Technical Neck length

jbtsax

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#21
I think it best to end my part of this discussion since I believe we are beginning to go around in circles. I do not "buy into" the idea that some makes of saxophones play best when the key heights are significantly lower. I'm talking about more than a millimeter or two lower than the average. My understanding of acoustics and my years of experience as a repair tech, teacher and player has lead me to the conclusion that all saxophones play their best when all of the notes are "well vented" period. If there are those who have different opinions, that's fine if that works for them.
 

sax panther

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#22
this has all got very technical! The very talented Chris J has identified the root cause of what's causing my modern sax to not play, and has also agreed with me that my neck cork is very thin. It might be that a new bit of nice fat cork will allow me to pull the mouthpiece out sufficiently that I'm not constantly lipping down - the pennysylvania that I'm borrowing, as well as having a longer neck, also has lovely fat cork - can't remember the last time I had to dig around for cork grease! I just hadn't really considered that neck lengths on saxes might vary (but as saxyjt has suggested earlier perhaps it's the F# key) and thought I'd ask about it here.
 

Targa

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#24
(Yeah, the color...just always thought it was a cool and underused feature on these chatboards...)
That last line just 'caught my eye'.
There is not enough screen contrast in the colours to allow posts to be read easily and I usually find it's not worth the effort.
 

JayeNM

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#25
I think it best to end my part of this discussion since I believe we are beginning to go around in circles. I do not "buy into" the idea that some makes of saxophones play best when the key heights are significantly lower. I'm talking about more than a millimeter or two lower than the average. My understanding of acoustics and my years of experience as a repair tech, teacher and player has lead me to the conclusion that all saxophones play their best when all of the notes are "well vented" period. If there are those who have different opinions, that's fine if that works for them.
I don't think we went in circles, I think we both raised valid points which contributed to this thread at least for some readers...and we behaved ourselves well this time around ;)

I will follow suit, and close it here as well; as I agree with you we have both stated our experiences and impressions...and our experiences/impressions simply differ.
I feel quite strongly that the saxes I have worked on over the past 16+ years, ranging in age from 90 years old to contemporary, do not share a standardized or even narrow range 'optimal keyheight'.


As always, good discussion, tho, JBT. And likewise, am glad your methodology produces acceptable results for you.
 

JayeNM

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#26
That last line just 'caught my eye'.
There is not enough screen contrast in the colours to allow posts to be read easily and I usually find it's not worth the effort.
yes, the colors are....alas, alack...slightly limited here at the cafe (for the time being) :oops:...but there are a few good ones.
 

JayeNM

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#27
can't pull it out enough. I'm still a bit sharp even if it's dangling off the end. I'm going to try recorking the neck, as all of my mouthpieces naturally want to slide down quite far on it.
this has all got very technical! The very talented Chris J has identified the root cause of what's causing my modern sax to not play, and has also agreed with me that my neck cork is very thin. It might be that a new bit of nice fat cork will allow me to pull the mouthpiece out sufficiently that I'm not constantly lipping down - the pennysylvania that I'm borrowing, as well as having a longer neck, also has lovely fat cork - can't remember the last time I had to dig around for cork grease! I just hadn't really considered that neck lengths on saxes might vary (but as saxyjt has suggested earlier perhaps it's the F# key) and thought I'd ask about it here.
Unbeknownst to you, your question was a pretty technical one , actually ;)

So Chris determined that you needed a thicker neck cork ? I am a bit confused, .

Also, just for the thread's followers ...can you clarify....what was the 'root cause' which Chris found ? Was the neck cork the sole adjustment he thinks e? Or was the cork thing secondary to something else ?

Glad you may have gotten it resolved. Do report back with your playing results.
 
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sax panther

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#28
Unbeknownst to you, your question was a pretty technical one , actually ;)

So Chris determined that you needed a thicker neck cork ? And that was the sole adjustment ?

Interesting. Leaks at the mouthpiece/cork area tend to cause other problems, yet you didn't mention any of those. Anyways, good sleuthing by Chris....

Do report back with your playing results.
It's with Chris for a much more serious reason than tuning, I got it out for a gig and it didn't want to play below an A! Had to bodge my way through the gig playing some bits an octave up, and handing out my solos to the other guys in the band. I was looking for issues round the middle of the instrument, but Chris found that the post for top F# had been knocked and the pad wasn't properly sitting on the tone hole, so he's very kindly realigned this for me. He's also found that the bell key pads have leaks and is looking at those for me - he's a hero!

For my sharpness tendencies - we'll see. Hopefully some nice fat cork will help. I was looking at youtube videos of recorking necks at the weekend, and came across the valentino self adhesive stuff that jbtsax has coincidentally linked to on another thread. All of my mouthpieces just want to slide right on, compared to my sop, alto and tenor where the fit is much tighter.
 

JayeNM

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#29
Makes me wonder if other possible small leaks here and there, not serious enough to 'take the whole horn down' like the F#... may also have contributed to the intonation issues.

