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Thread: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by saxsaxsax69 View Post
    ...
    If materials made no difference then why would they use expensive materials?
    ...
    You can't be serious that plastic clarinets sound anywhere near as good as wooden ones?...
    Marketing, with a view towards greater profitability. The incremental cost of the plating per clarinet is wildly less than the mark up for the instruments so treated. The manufacturer, Yamaha in this instance, is a business. While the "Hamilton plating" surely does no harm neither is it liable to be more advantagious to musical production than additional engraving is. I suppose it's just a question of time before we are presented with an elaborate engraving pattern that is "scientifically designed to enhance the propagation of vibration through the horn's metal bell via careful placement of frequency enhancing tone channelers (scratches) thereby increasing projection and clarity, with a full, dark, and focused cutting edge to your tone that will set you apart as you play lead horn."

    Absolutely serious that some non wood clarinets can sound as good as wood clarinets.

    FWIW take note that the assertion in the original post wasn't for the plating on the cups and keywork- it was that the plating on the POSTS made the difference. Ay carumba.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    I think some people forget that YOU are the sound, the instrument just helps to facilitate it.

    ie, I will always sound like me, but with the set up I have, I make the best possible sound for me. Therefore there is no one perfect set up!!!!

    I'm sorry if people are under a conspiracy theory that all makers are just out to make a quick buck by giving things that aren't needed.

    Agreed, engraving does nothing to the sax - purity of metals and indeed platings make a huge difference, as does mouthpiece!

    I think that these are widely accepted TRUTHS.
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  3. #23
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    a lot of " truths" are just things seen from a wrong angle and interpreting the facts that we think we are observing in a wrong way (as when you observe that the sun sets while, instead, it is the horizon which rises!)

    reading is a great form of self improvement

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer-expectancy_effect
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subject-expectancy_effect
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawthorne_effect
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo

  4. #24
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Science is effectively baffled on this question because of the enormous variability at every step in the process - including the player and the listener.

    The result is that marketing can still make whatever claims it likes - and surround them with technical-sounding generalizations, as long as no trade secrets get revealed.

    BTW saxsax69, your Selmer artist credit is a good credential in general, but not when you're making such outspoken claims for Selmer products. Then it looks like paid advertising.
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  5. #25

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    I became a Selmer Paris artist because I believe in their product. As you'll see I don't play exclusively their products!
    Selmer Paris Artist

    Sopranino: Selmer SII (S80 D)
    Soprano: Selmer SIII SS with GP neck (vintage Soloist D)
    Alto: Selmer SIII GP with SS neck (Concept/SD20)
    Tenor: Selmer SIII GP (S90)
    Baritone: Selmer SIII (S80 C)
    Bass: Selmer II (S80 D)

    Clarinets in Bb, A: Selmer Privilege
    Bass Clarinet: Selmer Privilege
    Eb Clarinet: Selmer Recital

    Bassoon: YFG 821
    Contrabassoon: Amati
    Oboe: Howarth XL
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  6. #26
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by saxsaxsax69 View Post

    Agreed, engraving does nothing to the sax - purity of metals and indeed platings make a huge difference, as does mouthpiece!

    I think that these are widely accepted TRUTHS.
    Only the bit about mouthpieces is widely accepted.


    Quote Originally Posted by saxsaxsax69 View Post
    I'm sorry if people are under a conspiracy theory that all makers are just out to make a quick buck by giving things that aren't needed.
    Different finishes are definitely needed, but not for the sound.

    At least in the old days, Buescher didn't subscribe to the finishes myth:


  7. #27
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Laughlin View Post
    Yes, but the actual experiences of the vast majority of musicians in the real world don't matter here. We'd rather believe the insistent proclamations of a few vocal "expert" posters. Remember, you're in the SOTW Zone now . . .

  8. #28
    Distinguished SOTW Member DavidW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Does engraving remove more metal than the plating adds?

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    How about playing wearing a gold plated watch ? Any serious experience out there ?
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    ......Swiss golden watch sound is very different from an Italian stainless steel one, I have definitely heard it!

  11. #31

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by saxsaxsax69 View Post
    I just find these reactions amazing as it was effectively a blind test as my non musician friends didn't have a clue which sax was which - also had no idea of the value.

    They were able to hear noticeable differences that were far greater than any differences within the same finish.

    If materials made no difference then why would they use expensive materials? You can't be serious that plastic clarinets sound anywhere near as good as wooden ones? Same with oboes!

    Its probably why synthetic reeds haven't really taken over - reason - MATERIAL.

