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Intonation Tendencies and Sax Bore Design

aldevis

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Hey, I wonder if that is me.

I saw that Derek Nash plays his Conn 12M with a Berg Larsen "modelled on Ronnie Ross's mouthpiece size 130+". He very kindly loaned that to me and I had Dr Ed Pillinger copy it twice - once for me and once to produce a backup for Derek.

My Pillinger copy is a lovely bit of work but while it helps the 12M tuning a bit, it is by no means as "locked in" as my modern Selmer bari.

Or maybe @aldevis means another member.

Rhys
It is you, but for some reason I thought you also had one modified by Bill Wrathall, my late friend, that did the job on Ronnie Ross's
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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It is you, but for some reason I thought you also had one modified by Bill Wrathall, my late friend, that did the job on Ronnie Ross's
About ten years ago I thought I had found one - a Berg Larsen that was actually marked "Ronnie Ross". But the piece had already been sold and the advert not taken down.

I also have another Berg Larsen piece that Morgan Fry worked on to make it work with Conn 12M saxes, by enlarging the chamber. It didn't work magic.

When Ed Pillinger looked at Derek Nash's mouthpiece I think he said there wasn't any radical modification work on it - just a good facing and possibly some subtle changes inside. I am pretty sure that was by Bill Wrathall.

Morgan Fry told me in an email about Bergs on 12M "Baritone, nothing can make a Berg work right, except maybe hogging out the throat. Everyone who plays that combo well just gets used to hawing the pitch into place."

I think Karen Sharpe is another who plays a Berg ebonite on her 12M and has a wonderful sound without any obvious tuning problems.

Rhys
 

aldevis

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About ten years ago I thought I had found one - a Berg Larsen that was actually marked "Ronnie Ross". But the piece had already been sold and the advert not taken down.

I also have another Berg Larsen piece that Morgan Fry worked on to make it work with Conn 12M saxes, by enlarging the chamber. It didn't work magic.

When Ed Pillinger looked at Derek Nash's mouthpiece I think he said there wasn't any radical modification work on it - just a good facing and possibly some subtle changes inside. I am pretty sure that was by Bill Wrathall.

Morgan Fry told me in an email about Bergs on 12M "Baritone, nothing can make a Berg work right, except maybe hogging out the throat. Everyone who plays that combo well just gets used to hawing the pitch into place."

I think Karen Sharpe is another who plays a Berg ebonite on her 12M and has a wonderful sound without any obvious tuning problems.

Rhys
I know the berg modified well, since Bill had his one on the bench.
It was simply an elongated shank with a very elegant metal ring. The issue being that with a small chamber, the mouthpiece was too short.
Bill had his own facings, perfectly applied, but no extraterrestrial technology.
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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I know the berg modified well, since Bill had his one on the bench.
It was simply an elongated shank with a very elegant metal ring. The issue being that with a small chamber, the mouthpiece was too short.
Bill had his own facings, perfectly applied, but no extraterrestrial technology.
Well obviously I need extraterrestrial assistance to play my 12M.

Both Derek Nash and Karen Sharpe have that elegant metal ring on the shank of their bari Bergs, but I don't see one on Ronnie Ross's Berg. The Pillinger copy I had made is in his Bronzite material and also has an elegant metal ring.

Rhys
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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PS I just spotted a metal ring on Ronnie Ross's Berg right at the end of his career - for instance at this concert with NYJO in 1990. That shank has certainly been extended !


Rhys
 

aldevis

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PS I just spotted a metal ring on Ronnie Ross's Berg right at the end of his career - for instance at this concert with NYJO in 1990. That shank has certainly been extended !


Rhys
Definitely Wrathall's work
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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Definitely Wrathall's work
Surprising that Ronnie seems to have changed to a modified piece after a long career of playing superb baritone on a Berg that (probably) hadn't been extended. Do you hear any difference in his intonation or tone that could be put down to his Wrathhall-modified mouthpiece ?

Rhys
 

aldevis

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Surprising that Ronnie seems to have changed to a modified piece after a long career of playing superb baritone on a Berg that (probably) hadn't been extended. Do you hear any difference in his intonation or tone that could be put down to his Wrathhall-modified mouthpiece ?

Rhys
I think that he always payed a longer Berg (Bill was probably around before Adolphe Sax decided to make a baritone).
Any picture from the old days?
 
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rhysonsax

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I think that he always payed a longer Berg (Bill was probably around before Adolphe Sax decided to make a baritone).
Any picture from the old days?
Plenty to choose from over a long career. For instance, this video from 1964 showing a pretty standard Berg Larsen I think:


Or this from Top of the Pops with Matt Bianco in 1984, possibly showing an extended shank. My recollection is that they were invited on two weeks later and Ronnie's excellent bari solo was being mimed by a younger/prettier musician - playing trumpet !


Rhys
 
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rhysonsax

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And here is Karen Sharp blowing up a storm on her 12M with Berg Larsen:


I've looked again at my Pillinger copy of Derek Nash's mouthpiece and it is just the same length as my other Berg Larsen ebonite baritone pieces.

I would really like to get one of Bill Wrathall's modified pieces.

Rhys
 
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rhysonsax

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I have flicked through but couldn't find out if @rhysonsax P Mauriat tuning issues were successfully concluded? I have similar issues with mine
Nope - I ended up selling my Mauriat alto and playing ones that suit me. It was a shame, but not worth struggling with for me when I have access to alternative altos without those issues.

My suspicion is that it may have been down to the neck, but I really don't know.

Rhys
 

Keep Blowing

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Nope - I ended up selling my Mauriat alto and playing ones that suit me. It was a shame, but not worth struggling with for me when I have access to alternative altos without those issues.

My suspicion is that it may have been down to the neck, but I really don't know.

Rhys
Thanks for that, my tech has suggested trying different necks but that's a bit of an expensive route to go down,. I do love it but it does cause me a few problems, maybe the answer is to find someone it suits and find and find a new horn
 

Keep Blowing

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Thanks for that, my tech has suggested trying different necks but that's a bit of an expensive route to go down,. I do love it but it does cause me a few problems, maybe the answer is to find someone it suits and find and find a new horn
It came out of the Mauriat factory but it has my logo on, which is Viper. When I got it I took it to my tech, he offered to buy it. I then took it to Jan Kopinski who agreed to endorse it if I imported any more I then took it to Morgan Fry, he didn't know what it was but he was very impressed, I haven't seen his name here for a while, I wonder if he remembers. I'm sure he won't mind me saying, he was talking to his plants when I arrived, by the way he can certainly blow, it sounded great. Maybe I'll get round to putting it in the yard sale,.
 

aldevis

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I am not sure sax bores need much designing it comes naturally but does seem to develop the more time we spend late at night on fora (forums?)
More bore, more time spent online.
It is a scientific fact first described by Adolphe Sax in his seminal work "You can't overblow your own trumpet"
 
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