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Accessories The lefreque - Snake Oil or Holy grail of saxophone sound enhancement?

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
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14,013
As the first of a series of reviews of sound enhancing gizmos, I present:

The lefreQue

There is a blindfold audio test, can you tell which has the lefreque?

There has already been some interesting discussion on SOTW, including a post from the company owner.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,125
I couldn't hear any difference that could not be caused bu a light shift in the microphone position.

But what about you?
Did you feel more emotion or had more enjoyment while using it?
 

rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
I couldn't tell which was which either. But there is another (possibly hidden) side to all these 'enhancers'. Primarily they claim to work. And to be fair, mostly they don't. But if you really believe in them you probably play better just because you think it sounds better...
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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21,947
First (no Le Freq) sounded quite different at first, but more like blowing technique - less breathy. The rest - more like player variation to me.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
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3,904
I couldn't tell which was which either. But there is another (possibly hidden) side to all these 'enhancers'. Primarily they claim to work. And to be fair, mostly they don't. But if you really believe in them you probably play better just because you think it sounds better...
I've heard this theory a few times and I'm not so sure. I would expect that to make me play worse, because I wasn't really listening properly.
 

rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
I've heard this theory a few times and I'm not so sure. I would expect that to make me play worse, because I wasn't really listening properly.
Perhaps, or perhaps you play better because you let loose.
Just to make one thing clear. I think this is a product to make money, not better music. Mainly because I firmly believe it's not the material of the sax making the sound, but the column of air.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
Perhaps, or perhaps you play better because you let loose.
Also possible, of course.
Just to make one thing clear. I think this is a product to make money, not better music. Mainly because I firmly believe it's not the material of the sax making the sound, but the column of air.
Me, too.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
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14,013
I'm keeping an open mind about this until I find whether or not a significant sample of people can hear the difference.

Of course there would always be an effect due to "placebo" or auto suggestion, in the tests I was blindfolded and supervised by an independent person, who was attaching the lefreque and handing the saxophone to me.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
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5,953
No more difference than you'd get by doing the same thing 12 times with no change in set-up.

I must have missed the enhanced emotion somewhere.
 

davidk

Paints With Notes
Messages
356
I think these ones have the thingummy fitted:

1,3,4,9,10

Reason - the attack is more raspy, less refined.

Conclusion - If it does make a difference, it sounds worse to my ears, so I wouldn't get one even if it was being given away.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,273
To me 1, 3, 6, 9 sound slightly different to original audio to my untrained ears
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
For my money, track 4 was the only one that would suit me, and being as there was little difference to the 'unfitted' track, I've just saved myself 40 euro's ;}

John :);}
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Placebo effect might be better explained as the "I bought it and must not look a right wally" syndrome.

Save your money, the CaSLM is going into production with "Propa-link" just as soon as we can obtain sufficient plastic ties and a new junior hacksaw blade to chop up some Zimmers, NHS wheelchairs and metal bits left in skips.

YC, pm me immediately.

Apologies for being serious.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Placebo effect might be better explained as the "I bought it and must not look a right wally" syndrome.

Save your money, the CaSLM is going into production with "Propa-link" just as soon as we can obtain sufficient plastic ties and a new junior hacksaw blade to chop up some Zimmers, NHS wheelchairs and metal bits left in skips.

YC, pm me immediately.

Apologies for being serious.
Plenty of Zimmers for you in Benidorm!.
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
No, sorry , but I can`t hear anything. I`m wondering whether, should a difference be discernible to some, they might notice the same(?) affect simply by rubber banding a piece of metal in the same position.
I also recall being advised many years ago to remove the surplus cork from the sax neck. i.e. mark your m/p`s tuned position on the cork, then carefully take away the excess. Now that does make sense theoretically since if you coated your entire instrument in cork then it would clearly muffle or dampen the sound. Whether the effect of removing the small amount of surplus would be audibly discernible I am unsure. Must try it.....bloody sight cheaper than the above whatsit....and it won`t fall off!
 

rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
...
I also recall being advised many years ago to remove the surplus cork from the sax neck. i.e. mark your m/p`s tuned position on the cork, then carefully take away the excess. Now that does make sense theoretically since if you coated your entire instrument in cork then it would clearly muffle or dampen the sound. Whether the effect of removing the small amount of surplus would be audibly discernible I am unsure.
...
If that was true, that the cork muffle the sound, then it would be equally true that touching the sax with your fingers would have a muffling effect. If you blow a C# and keep your hands clear of the sax, you would then hear a difference if you play that same C# while holding your hands around the neck (of the horn obviously). Please try it.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
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14,013
Now that does make sense theoretically since if you coated your entire instrument in cork then it would clearly muffle or dampen the sound.
Well it makes sense if you think of the saxophone as a resonating instrument like a bell or a guitar, but theoretically, i.e. according to the available acoustic theory in relation to woodwinds, it doesn't make sense that cork outside the instrument would have any effect whatsoever. I think Adolphe Sax would have realised that before sticking bits of cork onto the instrument in various places.
 
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