    It's clearly vital - on a science and a logic point of view - clearly proven with people who listen.
    Flawed logic run riot.

    I'd suspect that most wooden clarinets are made to a higher level of quality than most plastic ones and I'd suggest that that is more responsible for any difference in sound than the material used -- if there is a difference in sound.

    There are many factors as to why two different instruments may sound different that are more convincingly attributable to manufacturing variations than any other cause.

    To try to claim materials make such a difference without any additional information is like having a study that says drinking coffee causes cancer because 100 cancer patients polled said they drunk coffee every morning for 50 years -- it's flawed logic.

    I've got to wonder if there's an alterior motive behind someone claiming that finish makes such a difference in sound when there are so many other construction factors more likely to have a much more significant effect.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    But I tried about 12 different SIII Altos, the sound factors were consistent across the finish range, therefore it is logical to assume that it is the finish that affects the sound.

    Unless you try this type of volume, which I accept, is hard to do, then I think it is difficult to make sweeping statements.

    I however have tried a large number of the same sax, same model, same mouthpiece and reed etc and the results were very clear, not only to me but to independent listeners.

    What motive would I have for promoting "other" finishes? I'm not on commission, nor do I sell the instruments, I'm just passing on MY personal experiences as I have been lucky enough to make the trip to Paris to have what is probably one of the widest selections of Selmer Paris saxophones possible.
    Selmer Paris Artist

    Sopranino: Selmer SII (S80 D)
    Soprano: Selmer SIII SS with GP neck (vintage Soloist D)
    Alto: Selmer SIII GP with SS neck (Concept/SD20)
    Tenor: Selmer SIII GP (S90)
    Baritone: Selmer SIII (S80 C)
    Bass: Selmer II (S80 D)

    Clarinets in Bb, A: Selmer Privilege
    Bass Clarinet: Selmer Privilege
    Eb Clarinet: Selmer Recital

    Bassoon: YFG 821
    Contrabassoon: Amati
    Oboe: Howarth XL
    Cor Anglais: Howarth XL

    Flute: Sankyo 201 + AG (Nagahara HJ)
    Piccolo: Yamaha 32

  13. #33

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Well, this topic sure gets people excited. and the person above with friends listening sounds pretty objective but does the players knowledge of the finish and preconcieved notions affect the sound?. Were they all the same model horne? I also agree with the person who said its hard to get a real scientific experiment where your just changing a single variable. do manufacturerers exagerate or lie to sell more horns? - Probably.

    my hypotheses:
    1. the air column vibration on the pure acoustic theory is the dominate effect.
    2. the horn material does affect the sound because it vibrates as well and the transmision effectiveness and difference between speed of sound in the metal and air
    3. the finish can affect item 2 but generally its thin so it shouldnt be a lot. Plating with a different material would have more affect than finish.
    4. i suspect the closer you are to the vibrating reed, like mouthpiece and neck, the more affect material and finish will have
    5. I suspect the manufacturers have done some objective experiments but dont make them public because they sell more horns with unsubstantiated claims.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Different materials are used all over the musical industry to create different sounds, the difference can be subtle, but certainly noticeable.

    Timpani skins made from animal skins sound completely different to plastic ones (and there are many different types) as do the mallets used.

    Vibrations are affected (or is it effected? - I never know!) in so many different ways. Ripples in a pond are a good example, do it with water, then do it with olive oil, you'll not get the same effect - why? because its a different material and it reacts in a different way. Surely this is easily proved with science???

    Yamaha, Selmer etc spend a lot of money researching all these aspects to give us the best possible instruments, I think that sometimes some of us on this forum forget what an investment they do and have made....

    I am more than confident that my instrument choice was done for SOUND, not because I thought it would look pretty!
    Selmer Paris Artist

    Sopranino: Selmer SII (S80 D)
    Soprano: Selmer SIII SS with GP neck (vintage Soloist D)
    Alto: Selmer SIII GP with SS neck (Concept/SD20)
    Tenor: Selmer SIII GP (S90)
    Baritone: Selmer SIII (S80 C)
    Bass: Selmer II (S80 D)

    Clarinets in Bb, A: Selmer Privilege
    Bass Clarinet: Selmer Privilege
    Eb Clarinet: Selmer Recital

    Bassoon: YFG 821
    Contrabassoon: Amati
    Oboe: Howarth XL
    Cor Anglais: Howarth XL

    Flute: Sankyo 201 + AG (Nagahara HJ)
    Piccolo: Yamaha 32

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Only the bit about mouthpieces is widely accepted.




