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Saxophones Blind testing

Mack

Senior Member
Messages
518
Recently did a blind whisky taste test (blame my brother in law and the latest copy of Jim Murray's Whisky Bible - which has saved me a small fortune - don't buy expensive single malts, go for good blends - but I digress...). Prompted me to think - much good oxygen and ink is used up discussing the relative merits of the Yamaha 62 versus the Yanigasawa 992 etc - and there has been the odd blind test - thanks Pete - but has anyone done a test with their wife/girlfriend/husband etc? Someone who really doesn't care about shoulderless point screws and rose brass finishes. Can someone who just likes music in general tell which is best out of the Yamaha 275 and the 62? What does that extra £600-700 actually buy? Best of all blind fold yourself so you don't know which one you are playing. As well as whiling away a dull winter evening it might actually tell us something serious about how we play - does a pro sax sound the way it does partly because we play it with more conviction/confidence?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,004
If I need to get such an opinion I do often ask my wife. I get consistent opinions from her when doing tests.

If it's comparing sopranos, then she has a sort of inbuilt "wince-ometer" and I go with what makes her wince the least or last.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
Interesting. I really don't care what anyone else thinks. It's what I think about my sound that matters. How on earth could you play if you constantly thought, "This sounds like ****e but I am assured the punters think it's great".
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Interesting. I really don't care what anyone else thinks. It's what I think about my sound that matters. How on earth could you play if you constantly thought, "This sounds like ****e but I am assured the punters think it's great".
Depends how close your desired sound is to what's others want to listen to. And how well you hear it.

My wife often hears things that I don't - I'm too close to the instument.
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
Just how different is the sound that you hear and the sound that others hear / is recorded? Should this be a factor when buying a new horn?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,004
Just how different is the sound that you hear and the sound that others hear / is recorded? Should this be a factor when buying a new horn?
I believe it can be. If you do recordings it's worth seeing if saxophones record differently, but you can only really tellwhen comparing different horns.

Imagine you have two saxophones to compare

When playing you might prefer saxophone A, but when recorded you might prefer saxophone B, or it could vary depending on how far away the microphone is.

Not sure why this should be but I do believe it happens.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Could this be due to ergonomic and tactile feel and near sound experienced when playing, compared with judging by mid to far sound preferences only when listening and an absence of head tone?
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
It may well be a similar situation to how we hear our own voices vs. how others hear them. Is this what you mean by "head tone"?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,004
Could this be due to ergonomic and tactile feel and near sound experienced when playing, compared with judging by mid to far sound preferences only when listening and an absence of head tone?
It could be. You mean the sound transmitted through your teeth into your body as opposed to what goes in your ears. But you wouldn't expect the difference to vary from horn to horn. (It might from mouthpiece to mouthpiece though)

ie, you wouldn't think horn A would sound better to the player, but horn B sounds better recorded if this was the case. I think it must be more to do with it sounding better close up, or how the sound disperses.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
I do these kind of tests all the time - typically when a client comes in to collect a horn and I have two or three other horns waiting around for collection. It's a good opportunity to see what other players think.
Is there a difference between the YAS275 and the 62? There certainly is - and most people will pick up on it. Whether it's better is another matter...but it's certainly different.
As you go up the price range you get less and less for more and more money. There's a greater difference between the 275 and the 62 than there is between the 62 and Customs. T'was ever thus - but those small differences can sometimes be worth the cash.

Regards,
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
ie, you wouldn't think horn A would sound better to the player, but horn B sounds better recorded if this was the case. I think it must be more to do with it sounding better close up, or how the sound disperses.
That is why monitor speakers used for mixing, come in near and other field formats to try and replicate the average living room sound within the mixing studio.

As for the head sound/bone conduction question, use of a double lip embouchure raises the question regarding the possible differences in perceived tone between those who use bone conduction through the teeth and those who only get soft tissue conduction.

After that, aren't you glad that all that is remembered from my acoustic studies is eigen tones?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Allright, I'll ask:

Does 'blind testing' mean we need saxophone glasses and white sticks (White zimmer frame for OG) ?
 
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