support Tutorials CDs PPT mouthpieces

C-mel - YouTube video alter strap hook ring


New Member
Carshalton, UK
My C-mel has that high suspension ring that seems to be common on models from the 20s/30s, so I designed a gadget for adding extra suspension points further down the body.

Rather than try and describe it in words, I made a video for YouTube.

The starting point was that it must not damage or alter the sax in any way, but should be strong enough to carry the weight without flexing. Construction (from brass strip) is shown and there's a little bit of music from the instrument to open and close. Duration: 2 mins 23 secs.

That's a well thought out product and a good video to describe it ... :thumb:

Well done Ray ... :welldone
A simple and effective solution, my only worry would be that the key guard might come off. I have a C melody sax by Hawkes and Son and I can't remember if the ring is high or not. What I do remember is that the bell keys are direct action and a bit heavy and clunky.

Nice video, thanks for posting.

Thanks for your replies.

The pillar for the key guard on the York seems very solid in its own right, but the rigidity of 2 x 0.8mm of brass strip means the distance between the ring and the pillar is maintained, so the load is spread evenly - a pull on the pillar, but an equal push on the ring.

Well I got my sax out and had a look. Unfortunately the side F# key doesn't have a guard. The ring is set high and I have the original sling. This is a simple short leather strap less than half an inch wide with an ordinary buckle and metal hook. With this the sax is easy to play and no neck pain. Now that was a surprise.

My sax is a Hawkes & Son and very well made by Evette & Schaeffer I think. John Dankworth had one of these and Edinburgh University have one in their collection. I don't think that the C Melody is for me though.

It's definitely an innovative design! It answers the question of the oddball placement of the suspension ring without going to the trouble of doing a permanent re-soldering job! All in all, a very elegant solution! My compliments.
Nice job and without permanent effects on the horn.

I must admit that on my C-mels (a Conn, a Buescher and a 1960s Vito) I haven't noticed the strap ring being badly located.

On other older (e.g. 1920s) saxes with the strap ring located poorly, I have heard that this was due to being primarily for playing sitting down. That seems a bit more likely than your amusing cartoon version of a player leaning forwards to read over the pianist's shoulder !

All the best

Well done Ray,

Brings up the thought, ......wonder what other improvements like that, could make sax playing even easier!
Thanks for your replies.

Other improvements? Well, I'm a relative newcomer to saxes, but the method of tuning (easing the mouthpiece in or out) does seem a bit crude. Changes of temperature affect the tuning, so it would be nice to have some sort of calibrated scale printed on the cork so that the instrument could be quickly adjusted to a known position. Yes, you could write on the cork with a ball-point pen but that's getting a bit crude again. But maybe it's not really a big problem because part of the unique character of the sax is that as it is played there are small tuning changes caused by embrochure, wind pressure, even doppler effect as the player moves it around?

Love the idea of the doppler effect coming into play :) I guess it could ...
I have all of my neck corks marked with a ball pen and I hardly ever require further adjustment. I've read that back in the day of the penny song sheet when people gathered round the piano the C melody player would stand behind the pianist and read the melody line. That would be too close for comfort with an alto or tenor but the C melody is much quieter.

As a matter of interest, I have an old sax tutor that has some of the exercises transposed for each of the instruments, and the C sax part is written high up the instrument. That would make interesting practice for someone, but not me.

I can assure you that compared with a gut stringed viol, saxes are the epitome of rectitude with cast-iron robust tuning. Gut 'breathes' and it absorbs/releases water vapour as the temperature and humidity changes. This means that the mass of the string changes... which changes the pitch... When you consider that in a concert environment, the audience arrives and starts to exhale water vapour... and you wonder why viol players (and lutenists using gut strings) spend forever tuning?
Top Bottom