Hammerschmidt intonation problems

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 36
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Hello, I bought a Hammerschmidt tenor (serial number is just shy of #1000) and had the work done to get it into playing shape. I like the horn a lot, the action is pretty good and the sound is fantastic. However, it certainly has some tuning problems, especially as you go above G above the staff. I was reading on the Bassic Sax blog that the intonation problems on these horns were actually caused by the neck design. I'm wondering if anyone else who has one of these horns has had any luck trying different necks out or anything else that would help the intonation. You can only lip the pitch up so much, and when you're 30-40 cents flat (or even more) there's not much else to be done. Thanks to anyone that can help me with this without spending $1000 on a Warburton neck!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    SaxOnTheWeb.net
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member 1saxman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    The Old Dominion
    Posts
    4,723
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    The neck might be a problem to replace with that clamp system. I guess there's a brake shoe on the other end of the thumb screw that stops the neck from rotating? In that case, if I'm right, your neck choices may be better. The principle concern then is tenon diameter. The second concern is usually adjustable, the interaction of the octave key. And it may be that the intonation problem has little to do with the neck.

  4. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Member Thomsax's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    242
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    I have Klingsor (Hammerschmidt) #06XX tenor and I think the intonation is ok. I can't use my ordinary mouthpiece , Rovner Deep-V #10, so when I use the Klingsor I use a traditional hardrubber mpc, A. Lelandais. We spent many hour to get the double octave vents working well.

  5. Remove Advertisements
    SaxOnTheWeb.net
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    20,043
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    First clean the hole on the neck pip and see if that helps....a pipe cleaner and solvent should work with the key removed. Is it sharp or flat up high? The hole may need to be enlarged or made smaller, easy task.

  7. #5
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    31,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    This is one of those hearsay things that are cause by internet tam tam. You know like in the jungle where one tam tam repeats what the first tam tam has said to be repeated from the next and so on.

    Since there is almost nothing on these horns on line, the only reference that speaks about them reports a comment which refers to the last of their production ( not the whole of 30 years!) , when they, allegedly changed the design of the horn using thinner material for the necks than they supposedly were meant to be ( the allegation is about the neck being an exact copy of a Conn while using thinner metal) and that this causes intonation problems.

    Of course this might be true of their last horns but how likely is this to be of a production which lasted 30 years? Were they all deaf at Hammerschmidt? If they were that good to replicate reverse engineer a Conn neck wouldn’t they have realized, at some point in those 30 years that the thickness of the metal was what gave them this alleged problem? In 30 years they sold few but still about 5000 pieces, were they all sold to deaf buyers?

    I am just sayin'...!

    Yesterday I had a German buyer coming to my place to buy a Keilwerth baritone.

    I showed him my beautiful Klingsors ( I have both an alto and a tenor) and he said “ Oh yes, they are a beauty, but “ they” say that they are out of tune” I asked him if he had direct experience with it and he said he didn’t ...and this is the thing with the internet tam tam... .

    Anyway, the intonation of my Klingsor horns is not much different or worse than most vintage horns and you have to bear in mind that they were made to be played with relatively small chamber mouthpieces. I agree that one of the crucial points is getting the double side octave to work well since it has a more complex mechanism than an ordinary saxophone, the same goes with the very complex thumb mechanism of the octaves.

    About what is a suitable mouthpiece.

    The alto came with its original mouthpiece, a Wagner made and Hammerschmidt branded hard rubber mouthpiece. These Mouthpieces are exceptionally slender and have a very small chamber. They are often non identified.

    The 2 side octave key ( and the top) are of a huge size ( probably the largest octave pip that I’ve ever encountered in any saxophone) and it is unlikely that they could be clogged by dirt but yes, cleaning might be a good thing to do.

    Another thing is that pads might be prone to sticking, do check that while you play the higher notes no lower key is stuck shut.

    The neck.

    If you think that the neck allegations might have any substance ( remember “ they” say the metal of the neck is too thin...) they are based on the neck having a larger volume than the one they were copying, so, by this reasoning reducing the internal volume should help.

    I’ve never tried this but I think that if you want to you may do this just for kicks.

    Try to glue a piece of rope inside the neck , this should reduce the internal volume start small and then , if you see any improvement, go larger. If you are satisfied you may find a more permanent arrangement.
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  8. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2016
    JayePDX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    13,580
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    I guess I have to echo MIlandro's comments. I would not come to any conclusions quite yet. I have refurbed a half-dozen Hammerschmidts, 3 Altos, 3 Tenors...and my experience concurs with his: no quirkier intonation-wise than a lotta other vintage horns.

    I love Helen's work, and I do not necessarily think her commentary suggested the entire run of the brand has a propensity for this; I think she was simply stating her experience with a couple.

    Whenever a horn is way, way whack, intonationally...rather than concluding that the brand has intrinsic problems, I ask the same Q as Milandro: would a company REALLY have let it out of the Factory like that ? I mean....there were plenty of ways to check intonation prior to the invention of the pocket tuner.

    Curt Altarac (MusicMedic) did a video a while ago where I think he alleviated an upper-octave intonation issue on a Yamaha by reducing the volume of the neck tube....it is certainly a less-expensive operation than having a neck custom-made.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CChrZiY-J3A but that horn has an opposite issue as the OP's

    But I would not quite jump to that, yet. Generally, one doesn't go looking for a Zebra when they need to find a Horse: Tenon leak, possible octave key mechanism problems, octave pip issue, possible key height adjustments, mouthpiece match, etc... should be ruled out first. It'd be a b#tch to spend substantial $ on a new neck or neck alteration and still have the problem persist to some degree...

    If that gets you nowhere, indeed just get a tenon measurement on the existing neck and try out some other necks (using teflon tape if needed) to see if any improvement comes about.
    Go for the Old-Skool, homies. www.2ndending.com

    (AdBlock Plus is your Friend https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir.../adblock-plus/)

  9. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Thanks for your replies! Actually, I wasn't going simply based on what Helen stated; she has this posted, however, at http://bassic-sax.info/blog/?p=19698 :

    "According to Uwe [Ladwig, a tech with Hammerschmidt experience], most likely the underlying reason for the Hammerschmidt’s—both alto and tenor—intonation problems, is that the company copied an old version of a neck. This neck had been made of soldered brass. The new Hammerschmidt neck however, was made with brass pipe material that was blown as one piece. Therefore, while the external dimensions were correct, the internal ones weren’t. On the end closest to the mouthpiece, the brass was too thick. While on the horn end of the neck, the material was too thin."

    I read this and thought there might be a few people who had tried some different necks out and found a good formula. My local shop has a few necks, but I haven't started trying them out.

    milandro, I'm especially intrigued by what you said about the intended small-chamber mouthpiece to be used. I assumed a larger chamber would be better for a vintage German horn. It made logical sense that a horn that's supposed to have a big sound would be compatible with a mouthpiece designed to produce same kind of sound. Maybe a small-chamber mouthpiece would be better. What are some suggestions to try? Mouthpieces are easy to try and return if they don't work out well or help the intonation. The mouthpiece I got is a Goldentone, which is hardly anything amazing. So maybe I'll start there.

    Of course, I'm certainly staying open to any suggestions of other things to try. I'd really like to not need another Tenor.

  10. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    20,043
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Soooo, is it sharp or flat up high or just wonky and flarp?

  11. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    31,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Treating intonation quirks of the Hammerschmidt as if they were the same of ’30 horns won’t do.

    Despite their looks they started their lives in the ’50 and cheapened out only at the very end.

    I still don’t understand how they “ blew it in one piece” must be ( as it was previously remarked in another thread) something which was lost in translation.

    The only thing that this term might suggest is hydroforming.

    I don’t think that necks this old were ever “ hydroformed “ which is the norm NOW for many modern made horns now.
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  12. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    My horn is going flat as you go up, and gets more flat the higher you go. By the time you get to D, it's almost 50 cents flat, and hitting the Eb key by itself actually gives you a closer (albeit sharp) alternative for that D.

  13. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2016
    JayePDX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    13,580
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    That's a Pickle of a problem, then.....very odd.....
    Go for the Old-Skool, homies. www.2ndending.com

    (AdBlock Plus is your Friend https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir.../adblock-plus/)

  14. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member. Wilbur Weltklang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Victoria
    Posts
    2,469
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Soooo, is it sharp or flat up high or just wonky and flarp?
    Help! This technical jargon is flying over my head!
    cheers, Mark.

  15. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    306
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarokpc View Post
    Thanks for your replies! Actually, I wasn't going simply based on what Helen stated; she has this posted, however, at http://bassic-sax.info/blog/?p=19698 :

    "According to Uwe [Ladwig, a tech with Hammerschmidt experience], most likely the underlying reason for the Hammerschmidt’s—both alto and tenor—intonation problems, is that the company copied an old version of a neck. This neck had been made of soldered brass. The new Hammerschmidt neck however, was made with brass pipe material that was blown as one piece. Therefore, while the external dimensions were correct, the internal ones weren’t. On the end closest to the mouthpiece, the brass was too thick. While on the horn end of the neck, the material was too thin."
    I am no expert about this but, in my experience, if the taper is wider, meaning the small end smaller and the large end larger, the high notes become flat compared to the low notes.

