SYOS

Saxophones New Alto SeleS

David Roach

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Sorry for the confusion. I meant intonation curve. Which to me means that for a smooth curve you won't need much adjustment between notes. Sure you will need to voice a low d different to palmkey d, but for rather neighbouring notes adjustments should be minimal. In case of David it might mean a shorter neck as some classical players have a firmer embouchure? Iam speculating here and hope for an explanation by David.Alphorn
Well....I am not technical in that I don't go around measuring stuff. If it works for me within the way I play, then all well and good. If I have to change my technique to achieve my desired result, then there has to be a really good reason to change. I'm not averse to change, just sceptical. But a shorter neck? That doesn't make sense to me as a solution; long, short it's the bore at critical points that controls the intonation at different points in the sax's scale - I would have thought.

Aldevis explanation is precise and matches my feelings about the Sequoia Lemon series. The Classic series works better with a consistent embouchure. But I am keeping my options open.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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It is the "conical" shape that makes a difference.
I participated to some experiments on soprano necks, and it is quite a complex issue.
Other elements, like bell shape or tonehole heights are also often crucial.

Sometimes a different neck is enough to make a difference, but the big challenge is making horns that please different styles of players.

I will attend Dave's testing, and hopefully we'll learn something new.

(Fellow mods, should we move the OT posts?)
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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But I am going back to the factory in late September with view to buying an alto. Frankly if I get back to the UK without having bought a sop and tenor as well I will be surprised!!! All the little niggles that made me hesitate before have either been sorted, like the refinement of the keywork - or are in the process of being refined, like the intonation curve on the tenor (which doesn't quite suit a classically based player like me).

I promise I will make a post about my visit, but it may be a little while before I can get it sorted.
So have you succumbed to the lure of an Italian? (Or more than one?)
 

David Roach

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So have you succumbed to the lure of an Italian? (Or more than one?)
I have both a Sequoia 'Lemon' alto and a soprano, chosen at the workshop a couple of weeks ago. I am deep into learning the ins and outs of them at the moment and intend to use them on a bunch of gigs in mid-November.
I will post in due course about my entire, very positive, experience at Sequoia Saxes, but I feel I'm at a point where it is not constructive for me to start posting clips. I need to get beyond the 'Honeymoon', and then the 'problem solving' stages first because they are substantially different to my Selmers and I am in a learning curve at the moment.
 

Jeanette

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I have both a Sequoia 'Lemon' alto and a soprano, chosen at the workshop a couple of weeks ago. I am deep into learning the ins and outs of them at the moment and intend to use them on a bunch of gigs in mid-November.
I will post in due course about my entire, very positive, experience at Sequoia Saxes, but I feel I'm at a point where it is not constructive for me to start posting clips. I need to get beyond the 'Honeymoon', and then the 'problem solving' stages first because they are substantially different to my Selmers and I am in a learning curve at the moment.
Your whole learning curve might make an interesting resource for fellow members changing brands :)

Jx
 

ellinas

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Athens, Greece
I need to get beyond the 'Honeymoon', and then the 'problem solving' stages first because they are substantially different to my Selmers and I am in a learning curve at the moment.
I don't understand why some players have an opinion after playing a sax for 5 minutes or so.
It takes time to make the instrument "yours" to see how the alternative fingerings work for you, to get used of the keywork, the slightly different intonation.
Our brain needs time to change from the way it behaves on one sax ( or mouthpiece ) to another and to truly make full use of the new sax.

I agree 100% with David's approach. Even though like human relationships it's the honeymoon period that will be remembered for ever .....
 

Alphorn

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I don't understand why some players have an opinion after playing a sax for 5 minutes or so.
There are different things. What you are alluding to is to really know it in and out. That is something only feasible when you own an instrument for some time. And not many can afford to buy saxes by the dozen to select the one and only. The other side is if you have tested an instrument in a shop or your friends sax. Often times the first impression holds true and I believe it is ok to draw a conclusion from only a short "test drive". Once you have decided that it is a great sax buy it and explore it. It will be interesting to hear how Sequoia differs from Selmer.