    Different finishes are definitely needed, but not for the sound.

    At least in the old days, Buescher didn't subscribe to the finishes myth:

    What's finish E?

  16. #36

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Says on the left, Finish E - Quadruple silver plate.
    Selmer Paris Artist

    Sopranino: Selmer SII (S80 D)
    Soprano: Selmer SIII SS with GP neck (vintage Soloist D)
    Alto: Selmer SIII GP with SS neck (Concept/SD20)
    Tenor: Selmer SIII GP (S90)
    Baritone: Selmer SIII (S80 C)
    Bass: Selmer II (S80 D)

    Clarinets in Bb, A: Selmer Privilege
    Bass Clarinet: Selmer Privilege
    Eb Clarinet: Selmer Recital

    Bassoon: YFG 821
    Contrabassoon: Amati
    Oboe: Howarth XL
    Cor Anglais: Howarth XL

    Flute: Sankyo 201 + AG (Nagahara HJ)
    Piccolo: Yamaha 32

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by saxsaxsax69 View Post
    Different materials are used all over the musical industry to create different sounds, the difference can be subtle, but certainly noticeable.

    Timpani skins made from animal skins sound completely different to plastic ones (and there are many different types) as do the mallets used.

    Vibrations are affected (or is it effected? - I never know!) in so many different ways. Ripples in a pond are a good example, do it with water, then do it with olive oil, you'll not get the same effect - why? because its a different material and it reacts in a different way. Surely this is easily proved with science???

    Yamaha, Selmer etc spend a lot of money researching all these aspects to give us the best possible instruments, I think that sometimes some of us on this forum forget what an investment they do and have made....

    I am more than confident that my instrument choice was done for SOUND, not because I thought it would look pretty!
    Ripples in a pond and on a timpani head imply the material used is actually moving, thus giving different results depending on the material.

    When you play a saxophone the material of the body doesn't move, only the reed. Your logic is flawed.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by FremontSax View Post
    yep there ya go.... A totally unbiased opinion by a major saxophone manufacturer who probably has a patent on the process. Damn the science full steam ahead for the marketing!
    Exactly, Yamaha has a patent on a special plating called Hamilton and they even have a prominent clarinetist endorsing clarinets with Hamilton plated keys for a warmer sound. He must have received a free set of clarinets for this endorsement. You would have to be real gullible to believe that key plating could make a difference. But maybe for some free horns I could hear a difference.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    LOL.... Umm... basic principle of physics, energy is never lost or created, merely transformed.

    If the material is getting warm (which saxes do), it must be getting the energy from somewhere, therefore this energy can be changed and it must therefore have an affect on sound.

    Its like the air moves when we speak etc etc, you try playing in different air types, that effects the sound. Take some helium and then play the sax, this will effect the sound (and more noticeably) and pitch as the air (or mixture of it) travels faster.

    Its all complicated process, but materials WILL effect the sound.
    Selmer Paris Artist

    Sopranino: Selmer SII (S80 D)
    Soprano: Selmer SIII SS with GP neck (vintage Soloist D)
    Alto: Selmer SIII GP with SS neck (Concept/SD20)
    Tenor: Selmer SIII GP (S90)
    Baritone: Selmer SIII (S80 C)
    Bass: Selmer II (S80 D)

    Clarinets in Bb, A: Selmer Privilege
    Bass Clarinet: Selmer Privilege
    Eb Clarinet: Selmer Recital

    Bassoon: YFG 821
    Contrabassoon: Amati
    Oboe: Howarth XL
    Cor Anglais: Howarth XL

    Flute: Sankyo 201 + AG (Nagahara HJ)
    Piccolo: Yamaha 32

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Does plating affect the sound; no longer an issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by saxsaxsax69 View Post
    Different materials are used all over the musical industry to create different sounds, the difference can be subtle, but certainly noticeable.

    Timpani skins made from animal skins sound completely different to plastic ones (and there are many different types) as do the mallets used.

    Vibrations are affected (or is it effected? - I never know!) in so many different ways. Ripples in a pond are a good example, do it with water, then do it with olive oil, you'll not get the same effect - why? because its a different material and it reacts in a different way. Surely this is easily proved with science???

    Yamaha, Selmer etc spend a lot of money researching all these aspects to give us the best possible instruments, I think that sometimes some of us on this forum forget what an investment they do and have made....

    I am more than confident that my instrument choice was done for SOUND, not because I thought it would look pretty!
    One of my altos is silver. I thought it would look pretty. It does.

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