the player's point of...