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Saxophones First tenor

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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On second thoughts, it might be worth trying a softer reed for a short while while you build up your embouchure. So you could try Vandoren Traditional (Vandoren Blue) 1 1/2. Vandoren Traditional are usually about 1/2 strength harder than others, so any of the Rico/D"Addario reeds in strength 2 should also be softer than what you are using.
 
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botahoratiu

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20200120_071034.jpg
IMG-20200118-WA0004.jpeg

See the Linkage from F key auxiliary to the Bis key? It was missing. Sometimes cut it off in the past.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,186
I think that loud playing and harsh attacks are fairly normal for a beginner.
Just keep practicing and things will get better.
I agree.

The mouthpiece you have there is a typical stock sorta German-Czech/East European mouthpiece of the period. The chamber is sorta horeshoe-ish, so it isn't gonna produce a particularly 'dark' tone.

If after a few more weeks you feel your sound is not mellowing and rounding out a bit on its own, you could try another mouthpiece with a more old-school round, large chamber...but I would not do that yet. Try a softer reed first.

See the Linkage from F key auxiliary to the Bis key? It was missing. Sometimes cut it off in the past.
Nicely done.....soft soldered ?
 
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botahoratiu

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I agree.

The mouthpiece you have there is a typical stock sorta German-Czech/East European mouthpiece of the period. The chamber is sorta horeshoe-ish, so it isn't gonna produce a particularly 'dark' tone.

If after a few more weeks you feel your sound is not mellowing and rounding out a bit on its own, you could try another mouthpiece with a more old-school round, large chamber...but I would not do that yet. Try a softer reed first.

Nicely done.....soft soldered ?
Yes, I think its is strong enough
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,186
It should hold OK, there isn't much force on that arm. If it were a key arm which you press down with your finger or palm, it would need a silver-solder. But as the only contact it makes is with another key arm, probably OK.
 
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botahoratiu

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I was wondering if I should better sell it and get an used student model Yamaha tenor instead. I am tempted to switch to a more modern horn for the newer machanics, although this one sounds very nice.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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5,249
I was wondering if I should better sell it and get an used student model Yamaha tenor instead. I am tempted to switch to a more modern horn for the newer machanics, although this one sounds very nice.
.

The question is whether your current horn is causing you problems. If it is, then getting another one may be a good idea - it’s hard enough to learn the saxophone without fighting your instrument.

But there’s always a “‘better” horn out there somewhere. This feeling is the basis for GAS, which many of us have experienced
 
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botahoratiu

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I am very aware of that, being a trumpet player fo so many years now. Could be that... or just a vintage machanics tenor....
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,186
.The question is whether your current horn is causing you problems. If it is, then getting another one may be a good idea - it’s hard enough to learn the saxophone without fighting your instrument.
Well...wait, though. That isn't the entire question.

Because...if the problems are being caused due to the horn needing some professional work...then it has zero to do with the model and everything to do with the fact the horn needs adjusting and a service.

This is a really important distinction and a lot of people fail to make that distinction, not just beginners but players with many years of experience.

The OP has stated he is a DIY'er, and a few posts up states he cannot get the bis key regulated.

So, @botahoratiu ....your horn may well 'play' to a degree, but really it is not useful to pass judgment on a sax which isn't well-regulated and in good playing shape.

You sell it (and you'd be of course selling it with the description that the horn needs some tech servicing) ....buy a Yamaha...you may well get the Yamaha and it too needs some adjusting. So not much would be gained. No ?

A vintage horn in good playing shape does not really give a player 'problems'. Particularly a player who has never played sax before. If everything is sealing, all keys are regulated, spring tensions are set nicely, keywork and rollers are free...a vintage horn will respond and feel pretty darn good. I have refurbed Arta Gubans, despite their online reputation (due to people and commenters who never actually played one which had been properly serviced, primarily) they are pretty well made and do not exhibit the quirks and maladies they are reputed to when they are in good playing shape. They actually are comparable to a lot of vintage horns of their time period.

