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New Discovery - The Saxophone Is Conical

Discussion in 'Manufacturing and Construction Techniques' started by MartinMods, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Well said.
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    All righty, then.

    It came to my attention that MartinMods happens to have a couple products that are based on the idea of a conical neck and tenon. I was under the mistaken impression that this thread was meant to be a mildly sarcastic take on some of the new things that have been cropping up on the market, recently.

    I've deleted several posts and have notified the folks that have posted in this thread. If you have any questions, you can PM or e-mail me (thesaxinfo@gmail.com).

    If you are a dealer and wish to sell your products on this forum, please contact Ed Svoboda, Gandalfe (Jim) or me and we'll see what we can do for you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2012
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Trying to get back on topic, I've mentioned before that bari players think that the low A on the Conn 11M is "stuffy" because all Conn did was slapped a cylindrical piece of brass onto the end of a 12M and called it good. If this "stuffiness" is real, wouldn't it then follow that everything on a sax should be made as conical as possible?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2012

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    There's a simple way to find out...

    ...with stuff like the low A extension addition - do it both ways (cylindrical and conical) and then test them out. Unfortunately, that sort of thing costs money and time, and most people involved in musical instrument production, rather than invention, aren't all that interested in perfection.

    Similarly, we have the question of which material is the best solution for a given problem. An individual obsessed with perfecting his/her concept will have the time to do it right. Conn/Selmer/Chrysler/General Dynamics may not have the same passion, being interested more in the bottom line.

    Gluing stones to a saxophone? Well, I haven't a clue on that one...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2012
  5. ...may be but I'm the very happy owner of a splendid 11M (actually an "Armstrong" stencil; didn't know until my acquiring this sax that Conn had made 11M stencils) and I can assure you that the low A pops brillantly, conical or not be the extension (it's not).
  6. I've seen a few of the Connical neck tenons (i.e. Conn saxophones with conical tenons). There was no real advantage from them according to the top level players who compared them with many other models, including similar Conn models without a conical neck tenon.

    I agree with Groovekiller that they are annoying to fit when loose.

    That's the only way and is the way conn made theirs. Just imagine a conical tenon and trying to insert it into a close fitting a conical socket... :-D
  7. Because I'm not a tech, I've been trying to figure out why there would be a difference working on a conical or cylindrical tenon. But I guess if you stretch or shrink a conical tenon, then you'd change the dimensions of the taper. Forgive me, I'm a bit slow. :)
  8. Oh, there are two issues.

    Before, you mentioned the tenon being conical inside and cylindrical outside as a way to make the conical tenon. So yes, that's the way they have done it (almost a century ago). I just meant that's really the only way to do it... just imagine... a conical tenon and a conical socket... and trying to insert the tenon into the socket... :smile:

    Fitting a loose tenon is a different issue. It is usually done by either forcing an expanding "rod" inside the tenon, which will push the walls out, or by squeezing the tenon wall which will also enlarge it. Both methods are problematic with a conical tenon.
  9. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    I wonder if a regular tenon expander could be modified to work with a tapered tenon with the modification of one of the "wheels" as shown below. Of course it would need to be exactly the same taper as the inside wall of the tenon.

  10. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    JBT, is that the Ferree's model ?

    The rollers aren't exactly long. And if the taper isn't consistent then the rollers would have to be as long as the tenon itself. Interesting problem.

    And then there are the scenarios where one wants to decrease the tenon diameter.
  11. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Yes that's a picture of the Ferree's model. It works quite well. It even has clearance to turn bass clarinet tenons, which is a big plus. My question is how much control one would have with one roller square and one with an angle.
  12. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I'm thinking it would have to have a settable outer diameter gauge setting to allow one to move up and down the tenon. As the internal diameter varies the pressure would also increase as the taper diameter decreased.

    Maybe make a insertable tapered or cylindrical inside tenon to coexist with the totally fixed cylindrical outside tenon.
  13. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Hammer and an anvil - that's what you need...
  14. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    For some idiotic reason, the computer technician's toolkit I bought ages ago has a hammer in it. It's about 4 or 8oz at most. I can't use it effectively as a LART, it's way too light to smash a hard drive and there are no other reasons for a computer tech to have a hammer. (Oh. If you've never seen a hard drive shredder, check this out. I've always wanted one. A 25lb sledge works, but it's not quite as satisfying.)
  15. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    It has been shown that one can make a decent conical air column by soldering together a bunch of cylindrical sections in increasing diameters; the price is only a certain amount of acoustic efficiency. Further, many saxes have the end of the neck cylindrical rather than conical for the last inch or so, and somewhat narrow (necking in), and that actually improves the purity of the high notes. Further still, the air column is disturbed by a huge number of tone hole chimneys, which certainly disturb the conicity. Not to mention the fact that the whole tip of the cone is missing, replaced by a blob of mouthpiece. And yet the horn plays, wonder of wonders...

    The actual change in bore volume along the tenon is miniscule when compared the the overall bore volume. You have a much larger perturbation at each tone hole chimney. As Joe Wolfe from UNSW pointed out to me in a private correspondence, it would be easy and inexpensive for manufacturers to fit a conical tenon, and if it really improved the horn acoustically, they would have done so long ago to ace the competition.

    Likewise the neck constriction. My tárogatós are conical, with the basically same bore profile as soprano saxes, but with mpcs that are more like a clarinet, which fit all the way down into the body and have no step. It's not like there is any great difference based on that. Nor is there any great change in behavior or intonation when the mpc if pulled out slightly for tuning purposes, leaving a rather large gap between mpc and body. At one point I fitted a cork shim inside to fill the gap, and if there was any difference it was extremely minor--nothing that I noticed in normal playing.

    Yes, everything in the air column matters, the question is: how much?

  16. Groovekiller

    Groovekiller Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Hear, hear. Now this is a brilliant comment with a crystal-clear overview of the subject.
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