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Other "Saxstuff" Replacement King Super 20 Necks

Mikey B

Member
Messages
183
I am very proud to finally announce my very own range of "High Density" King Super 20 handmade copper necks. I have spent considerable time and effort to reach this point, and I am very happy with the results. My necks are built to look exactly the same as the originals and as such all parts are interchangeable between them. The copper tube is 99.9 % pure and is completely seamless. I intend to extend the range to include a solid silver version which will be available early next year. Super 20 altos will also included, If things go well I will also consider making these for other makes and models in due course. Please feel free to ask any questions. Thanks, Mike

A couple of photos:
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Saxstuff copper neck next to an original silver item. Saxstuff copper neck fitted to Silversonic tenor.
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,259
Lovely looking necks and a great idea.

A couple of questions:
  • If it is 99.9% pure copper, then the density should be 8.96 g/cm3 which is a tad more than brass or bronze at 8.70 - is that what "high density" means in this context ?
  • Will you try to have different bore designs and offer different "voicings" or just match a good example of the original ?
  • Do you make the tubes yourself or are they manufactured to your spec somewhere else ?
Really good luck with your business.

Rhys
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,675
Looks great! I sold my S20 silver sonic tenor for 15 years ago .... but I know some players that needs new necks. Just for S20's with double socket?
 
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Mikey B

Mikey B

Member
Messages
183
Thanks for the kind comments and likes it's very encouraging. It's been a real challenge to get this far that's for sure! The copper tubes are completely seamless and no heat (apart from final soldering) is used in the forming process so no oxidisation can take place to impart impurities into the work. The copper therefore remains completely pure. Unlike other seamless neck tubes the thickness is uniform thoughout the length of the neck. To make the necks a viable proposition and due to other work commitments I have no choice but to out source some of these parts. It would be virtually impossible for me to do it otherwise.

I am not intending to mess with tapers or internal bores. The neck plays really well as it is and I'm not nearly enough qualified to get involved in the science and black art of all that. I have spent all my working life in engineering and consider myself a very good craftsman ( I think that reflects in the workmanship of the many parts I make ) I believe I have a very good product that will appeal to many players wanting something a little different or just something to replace a missing neck. I have had a lot of interest in this project elsewhere and am just bringing it home for folks in the U.K.

Here is a quote from a top UK Super 20 proffesional player who has one of my necks for testing.

Results of a straight A/B test of the "Saxstuff" copper v original silver neck, In an acoustic "in the room" playing situation the copper neck plays with a slightly darker more mellow and warmer sound than the original factory silver neck. On stage in an amplified performance setting the difference isn't quite so noticeable. Harmonics, response and intonation are absolutely spot on throughout the range of the instrument. A great piece of engineering. Looking forward to try the silver version.

Thanks, Mike.
 
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Mikey B

Mikey B

Member
Messages
183
Just so I can keep everything in one place and easier to manage, can I please ask that all enquiries regarding purchasing a neck go through the contact page on my website. Thank you.

Regards, Mike.

www.saxstuff.co.uk
 
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Mikey B

Mikey B

Member
Messages
183
Just a bit of an update. The Saxstuff King Super 20 replacement necks will shortly be available in pure solid silver. I have just made the first silver neck tubes and they look fantastic. Photos don't do them justice. Suitable for altos and tenors with either single or double socket tenons. The range can also be modified to be used on the King Zephyr range as well. This project has been delayed due to being let down by outside agencies over the last few months. I will therefore be making everything in house instead from now on. If nothing else this has convinced me that if you need anything doing[BGCOLOR=transparent].........
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jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,891
Not wishing to steal your "trade secrets", but I for one would love a description of the process and equipment you use to "draw" the neck tubes and then bend them to the proper shape.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Messages
3,410
DROOOOOOOLL I have a Zephyr alto that would love to have one of those but I daren't even think of asking the price
 
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Mikey B

Mikey B

Member
Messages
183
I bought a Theo Wanne Gaia metal mouthpiece that cost more than one of my Silver tenor necks! I can also offer a copper or silver plated copper neck for a Zephyr alto.
 

Tomasz

Member
Messages
544
Best of luck with it. When you get around to doing SML tenor necks let me know.
Perhaps one day other necks may be in the pipeline e.g. ones for Selmer or Buescher etc.

