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What’s the use in having two tenors?

Dr G

Member
Messages
173
Loving this little collection of tenors!
What are they? From left to right.

I have only one Tenor, which is a ser3 selmer. I love it, and I've had it for 20years. But I've always wanted a vintage horn, a Conn or The Martin tenor, just to satisfy the argument about vintage horns are better than modern horns.

But then I would also like a Signature Raw, or something that's a take on a reproduction vintage.

Sadly though, I'd also like to upgrade my soprano too!!
20 years... Yours will vintage soon enough! The III is a great horn - I played one for several years.

A vintage horn will be different, but not necessarily better. In fact, the ergos are often challenging and the intonation can be iffy if your particular horn is sensitive regarding mouthpiece compatibility.
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,266
Loving this little collection of tenors!
What are they? From left to right.

I have only one Tenor, which is a ser3 selmer. I love it, and I've had it for 20years. But I've always wanted a vintage horn, a Conn or The Martin tenor, just to satisfy the argument about vintage horns are better than modern horns.

But then I would also like a Signature Raw, or something that's a take on a reproduction vintage.

Sadly though, I'd also like to upgrade my soprano too!!

I can highly recommend the Com III Martin tenors as a "vintage" horn that isn't too expensive, mouthpiece friendly, has decent ergonomics, and a wonderful tone that's somewhat malleable. Their sopranos (earlier vintage) are also very special with excellent tone, but more difficult ergos. Only thing to avoid are the ones with the "ring" thumb hook which is extremely uncomfortable. To my ears the only modern horns that are better for tone and ergonomics are the R&C and Borgani. I own all of these horns, and have owned/played many others. If having a spread luscious tone (strong fundamental with good harmonics) is important to you, then Martin, R&C and Borgani I'd rank as tops. If looking for Borgani or R&C only consider the modern horns. The cheapest option is definitely the Martin, but they are old and may need work. Don't expect good looks from any Martin, they almost all have serious lacquer cancer.
 

Damflask

Member
Messages
150
I can highly recommend the Com III Martin tenors as a "vintage" horn that isn't too expensive, mouthpiece friendly, has decent ergonomics, and a wonderful tone that's somewhat malleable. Their sopranos (earlier vintage) are also very special with excellent tone, but more difficult ergos. Only thing to avoid are the ones with the "ring" thumb hook which is extremely uncomfortable. To my ears the only modern horns that are better for tone and ergonomics are the R&C and Borgani. I own all of these horns, and have owned/played many others. If having a spread luscious tone (strong fundamental with good harmonics) is important to you, then Martin, R&C and Borgani I'd rank as tops. If looking for Borgani or R&C only consider the modern horns. The cheapest option is definitely the Martin, but they are old and may need work. Don't expect good looks from any Martin, they almost all have serious lacquer cancer.
I have a Martin Handcraft Soprano with the 'ring' and I really like the ring!
 

ellinas

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,032
Today I did a "battle" between my two tenor saxophones. My Beaugnier and my Yanagisawa. Two excellent horns. Two different horns.
My problem is that they play both excellent. It's a tie.
But they are so so different.
The core tone is different. Voicing is different. Tuning is different. Altissimo is totally different. The G# trapeze is different.
The neck strap position is idfferent. The neck angle is different.
Their behaviour with mouthpieces is different!!!!!

Don't get me wrong. After an hour or so I get used to any of them it's like changing a car... For those that drive manual transmission ones..... You get used to the clutch and break after a while ....

But sometimes I feel it's better to have two same or similar horns if you absolutely need to have two.
It makes life so much easier ......

And the problem arises .... Which one should become the clone? They are both so incredible horns .....

The Yanagisawa is the best student in town ....... And the beaugnier the most popular guy in town .....
Oh lord ...

I'm too old for this...but it's still fun....

With hammond organs ...it's so much easier..... So is with guitars ..... Different necks feel different but not that much different....

I think I understand the problem with people collecting great horns .... How could you ever let a perfect sax go ....

I wish I will not have to be in the position to choose.....
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,266
I have a Martin Handcraft Soprano with the 'ring' and I really like the ring!
Maybe you have a small thumb? My fingers and thumb are thick, so the ring is horribly uncomfortable. It's only around 8 mm wide ring with a diameter of about 25 mm. My thumb knuckle is 28 mm so it only fits the tip of my thumb. The thinness of the ring means the weight is not spread so indents the thumb badly. There is a good reason why thumb rings did not stick around and Martin abandoned the idea after a short while. May suit you, but does not suit many players. Why have a design that limits who can use it? A regular thumb hook is wider so there is less "point compression". Regular thumb hooks can also fit things like cushions for even more comfort.

