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More.... Melting Down My Noyeks.....

Discussion in 'Manufacturing and Construction Techniques' started by MartinMods, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Many of you may have seen this insanely long and silly debate on SOTW, of the same name. Toby and I, amicably continued this discussion privately and eventually came to an agreement.

    My premise was, that 2mm thick (1.7.mm mean) Maestro/Noyek style resonators, displace enough of the tone hole chimney volume to noticably affect the acoustic design, and therefore the tone quality and response of the instrument, by altering the pitches of the harmonics which generate the tone. Toby claimed that the phenomena of Mode Locking. would insure that any detuned harmonic would be pulled back into an integral relationship with the fundamental, and there would be no noticeable effects.

    Toby later conceded, that Mode Locking does not actually work that way, that de-tuned harmonic resonances affect both the amplitude relationships of the resonances forming the note (it's tone color and it's response) and the actual pitch center at which the note stabilizes.

    Compression anti-nodes extend all the way into the far crevasses of the tone hole in it's vicinity, while the acoustic flow enters the tone hole chimney 10% of the diameter of the tone hole. So for a tone hole 20mm in diameter, the acoustic flow enters the chimney up to 2mm. If the tone hole chimneys on a saxophone are 2.5mm high, and it has 2mm thick resonators installed, then the acoustic flow will be changed at every tone hole over 5mm in diameter - almost every tone hole on any sized saxophone. The larger the tone hole, the more the effect.

    Just what the effects will be for any horn will vary, according to the original acousitcal alignment of the instrument. I think it would be safe to say, that if you really liked the tone and response of your horn in it's non-Maestroed state, that you would be silly to try to fix what already worked by changing everything. If you want to accentuate those qualities, to an point, oversized resonators of the original design that were on your horn, will give you more of the same thing that you like.

    If, on the other hand, you are not quite happy with the sound and response of your horn, then there is a chance that you might find the Maestro redesign of your air column an improvement.
  2. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    So, if I got you right, this means that in a clarinet with its significant smaller (in diameter) yet deeper (in chimney length) tone holes, a resonator (or any special padding material, as long as it's tight) does not have an audible effect?

    I was thinking of the old cork vs skin pad debate and how they affect the sound...
  3. There are 2 basic ways a resonator can affect the sound:

    1. the amount of reflective surface area that covers the porous pad surface (incl. basic shape - flat, domed, etc)
    2. the amount of tone hole chimney volume it displaces.

    Here I'm talking primarily about #2, which really wouldn't have an affect on the clarinet as the tone holes are so small and the chimneys so long.

    #1 however applies in every case. The more porous the pad and the more porous pad surface exposed, the more energy loss, because the compression anti-nodes penetrate the tone holes completely.
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    Comparing my Buffet Festival soprano to my Selmer Privilege bass clarinet, I note that the sop clarinet doesn't have resonators and the bass clarinet does. So resonators probably only make a difference if the pad is of a certain size?

    Lance, shouldn't you be packing? :emoji_rage:
  5. The larger the pad, the more sound absorbing surface. I once repadded my Selmer 10G soprano clarinet with plastic wrap covered pads. The smooth, non-porous surface acted like a resonator. The thing was really lively, noticeably more so than with normal pads. They lasted, seating perfectly, for 10 years too.
  6. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Mmmmm. So, there was an argument about this, that some resonators don't work well with certain horns? Or is it more a fundamental question of, "Do resonators affect tone?" Or, "Noyeks = Bad" (or, at least, "seriously different")?

    FWIW, my opinion is that if you try to customize your horn too much, you might have a problem. This seems like further justification of that premise.
  7. Thick resonators (Noyeks for example) alter the effective shape of the saxophone's air column. Thin resonators do not. The results, good or bad, vary depending on the individual instrument.
  8. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Thanks for this excellent topic. My intuition also tells me that the irregular surface of the Noyek resonators would also have an effect similar to perturbations in the bore which serve to draw energy from the soundwave. A smooth resonator would have less of an effect in this regard.

  9. Irregularities in the bore have different effects for different parts of the standing wave. The rough surface causes energy loss at areas of high flow (displacement anti-node) but would have no appreciable affect at a compression anti-node.
  10. All the other considerations, metal or plastic, flat, rounded, domed, then, are going to affect the sound by the amount of sound energy they reflect at compression anti-nodes at closed tone holes (the diameter of the resonator), and the way they disperse the resonances below cut-off frequency (those resonances which actually come out of the open tone hole - not all do) at the open tone hole.
  11. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    That is my point since you indicated that on sax toneholes over 5 mm in diameter the "flow" reaches the surface of the Noyek resonator protruding 2 mm into the tonehole. Benade writes that porosity rather than irregularity of surface "eats" energy in areas of large pressure. That would mean that pads without a resonator in the vicinity of a wave's pressure antinodes would reduce the energy of the standing wave.

