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Beginner Sax B-Walstein or Hanson ST5 or ??

Mikec

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No, not just with breath pressure you probably can't, but with the sound vibrations emanating from the vibrating reed you can.

A reed weighs a few grams and moves up and down a few thousandths of an inch. I can't see that having much effect on a rigid brass tube either, to be frank. I doubt there's any way to resolve this question. Even if someone tried a blind test of saxes in different materials any tonal differences could be accounted for by all the other differences between the saxes, so it would be necessary to have two absolutely identical saxes made of different materials and conduct a blind test with them. Even then the results would be largely subjective.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
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I stand corrected!

And me. Wrong again:crying:

Hang on guys, don't give up so easily. Flutes are produced in both "Boehm", that is a parallel bore tube with a "Head" (equivalent to the crook, mouthpiece and reed) with a "parabolic" longitudinal cross section and in the "Simple" form with a completely conical bore, usually in wood or plastic. Just to muddy the water further, Doug Tipple produces parallel bore flutes made of American water pipe, yet there is a family sound to these contrasting instruments.

So you could ask Pete, as an accomplished flute player, if the major sonic difference between clarinet and saxophone is the bore difference, why do the variously constructed flutes with parallel, parabolic / parallel and conical bores, sound so similar?

Please make it clear to Pete that you are asking the question and not me. ;}
 

Stephen Howard

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Ignoring the acoustic and other properties, the drawing of the tone holes would present no problems at all. I did my apprenticeship in brewery and dairy plant. Everything is made in stainless, and all the fabricated pipe joints - whether made in the workshop or on site - are made by drawing out a ball to form the junction for welding on the side branch.

And we would spin some pretty unusual shapes in stainless too - a sax bell would be no problem.

Phil

Just try to find a tech to fix it when it gets dented though!

I once worked on a flute with stainless steel keys. It brought to mind Lenny, from the Simpsons...."Why, for the love of God. why!?"

Regards,
 

Phil Edwards

Senior Member
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East Sussex
Just try to find a tech to fix it when it gets dented though!

I once worked on a flute with stainless steel keys. It brought to mind Lenny, from the Simpsons...."Why, for the love of God. why!?"

Regards,

Indeed, I'm not recommending it!
 

RobatBlueRock

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Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
You can lead a horse to water.....

Put your ear against the bell of your sax and then tap the crook with your finger-nail,or a pen .... what do you hear?
The sound travels through the body of the instrument.

Now hold the sax with one hand and then tap the bell with your finger nail or pen.... what do you hear?
a note, a sound, a ring, the fundamental resonant frequency of the actual instrument.

If you were to stick a needle and record onto the crook of your sax (don't do this one!) then what have you got? a gramophone!
So you don't need to 'blow' through it to transmit soundwaves.
Does the shape, design, & metal composition of a gramaphone horn make any difference to the tone and sound you hear?
You bet it does.

What the sax body is 'fundamentally' made of will affect the colouration/tone of what you eventually hear, wood, plastic metal etc... to some degree.
Whether or not we can actually HEAR these differences depends on how big the difference is, how good your ears are and a whole bunch of other influencing factors.
 

old git

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Aye, There's the rub, to quote Agatha Christie. Colouration, the curse and unprovable distortions not heard by loudspeaker manufacturers, only audiophile writers and golden-eared salespersons. ;}
 

Pee Dee

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Dorset
Does the shape, design, & metal composition of a gramaphone horn make any difference to the tone and sound you hear?
You bet it does.

What the sax body is 'fundamentally' made of will affect the colouration/tone of what you eventually hear, wood, plastic metal etc... to some degree.

When I was a kid, I used to have one of those old wind up gramophones, which I loved listening to those old 78's on.
Some time later I heard one, with a horn fitted, and what a difference! The horn not only amplified the sound, but took out the tinnyess of it. Like turning down the treble, and upping the bass on a modern cd player. I can't remember what material the horn was made of, but I bet if one was to experiment with different materials, different sound effects could be produced.
A paper, or papier mache one would 'flatten' it, and a copper or steel one would 'sharpen' it. Is the horn vibrating in different ways, or are the sound waves bouncing off the horn differently, according to the material?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Hang on guys, don't give up so easily. Flutes are produced in both "Boehm", that is a parallel bore tube with a "Head" (equivalent to the crook, mouthpiece and reed) with a "parabolic" longitudinal cross section and in the "Simple" form with a completely conical bore, usually in wood or plastic. Just to muddy the water further, Doug Tipple produces parallel bore flutes made of American water pipe, yet there is a family sound to these contrasting instruments.