It's fine to say that you like something...not arguing about that. Others were interested in soprano. Without knowing what sort of thumb they have I'd only recommend horns without the ring, as that's a limiting factor, whereas there is no limiting factor if you have a standard thumb hook.

Certainly no argument about the tone of those old Martin sopranos. Superb!
 
Last edited:

Damflask

Member
Messages
150
Maybe you have a small thumb? My fingers and thumb are thick, so the ring is horribly uncomfortable. It's only around 8 mm wide ring with a diameter of about 25 mm. My thumb knuckle is 28 mm so it only fits the tip of my thumb. The thinness of the ring means the weight is not spread so indents the thumb badly. There is a good reason why thumb rings did not stick around and Martin abandoned the idea after a short while. May suit you, but does not suit many players. Why have a design that limits who can use it? A regular thumb hook is wider so there is less "point compression". Regular thumb hooks can also fit things like cushions for even more comfort.

It's fine to say that you like something...not arguing about that. The OP was interested in soprano. Without knowing what sort of thumb they have I'd only recommend horns without the ring, as that's a limiting factor, whereas there is no limiting factor if you have a standard thumb hook.

Certainly no argument about the tone of those old Martin sopranos. Superb!
Well... never thought about it like that before!
Maybe I do have a small thumb :)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIZUr0GaqPc&lc=UghpcBXQBPc1G3gCoAEC
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
173
... If having a spread luscious tone (strong fundamental with good harmonics) is important to you, then Martin, R&C and Borgani I'd rank as tops. If looking for Borgani or R&C only consider the modern horns.
Cheers, Wade. FWIW, the new OBT series of Borgani Jubilee tenors has a smaller bore/bell - smaller such that the necks between the two series do not fit one another. It still has the same core tone, but less spread and quicker response. I love ‘em both!
 

PMason247

Member
Messages
70
I can highly recommend the Com III Martin tenors as a "vintage" horn that isn't too expensive, mouthpiece friendly, has decent ergonomics, and a wonderful tone that's somewhat malleable. Their sopranos (earlier vintage) are also very special with excellent tone, but more difficult ergos. Only thing to avoid are the ones with the "ring" thumb hook which is extremely uncomfortable. To my ears the only modern horns that are better for tone and ergonomics are the R&C and Borgani. I own all of these horns, and have owned/played many others. If having a spread luscious tone (strong fundamental with good harmonics) is important to you, then Martin, R&C and Borgani I'd rank as tops. If looking for Borgani or R&C only consider the modern horns. The cheapest option is definitely the Martin, but they are old and may need work. Don't expect good looks from any Martin, they almost all have serious lacquer cancer.
Thanks for the info.
R&C are lovely looking saxophones, R1 Jazz looks awesome (I think they did a gold plated one?). I will look up the Martin too.
 

buddy lee

Member
Messages
79
Thanks for the info.
R&C are lovely looking saxophones, R1 Jazz looks awesome (I think they did a gold plated one?). I will look up the Martin too.

I have a tremendous playing Martin Comm III for sale if you end up being interested in them. I've always wanted to try an R&C but haven't had the chance
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,266
Cheers, Wade. FWIW, the new OBT series of Borgani Jubilee tenors has a smaller bore/bell - smaller such that the necks between the two series do not fit one another. It still has the same core tone, but less spread and quicker response. I love ‘em both!
I've got to admit to almost pulling the trigger on the OBT alto as the factory made me a great offer on a demo. I then saw Uwe's offer and heard what that horn sounded like and was sold. The issue was that I knew the exact sort of tone I was after and Uwe's GK had it. The Borg would for sure be a great horn, but tone unknown. As you say: go for the tone!

I still really enjoy my Joe Lovano Jubilee tenor as it's unique in it's tone and feel. The only weak point is the length of the arm for low C which had to be doubled to give it enough strength, but then has too much weight which makes it bounce with the "right" amount of spring tension. Do you know of a fix for that? Maybe softer felt?

Certainly happy to help you talk up the Borganis as they deserve to be better known and flourish.
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
173
I've got to admit to almost pulling the trigger on the OBT alto as the factory made me a great offer on a demo. I then saw Uwe's offer and heard what that horn sounded like and was sold. The issue was that I knew the exact sort of tone I was after and Uwe's GK had it. The Borg would for sure be a great horn, but tone unknown. As you say: go for the tone!