@Mikey B - I appreciate that you're concentrating on King Super 20 necks at present, and that you'll be fully focussed on those for the forseeable future. However, if you ever diversify into fabricating necks for other classic vintage tenors (e.g. the Conn 10M) then please post on this forum, because I'm sure that people would be interested to know more - and obviously, I'd be one of them.
 

Tomasz

Member
Messages
544
Just a bit of an update. The Saxstuff King Super 20 replacement necks will shortly be available in pure solid silver. I have just made the first silver neck tubes and they look fantastic. Photos don't do them justice. Suitable for altos and tenors with either single or double socket tenons. The range can also be modified to be used on the King Zephyr range as well. This project has been delayed due to being let down by outside agencies over the last few months. I will therefore be making everything in house instead from now on. If nothing else this has convinced me that if you need anything doing[BGCOLOR=transparent]......... View attachment 10112 View attachment 10113 [/BGCOLOR]
@Mikey B - Given that you can fabricate double-socket as well as single-socket neck tenons, this means that (theoretically) you could do Conn 6M alto and late-model Conn 10M tenor necks as well. Conn 6M and 10Ms were in production from circa 1934 through to circa 1968, so there are many, many thousands of them out there - and some have damaged/missing necks. You're doubtless already aware that although Conn 10Ms had single-socket neck tenons for most of their production, Conn started putting double-socket neck tenons on their Conn 10Ms starting circa 1956. For people who own a Conn 10M made from 1956 onwards with a damaged/missing neck, finding a replacement double-socket neck for their horn is extremely difficult. The word "nightmare" doesn't begin to describe the level of difficulty involved in tracking one down.

Just something to potentially consider for the future.
 
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Mikey B

Mikey B

Member
Messages
183
Thank you all for the likes and positive comments about my necks, it's much appreciated. I've received many requests for other make of necks, in particular, the Conn 10m has been mentioned and requested on several occasions. This was only recently discussed at length with the repair department at Sax.co.uk also asking my thoughts about doing the same for the Conn saxes.

I presently have additional work commitments which unfortunately only allows me limited time on my priority work for the King line of sax parts which is the mainstay for Saxstuff. I don't have any experience with the Conns, never even played one. I do however realise they are still very popular and Conn made the 10m and 6m over a long period of time but I wouldn't know the differences between the models.

Also, the biggest problem of all is finding somebody who is willing to lend me a complete sax from Conns "Golden Era" in the long term to look over and assess the feasibility of making a neck ( I would need the complete sax to check the tenon/receiver arrangement and fit ) I certainly don't want to take on more financial commitments for another sax project. I'm not ruling anything out, it is possible this could happen at some point in the future.

Regards, Mike.
 

Tomasz

Member
Messages
544
Thank you all for the likes and positive comments about my necks, it's much appreciated. I've received many requests for other make of necks, in particular, the Conn 10m has been mentioned and requested on several occasions. This was only recently discussed at length with the repair department at Sax.co.uk also asking my thoughts about doing the same for the Conn saxes.

I presently have additional work commitments which unfortunately only allows me limited time on my priority work for the King line of sax parts which is the mainstay for Saxstuff. I don't have any experience with the Conns, never even played one. I do however realise they are still very popular and Conn made the 10m and 6m over a long period of time but I wouldn't know the differences between the models.

Also, the biggest problem of all is finding somebody who is willing to lend me a complete sax from Conns "Golden Era" in the long term to look over and assess the feasibility of making a neck ( I would need the complete sax to check the tenon/receiver arrangement and fit ) I certainly don't want to take on more financial commitments for another sax project. I'm not ruling anything out, it is possible this could happen at some point in the future.

Regards, Mike.
@Mikey B - From your standpoint, there could be sound financial reasons for making replacement Conn 6M and Conn 10M necks:- C.G.Conn churned them out by the shipload compared to King Super 20s. Even though Conn mass-produced huge quantities, the quality was excellent and they are "killer" horns. As a result, it's likely that more people will want to buy a Conn neck than would ever want to buy King Super 20 necks. Conn's (roughly) equivalent of the King Super 20 was the Conn 26M alto and 30M tenor. They were special order products, basically a souped-up Conn 6M and Conn 10m. You can Google photos if you're curious.

