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Saxophones Soprano saxophone sounds like oboe and nasally

BeBopSop

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274
Hi all, in your opinion which straight sops sound oboe-ish and nasally? (I have heard these terms used and understand the sound,) compared to sops that sound just like a small sax? I am gearing myself up to buy a sop (again) and at the moment I am going to go for the Yani 901, I cant afford to go higher in price, but from what I have read they take some beating all round. The solid silver Yani has a lovely warm sound. A lot of players say they dont like the oboe/nasal/snake charmer sound but.........I do, I think Coltrane,s My favorite things (not the normal version but this version sounds great!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvT0YI3Ogag&list=PL174635641870BB9B&index=48&feature=plpp_video

any suggestions would be very helpful... thanks.
 
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jonf

Well-Known Member
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3,680
Far, far more to do with the mouthpiece than the sax. In order of influence, I'd say player first, then mouthpiece, then sax. If the totality of the sound is expressed as 100, I'd say the relative influence is player, 60, mouthpiece 30 and sax 10. The player can influence sound by practice, the other two can be changed by spending. Looking at spending to change sound, easily the biggest impact for your £ is the mouthpiece.

IMHO!:D
 

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
Far, far more to do with the mouthpiece than the sax. In order of influence, I'd say player first, then mouthpiece, then sax. If the totality of the sound is expressed as 100, I'd say the relative influence is player, 60, mouthpiece 30 and sax 10. The player can influence sound by practice, the other two can be changed by spending. Looking at spending to change sound, easily the biggest impact for your £ is the mouthpiece.

IMHO!:D
Hi Jonf, yes I have heard this before, do you think say, if Coltrane played a jupiter or cheap Chinese sax etc, but using his prefered MP and reed he would sound as good/the same? I suppose from what you are saying he would? My uncle who has been playing his Mk 6 Alto for 55 years, had a go on my BW curved sop (I no longer have) at first he couldnt get a sound from it! But when he did he sounded (tone wise) just like him, just like he always does!
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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5,953
I'd go with wot jonf said. The proportions sound about right but he forgot about the reed! Bottom of the list for sure, but they do make a difference. (At this point someone'll pipe up about bloomin' ligs).

I prefer reedy too. There doesn't seem much point in trying to make a sop sound like a small alto - it's just naff.

You're probably heading in the right direction with Yanags, unless you come across an old MkVI and can put up with the intonation.

Sidetracking a little - it seems to me impossible to compare the sound of straight sops and curved sops. The way the sound reaches your ears from the two types is so vastly different that it masks any other differences.
 
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BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
I'd go with wot jonf said. The proportions sound about right but he forgot about the reed! Bottom of the list for sure, but they do make a difference. (At this point someone'll pipe up about bloomin' ligs).

I prefer reedy too. There doesn't seem much point in trying to make a sop sound like a small alto - it's just naff.

You're probably heading in the right direction with Yanags, unless you come across an old MkVI and can put up with the intonation.

Sidetracking a little - it seems to me impossible to compare the sound of straight sops and curved sops. The way the sound reaches your ears from the two types is so vastly different that it masks any other differences.
I wont put up with intonation problems, but I did see a s/h Selmer mk 3, about the same price as the Yani 901, I wonder which is best???

I recon curved and straights just sound different anyway IMO
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
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8,013
We did a test at a Cannonball saxophone display at a music festival held at a local university. There were several high school and college saxophone players standing around and we used them for a test.

A very advanced college player played both the straight Cannonball soprano, and then the curved one playing the same excerpt using the same mouthpiece and reed. We had the audience whose eyes were closed for the demonstration try to choose which one A or B was the straight and which one was the curved. Within about 25 feet of the player most could guess correctly which was which. When we asked them to listen again, but from much farther away, they indicated it was harder to distinguish which was which, and only about half of them guessed right.

In my experience the difference in sound to the player is far more dramatic between the two types of sopranos than the people listening from farther away.

There is one more element besides the instrument, mouthpiece, and reed in determining the tone of a saxophone of any size, and that is the "player's concept". A good player can make the sound he/she wants to achieve on just about any set-up, but gravitates to those set-ups that allow that sound to be produced with the least amount of effort on their part.
 