    This discussion leads to an idea for a novel experiment. That would be to strategically place pads with and without resonators in the saxophone to liven "stuffy" notes and to tone down those that tend to stick out. Perhaps for the "yucky" sounding C# there could be a thin piece of absorptive material glued into the neck at its pressure antinode.

  12. I can definitely say I don't know enough acoustics to either agree or disagree with this, or with your conclusion at the bottom of your first post. I had an experience with a saxophone that (supposedly) works best with flat metal resonators. I have tried this model with very dome plastic resonators, pretty much the most different. The difference was... nothing unlike the difference between two instruments of this model with flat metal resonators that I've tried.

    A whole bunch of things affected the overall tone and let's even say the resonators was possibly one of them. Then there is no way to know what effect the resonators had, and there was no clear effect that could be attributed to the different resonators.

    So I guess what I'm wondering is how this would apply to a real-life situation. IME it is extremely rare that someone buys a saxophone if they don't like its tone. Actually I don't know anyone who would mess with resonators to fix the tone of their instrument. If someone can afford the cost of a repad with a different type of resonators then they would never buy a sax they don't like in the first place. Someone with a sax with a problematic tone is always someone who bought cheap, because they can only afford that, and impossible to experiment with resonators.

    In rare occasions that people do own a sax they mostly like but feel the tone is still problematic, they might look for a sax they truly like instead. They wouldn't invest in different resonators just for the possiblity it might improve it, since it might not.

    So I guess it just seems to me that in a real-life situation, trying a different type of resonators is almost never a realistic option. Maybe you have a different experience? If you do, in what real-life situation do you see this is a good option?

    Another thing about different resonators, a friend of mine bought a pro model saxophone, the best deal he could find, so he ordered without trying. Unfortunately he doesn't like it at all. The sax has very small metal resonators. Another repairer suggested maybe bigger resonators would help, in fact he claimed it helped on the same model for him, though this was a part of a full overhaul that also fixed leaks, etc. A repad, even partial repad, wasn't an option. This sax was in very good condition, so as an experiment, I glued bigger dome resonators on top of the stock ones on a significant number of the pads (all pads down to G# if I remember correct, since the upper stack notes he especially didn't like). There was barely any difference at all from this.

    By the way, thanks to those with a lot more knowledge of acoustics to explain all of these things :)

  13. I read stories of players experimenting with different resonators at repad time very often - mostly vintage horns. Many had no resonators to start with. I personally have noticed an audible difference between no resonators and oversized resonators (flat).

    If you say "barely", then there was a noticable difference, right?

    Just because you increase the resonator area, does not mean that you will like the sound better. No saxophone is perfect. They all have misaligned resonances, to some degree or another. The best instruments have the most aligned resonances, and will respond favorably to small acoustical adjustments - oversized resonators, resonator height adjustment, etc.. , however, there will come a point in increasing the resonator size, where the sound starts to become brittle and deteriorate in quality, and the misaligned resonances gain amplitude and start interfering with tone production.

    Mediocre insturments often will play worse if large resonators are used, as they increase the amplitude of the already significantly misaligned resonances. The best thing for a bad instrument is lots of exposed pad surface area, and small or no resonators.

    Sounds like your friend just had a mediocre instrument to start with.
  14. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    One of my pet peeves is players who buy an old Conn 10M with a characteristically warm mellow tone, and then knock themselves out trying to change its sound with oversized Noyeck resonators and a super high baffle mouthpiece. Why don't they just get a more modern horn that has a naturally brighter sound?

    The other pet peeve is players who pay a small fortune for an old link or Meyer mouthpiece because of its fantastic tonal qualities and then send it off to someone to be refaced and have the tip opened. Rant over.

  15. 'Cause a modern horn still won't sound as great as a supercharged Conn. I don't advocate doing that, but still.....
  16. I see, so maybe a difference in culture. Locally, when getting a repad, almost everyone always wants the same type of resonators they previously had.

    I should have said it differently. What I meant was, I can't say I noticed any difference. Also my friend didn't like the sax just as much after as he did before. The sax is an older pro model Yanagisawa, their top model at the time. After he got it and was disappointed, I looked for info about this model online and I found only praises. I couldn't find even one bad review about it or evenb one person who don't like it.
  17. The resonators aren't going to make an apple into an orange, it's just going to give you a little more apple. If you don't like apples to begin with, you are out of luck. It's hard to say though, why you didn't notice ANY difference. You did say that you glued the domed resos onto the original ones that were on the pad. That would make the resonators very thick I would think. Did you then adjust the key height for proper venting?
  18. I didn't adjust key height but I did some things to overcome the problem of too thick resos and after gluing they were almost exactly the same as those resos would be if installed normally.

    I have also read some people who liked their sax, then used maestro resos in a repad and didn't like it at all, so much to change back. It just that my experience and what I see from many others is too varied to conclude anything specific to be practical. Since I don't know the physics of acoustics enough on this subject, I don't think I have anything more to contribute on this subject.
  19. Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2010
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