Always good to have a great tech. Do keep us posted on the sharpness issue.
 

spike

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#30
There is not enough screen contrast in the colours to allow posts to be read easily and I usually find it's not worth the effort.
My sentiments exactly.
This link may be of interest:
WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker
  1. Not everyone has a large high resolution screen.
  2. Not everyone has eagle eyesight.
  3. Many, especially older Forum members are reliant on seeing aids.
  4. A high proportion of forum members use mobile devices i.e. Smart phones and tablets.
  5. Ambient lighting also plays a role in the resulting contrast ratios.
In print publishing: newspapers, magazines, books, etc. and in particular advertising readability is an essential criterion.
Bad choice of typeface and colour can often make the difference as to whether the article, ad or information even gets noticed.
The recommended contrast ratios for internet readability in the above link are probably based on ideal viewing equipment and an "average normal Norman" seeing capability. The reality is most probably a far higher contrast ratio.

I belong to the older forum member group, if I can't read the post easily I also - "usually find it's not worth the effort."

Sorry Mods - I'm aware that the post is off topic. ;)
 
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sax panther

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#31
Makes me wonder if other possible small leaks here and there, not serious enough to 'take the whole horn down' like the F#... may also have contributed to the intonation issues.

Always good to have a great tech. Do keep us posted on the sharpness issue.
be careful what you wish for, I will inflict a song of the month recording on you all when I get it back
 

jbtsax

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#32
I feel quite strongly that the saxes I have worked on over the past 16+ years, ranging in age from 90 years old to contemporary, do not share a standardized or even narrow range 'optimal keyheight'.
As a bit of an "olive branch" and to show I have an open mind to other possibilities, I invite you to measure and keep track of the opening of the low F key on the saxes you work on and to publish that information here. I am interested in the range of openings as well as the relationship to the make and model.
 
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Targa

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#33
My sentiments exactly.
This link may be of interest:
WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker
  1. Not everyone has a large high resolution screen.
  2. Not everyone has eagle eyesight.
  3. Many, especially older Forum members are reliant on seeing aids.
  4. A high proportion of forum members use mobile devices i.e. Smart phones and tablets.
  5. Ambient lighting also plays a role in the resulting contrast ratios.
In print publishing: newspapers, magazines, books, etc. and in particular advertising readability is an essential criterion.
Bad choice of typeface and colour can often make the difference as to whether the article, ad or information even gets noticed.
The recommended contrast ratios for internet readability in the above link are probably based on ideal viewing equipment and an "average normal Norman" seeing capability. The reality is most probably a far higher contrast ratio.

I belong to the older forum member group, if I can't read the post easily I also - "usually find it's not worth the effort."

Sorry Mods - I'm aware that the post is off topic. ;)
Thanks for writing out in detail what I was thinking.
I've lost count of the number of times I've complained to magazines telling them for example pale green print on dark green background might look cool and trendy on a screen but can't be read in print especially by anyone with without perfect vision in perfect lighting.
 

JayeNM

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#34
As a bit of an "olive branch" and to show I have an open mind to other possibilities, I invite you to measure and keep track of the opening of the low F key on the saxes you work on and to publish that information here. I am interested in the range of openings as well as the relationship to the make and model.
Truly, no Olive Branch necessary, I don't feel we have gotten into any fiery bone of contention (forgive the mixed metaphor).

I will endeavor to collect that info....
 
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#36
For clarity and honesty - I am a repair hobbyist and would blush to be called a 'Tech'. Though hopefully well aware of my limitations, I was taught well, quite a few years ago by Stephen Howard.

For interest - Here is the leak. Well, more a gap.
IMG_2573.JPG


And after, still with leak light
IMG_2574.JPG

Pad then tweaked full seal. Thankfully tone hole still flat afterwards.

There were a few other leaks easily dealt with, Lower stack all had adjustment screws so easy to regulate.

Neck was recorked last night, but too late in the evening to play it, so will look at intonation tonight. The way it was, a mouthpiece was not going to stay on unless fully in. So hopefully now the mouthpiece can be set at a reasonable position, and be in tune. We'll see.

Chris
 

Stephen Howard

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#37
I think Chris is being too modest. When he asked me to pass on a few skills, he already had a fair few of them under his belt and a very respectable collection of tools - and his work was better than the standard that I've seen many so-called pros put out.
I'd describe my input as more like putting a shine on things.
 

sax panther

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#38
I think Chris is being too modest. When he asked me to pass on a few skills, he already had a fair few of them under his belt and a very respectable collection of tools - and his work was better than the standard that I've seen many so-called pros put out.
I'd describe my input as more like putting a shine on things.
now he's really going to be blushing
 
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#39
Yep - bright red.

Thanks for your generous words, Steve. Whenever I am working on an instrument, I always hear you saying 'picky, picky, picky' in my ear. And that is an instruction from Steve, not a criticism, if you are not sure what it means!

Chris
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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#40
For interest - Here is the leak. Well, more a gap......

....Pad then tweaked full seal. Thankfully tone hole still flat afterwards.

There were a few other leaks easily dealt with, Lower stack all had adjustment screws so easy to regulate.
Holy crap...that leak at the high E (?) would be enough to mess up intonation all by itself, as well as destroy the stability of any notes in the first octave.

This enters a situation where, at the end of the day, I doubt one will be able to ascribe the sharpness being the result of just a thin neck cork.

My guess would be the horn will now be better intoned as a result of the fixes.

If it is, then the next Q would be....has the sharpness disappeared for the owner ?
 
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