So you could ask Pete, as an accomplished flute player, if the major sonic difference between clarinet and saxophone is the bore difference, why do the variously constructed flutes with parallel, parabolic / parallel and conical bores, sound so similar?

Please make it clear to Pete that you are asking the question and not me. ;}

Methinks it's because most of the tone comes from the method of excitation - parting air over the fipple or by a reed.... The shape of the instrument body adds a bit, and the embouchure/oral cavity as well.

And then there's the ocarina.....
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
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Good point Kev but what I want to know is, does the material used affect a wobble board? ;}
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Good point Kev but what I want to know is, does the material used affect a wobble board? ;}

Of course it does. I tried making one out of a sheet, but all I got was a flapping sound. Black velvet was much smoother.
 

thomsax

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Sweden
I'm also a guitarist myself from my late teens (although I don't play guitar much any more), I took the sax in my twenties, so I can really appreciate all this talk about guitar and horn designs and relative characteristics of materials.
But as much fun as all this talk is, and believe me I love the chance to get into these details (I get frustrated by horns players who don't want to engage in these topics and can't even tell you the make and model let alone the material) But for me I guess it was all summed by Frank Zappa (a late and great guitar hero) when he said 'Shut up and Play your Guitar' (No offence intended to any one on this thread).
Seems to me that there are countless variables - some that we can control and some we can't but it doesn't seem to me that small material variations (between say bronze and brass) come very high on the list.
Steve

You're right! Maybe we talk too much about mpc, reeds, saxes .... but when to saxplayers meets for first time the useally starts to talk about mouthpieces and reeds?

I use to play (Rocksax) with two guys who are playing on an old Czech made studenthorn respective Yamaha studentsax. Both are great and they sounds really good. The Czech made horn is covered with stickers on the outside. I can't hear any difference compared to a plated or laquered sax! Both are playing on older Berg Larsen metal (ss). So a good embouchure, ditto mothpiece, guts and lots of ideas are basic !?!?

Thomas
 

Rogerb

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Costa Blanca, Spain
I like the description of 'old' saxophones a s 'experienced' :D
I didn't read it all, of course, but didn't notice any reference to the material's having any effect on the 'sound spectrum' ???

I suspect one would be hard-pressed to identify clarinets made from metal, wood, or various plastics...if they were all of equally good quality(such as the top of the range Hansons which come in blackwood, rosewood, 'plastic' and even titanium...if you have the money and inclination!!). This is probably 'counter-intuitive', but I have listened to comparative samples of metal v wood v plastic and thought I heard slight differences (I thought the metal one sounded 'better' :) ).... which one would expect anyway from instruments made to slightly different specs.
 

RobatBlueRock

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Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
I didn't read it all, of course, but didn't notice any reference to the material's having any effect on the 'sound spectrum' ???

.

I did find some other 'papers' on the material subject by googling the question. Also there were a number of links actually on the UNSW site if you go to the post-scripts.
A couple were really helpful, and judging from the general descriptions of 'vibrating columns of air' and 'resonators' I think SH's Ch4 in the Haynes manual (which is a really good read) is not quite there in it's explenation.
I think the general gist from what I've read is that the scientists and musicians appear to not always agree on the subject... no suprises there then!
Altough one scientist/researcher did say that the surface quality of the bore, as well as its design and wall thickness, will impact. Is plating/lacquering on the inside of the bore as well? because the surface quality of finishes/different metals etc then could potentially explain the difference. eg I've heard that air flows faster over silver(?)
(incidentally, I found the most useful descriptive part of the UNSW site was actually in the Clarinet section. They seem to have concentrated on the Clarinet as representative of the woodwind family and the benchmark/starting point for the discussion paper).
 
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RobatBlueRock

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100
Locality
Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
Have a look at this:

www.bretpimentel.com

(ADMIN EDIT: link fixed)

'Does material affect tone quality in woodwind instruments?: why scientists and musicians just can't seem to agree'
 

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