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
We did a test at a Cannonball saxophone display at a music festival held at a local university. There were several high school and college saxophone players standing around and we used them for a test.

A very advanced college player played both the straight Cannonball soprano, and then the curved one playing the same excerpt using the same mouthpiece and reed. We had the audience whose eyes were closed for the demonstration try to choose which one A or B was the straight and which one was the curved. Within about 25 feet of the player most could guess correctly which was which. When we asked them to listen again, but from much farther away, they indicated it was harder to distinguish which was which, and only about half of them guessed right.

In my experience the difference in sound to the player is far more dramatic between the two types of sopranos than the people listening from farther away.

There is one more element besides the instrument, mouthpiece, and reed in determining the tone of a saxophone of any size, and that is the "player's concept". A good player can make the sound he/she wants to achieve on just about any set-up, but gravitates to those set-ups that allow that sound to be produced with the least amount of effort on their part.
Yes,I think the player must be happy with his/her sound, otherwise he probably couldnt be bothered to keep going? I find when I do get the sound (I like) I could keep going on and on...
 

Pete C

Member
Messages
344
Hi John, give the Selmer a fair test. I am very happy with my mk II Selmer sop. I think Courtney Pine used one for a long time and I know Iain Ballamy plays a mkIII. Pete
 

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
Hi John, give the Selmer a fair test. I am very happy with my mk II Selmer sop. I think Courtney Pine used one for a long time and I know Iain Ballamy plays a mkIII. Pete
Hi Pete, yes I will,I have just ordered (on aproval) a Selmer series 3 and a Yanagisawa 991 both s/h from Howarths, should get them soon I will post how I get on.....
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Hi Pete, yes I will,I have just ordered (on aproval) a Selmer series 3 and a Yanagisawa 991 both s/h from Howarths, should get them soon I will post how I get on.....
I'd be very interested to hear how you get on.

In response to your question following my post above, yup, I reckon that if Coltrane blew his favourite piece through a Mk6, my old Buescher and my Bauhaus Walstein, I think he'd sound like 'Trane on them all. Just like I'd sound crap on them all.:)))
 

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
I'd be very interested to hear how you get on.

In response to your question following my post above, yup, I reckon that if Coltrane blew his favourite piece through a Mk6, my old Buescher and my Bauhaus Walstein, I think he'd sound like 'Trane on them all. Just like I'd sound crap on them all.:)))
How did I get on? Well the selmer series 3 had a fault on the low C note (pad problem? I dont know) but the intonation was way out, its a shame because it was a fantastic sax to look at it, was 100 grams heavier than the Yani, some of the long rods had lateral movement which moved the pads slightly left and right of the tone hole.but not easy to play. The yanagisawa 991 was almost mint condition, (and less money) the intonation was perfect and I could get all the notes top to bottom, the keywork was so comfortable too, and a beautiful tone. So I went for the Yani. I had 3 MPs to try the Selmer super session E was too bright and loud for me, the Jody Jazz just fell over the crook cork! I did try it with paper wrapped roune the cork, but it was unimpressive.The Meyer 5M however was the best,but I still got on better with my Yamaha 4C. . So I am happy (for a while) now
John
P1000907.jpg
 
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Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
Great that you've found something you like. We need some sound clips now!

Did you manage to find a courier for the alto?
 

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
Great that you've found something you like. We need some sound clips now!

Did you manage to find a courier for the alto?
Yes thanks, D.P.D. via on the net by Parcelflight.co.uk cost £40.00 incl £1500.00 insurance cover.
Re sound clip, when I have some thing good enough...lol
 

saxguy

New Member
Messages
2
normally I would agree with you Jon, but in the case of sopranos, they make a huge difference. I play a winston, which has a very thin sound. However when I tried other horns, selmer, yanis, yamahas with the same set up the difference is huge. I would say its more like 30-40% with sopranos.
 

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
normally I would agree with you Jon, but in the case of sopranos, they make a huge difference. I play a winston, which has a very thin sound. However when I tried other horns, selmer, yanis, yamahas with the same set up the difference is huge. I would say its more like 30-40% with sopranos.
Do you know which soprano Coltrane used on his Favorite things recordings please?
 
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