As previously mentioned, the neck tenon design on the Conn 10M changed from a single to a double-socket arrangement in 1956. However, the Conn 6M design stayed as is in an underslung model from 1934 right through to the end of production. I'll head off the "anoraks" who disagree with this statement by also mentioning the double-socket "New York" neck - but that was a very rare beast which you had to order specially. It's highly unusual to encounter a Conn 6M with the New York neck because it was a non-standard production item:-

Conn 6M from 1936 with the "New York" neck

Quite a few early and late-production Conn 6Ms had necks like this without a microtuner:-

Conn 6M "Transitional" dated 1935 (no microtuner)

Conn 6M date 1967 (no microtuner)

But most Conn 6M necks made prior to about 1952 did have a "microtuner" like this. You really should avoid replicating the microtuner because it's complicated, unnecessary and is (quite literally) a pain in the neck for various reasons. It's not a coincidence that no modern saxophone manufacturers incorporate microtuners (or similar devices) on their necks. The short answer is because microtuners are more trouble than they're worth:-

Conn 6M showing microtuner

The "deep joy" of servicing a Conn microtuner

Note:- Conn tenors never had microtuners. Only Conn altos ever had microtuners, and although most pre-1952 altos had microtuners fitted there are definitely exceptions to that rule. Over the years I have seen a few Conn New Wonder Series II altos and Conn 6M altos which did not have microtuners. Just to make it clear, these weren't post-production modifications made by someone after they'd left the factory. No, they were built that way by Conn right from the start. The good news for you is that making a Conn alto neck without having to include the microtuner mechanism is a much easier task.

Regardless, there's a HUGE potential market out there for vintage Conn saxophone necks, though you'll obviously want to do more market research prior to making any major committment. The only real compatibility issues are between the single-socket Conn New Wonder II alto necks and the start of the Conn 6M alto double-socket necks in circa 1934, and the move from single to double-socket necks on the Conn 10M in 1956.

Another point to ponder:- Prior to starting manufacture of the Conn 10M and 6M, Conn also churned out shiploads of Conn New Wonder Series II (what some people refer to as the "Chu Berry") altos and tenors from circa 1925 through to 1933. All used single-socket necks. Most came with microtuners, but others didn't - my first ever horn (the one I learned on many years ago) was a silver-plated Conn New Wonder Series II alto without a microtuner on the neck. Therefore, it would be "historically correct" (and also easier!) to make any model of Conn alto sax neck without the dreaded microtoner. Whether tenor or alto, all Conn New Wonder Series IIs are excellent horns in their own right, as these videos demonstrate:-


Incidentally, the tenor video you just watched was not a so-called "Chu Berry". It's a Conn Transitional.


The earlier Conn New Wonder Series I altos and tenors (produced between 1921 and 1925) use the same socket design as the Conn New Wonder Series II. Therefore, any neck you make for a Conn New Wonder Series II would also fit onto a Conn New Wonder Series I. So, there's an even larger market for your product. In fairness, the keywork on a Conn New Wonder Series I isn't as good, but the sound is much the same i.e. the "spread", boomy, punchy, masculine tone-colours.

A word of caution:- Conn made "Transitional" saxophones between circa 1931 and 1935. These combined elements of the Conn New Wonder Series II with the Conn 6M or 10M. The change was progressive e.g. early Transitionals can be 80% Conn NW#2 and 20% Conn 10M, the ones in the middle can be 40% Conn New Wonder Series II) and 60% Conn 10M and the late ones can be 20% Conn New Wonder Series II and 80% Conn 10M - with inevitable variations on those figures. In short, there was no abrupt cut-off between the end of production of the Conn New Wonder #2 and the start of the Conn 6M and 10M. These changes were evolutionary in nature, as elements of the Conn New Wonder Series II gradually disappeared as the design "morphed" from one to the other.

Assuming that you make necks for Conn NW#2 horns, I'm not sure how this would affect the internals of the neck design - probably not much. However, do be aware that late Transitionals have the "shot glass" octave vent on the neck as opposed to the earlier "mushroom-shaped" octave arm vent. All Conn 6Ms and Conn 10Ms (regardless of vintage) have "shot-glass" octave vents. Ultimately, you'd need to examine different examples and take measurements.

I hope that this information helps you re. any future research you may do re. Conn necks.
 
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Mikey B

Mikey B

Member
Messages
183
Tomasz, thanks for the information you have provided here, that's very interesting. It's definitely something for me to think about at some point in the future. Perhaps you can clear up one issue. it's been suggested to me that some of the Conn 10m tenons were slightly tapered into the receivers is this true? Also, I'm guessing as you are passionate about Conns as I am about S20s you must have some of these saxes then? If so could you perhaps post some neck photos from varying angles if you get the chance?

Thanks, Mike.
 
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