I still really enjoy my Joe Lovano Jubilee tenor as it's unique in it's tone and feel. The only weak point is the length of the arm for low C which had to be doubled to give it enough strength, but then has too much weight which makes it bounce with the "right" amount of spring tension. Do you know of a fix for that? Maybe softer felt?

Certainly happy to help you talk up the Borganis as they deserve to be better known and flourish.

Hmm, I don’t have that issue on my horns, but both tenors were completely redone by Matt Stohrer. One fix that I have used on other horns in the past - in fact, it was a suggestion form Matt, is to add a layer of Sorbothane. It is a polymer designed to absorb shock, and is used to isolate vibration in microscope tables, and to absorb shock in running shoes.
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,266
Hmm, I don’t have that issue on my horns, but both tenors were completely redone by Matt Stohrer. One fix that I have used on other horns in the past - in fact, it was a suggestion form Matt, is to add a layer of Sorbothane. It is a polymer designed to absorb shock, and is used to isolate vibration in microscope tables, and to absorb shock in running shoes.
Will check that out. Wasn't aware of it although I use a microscope in my work. Running shoes? ...not for me!
 

Dom

New Member
Messages
12
I'm finding this discussion really interesting.. I think it makes a lot of sense to have a backup, at least for one's main horn. I love my 10M and have a Yanagisawa 902 which I learnt to play on but don't enjoy much anymore. I'm going to replace it with another 10M or maybe an Eastman 52nd street if I can find one.
 

ellinas

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,032
For me having two tenor horns of a different design ... is really a problem.
I have two wonderful horns. A Yanagisawa and a Beaugnier.

They are both wonderful, fat sounding and everything but different.
The Yani has a different keywork and I need everytime a little bit of time to get used to, a different neck angle ... and even though I really enjoy it everything is a little bit different.

What bothers me is ... do i keep the two different saxes? Or do I keep one and find a super similar - if not the same - to have a true backup horn ....

Finding a 2nd FrankenYani is almost impossible ...and finding a Beaugnier 38 in super nice condition ... is almost impossible too .....

Oh lord...
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
173
For me having two tenor horns of a different design ... is really a problem.
I have two wonderful horns. A Yanagisawa and a Beaugnier.

They are both wonderful, fat sounding and everything but different.
The Yani has a different keywork and I need everytime a little bit of time to get used to, a different neck angle ... and even though I really enjoy it everything is a little bit different.

What bothers me is ... do i keep the two different saxes? Or do I keep one and find a super similar - if not the same - to have a true backup horn ....

Finding a 2nd FrankenYani is almost impossible ...and finding a Beaugnier 38 in super nice condition ... is almost impossible too .....

Oh lord...
This sounds like you are learning what you’d like, and recognizing the challenges of the choices. The good news is that you can start all over again, and choose more deliberately in the future.

I trod much the same path, even once considering keeping a pair of Bueschers - Big B and TH&C (both overhauled, both prime examples of their marque). Like you, I realized that I wanted to minimize the difference between mechanisms, while having a pair of horns that were different in character. There are not too many brands that allow one to do that. In the end, neither horn is a backup, as each is highly desirable in its own right.

G’luck with your quest.
 

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Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,641
For me having two tenor horns of a different design ... is really a problem.
I have two wonderful horns. A Yanagisawa and a Beaugnier.

They are both wonderful, fat sounding and everything but different.
The Yani has a different keywork and I need everytime a little bit of time to get used to, a different neck angle ... and even though I really enjoy it everything is a little bit different.

What bothers me is ... do i keep the two different saxes? Or do I keep one and find a super similar - if not the same - to have a true backup horn ....

Finding a 2nd FrankenYani is almost impossible ...and finding a Beaugnier 38 in super nice condition ... is almost impossible too .....

Oh lord...
Put yourself out of your misery and find a tenor that loves you more than the Yani, who will find a foster home
 

Hipparion

Member
Messages
264
Put yourself out of your misery and find a tenor that loves you more than the Yani, who will find a foster home
This sentence started sooo well : for a moment I thought you were about to say something along the lines of 'put yourself out of your misery : the only purpose of having two tenors is for them to cancel each other so that you can go back to what's important (soprano sax)'... >:)
I am sooo disappointed ! ;)
 
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