• FORUM MAINTENANCE
    The forum will be closed today at approx 13:34 GMT hopefully only for about 30 minutes

    Sorry for any inconvenience and stress this may cause. Just remain calm and take slow breaths, it won't be for long

Saxophones Neck/crook

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Firstly, which IS the most common name -- neck or crook?

Secondly, I have just seen a tenor sax neck on ebay going Buy It Now for 550 quid!! Now that's the cost of a budget sax or a good proportion of a higher grade sax but *** surely, unless it's made of some rare earth metal this is a price too far. The seller says that if you want a new one, they are between 700 and 900 pounds! He says they are hand-made, oh goody goody, my cup runneth over!

If a crook is the right length, the right diameter and of a reasonable metal I can't see how it can possibly be made such that the price is so exorbitant.

Any thoughts on this? Do you own a spectacularly expensive crook? If so, does it make a spectacular difference?

Cheers

Moz
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
I think there is 'school of thought' that suggests that after the mouthpiece, the crook is the thing that effects the sound the most. I was also wondering about those expensive 'after-market' crooks myself. I am sure some will have a better informed opinion.

Check out this link for a load of custom crooks.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,619
Location
Betelgeuse
Crook

First question - Crook in the UK, neck in the US

Expensive custom crooks? Hmm. I've seen these, various different materials including wood, for many hundreds of pounds. I find it hard to see that they could make all that much of a difference. Some of the ideas behind them (eg, Selmer's 'booster' or grooves cut into the inside of the crook) smell of snake oil to me.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,401
Location
Sweden
I agree with jonf.

The main reasons to buy a new neck are simply the lost of old one or maybe the old neck has collapsed! I have seen players, mostly in the Rocksax field, that have reinforced necks on their MKVI's. Often with a brace like the old King saxes.

I think the best std necks are from the past. Martin necks are problably one of the best necks that have ever been built. From the Commettees in the 30's to the late "The Martin .... " . The neck and the sax are stamped with (the same) serialnumber. The old King Super 20' necks are also good (double socket).

Thomas
 

Mamos

Member
Messages
691
Location
Falmouth Cornwall
After you have spent years and many thousands of pounds finding the perfect horn and you have to keep hiding mouthpieces from the wife I suppose you have to spend your money on something in pursuit of that perfect sound that doesn't exist.

Think how much golfers spend on new equipment trying in vain to achieve the perfect swing.

Same thing for sax players

Thankfully, I don't have any money or I would be on here defending such things:)

mamos
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Mamos!

I must confess to having purchased a crook for my Yanagisawa T901 tenor, and it makes a noticeable difference, which my wife could recognise quite clearly - it cost £195 - it is made out of bronze and makes the sound of the sax richer, smoother & more elegant to our ears at least!

I agree that you can play silly money for all these things. The received wisdom seems to be that the crook makes up approximately 1/3rd + of the sound of the sax, with the mouthpiece set up playing a major role in influencing the overall tone/sound etc.

So, I tread a middle path in these matters, and would conclude that telling the difference between different crooks in a noisy gig would be nigh on impossible, but individuals must derive some important satisfaction in the context that they play, and most of us will show some desire to improve, including through reeds, ligatures, mouthpieces, crooks and so on.

I do notice the difference, but the sax world does seem very costly overall compared to the trumpet/trombone world, for example, where you can get a very good professional standard trombone for approx. £200, with top mouthpieces costing only £30 a throw (no reeds, no ligs - though some professionals do add different lead pipes at times (the bit from the mouthpiece to the first curve of the tubing)). You can, of course, pay more - over the £1000 mark is perfectly common for a decent trumpet/trombone also.

