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Saxophones The New Jim Schmidt re-designed Saxophone

Mr Andersson

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24
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Leatherhead, Surrey & Southampton, Hants, England
Hi all, I have just come across a new design of saxophone, by a chap called Jim Schmidt, who has built a saxophone with a "Linear Fingering System," whereby "One note follows the next chromatic note by closing down the next key with the next finger of your hand, and so on down the line, one after the other in linear sequence."
And it really looks quite sleek & cool & very modern, but retaining centuries old saxophone styling.(see pic)
I was just wondering if anyone has seen or had any experience of playing one(apart from Jim Schmidt himself,obviously) and what your thoughts are about it?
tsax11.jpg
 

Pete Thomas

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St. Mary's
Yes, I've met Jim Schmidt and seen the tenor. It is a great idea, a very brave one also.

I think he is looking into being able to mass produce them at a reasonable price. It would take a long time to become fluent if you are already used to normal fingering (he says it took him about 4 months) so is probably something best aimed at beginners.

I'd love to have one, but the problem i would have in learning is that as I double, I need to constantly go back and forth between tenor bari alto etc. I think the only way to learn this would be to take those 4 months (or more) and concentrate purely on that fingering. Fine if you won't need to go back to a conventional fingering.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Minster On Sea
It's not exactly "new". Hasn't he been doing these for about 30 years? I'd love one too but, like Pete, I'd probably never spare the time to practise it properly - and I haven't got the large amount of dosh required either.
 

Mr Andersson

New Member
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24
Locality
Leatherhead, Surrey & Southampton, Hants, England
It's not exactly "new". Hasn't he been doing these for about 30 years? I'd love one too but, like Pete, I'd probably never spare the time to practise it properly - and I haven't got the large amount of dosh required either.

I'm not sure about 30 years, that seems like a long time not to be producing or marketing them yet, but I have seen other posts on that other saxophone forum site, that are from around 2003, about this new design.
 

Pete Thomas

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I remember him mentioning them probably on SOTW about 12 years ago. I asked him then about getting one and he said he would custom make them (can't remember the price) and would take about a year. I didn't get one.

He is now in talks with an Asian manufacturer to get them mass produced.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
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12,069
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Berkshire, UK
Thank you Mr Andersson. I have no intention of buying one but I am intrigued......
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Minster On Sea
Perhaps 30 years was a bit of an exaggeration but I could have sworn I first heard about them before '95. Memory's not what it used to be.
 

altissimo

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leicester
I hope he does manage to get them into production, I'd love to try one - to me there are no disadvantages and I think it wouldn't be any harder to adapt to than using an open tuning on a guitar and having things in different places than you're used to.
There was alot of moaning onFacebook about 'reinventing the wheel' and 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' - luddite attitudes when you consider that Mr Sax must've heard similar negative things when he came up with the instrument in the first place.
I'm all in favour of innovation, it's what got us out of the trees and made us humans different to the other monkeys
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Jim Schmidt is a mechanical genius. Anyone who doesn't think so might try building their own saxophone from scratch using an entirely different fingering system. His is the also the one who gave us the round diamond grit files for leveling saxophone tone holes that have revolutionized the repair industry. As I have said before, you can't even see the box from where Jim Schmidt thinks. :)
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
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Berkshire, UK
The intricate work that is shown in the photos on the website would certainly back up JBT's statement.
 
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kernewegor

Bon vivant, raconteur and twit
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cocks hill perranporth KERNOW
A way forward would be to use one as a doubler for a horn you don't already play, then your mind and fingers could treat it as a different instrument.

If in the fulness of time you found it was the better system you could then get one as your main horn.

It is interesting to read what happened when the Boehm system was introduced. It became the main system in France within forty years, other countries following later.

If it's better, it is liable to catch on.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
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The Palm Tree strewn Wandle Surf Beach under the o
Jim is one of my heroes. He is also a talented engineer, at one time if you wanted to race in certain motorcycle classes, you had to see and inevitably, buy from Jim.

Also used to make flutes and he is not afraid of modern materials like carbon composites.

Only problem, the cost, in both cases.
 

kernewegor

Bon vivant, raconteur and twit
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1,736
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cocks hill perranporth KERNOW
If he got enough orders production costs could be reduced considerably... which would produce more orders... and so on.
 

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