This is the sorta conundrum of the DIY'er. You do the servicing yourself, admitting full out that you don't have the experience or knowledge of a tech who has been servicing saxes for years. So it becomes decision time - either you keep on this horn and by trial and error you slowly, over time, exorcise it of its regulation issues (and other issues)...or you gather up some $ and take it to a tech who is good with saxes (which may require you to travel some distance).

The DIY'er can read up and ask questions online and all of that....but learning how to put a sax into good regulation and playing shape....takes time. And takes a number of patients.
You have to do it on several instruments.
I was not confident with what I was doing until around horn #12...at that point, things started becoming clear to me and there was a shift in how things began to settle in. Yet now if I look back at horn #12, from where I am here 17 years later....I would cringe to think of how well I actually may have really dialed that horn in. Yet I did get it playing up and down well, which at the time was where my 'bar' was set.

So, buying another horn in the hopes that THAT one will arrive perfectly regulated and you can just plug 'er in and go......it isn't likely. You may well be faced with the same problems on the second sax.
 
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botahoratiu

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I agree 100%, but... I thought that the more modern horns would be easier to setup/maintain due to the newer machanics. And by the way, I managed to dial my horn to the point of tuning individual notes, like the side C, wich was too sharp. Now is perfect in tune and sounds great. The horn now plays from top to bottom, quite evenly.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,186
I agree 100%, but... I thought that the more modern horns would be easier to setup/maintain due to the newer mechanics.
A complete and total fallacy. A vintage horn, worked up into good, regulated playing shape....is no more costly or expensive to keep in good playing shape than a modern one.

Matter of fact...problem with many contemporary horns (particularly cheapies) is that their build precision and casting and alloys etc are such that they tend to go out of regulation and wear far more than a nice old 50's horn which has been properly serviced.

(Is it POSSIBLE that an old horn has been played SO much, or mistreated so much, that it actually has mechanics SO worn that they will be problematic for the rest of its days ? Possible....but very, very rare. In the last ohhhh...200 vintage saxes I have serviced...I have not seen that once).

It is a typical question I get as a purveyor - 'don't old horns cost more to maintain ?'. They really do not (providing you get one which has been properly set up).
And by the way, I managed to dial my horn to the point of tuning individual notes, like the side C, wich was too sharp. Now is perfect in tune and sounds great. The horn now plays from top to bottom, quite evenly.
Very good, and I didn't mean to "dis" your abilities in any way...I know you have experience with brass instruments so you are way ahead of the usual DIY'er curve.
The point was more...one can get a horn playing decently, fundamentally. But there's a difference between that and the sax being completely 'dialed in'. This takes an experienced tech, or a DIY'er who, again, has worked up at least 6 or 7 horns. before the
'aaaaaaahhhhhh----Okaaaaaay !" lightbulb really goes off in your head.

The sax is a weird invention...it is a compromised one, mechanically in a number of ways and has aspects to it which are not as straighforward nor 'stable' IMHO as say a trumpet or trombone....

My second point was that it isn't so much the MODEL (unless the model truly is of low-quality) as it is how the horn has been treated (or neglected) over time. And this is where people (not you) cannot make the distinction. A neglected Arta or Conn is not gonna play right...and if the owner can not really put in the proper investment to get it back into the shape it was meant to be in, they may well just be able to pay for a 'half fix' so the horn plays better.

But it is unfair to then put that horn up against a recently-fully-serviced Yamaha and conclude "The Conn/Arta isn't as good"...if you get my drift.

But people do this all the time.

(Burns my Toast, it does...:oops:)
 
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botahoratiu

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What about the ergonomics? I have big hands(long fingers) and can't really reach the low C# and low Bb. It's awkward. Anyway, I don't have the money for a Yamaha yet, so I'll stick with my Guban a while to get accustomed. After all, I might be the one who is not properly "setup", being a beginner. Anyhow, I don't think I could sell the Guban very easy, that brand not being such a sought after one.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Keilwerth Student horns were from Amati. The model 3 comes up on eBay occasionally. Not sure when they were made. Could be before or after WWII. I'd guess before.
 
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