With this being the case even my cheapish crook could buy a fully professional standard instrument - choices, choices.;}

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,619
Location
Betelgeuse
When buying a crook, how do you know it is going to fit snugly. Is there a standard bore?

mamos
You don't. There is no standard bore, although a lot of modern saxes are 27mm. However, it's not a big deal to get a competent technician to adjust a crook to fit.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,401
Location
Sweden
You don't. There is no standard bore, although a lot of modern saxes are 27mm. However, it's not a big deal to get a competent technician to adjust a crook to fit.
Yes, a competent technician can adjust the joint of a crook but why should he/she do this? A pro sax and a custom neck are suppose to fit. You pay for proper fit!! If you are going to buy a custom neck bring your sax and try it before you buy.

I have owned two King Super 20 tenors (late models and both have too small neckjoint (no double sockets). This was a probleme on this models. Maybe the neck was from an old inventory or the bore of the sax had been changed ... ? It was supposed to be a pro-sax!!

Thomas
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,619
Location
Betelgeuse
Yes, a competent technician can adjust the joint of a crook but why should he/she do this? A pro sax and a custom neck are suppose to fit. You pay for proper fit!! If you are going to buy a custom neck bring your sax and try it before you buy.

Thomas
Absolutely, the fitting should be part of the deal at the time you buy. I was thinking more about if you buy one second hand.
 

Richard Perks

Member
Messages
165
Location
Nanaimo BC Canada
Well living in the far west I mentioned that I got a new crook for my sax and of course nobody knew what I was talking about;} Anyway got it from a Breakfast Room member on the old board and it certainly was worth it.... Mine was damaged by a drummer (doesn't that say something about the band or timing:(
It is a Barone made for selmer, more curved than original more like the Mark VI crook.
After that I got the RPC mouthpiece (only took a year) and between the two new bits I feel the sound is far better than before.:sax:
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,045
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
Crooks made of different material can make a difference.
I had a silver mk 6 alto which played nice and bright. I had the opportunity to buy a parachos wooden crook which really made it sound mellower.

I also was at Frankfurt this week where Pete Thomas was trying a Rampone and Cazzani tenor with a non standard R&C crook which he preferred over the one supplied with the instrument.

if you take for example the JP141 alto by John Packer nice horn around £230 new you can purchase it with either a selmer crook or a yanagisawa crook. both play differently.

Even with crook of the same material made in the same batch by the same manufacturer can and quite often play differently on the very itstrument it was designed for.

One of my customers has a selmer SA 80 series 2 alto which he always found had something missing in the way it sounded. I suggested he tried a couple of SA80 crooks I had in the workshop - one of them really made a difference both to him and audibly to me.

we did a deal - I got his crok and some cash - he got a better crook.

Tom if you think the sax world is expensive re crooks and mouthpieces - see how much the equivalent is for flutes

headjoints (the piece you blow in can cost over 5000 GPB)

http://www.justflutes.com/pages/prdgrp.php?prdgrp_id=1286 and thats just the stuff in the shop I work in!
 
OP
Moz

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK

U CAN CALL ME AL

Senior Member
Subscriber
Messages
979
Location
Undy Monmouthshire U.K.
I agree with Griff. I bought a JP 044 Bari on a whim when it was "on offer' last October. It played above my expectations. I was fortunate enough to get a Yani bronze neck from the devil's junkyard for £90 from a guy who had just got a silver one. It has improved the sound beyond belief. I haven't put it down since, my sop is gathering dust and my alto gets used for a quick 30 min practice during the lunch hour. Even with two mouthpieces a Yani ebonite for group work and a Dukoff for letting rip the cost was way under £1k for a very playable sax.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
There is a case for saying that the world of woodwind is a bit of a rip off price wise - no wonder brass is more popular "oop north". I must admit I do love the comparative simplicity of a trumpet or trombone (earlier today I was giving my 'bone a bath - only four pieces when completely disassembled, and yet has a 4 octave range with no missing notes!).

Sounds like crooks/necks have made a significant difference for several of us, and certainly can be a cheaper way of improving sound than having to buy a new sax.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 
Top Bottom