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Saxophones Aftermarket Neck for MKVI Tenor

Saxade

Senior Member
Messages
287
I am really interested in another crook for my MKVI Tenor... I have so many intonation issues... especially in the low register..
I am currently managing this with a balance of reed and mouthpiece... Now I mean it is that sensitive that I change the setup I loose control.. which is ridiculous....I love the sound but need more control...
I realise the Neck has a big influence on the overall sound and intonation..
So if anyone can point me in the right direction for an appropriate crook (neck) I would appreciate it.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,630
Warning- MKVI come in a couple of different neck tenon sizes so its not safe to assume any neck is going to be compatible with your particular horn (it might bep ossible ot work out which neck size your one is by serial number). Also trying to sort out intonation issues with neck swaps would really have to be a matter of trial and error, there's no real 'magic bullet' cure for things like this.....
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
914
It may be worth contacting Stephan Boesken: a long time ago, enquiring to staff at Howarths in London about the Boesken necks (they were quite a novelty at the time), the staff mentioned that the necks could correct specific intonation issues on Mk6s, however this would be to be discussed with Stephan directly so he could recommend the best neck for the job.
I know they're expensive, but if it's that bad, it may pay off rather than going down the trial and error route, involving many different necks.
Just a suggestion!
On the other hand, have you already ruled out other factors such as key height?
Cheers,
M.
 

dexdex

Member
Messages
93
My MkVII is greatly improved by a Ref54 neck, and I know of several cases where Ref or S-III necks improved also MkVIs. Maybe you could check with a local Selmer dealer. I was able to select mine out of a couple of each Ref36, 54 & S-III necks a local dealer was lent by the Selmer importer.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,013
This is an interesting topic, the effect of the neck upon intonation. Could you describe the "intonation issues" in a bit more detail? Are all of the low register notes flat or sharp, or are there just individual notes, or perhaps notes that are close together?

I know that going to a neck that has more taper toward the small end helps to correct a high register that is sharp. This in turn can help correct a flat low register because the mouthpiece does not have to be pulled out as far to bring the upper octave in tune. Another variable that is sometimes overlooked is the mouthpiece input pitch. Playing with an input pitch that is too high can cause a pinched sounding and sharp upper register, which when corrected by pulling the mouthpiece out can cause the lower octave to sound flat.
 

Saxade

Senior Member
Messages
287
This is an interesting topic, the effect of the neck upon intonation. Could you describe the "intonation issues" in a bit more detail? Are all of the low register notes flat or sharp, or are there just individual notes, or perhaps notes that are close together?

I know that going to a neck that has more taper toward the small end helps to correct a high register that is sharp. This in turn can help correct a flat low register because the mouthpiece does not have to be pulled out as far to bring the upper octave in tune. Another variable that is sometimes overlooked is the mouthpiece input pitch. Playing with an input pitch that is too high can cause a pinched sounding and sharp upper register, which when corrected by pulling the mouthpiece out can cause the lower octave to sound flat.
The set-up I am playing with now ( 7* Datta HR Theo Wanne mp & rico 3 plasiccover) gives me the best results.. with the very low notes (below D ) start going a little flat and a difficult to control IE playing soft and keep the note from "cracking" or loosing it all together.
If I try to go back to my Jody Jazz 6* I cannot play below low d without attacking the notes harshly :confused:
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
I suppose it would be pointless to suggest you sell that old pile of French junk for far more money than it's worth and get a decent sax?
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
The set-up I am playing with now ( 7* Datta HR Theo Wanne mp & rico 3 plasiccover) gives me the best results.. with the very low notes (below D ) start going a little flat and a difficult to control IE playing soft and keep the note from "cracking" or loosing it all together.
If I try to go back to my Jody Jazz 6* I cannot play below low d without attacking the notes harshly :confused:
Sounds like there is most likely a problem with the horn or your chops. Have it looked at to make sure it's not leaking. If that doesn't fix your problems, another neck is pretty unlikely to unless there is some damage that has been very poorly repaired. The Selmers' intonation can be quirky, but almost never unmanageable.

If the horn is not leaking, and the neck is in good shape, the problem probably isn't that the low notes are flat -- it's that you're playing the rest of the horn too sharp. If so you probably need to push the mouthpiece in and loosen up the embouchure. Do some mouthpiece only exercises for like 5 minutes a day(play scales and little tunes on the mouthpiece alone -- you should be able to play an octave and a 3rd on the mouthpiece alone).
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Totally agree with Morgan. It sounds like a leak.
MkVIs should play in tune with both TW and JJ.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,013
Wow. I don't know anyone who can play an octave and a third on a mouthpiece alone. My understanding is that it should be practiced keeping the embouchure the same and changing the shape and volume inside the vocal tract. I can get a 5th or 6th on a good day, but then I don't practice regularly anymore either. ;}
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
I am making assumptions here (I am sorry if this doesn’t apply to you, I am saying this in good faith and trying to help) but I think that a lot of people who have major issues with the intonation of a saxophone are often placing the mouthpiece too far away from the horn on the neck, then when they tune they involuntarily push too much their embouchure effectively bending the sound in tune and as they train themselves to that tension, the pitch of the lower notes drops lower (because to make them sound “ nice “ they relax the jaw) and the pitch of the higher notes become too high because from an already tense embouchure , as most people do, one tends to tense it even further when going up to higher notes especially if one tends to compensate a lack of breath support with excessive volume and air flow.

IF this is the case, then one needs to retrain oneself by pushing the mouthpiece further , consequently relaxing the embouchure. Of course in the beginning the whole process will be a mess but slowly you will retrain your body to a different embouchure and tuning.



