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SYOS

Saxophones Bent or Straight

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,319
Only on a sax forum.

I've given up ever being able to master the clarinet and my attempts at tenor were very unsatifying. I love my Bari but I have the urge for a soprano.

I'm very familiar with the sound of various straight players but the only bent one I've heard was played by a clown at the circus.

The sheer portability and only transposing a tone attract me as does the novelty and rarity of the bent soprano but, is the bent soprano a serious instrument or just a novelty?

I know this is the place to get a serious, educated, considered and experienced opinion.

Can't wait.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
I know this is the place to get a serious, educated, considered and experienced opinion.

:))):))):))) LOL!:))):))):)))

I've played a John Packer curvy, and now have a BW curvy - lovely little saxes which sound excellent. I recently acquired a Hanson saxello (basically a straight sop with a very slightly curved bell), and I think that personally I prefer the ergonomics of the saxello over the curvies - it feels a bit more comfortable. This may have something to do with my height though, as I'm quite tall and feel as though I look silly playing the curvy as it looks so tiny!
Amanda
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
OK, so I'll do it......

I want to be straight, I want to be straight
I'm sick and tired of taking drugs and staying up late.
I wanna confirm, I wanna conform
I wanna be safe and I wanna be snug and I wanna be warm

I want to be straight, I want to be straight
I wanna create a place of my own in the welfare state
Brr, gonna be good, brr, gonna be kind
It might be a wrench but think of the stench I'm leaving behind

I want to be straight, I want to be straight
Come out of the cold and do what I'm told and don't deviate
I wanna give, I wanna give, I wanna give my consent
I'm learning to hate all the things that were great when I used to be… bent!

Now, seriously. I have two straight sops and one curvy (was two curvies until a few days ago). Both are good, and sensible, serious instruments. I prefer my Chinese made, curved Bauhaus Walstein over my vintage Buescher straight, but because of the way it plays, rather than its shape. The BW has a lovely tone and vastly better ergonomics. I enjoy playing both, and also my super cheap Chinese straight.

You might find a sop of whatever configuration a bit of a shock to the system after a bari.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Who cares? The modern straights often come with 2 necks, straight and angled.

There are some modern C sopranos around as well - then there's no transposing.

Watch the mouthpieces, the couple of sops I've played so far seemed to be very sensitive to them.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,673
Who cares? The modern straights often come with 2 necks, straight and angled.

There are some modern C sopranos around as well - then there's no transposing.

Watch the mouthpieces, the couple of sops I've played so far seemed to be very sensitive to them.


Is was told by one of the best soprano players alive today that In his opinion curvies sounded a bit more saxophonish (i know I know) but the reason he played straight ones is there were things he could do with altissimo that he found much harder if not impossible on curvies.
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
I have played both - on balance I find the curly one more comfortable to play. I think I read somewhere that a straight is harder to mike?

The unusual nature of the curly - at least in the minds of the great Hong Kong public - usually leads to some conversation between sets of the "What's that you're playing?" variety. Sadly, Kenny G rules here!
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,214
curvy ........and is not a novelty instrument!;}

Ya beat me to it. Yes Jan is a great master, tall, and doesn't need to worry about what he looks like playing a curvy.

There is a difference in the way it sounds to the player (more than the audience?). The curvy is short and the bell puts the sound back in your face, so SEEMS louder to the player (no need for fallback/monitors). It's also easier to pay in the right position as the mouthpiece is at the right angle for keeping your head upright. The straight takes either lifting the instrument to get the angle right or tilting your head towards the floor. There can be an issue of fatigue and tendon problems with the straight that you won't have with the curvy. I must admit that although I play both I prefer the straight, but play the curvy when my tendonitis is acting up.
 
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Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,673
I have a curvy on the wy but i originally went from being a sop player to alto due to a shoulder injury that was aggravted by playing sop even with the curved neck
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,488
given the state of my shoulders (let’s not go there........:crying:) I couldn’t even contemplate playing a straight soprano but believe me I love the curved BW (which is as close to a curved Yanagisawa that I could get!) AI phosphor bronze which I have had for a couple of years now. Prior to that I had played several other ones but never got the pleasure out of them that I get out of this horn.

Its size makes it the ideal travelling companion and with the appropriate mouthpiece (which for me is a Ponzol Vintage HR 70 with the original rovner-like ligature) you can get a very round and low sound which I like very much.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,993
Another happy BW curved owner here. I bought it for gigs where I need to be mic'ed (nearly all of them). It's very good but I still prefer the Yanag that I've had for the last 30 years.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
All hail to Jan the man.I keep going back to a straight soprano.Just better for me.Still like a bit curv though.Not a fan now of 2 neck sopranos.1 piece through body is my bag.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,319
Thanks for all the feed back. I've ordered a curvy, It arrives tomorrow, from guess where... G4Music. The alto from them is good so at the price £190 I couldn't resist. Just need a deerstalker now to complete the look.


Now then... where's that Sydney Bechet song book?
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,319
Well. It arrived.

It had some of the kit advertised with it missing and the ligature didn't fit the mouthpiece. I emailed them and have now received a replacement accessory kit, an apology that the accessory kit was advertised wrong, and a £25 refund for my trouble.

Wow!

It needed a couple of tweaks but a little oiling, adjusting and pad cleaning have sorted it out.

The mouthpiece that comes with it, as expected, is not up to much. However I'm quite impressed by the outrageous sopranoness of the sound. I'm having trouble hitting the highs and lows with any sort of half decent tone but am hopeful that a decent mouthpiece and a quality reed will sort that out.

They supply a reed which is completely unmarked , most annoying not having a reference point to start from, so I've ordered a range of singles to try and find the right one.

I haven't played my Bari since it came but the alto feels massive and strange for the first few bars if I pick it up straight after playing the sop.

Any suggestion for the way to go on a budget mouthpiece would be appreciated.

I use a selmer S80 C* on the Bari with a Vandoren 4 and a Vintage Ben Davis Vocaltone with a Vandoren 2 on the alto if that has any relevance at all
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,319
The B5 graftonite came and was okay but I was tempted by the metalite which has arrived and is excellent. I went for the M7 and a softish (Vandoren classic 1.5) reed. I'm getting a variety of controlable tone , good intonation and a great deal of pleasure.
 
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