    You can try sticking a tape inside the tenon side to reduce the diameter and make it a narrow taper to see if it makes a difference. You might want to exaggerate it by reducing it a couple of mm to see the difference.

  16. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2016
    JayePDX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    13,580
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    I think you are right. In the MusicMedic video (link above in my first reply), the problem was opposite of this Hammerschmidt: the Yamaha kept getting sharper as it went up the registers. Curt's solution - to increase the taper of that neck (i.e. the mouthpiece end was made narrower from mouthpiece to around 1/3-1/2 of way towards tenon end - which remained as existing) resulted in the upper octaves being flattened.

    So I am not certain reducing the diameter of the mouthpiece end of this Tenor using an insert is gonna be going in the right direction. (?)

    But I also gotta say, I am not sure one can use that as a rule of thumb (i.e. leaving length the same, increasing taper will flatten horn, etc). Conn NWII's, for example, have necks with a greater taper but almost identical length than/to their 6m/10M cousins...yet one can use a NW neck on a 6/10M with no ill intonational effects.

    Apropos of nothing in particular, I will note that the last S20 Tenors made in Cleveland have the exact same body/bow/bell spec as the early Eastlake ones, but the neck specification of the Eastlakes was altered (made longer and of increased taper).

    This may be an instance where both taper and length are the variables which need to be experimented with. It'd help if anyone happened to have a Hammerschmidt Tenor handy, to measure the neck. Unfortunately, I sold the one I had around 6 months ago....and I did not measure it up beforehand.

    Per Helen's and Uwe's explanation ( I assume 'blown' can be replaced with 'cast' as one piece - thus making more sense), the neck spec is the same as far as exterior dimesnion, but the brass thickness difference meant that the interior volume of the neck is less on the newer neck.

    Suggesting: if one increases the interior volume of the newer neck, perhaps the problems will relent ?

    I would be interested, Ragna, if just for kicks you tried this:

    Pull the mouthpiece out so the first octave is considerably flat (like 30 cents flat if you can manage). When you do that, are the upper octaves more in line with the lower octave, intonationally ?

    In other words, w/ lower octave now blowing 30 cents flat - is the second octave now also blowing +/- 30 cents flat ? Or 40 cents ? Or anything significantly better than the huge difference you had before ?

    Or is the horn still behaving exactly the same (blowing 30-50 cents flatter as you go up, than in the lower octave) ??
    Go for the Old-Skool, homies. www.2ndending.com

    (AdBlock Plus is your Friend https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir.../adblock-plus/)

  17. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    306
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Quote Originally Posted by JayePDX View Post
    But I also gotta say, I am not sure one can use that as a rule of thumb (i.e. leaving length the same, increasing taper will flatten horn, etc). Conn NWII's, for example, have necks with a greater taper but almost identical length than/to their 6m/10M cousins...yet one can use a NW neck on a 6/10M with no ill intonational effects.
    I don't have a 10M neck with me right now but didn't the 10M neck have the octave pip more closer to the body then the NW neck? If so the taper difference might made it to be so. I think octave pip closer to the body makes the higher notes using it becomes sharper.

  18. #16

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    306
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    I just wrote about the octave pip location and it's effect, but not really sure about it. I think I saw an experiment some where...

  19. #17

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    306
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Bokudesu View Post
    I just wrote about the octave pip location and it's effect, but not really sure about it. I think I saw an experiment some where...
    Found it. The experiment was also by music medic.

  20. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    20,043
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Is the neck key opening enough?

  21. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Amsterdam
    Posts
    7,657
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    The most important questions: How long have you been playing tenor, what tip opening is your Goldentone mouthpiece, how far is it on the neck cork, and what reeds are you using?

  22. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2016
    JayePDX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    13,580
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Hammerschmidt intonation problems

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    Is the neck key opening enough?
    This is an interesting question, since OP says it worsens as he plays above G2...which is the point where the body pip should close and neck pip should open.

    FWIW, it doesn't seem to me this can be a mouthpiece match problem...it's too dramatic for that


    Quote Originally Posted by Bokudesu View Post
    I don't have a 10M neck with me right now but didn't the 10M neck have the octave pip more closer to the body then the NW neck? If so the taper difference might made it to be so. I think octave pip closer to the body makes the higher notes using it becomes sharper.
    I am not sure if the pip location actually changed...good question, however...
    Go for the Old-Skool, homies. www.2ndending.com

    (AdBlock Plus is your Friend https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir.../adblock-plus/)

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •