Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology - Page 2

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  1. #21
    Forum Contributor 2009 JimD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    If you'd like to move to England Martinmods I've got some work you can do on a Super20.

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    It is all about the sound. Show me a modern horn that I, or anyone else, can make sound like a good vintage horn and and I'd be happy to try one.

    2 recent examples- Last night I was at a friend's house and played her B&S tenor back to back with her old Martin. The modern horn felt OK, but the Martin killed it for sound.

    A few weeks ago I A/B'ed a True Tone alto and a Series 1 tenor against the new Cannonball vintage line. I liked the Cannonballs as well as any modern horns I've tried, but the Bueschers still sounded better to me. If your mileage varies, by all means buy whatever floats your boat. It's fine with me if you want to buy a sparkly new Yamaha that depreciates more in a year than the price of a couple of True Tones.
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by saintsday View Post
    It is all about the sound. Show me a modern horn that I, or anyone else, can make sound like a good vintage horn and and I'd be happy to try one.
    Borgani


    Go for The Tone,

    g



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  6. #24
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    I think modern keywork is over rated. It's just the keywork most people are accustomed to. Selmer became the most admired sax, so everyone imitated Selmer. The simplicity of early keywork has advantages -- not the least of which is cleaning the G# pad.
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  7. #25
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by hgiles View Post
    FOR MOST PEOPLE, Modern saxes do have better intonation, evenness of scale, better response, better action, better ergonomics, more reliability than vintage.
    Exactly....

    Which is why people love them - less work to get a better sound.

    Wait a second - did we ever take the minute to think that by reducing the difficulty to get good tone and good intonation we would be hurting other factors in making music ......like......oh i don't know....musicianship that comes from experience ...which come from practicing.....which doesn't happen if you feel like your sound and intonation are ok....

    I may sound down on modern horns - however I do think they have their place. I think students who get modern horns can progress in many other areas quicker because they don't have to worry about tone or intonation as much as if they were playing a vintage horn.

    Isn't this why the Selmer Mark VI became so popular? It was made in "the day" when tone was still being thought of in a way that we now call "vintage" and the mechanics were better then anything before.

    Isn't what everybody copied in terms of mechanics for a long time the Mark VI? Then didn't these mechanics get improved upon leading to what we have now - "modern Mechanics"?

    So in my mind...which is an opinion - which i know somebody will disagree....we should be learning on the modern horns - graduating to the vintage horns and then resting either in the vintage world or carrying onto the transitional (for lack of a better word) world of instruments between vintage tone and modern mechanics.

    Isn't this why everybody says - why cant we make a vintage sounding horn with modern mechanics? Or modify vintage mechanics?

    Personally one of my life dreams is to design a set of mechanics that can bolt onto a vintage horn with no alterations to the body - that would give a more modern feel....its a matter of time before somebody does it - even if it is exact replacement parts for vintage horns.

    Wait a sec - how did i get on this soapbox?????

    I'll get down down - thanks for listening

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  8. #26
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by retread View Post
    The simplicity of early keywork has advantages -- not the least of which is cleaning the G# pad.
    Exactly!

    To add to what I'd said earlier, I think the whole pinky assembly is waaay over-engineered on modern horns -- I really disliked the one on the Yamaha YAS62 that I've since sold, and I don't particularly like the one on the YSS475 I occasionally play. All done in the name of ease of play or "balance", but for me, nothing beats the directness of the Conn 6M pinky keys, although you first have to build up those tiny muscles in your finger .

    To repeat, in the end, it's the sound, and nothing but the sound, that matters, and I LIKE the vintage Conn sound. Plus these old Conns were built as tough and as reliable as they come. Except for those grub screws...
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Some vintage horns are great - Some modern horns are great.

    With the automobile industry, you've had thousands of folks working day and night for decades doing nothing but trying to improve on the design.

    With something like a sax, there are probably less than a 100 people worldwide whose "job" it is to design a better sax......

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Personally I think that the "Tilting Bb" may have been the worst idea to ever hit the saxophone world. I've gotten used to this key, but I still prefer horns without the tilting feature. Heck, the Yamaha 23 is the only modern horn that comes to mind that got the LH pinky cluster right.

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by saintsday View Post
    It is all about the sound. Show me a modern horn that I, or anyone else, can make sound like a good vintage horn and and I'd be happy to try one.
    I've finally found a soprano that has the tone of my previous Truetone, but with much better intonation round the B - C - C# - D. Strangely it's a very cheap Chinese sop (a Bauhaus Walstein) which I now use for all my recording work. A very sweet tone and lovely action.
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Yay! I have the 23 LH spats. The 61 and 21 have this too. I never had a chance to play a sax with a tilting Bb.=( Luckily my music doesn't call for Bb-C# transitions. But can't you just get used to a sax's ergos after a month or something?

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by Yamahaaltoplayer View Post
    But can't you just get used to a sax's ergos after a month or something?
    Depends on whether you play it during that month...
    Go for The Tone,

    g



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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    Depends on whether you play it during that month...
    Not really. If you slip it under your pillow and sleep on it every night, you'll master it it no time. Caution: using this method with baritones can lead to sleep deprivation and an irate spouse.
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    You mean like during summer break?

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Keilwerth trying to get that old Conn sound?
    Maybe it is the older Keilewerths like the Couf and the New King I am thinking of, but the ones I have played seemed like a pretty good compromise between vintage sound and modern ergos.

  17. #35
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Mostly I would say it's about the TONE quality of the vintage horns; not all of them, of course, but the better vintage horns do seem to have a superior tone quality to the modern horns. And I'm sure there are some exceptional modern horns as well, but in general they don't have the tone quality of the vintage horns.

    The whole idea that modern horns have better intonation and ergonomics is way overblown, imo. No saxophone plays perfectly in tune, including modern ones. But a vintage Buescher Aristocrat comes as close as any modern horn, and closer than most of them. Also, my MKVI tenor (assuming it's considered vintage) has very good intonation.

    Regarding the idea that technology can improve everything, I would take issue with that. Craftsmanship and artistry is a large part of designing a great musical instrument. Surely no one would say any modern violin can stand up to a Stradivarius, to use a rather extreme example. Modern technology hasn't improved the ability of an artist to produce a great painting. And I have seen no evidence whatsoever that modern technology has produced a better saxophone.

    Modern technology has helped produce better automobiles, definitely, but not a better saxophone. The automobile/saxophone analogy does not work on any level.

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMods View Post
    Vintage saxophones were designed to play with a big sound - loud - because they didn't have microphones and PA's to help them. And thusly, they are very flexible as far as tone quality and intonation are concerned. This is a good thing if you know how to tame one - You play the horn and you tell it what to do. Then you have a seemingly endless pallet of tone color and effects to use in making your music.

    Maybe someone will disagree, but from my experience, once you can play a vintage horn and make it do what you want, you have absolutely no interest in playing a modern saxophone. They are too limiting tonally.
    I would distinguish between a 'big' sound and 'loud' though. I hear most modern players play too loud, they fill the room with volume rather than resonance and sonority. I do agree with you though, completely.


    Quote Originally Posted by Graysax View Post
    So in my mind...which is an opinion - which i know somebody will disagree....we should be learning on the modern horns - graduating to the vintage horns and then resting either in the vintage world or carrying onto the transitional (for lack of a better word) world of instruments between vintage tone and modern mechanics.
    Charlie :-)
    This is why there are many many fine flute players the world over who realise the potential of a fine Louis Lot (or other great French flutes) or an older Powell.

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    Regarding the idea that technology can improve everything, I would take issue with that. Craftsmanship and artistry is a large part of designing a great musical instrument. Surely no one would say any modern violin can stand up to a Stradivarius, to use a rather extreme example. Modern technology hasn't improved the ability of an artist to produce a great painting. And I have seen no evidence whatsoever that modern technology has produced a better saxophone.
    However, they have discovered now that the wood that Strads were made from had a very different density due to the colder European climate then- and this likely largely contributed to their sound.

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny View Post
    However, they have discovered now that the wood that Strads were made from had a very different density due to the colder European climate then- and this likely largely contributed to their sound.
    They have also discovered that saxophones are NOT made of wood.
    Go for The Tone,

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  20. #38
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    I have enjoyed my vintage (Dolnet-bari, York c-melody, Holton-bari) as well as my modern axes. I wouldn't trade my modern Keilwerth bass sax for a vintage one that's for sure. I would--on the other hand--probably sell my Yamaha YBS-62 for a good vintage bari. The modern keywork helps out alot of people with small hands. My free jazz instructor and I both agree my bass has that great vintage bass sound with good intonation; of course, having a nice vintage mouthpiece or two doesn't hurt. Its been running strong for over two year with no issues.

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Anyway, I think saxophonists have some very interesting things to look forward to in the future, provided they can earn enough money with their craft. Most pro saxes today are mass produced. As soon as pro sax players can afford to spend, say $8,000+ on a completely hand-made, custom saxophone, like a professional flautist spends on a flute, then we will start seeing some real artist instruments.

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny View Post
    However, they have discovered now that the wood that Strads were made from had a very different density due to the colder European climate then- and this likely largely contributed to their sound.
    Quite true. I realize it's not an exact parallel, but the point is, technology has little to do with it.

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