All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Saxophones neck to mouthpiece connection: tapering v straight considerations.

zannad

Member
Messages
410
It only become obvious when trying different setups on different sax makes...some have necks which are straight while in other the connection to the mouthpiece isn't straight. Furthermore, some MPs themselves don't have a straight connection (more of a tapering one) this means that the connection neck/mp sometimes might be affected and that some small extra chambers are created which might be influential...am I right?

If so, maybe it is worth spending a bit of time trying to find a compromise...e.g. get them neck connections all straight by using some special cork with a sloping section (or similar) - maybe a very thick cork like material which is more compressive should do a useful job...
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Just to clarify things, I think what you mean is that some necks are tapered and some are parallel, giving corks that are parallel and some tapered.
As air isn't actually passing through any voids created by a taper (there will be back pressure), I don't think it will have any effect.

John.
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Just to clarify things, I think what you mean is that some necks are tapered and some are parallel, giving corks that are parallel and some tapered.
As air isn't actually passing through any voids created by a taper (there will be back pressure), I don't think it will have any effect.

John.
of course air isn't passing through but on one side we have a MP/neck connection perfectly tight and one the other we have a MP/neck connection which is only partial (instinctively I know which one to go for)...the back pressure effect alone should be a good excuse to work out a solution to make sure the connection (parallel or tapered) is as tight as possible (no voids).
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
of course air isn't passing through but on one side we have a MP/neck connection perfectly tight and one the other we have a MP/neck connection which is only partial (instinctively I know which one to go for)...the back pressure effect alone should be a good excuse to work out a solution to make sure the connection (parallel or tapered) is as tight as possible (no voids).
So if you had a leek in a barrel, would you use a tapered bung or a parallel one? ;}

John:);}
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
I'd take the leek out and cook it.
Any more jokes about one of Wales sacred symbols and Glyndwr will come down from the hills seeking revenge.

He was a talented sailor too, so don't think the German Ocean will save you.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Bill, you need to learn to use a spell checker. Don't you know it's spelled 'Glendower'.:))):))):))):))):))):)))
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
So if you had a leek in a barrel, would you use a tapered bung or a parallel one? ;}

John:);}
If the barrel had a leak I'd probably chuck it away...still the point is different: A full barrel is probably better than a half empty one - hope these help...
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,014
In my experience all necks are tapered near the mouthpiece end though on some they seem to taper less toward the opening. I have never found a mouthpiece shank that was tapered to any noticeable degree. It seems that all are shaped like a cylinder. That means that when installing neck corks, it is important to sand more at the back and less at the front in order to make the cork fit the cylindrical inside of the mouthpiece shank. Tapering the cork to match the neck results in a mouthpiece that wobbles when it is pulled out, and will not go completely on to the cork.

The illustration below shows a cork that is sanded to properly fit the mouthpiece shank.

 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
In my experience all necks are tapered near the mouthpiece end though on some they seem to taper less toward the opening. I have never found a mouthpiece shank that was tapered to any noticeable degree. It seems that all are shaped like a cylinder. That means that when installing neck corks, it is important to sand more at the back and less at the front in order to make the cork fit the cylindrical inside of the mouthpiece shank. Tapering the cork to match the neck results in a mouthpiece that wobbles when it is pulled out, and will not go completely on to the cork.

The illustration below shows a cork that is sanded to properly fit the mouthpiece shank.

Nice picture...it really helps understanding the problem.
Only recently I replaced some neck cork myself for the first time...I didn't bothered to sand the back of the cork and maybe some MPs aren't fitting as well as they should...but then, some MPs aren't that parallel either.
You are right there isn't a standard for neck tapering - as it stands, it seems that modern saxes are more parallel than vintage.
An interesting point about vintage MPs is that all of those I've tried so far are pretty stuffy and hard to blow...maybe there is some back pressure due to a poor connection with the neck? Of course there are chambers sizes issues as well but maybe the 2 problems (and maybe others) are playing in synergy to make vintage MPs pretty useless.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Back pressure's due to the vibration of air in the sax/mouthpiece. And the design of mouthpiece has a big effect on it. You're not really trying to push air through the sax, rather put enough in to get the reed vibrating properly. In Larry Teal's The Art of the Saxophone, there's a discussion on trying to blow a tissue from the end of the sax. Can't be done.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
The idea of a taper is to ensure a good seal. As to a woble on the 'piece, if you are worried about it, fit a new cork, tune the instrument, mark the 'piece position with a biro and tell everyone to tune to you >:)
This thread started off asking would any small gap caused by the taper alter the sound.
Of course It won't. If you want proof (like all these things), put PTFE tape at the thin end, record yourself, take tape off, record again. If you can't hear any difference (and you won't), what are you worried about.
I'm beginning to sound like a certain Mr. N.W. :welldone

John:);}
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
You can re-cork a saxneck with:
1. Straight tube corks.
2. Tapared tube corks (picture from Ferree's catalog).
3. Flat corks (sheet).

I think it's important that the mpc shank fits proberly to the neckcork.

View attachment 1130
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
Well there are no mouthpiece standards also because there are no precise standards for the diameter (or bore) of any saxophone.

One of the reasons why we use cork is because of this the elasticity of cork will allow the mouthpiece to shape itself onto the cork (within some tolerances) and one could use different mouthpieces even slightly different in diameter.

All necks have a taper and all mouthpieces are drilled straight ( it would be an engineering nightmare to taper mouthpieces in a conical way and only some people, Jim Schmidt being one of those, have attempted to do so and only if the mouthpiece is matched to the neck).

The reason that older mouthpieces are stuffy is mostly because they tend to be to closed, open them up and they are no longer stuffy.
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Thanks to all for the useful hints...
It looks indeed that this is an important issue - surely there is more than just attaching a mouthpiece to a neck...more so if there are several necks (and saxes) to be tested with many different mouthpieces (my case).

It's about time to get some crucial measurements with a digital caliper and get some useful data...I'm sure some mouthpieces' bores aren't that cylindrical and maybe the cork has been compressed too much to accommodate all those different diameters...

There are alternative to cork...anyone have tried them?
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Thanks to all for the useful hints...
It looks indeed that this is an important issue - surely there is more than just attaching a mouthpiece to a neck...more so if there are several necks (and saxes) to be tested with many different mouthpieces (my case).

It's about time to get some crucial measurements with a digital caliper and get some useful data...I'm sure some mouthpieces' bores aren't that cylindrical and maybe the cork has been compressed too much to accommodate all those different diameters...

There are alternative to cork...anyone have tried them?
A digital caliper won't be any good for the job, it can't reach into the bore to the depths you would need to go.
You need a spring gauge and micrometer.
Then when you know the dimensions, what are you going to do. If your mouthpieces didn't fit before, measuring them won't make them fit.
All seems a pointless exerise.

John (a N.W. disciple ;})
 
Last edited by a moderator:

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
Cork alternatives are all much more complicated or less effective. They include o-rings, cotton or hemp thread or foam rubber. None will be as easy to install and use as cork.
 
Saxholder Pro

Staff online

Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom