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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by alsdiego View Post
    LOL.......... Backer, I also think the A992 is a fabulous horn, but in A/Bing it with my 52 year old Buffet alto, it didn't seem "better", just different......... maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see the dramatic technology improvements in saxophones which are so obvious in other products.......... it may be that the manufacturing concept of "repeatability" has been dramatically improved, but the basic saxophone has evolved very little, IMHO.............
    Agreed. My thinking was that it represented a very, very high point of refinement in sax making.

    But then I re-read the original post and realized he was talking about the dramatic technological improvements you speak of. Then I also recalled (from abadcliche's factory tour thread) that the Yani is entirely hand made without the use of CNC or automation. Thus the deletion.

    I think there is ultimately little point to all this. Adolphe's original designs are, with some incremental improvements, still intact today. The whole vintage vs. modern is, IMHO, just a matter of perception. The mind plays funny games when it comes to this kind of stuff. I hardly think that those who pine for the sound of vintage horns are operating on some objective premise.

    I'm certainly not above it, though. But the only reason I ever pay attention to this stuff is because 1) I'm geeking out and/or 2) I'm depressed about playing and avoiding the one thing that helps (it starts with a 'p'). Well, that pretty much says it for me. I'm off...

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by alsdiego View Post
    the basic saxophone has evolved very little, IMHO.............
    Exactly. And most of that evolution happened back in '20s. Since then it's only been some minor tweaking. One reason the sax hasn't evolved much is there is no need for it to evolve. The reason a lot of us like the vintage horns (including the MKVI) is that they are perfectly fine horns when in good playing condition.

    I'm not anti-technology by any means, but who wants the sax to be changed? And why? The sound and character of the saxophone was well-established by the 1930s; there were some small improvements along the way (arguably epitomized by the MKVI), but unless you want to design a different instrument, a sax is a sax. And Adolph would have no trouble recognizing his invention today.

    The way to improvement is through practice.

    Getting back to the original question on this thread, I still think the vintage horns in general have a better tone (but that's perhaps an over-generalization), so there has been no improvement in that area and there doesn't need to be, imo.

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Still, I'd love to see Jim Schmidt's design available at a reasonable price point. Or try out an old LeBlanc Rationale horn.

    - Ed

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    The big question is what are we trying to define by better?

    Design of keywork, ergonomic = to fit one's fingers when they are in a comfortable position so that your wrsits aren't put in an unnatural position.

    - Everybody has different sized hands, palms and fingers. That is even before getting to different finger lengths between men and women!

    Intonation imporvements is another oft bandied about term as an improvement of the modern horns. Every Yamaha, Selmer, Yani has a tendency to want to play sharp on middle D (D2) and even sharper as you go higher up the 2nd octave and into the Palm keys. A Buescher Aristocrat series I doesn't play sharp here nor does this note sound stuffy and muffled. I wonder why?

    Also what measure of intonation are we using? An electronic tuner that is mathematically correct or strobe tuner or perhaps against a piano. Intonation is dependant on the ensemble that you are playing with, playing with guitarists requires you to adjust differently than playing with a Piano player which is different again to playing with wind instrument ensemble or a sax section.

    Altissimo response is better on vintage saxophones.
    My Flamingo tenor plays reasonably well in the alt range but when compared to the response of my Martin Magna or Conn or Buescher, the notes don't slot and a harder to find. That being said, certain models of vintage saxes have better alt response than others do.

    Once we have gone through all these and other factors we come to the mpc choice and reed choice. Different mpcs cause different reactions on different models of saxophone. what may play and sound great on one sax, wont play in tune on another nor give the rich sound that a player is desiring. There seems to be a push towards ultra bright sounds at the moment with predominently upper mid and upper partials being emphasised in the sound. My problem with this is that a lack of the lower partials will ultimately lead to lack of projection, depth of tone and is often a clue to a lack of diaphragmatic support and too much biting on the mpc.

    My real point is, there is no one size fits all Saxophone or model and to try and perpetuate this myth that there is only leads to confussion to many of us. A lot of players don't have the wherewithal to go out and try something different (have a look at fashions, or cars to see how many people jsut buy the same thing) and to go with what works or feels best to them when they play!

    A Saxophone should be an individual sound for every player, trying to emulate someone elses sound isn't really possible due mainly to physical differences between your body's facial structure, size of your frame etc.... A teacher should be an advisor, a guide to help you the student discover your own sound. And it is for this reason that you should seek out experience and knowledge first of all. Speak to the old pros in your area, you will be very surprised at what you learn if you listen!

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Arrgh

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Bloody Disputer muck up

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by falis View Post
    Still, I'd love to see Jim Schmidt's design available at a reasonable price point. Or try out an old LeBlanc Rationale horn.

    - Ed
    I've owned one of the Leblancs. The system is genius but the actual keywork isn't the most comfortable in the world.
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    It is interesting that no one has debated this topic from a classical saxophone view point.

    If memory serves me correctly, A prominent saxophonist Sigurd Rascher and his followers believed that modern saxophones and mouthpieces were moving away from Adolph Sax's intended, original design.

    This made Rascher and friends look through pawn shops for large (excavated) chambered mouthpieces and saxophones built to the specifications of A. Sax as the sax world moved towards shaped chamber mouthpieces and improvements in saxophone construction.

    This ultimately led Rascher to alienation from the classical saxophone world.

    So we have now have two schools of thought. The French and American schools adopt modern technology and believe advancement in technology is beneficial, and the so called Rascher school whose followers believe in the traditional Adolph Sax specifications.

    Food for thought, YamahaAltoPlayer.

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    The asnwer is simple my fellow sotw'ers: no one is willing to burn their hands, or lungs using dangerous chemicals and old school processes. Technology means nothing without the hand of a master. Can you imagine a machine outperforming one of Conn's master engravers? that's what happens nowadays.

    FWIW old cars are much better built than modern cars. You find 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's cars which have great upholstery, craftsmanship and are built like tanks. Nowadays they built plastic little pieces of garbage industrially designed for lasting a definite number of miles, or operations. No one would have thought of building a pen wich cap would crack the #10000 time you posted the cap back then.

    And as fuel efficiency is concerned, engines that put serious horsepower will have a similar mileage wether on computer controlled EFI or a good carburetor. Any dumb*ss can plug a scanner on any EFI module, but it takes an artist to tune a six pack over a 440!

    Evolution is not necessarily better (nor guarantees better results) I guess that for people blowing lightbulbs by breath, the automation process would have mean more years to live (if they could find other jobs!) but as you have to break some eggs to make certain foods, it takes people devoting their lifes and health for craftin fine products.

    Key word here is PASSION. I believe that older makers were all about pride, joy and passion of actually believing they were aiming to produce the best saxophone out there. Nowadays if you want to play ball you just have to have money and talk to some people in taiwan to craft you next line of (insert your brand name) custom (other hype name) (insert sax voice here) And they're all about making the biggest profit they can out of literally color stones, feathers, bangles, bubbles and beads.
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Top my rant off with this:

    Being succesfull back then was to achieve mastery of something (machinist, doctor, mechanic, car builder, electronic appliances manufacturer, name your profession or trade here)

    Now, being succesfull has turned a so e pty concept that they measure that by the money you make doing whatever you need to do to make that money. Perform a boob surgery on a dog? sure, if it gets me on TV. Throwing food at elders while they're unadvertedly caught on film? yeah, why not.

    We, as a society, are to blame for the dissapearance of good values.
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    You meant 30 years old, right?

    (The 62 didn't come out until 77 or 78)
    Correct Hakukani. I just can't count..... In fact, the YSS-62R probably came out in 1982 according to at least one reputable source of Yamaha history.

    Thanks for the correction.... David
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by jicaino View Post


    And as fuel efficiency is concerned, engines that put serious horsepower will have a similar mileage wether on computer controlled EFI or a good carburetor. Any dumb*ss can plug a scanner on any EFI module, but it takes an artist to tune a six pack over a 440!

    .
    I've got a '74 V12......and a '04 V8.....

    Both are nice....


    But the V12 only gets 8-12 MPG....

  15. #73
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by BeyondSax View Post
    Correct Hakukani. I just can't count..... In fact, the YSS-62R probably came out in 1982 according to at least one reputable source of Yamaha history.

    Thanks for the correction.... David
    I don't know about the R designation, but I bought a YSS-61 from my sax professor so he could buy a (then the new model) YSS-62. That was a few months before my senior recital that I played in spring 1978.

    That seems a lifetime ago....
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Sorry guys. I have to say it. It's all economics.

    The sound speaks first. It doesn't matter what you play on - horn, mouthpiece, reed, ligature, neck-strap, thumb-hook - the sound tells ALL. What is the sound? I can't tell you, but, you will know it when you hear it. All I can say is that it is like LIFE itself. If you get THE SOUND out of your horn, it almost doesn't matter what notes you play, if you play in tune, or if you play in time. THE SOUND is worth listening to all by itself. If you can't get THE SOUND out of your horn, then you have to try to compensate by concentrating on intonation, sheer volume, technique, gimmicks, fads, etc. either as performer or as an instrument manufacturer.

    It seems that modern saxophone manufacturers are more interested in making their instruments easy to play (poorly) so they can sell more of them. As everything in instrument design is a compromise - the perfect instrument is a physical impossibility, and since, for most players, the best instrument will seemingly be the one that plays in tune the easiest with all the other instruments - the first thing to go in favor of easy intonation, is the sound. So, now you have a lot of players hunting for the sound they can't get out of their horn, because, the manufacturer took it out. Maybe a special mouthpiece, or reed, or ligature will help.......

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by jicaino View Post
    Top my rant off with this:

    We, as a society, are to blame for the dissapearance of good values.
    The Nail Has been Hit on the head...

    China is only making what we are asking them to make. Cheaper instruments.

    I teach for a music service that caters to private and Catholic Schools - and the one thing I have learned from this is that Quality is not profitable. Something has to get sacrificed to obtain something of quality (in my job its my sanity)

    Nobody cares how good something is if you are loosing money in the business world. So now the bean counters have determined that the desired product is the cheaper one - and us consumers just have to deal with it.

    For example....

    Lets say Product "a" is what we call Great.

    To make it cheaper they come out with products "B" "C" And "D" .

    We dont like any of them so they make "e" "f" and "g" - and well "g" is better then the others so lets expand on "g" and so on - all the way to forgetting about the quality "a" product in the beginning. And After 30 years of going through this "improvement" search everybody forgot about the product "a" even existing so they pick a product further down the line to call "the best". Well there are so many and now everybody can have an opinion.

    Marketing - now lets tackle that subject - Right out of college I was part of a professional quartet for a very short time - and their philosophy was that if they told everybody how great they are - they would believe them no matter how they sounded. (understand why it was a short time before I left)

    The world is based upon the BS we can Make others believe so we can Make Money.

    Gees - am I on that soapbox again??
    OK I'll get down

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  18. #76

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    I agree with the point made earlier. Saxes don't need radical evolution but some refinement has been acceptable/beneficial. It does seem the Selmer MKVI is the pivotal point in all of saxophone design history.

    Comparisons with automobiles is silly although I have been guilty of that. A brand new sax is fundamentally VERY similar to the oldest ones made. Modern cars are incredibly more complex and different from early ones.


    These vintage versus modern threads always rsult in...nothing.

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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by 58tenor View Post
    These vintage versus modern threads always rsult in...nothing.
    Whoops, sorry. Forgot the search button this time. It's just interesting to see why some people prefer something about a specific horn and other don't and if manufacturers make one thing good, they have to give a minus to something else and blah blah blah...

  20. #78
    Distinguished SOTW Member themacintrasher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    IMO, the Reference tenors, when you get a good one, are as good, or dare I say better than a VI or a BA.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    Quote Originally Posted by 58tenor View Post
    It does seem the Selmer MKVI is the pivotal point in all of saxophone design history.
    the MK VI is the first BS horn out there. Pivotal points in sax design are True Tones, New Wonders, Selmer super saxes, king zephyrs, kings super 20s, martin commitees, selmer balanced, aristocrats and 400's... the revolution in rfinement, action and looks took place like 40 to 10 years before selmer came out with their ford pinto of a sax that is the MK VI

    Comparisons with automobiles is silly although I have been guilty of that. A brand new sax is fundamentally VERY similar to the oldest ones made. Modern cars are incredibly more complex and different from early ones.
    well cars ain't that different (that is modern vs. vintage) the basic principles still apply. I think that the refinements in electronic management and upoholstery and comfort items are distracting you from the bigger picture.


    Quote Originally Posted by themacintrasher View Post
    IMO, the Reference tenors, when you get a good one, are as good, or dare I say better than a VI or a BA.
    are you being serious? I think that after SA80 selmer is selling really overpriced chinese saxes too. I don't think they produce all of the saxophones in france, and I believe the first chinese piece is the thoric ring between body and bow that showed up in SA80 production. I do believe that modern selmers are chinese. And they lack QC, manufacturer (they do not "make" but "manufacture" their instruments now) pride, etc. The best reference out there can only measure up to a beated up stuffy sounding vintage.

    Of course, I'm free to believe whatever "conspiracy" theory I want to believe in.
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    Default Re: Vintage saxes vs. modern saxes and technology

    All I know is that my SA 80 is the best horn I have ever played. (and I played at least a dozen in the week I bought it alone)...great unmistakeable sound, plays like butter, and is well made - I really don't care how old it is.....It's a bit quiet compared to many other saxes but I can't remember the last time I went on stage without amplification so who cares....


    Just got to thinking about how lucky I am to own not one, but two of the finest examples of a manufacturers musical instruments - I have a gibson (guitar) ES 335 that is also the "best I have ever played". Like saxes - Guitars vary wildly from one instrument to the next....I think the selection process (and blind luck) play a huge role in just how good a musical instrument is.....

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