If , on the other hand, this is not the case, there is always the possibility that something is wrong. Leaks are often the culprit because they make you push more to get the sound but they most probably make you play higher in pitch rather than lower, because you are pushing more, but you might have adjusted your medium pitch with a leaking horn and therefore would be in a situation like the one described before.


There is the chance that a horn is wildly out of tune. In general this is not the case of one horn in particular, unless someone has lowered the keys too much or cut the neck, but in general this belongs to a “ strain” of horns. Once I had a misadventure with a Super 20 alto made in USA (post Eastlake) about 1980. This horn would not play in tune. Other folks better than me couldn’t play in tune with it. I have tried a Silversonic of the same generation which couldn’t be played in tune by the shopkeeper nor could I play it in tune.


This shouldn’t be the case of a Mark VI. Quirks yes, wrong design no.


Which brings us to how would a new neck affect tuning. Unless your saxophone's neck was altered (shortened or lengthened) another neck wouldn’t really do too much to its tuning assuming it is of the correct length. The taper could vary, but not by much, but that would influence mostly the equilibrium of the various harmonics which make up the sound (varying the colour) another thing is , of course, the position of the octave pip which could throw registers even more away from each other (or closer) depending of its position.


In other words, changing neck could easily have no effect or even a negative effect, the odds are against the possibility that it will improve things.
 
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thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
Once I had a misadventure with a Super 20 alto made in USA (post Eastlake) about 1980. This horn would not play in tune. Other folks better than me couldn’t play in tune with it. I have tried a Silversonic of the same generation which couldn’t be played in tune by the shopkeeper nor could I play it in tune.
It happened to me as well. I had a King Super 20 tenor (c -82, w high F#, model 2416K) that didn't play in tune. There was a problem with the neck. Beside not playing in tune the neck was also leaking. They expand the neck some times but it didn't help. The neck was a King ("SML-like"). I tried different necks and one day I found a neck that fit the body. And the sax played in tune, but no King sound/feeling!

Check the body-bow-bell connections. This is can be a problem on Selmer mark six.
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Wow. I don't know anyone who can play an octave and a third on a mouthpiece alone. My understanding is that it should be practiced keeping the embouchure the same and changing the shape and volume inside the vocal tract. I can get a 5th or 6th on a good day, but then I don't practice regularly anymore either. ;}
I do it pretty much every day as part of my warm up (sometimes the only part ;)). Constant embouchure pressure, yes (wich forces you to do it with vocal tract tuning), but not necessarily position -- moving a bit toward the tip for lower notes is normal. I know there is a difference of opinion about this, but I am of the school of thought that whatever technique gives you the most control over how you express yourself is best. Come to think of it, that's what I look for in equipment as well.
 

Saxade

Senior Member
Messages
287
It happened to me as well. I had a King Super 20 tenor (c -82, w high F#, model 2416K) that didn't play in tune. There was a problem with the neck. Beside not playing in tune the neck was also leaking. They expand the neck some times but it didn't help. The neck was a King ("SML-like"). I tried different necks and one day I found a neck that fit the body. And the sax played in tune, but no King sound/feeling!

Check the body-bow-bell connections. This is can be a problem on Selmer mark six.
I have now play checked the instrument using a tuner... Intonation is probably not the major issue ...I am only a little flat on the low tones... everywhere else is fine.
It is more of a control issue I have not full control over the low tones... in the latest ballad of the month tune ( http://soundcloud.com/saxade/detour-ahead ) I played a low C# for affect on the last bar of the first 8... The recorded result was the best of several attempts.
I am taking all on board your valued advice and I am sure I will sort it out..but i have contracted a little GAS and I am considering a Phil Barone Neck... :shocked:
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
Well put, Milandro. Good explanation of what I alluded to earlier.
Thanks Morgan, in fact, I have to apologise because your post escaped me. You said it first, I just used more words to say the same thing :).

I have been painfully there and done that and had to re learn a number of things on intonation when I switched to soprano. I still have to deal with this if, for some time, I don’t use a particular horn (it happens with alto and less with the soprano as I tend to play tenor more than anything else).
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
I have now play checked the instrument using a tuner... Intonation is probably not the major issue ...I am only a little flat on the low tones... everywhere else is fine.
It is more of a control issue I have not full control over the low tones... in the latest ballad of the month tune ( http://soundcloud.com/saxade/detour-ahead ) I played a low C# for affect on the last bar of the first 8... The recorded result was the best of several attempts.
I am taking all on board your valued advice and I am sure I will sort it out..but i have contracted a little GAS and I am considering a Phil Barone Neck... :shocked:
you have a great sound and any pitch “ problem” that you feel that you might have can be simply dealt with, I think. I wouldn’t be overly sensitive about any of this and , in fact, if I may, I hear more pitch discrepancies in the palm keys than in the lower notes.

Anyway, buying a new neck and try for yourself won’t harm you and you will be wiser and perhaps poorer , who knows......., you may even be happier and if that is for the price of a neck, why not?!
 

Saxade

Senior Member
Messages
287
you have a great sound and any pitch “ problem” that you feel that you might have can be simply dealt with, I think. I wouldn’t be overly sensitive about any of this and , in fact, if I may, I hear more pitch discrepancies in the palm keys than in the lower notes.

Anyway, buying a new neck and try for yourself won’t harm you and you will be wiser and perhaps poorer , who knows......., you may even be happier and if that is for the price of a neck, why not?!
:)
Thanks Milandro ... and Morgan .. I hope you appreciate I probably wont show your professional and appreciated advice to my Wife in case it is detrimental to my argument... ;}

Ade
 
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