All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Saxophones My Search for a Mark VI

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
Thanks for posting Ben. Did you try the TJ. Custom Raw. I think there is a dealer in the US.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,917
Read your blog and found it very interesting and informative, but to go out and play 17 without finding one that suited you does seem just a bit fanatical, are you sure your not looking for something that just does not exist?
 
Messages
153
Location
Philadelphia, PA
to be fair, I found 2 that were fantastic. 1 wasn't for sale, and 1 was too expensive. Many others have been very good, but not as great as the best two and I didn't want to settle! Many others have been just OK.
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
I didn't come across that horn. Is it noteworthy?


Hi Ben
The TJ RAW would be worth your time to to give it a trial. They have good press here, at a competitive price.
Btw. Pleased you won the Parker competition, outstanding playing. Please post a link to some of your playing, I'm sure the members here would appreciate your abilities.
Jamesmac. formally hamish with the SOTW
 

tzadik

Member
Messages
371
Location
Friulandia, Italy
Mark VI can be very sensitive for how they are setted up, I mean for key action, spring tension, overall keywork setting, pad, resonators etc etc.
(Obviously the pad sealing must be "perfect")

It's only worth to verify the overall setting of the horn.
Some settings can have an indirect effect on some other aspect of the horn.


When you are able to test many horns (in the same session), another good test is to switch the necks between the different instruments. It happens in most of cases... the "best horn" has the "best neck" and if you put the "best neck" on another horn, you'll probably feel a kind of improvement.
You can a great variabily on the necks also if the neck are original, never demaged, never repaired... because there was a great variability also during the neck manufacturing (as well as for the whole saxophone manufactoring).

@Ben: have you consider to try some alternative necks for you 98xxx (also a custom neck)?
Are you looking for just a "darker" horn and/or for a sort of "more resistant" horn and/or also smoother/slower in response?
Just for talking about... :)
 
Messages
153
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Thanks, Jamesmac! It was a really great experience. I'm planning on recording soon, but if people want to hear some stuff they can find music at benbrittonjazz.com.

@tzadik, I have considered necks, mouthpieces and reeds. I'm looking for a darker horn with probably the same level of resistance I have now or a bit less. I'm also looking to switch from my relacquer to original for the difference in feeling and response.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Location
Just north of Munich
Thanks for posting Ben. Did you try the TJ. Custom Raw. I think there is a dealer in the US.

I didn't come across that horn. Is it noteworthy?


Ben, there are quite a few threads here on the TJ Raw & the custom signature.

Main one is http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?7294-Trevor-James-Signature-Custom-RAW-Alto-and-Tenor

but if you do a search for TJ Raw, it'll find most of them.
http://tjsaxes.com/products/tenorsaxes/signaturecustom/signaturecustom
This is a prototype review http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread...-TENOR-SAXOPHONE-PROTOTYPE-FROM-TREVOR-JjAMES

There's also the special (and expensive) Andy Sheppard version:

http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?8397-Andy-Sheppard-limited-edition-saxophone
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
1,026
Location
SW of London Town
That's quite an interesting blog entry, thank you. It just reinforces the notion of trying out as many horns as one possibly can, before making a decision and there have never been so many Mk6s available as there are these days.



Can I ask how long you play tested each sax? Did you test them all in the same place/room/studio?

Cheers,
M.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
I've owned 5 MKVI Tenors and 1 MKVI alto.My 1st i got through a local shop.A 1972 tenor and i hit lucky as it played great.They rest i hand picked from alot of MKVI'S apart from a 1955 tenor i got that needed a overhaul.The 1955 tenor was very stuffy,never liked it but the others i picked were 1962 tenors and they all were great.I've tested alot of them and most were very nice indeed.I think the TJ Raw is very MKVI like but atad more balls.My loves are Yamaha Z'S,Borgani,Keilwerth,TJ Raws and a nice MKVI.I've just traded in my great TJ Raw and went back to a Borgani jubilee i owned last year.Have you tryed a Borg.I think you would be in for some fun.
 
Messages
153
Location
Philadelphia, PA
@kev thanks for the info. They sound interesting. I'll have to keep my eye out for them.

@mmm I tried some horns for over an hour and others for just a few minutes (the unpromising sounding/feeling ones). And I was all over the place trying these. The one constant was I always had my VI to try them against so that was a great reference point.

@davey I've never even seen a Borg in person. However, I was interested and listened to some clips. It sounds like all the clips had a characteristic darkness that I wasn't into.
 

tzadik

Member
Messages
371
Location
Friulandia, Italy
@tzadik, I have considered necks, mouthpieces and reeds. I'm looking for a darker horn with probably the same level of resistance I have now or a bit less. I'm also looking to switch from my relacquer to original for the difference in feeling and response.
The last thing I'll try... is a custom made neck from Gloger or from Schucht.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
@kev thanks for the info. They sound interesting. I'll have to keep my eye out for them.

@mmm I tried some horns for over an hour and others for just a few minutes (the unpromising sounding/feeling ones). And I was all over the place trying these. The one constant was I always had my VI to try them against so that was a great reference point.

@davey I've never even seen a Borg in person. However, I was interested and listened to some clips. It sounds like all the clips had a characteristic darkness that I wasn't into.

Great core and yes dark but borgs are also a power house of a horn.I play hard and i get mine screaming.I think you would be in for a nice surprise.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
699
Your article illustrates how hard it is to find a "good" instrument if you do not simply assume that a brand name or model guarantees success. You obviously saw a lot of variation in the 17 Mark VIs you tried. Could you hazard a guess as to whether you would similar variations if, for eaxmple, you tried a selection of more recent instruments, such as the 82z, the T991 or the SA Serie III.
 
Messages
153
Location
Philadelphia, PA
I tried to Yamaha Custom EXs next to each other, and while the tone was pretty similar, one had a clearly better response. My guess is that though there is definitely variability in modern horns, there is likely less than in horns of vintage manufacture because the modern horns have around fewer years and been through less, but that is just a guess.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
699
Thank you. That is very helpful. I used to think that buying a saxophone was a reasonably simple matter, but now I don't seem to get much beyond "less likely" and "more likely".
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Location
Just north of Munich
I think variability is inherent to hand built instruments. With more modern more production line oriented manufacture, there's more consistency, but still an element of variability.

We've a DVD which follows Stenway's chief tech in Vienna as he sets up pianos for top artists (Alfred Brendel being one of them). Real eye opener for a number of reasons. Firstly the core one of each individual concert grand, secondly the options available to him to get different sounds out of the piano, and thirdly how much time it takes to get it set up just right for the hall in which it's going to be played. It comes over just how much variability there is between instruments, even at this level, and just how demanding the artists are. Their best example had been sold and the search to find another with such qualities was long and ultimately unsuccsessful - there was a makic something about that one piano.

Now I see Ben searching. Must admit when I first saw the thread title I thought "Here's another guy just after a MkVI for the name." Sorry Ben, no offence meant. I've read a lot of posts where excellent players say there's a lot of variability in MkVIs. And that most are good, but not that good. Add in the years of hard use and many examples are not that good at all. I've never played one. The ones I've heard haven't done anything for me. And my first teacher used his examples every now and again in lessons. But he sounded better on other saxes (King Zephyr alto, and a post war Keilwerth Toneking tenor). I wasn't able to compare his tone on bari as he only had the MkVI. Keywork/feel was lovely, but that was as far as I was allowed to go...

But as I read more and you explained more I realise that like others, you've got a very clear goal and all the right reasons for wanting a MkVI. Reminds me a little of what Pete mentioned on the forum about his search for a new tenor, he tried many, but nothing had waht he was looking for - until he tried the Two Voices R&C, and then he had to have it. I wish more people were like that and not just chasing them for investment value or bragging power. Good luck in your search!
 

Members online

Popular Discussions

Top Bottom