Alphorn
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Five minutes is enough to know if it's better than the one you're playing, but it may take a long time to find how much better.
One one level, yes, but deeper in I don't think so. I'm still learning the yani I bought a year ago. And finding new tones. It's only.when I go back to the Santoni for a change that I realise how different they are. Same mouthpiece, reef, but the Santoni has a more classical sound and a fatter bottom end.
 

ellinas

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Athens, Greece
The problem is that if you have a certain sound in your head you are going to achieve it more or less with any sax. What you have to correct or compensate for each sax is different. And it takes time to train your brain to do it without thinking.
This is what I mean. Now if a sax if far better than what you have could take 5 minutes to find out. But if you have to choose between two pro saxes the journey might take much longer than you think ;)
 

Tomasz

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One one level, yes, but deeper in I don't think so. I'm still learning the yani I bought a year ago. And finding new tones. It's only.when I go back to the Santoni for a change that I realise how different they are. Same mouthpiece, reef, but the Santoni has a more classical sound and a fatter bottom end.
My Conn "Transitional" tenor from 1934 is downright spooky: it has the ability to show me something new every time I play it - and that's the hallmark of a superb horn. And yes, that's my 1970s Otto Link STM on the neck.
 

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Jeanette

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The problem is that if you have a certain sound in your head you are going to achieve it more or less with any sax
That's what my tutor said about mouthpieces, eventually you will adapt to the sound in your head, whatever mouthpiece you choose and just end up sounding like you :)

Jx
 

aldevis

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If I can dare:
David does a very specific job, on the saxophone.
Something I would take years to achieve, in particular regarding tuning and eveness of sound.

He did not really like my own alto (an older Lemon, ex-demo) but I was there during his testing. A very demanding player, and this was the challenge that Mr. Sequoia liked.
An instrument to please both me and David.

I must say that I am a bit surprised that David picked up the horns that I preferred too.
 

David Roach

Senior Member
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598
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London
If I can dare:
David does a very specific job, on the saxophone.
Something I would take years to achieve, in particular regarding tuning and eveness of sound.

He did not really like my own alto (an older Lemon, ex-demo) but I was there during his testing. A very demanding player, and this was the challenge that Mr. Sequoia liked.
An instrument to please both me and David.

I must say that I am a bit surprised that David picked up the horns that I preferred too.
I went into this with a very open mind, but with a definite goal to find instruments that did not simply replicate what I already have (Series 3 Soprano, Ref54 Alto). To do otherwise would have been pointless I think. I chose the unlacquered 'Lemon' instruments precisely because they felt more open and resonant than my present saxes: the challenge was, and is, to retain that open resonance whilst learning to play the instruments very well in tune. Of course I might develop the tendency to try to replicate what I do on my present instruments rather than develop what is inherent in the new ones, and it gets tricky when I start to realise that there are as many problems to solve in the new instruments as there were in the old, that 'honeymoon's-end' sort of feeling: at that point it's important to take things slowly and really listen rather than blunder ahead. But, there comes a point, fairly soon in my case, when I will have to just get on with it!

I achieved what I set out to do in terms of the sound of the instruments I brought back - now for the hard work! I think one thing I have gained with age is some useful scepticism about the idea that one thing is necessarily going to be 'better' than another. Usually it's simply different, but that's OK.

But what I can say with absolute conviction is that the Sequoia horns are very, very good; that Roberto Buttus is a great man and his Sequoia 'family' more than generous hosts. And Aldevis was a great asset in helping me choose them. :)
 

David Roach

Senior Member
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598
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London
Aha! After all that high-falutin' talk about intonation and tone, the real reason comes out.
Actually, joking apart I have ordered up a conventional thumb rest screw so I can go back to normal if necessary. Even though the extension does relive the cramped position of my RH, I need to check to find out if effects anything else.
 
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