Vibratosax plastic sax video

Discussion in 'Prototype Instruments and Examples' started by Groovekiller, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW

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    Matt looked it over and filmed a short video, which should be posted on Youtube once he gets a chance. It was great to get a chance to meet with him and talk saxes.

    It has some issues, but does play as is. I suspect there will be some design changes made before the next batch ships out. Hopefully they will be able to stiffen some of the keywork, which should improve the feel.

    I think the more Vibratosax can get these into the hands of players, the better the feedback to improve on what is already a pretty good design. I really hope they do well, as a bass and contrabass would be wonderful :D
     
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    There are many problems with making a contrabass version. Not only do you have to worry about the horn supporting its own weight -- that's the reason there never was a Grafton tenor -- the most logical way of making one would be to make it like a Tubax, i.e. "paperclip." That might be an exercise in litigation.

    The other thing is that you'd have to wonder about quality. Groove, David, do you think that the Vibratosax is anywhere near the quality of a professional horn? If it's not professional-caliber, I'd have a hard time seeing folks spend a couple thousand $ for a contrabass version -- and it would easily be a couple thousand $ if you scale up the price.

    Also, even if you're VERY careful, it's pretty easy to knock into something with an instrument that's that large. I'd love to see someone take a Bundy II and whack it into a wall and compare that to a Vibratosax hitting the same wall. It'd be Mythbusters-esque. Especially as the Bundy II would still work, but you'd have sax splinters with the Vibratosax.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    could someone take some closeups of the floating pad mechanism .. i knows' its kinds snapped into the pearl and such but I haven't seen any closeup pictures.
     
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    abadcliche provides further analysis of this instrument at his blog here. His video provides a tech impressions of the instrument. Kudo's for David for making the instrument available.
     
  5. saxismyaxe

    saxismyaxe Friends of the WF Distinguished Member

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    Very informative and helpful review Matt.
     
  6. abadcliche

    abadcliche

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    Thanks guys! Interesting product for sure, but IMHO not ready for its intended purpose. More interesting to gearheads like us. DavidW said that a build-your-own tenor kit may be forthcoming, and I find that very intriguing indeed!

    And a huge THANK YOU! to DavidW for bringing his horn by and allowing me to take a look!
     
  7. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Than you Matt for that excellent review. It answered all of the questions in my mind about the Vibratosax and even some that I didn't have. The inability to make adjustments, and the flexible keys seem to me to be its greatest shortcomings from a tech's point of view.
     
  8. DavidW

    DavidW

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    Many of the keys do have adjustment screws. It just seems that the main issue I have doesn't :) I am thinking I could put a small washer or shim between the pad and key arm to correct the timing of the A pad cup closing with the Bb bis.

    Vibratosax already has several design changes coming to address known issues. Hopefully I can get back to visit Matt again when I have received the updated parts.
     
  9. saxismyaxe

    saxismyaxe Friends of the WF Distinguished Member

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    I'd like to see the body and neck available sans the keywork installed. I'd pick a set up and custom fit metal keywork to it myself.

    Is the wall thickness of the body and bell thick enough to secure screw in style posts and supports in the manner of a clarinet or oboe?

    If not, external blocks can be easily added to accommodate the keywork. We are dealing with a very easy to fuse plastic in this case, unlike the acrylic used on the Grafton.

    The chemical I've used successfully to repair Grafton bodies will do the same to chemically weld both the polycarbonate and ABS plastics used on the two Vibratosax models.
     
  10. Groovekiller

    Groovekiller Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    I think the Vibratosax is better off with keywork similar to that which has been already installed. Metal keys would require a complete redesign.

    I'm lucky. My Vibratosax played right out of the box. I do believe others, however, who say they have had problems.

    The good stuff: I think the Vibratosax guys got the body and tone hole dimensions down very well. The places where the body parts are bonded together and the bore is not 100% smooth inside don't seem to affect the playability much. Remember, other things, like toneholes, introduce bore variations that are much more severe.

    The bad stuff: The keys flex more than metal, but I think that can be fixed and still use plastic keys. I like the idea of plastic keys for this type of saxophone. It just needs refinement. There needs to be better quality control. I didn't get a strap ring, but they're sending one to me.

    By the way, even the professional players who hated the idea of a plastic saxophone were fascinated with my Vibratosax.
     
  11. saxismyaxe

    saxismyaxe Friends of the WF Distinguished Member

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    Cheers Randy. Be that as it may, I don't care to entertain for my own use the company's present plastic keywork design, warts and all. It's anyone's guess whether they will be able to successfully and completely iron out all the kinks to have a dependable, wholly worthy instrument in the near future.

    Which is why I would like them to offer the plastic body and neck so that I can at least adapt it to what I had in mind for the project when it was first announced.
     
  12. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Do you have before and after pics of this kind of repair?
     
  13. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    @ abadcliche: Yah. Very nice article. You actually found something that I thought would make the horn easier to assemble and/or repair: the little body "sections" that you found when you popped in that leak light. I can see, as a repair method, that you cut a section of Vibratosax from a broken horn and replace it with a good section. Bond with glue. Of course, this means more intonation issues, just like with plastic clarinets that have large cracks ....

    @ saxismyaxe: Check Google Images. There are an awful lot of pics and Saxofoonwinkel had some take apart pictures online.

    I do also think that the metal keywork would be a problem, how this instrument is currently designed. You'd also have to have custom springs and the torque from said springs might be enough to rip the key off the horn. Additionally, I'm a guy that likes the best bang for the buck and I know how much my time is worth. You might be better off looking for a Grafton, instead.

    I also think that if the horn isn't considerably better and considerably cheaper, soon, there aren't going to be enough folks to sell to.

    I wonder if it'd be better if you made the plastic form and then reinforced with carbon fiber ....
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    except when the heat the carbon fiber layers with epoxy to cure it the plastic would probably melt.
     
  15. abadcliche

    abadcliche

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    My vote goes to wait 5 years and you can have a sax printed for you.
     
  16. saxismyaxe

    saxismyaxe Friends of the WF Distinguished Member

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    I have my own Grafton, in which I had to repair some pretty devastating damage to to make it operable. This included rebuilding the upper most area of the body where the neck receiver is located using dental resin.

    It was gifted to me by friend and NY tenorman Bob Anram. I took the restoration as a labor of love out of appreciation. The results are quite impressive.

    I'll find these photos and post them, or take new ones if I cannot locate my saved files.

    The key ingredient in commercial welding liquids that will effectively bond the Grafton's acrylic composition, and is what was used by the factory originally, is methylene chloride.
     
  17. saxismyaxe

    saxismyaxe Friends of the WF Distinguished Member

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    Cheers Pete. The owners posted those pics and videos over on SOTW when that operation was underway.

    Their response to the flexing keywork problem was rather humorous.

    Regarding the Grafton, as I mentioned in my above posts, I already own one. I have had the displeasure of having rebuilt it from the ground up, and know what a hassle this horn truly is. Which is precisely why I would like a modern version without all the headaches associated with it.

    There are very good reasons why many a fine tech is loath if not completely resistant to working on them.
     
  18. saxismyaxe

    saxismyaxe Friends of the WF Distinguished Member

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    While I'm shoveling through my vast backup disks for the in progress photos of this reconstruction, I thought I'd snap a few photos of the horn as it stands now.

    I had to completely reconstruct the top portion near the neck receiver, as it was missing off of the donated horn. I used an alto receiver and high F body tube portion off of an old stencil alto body I had, and built up and merged it into the plastic body with Dental resin poured into a fabricated outer "gate", and finished inside and out after hardening.

    The bell was split, the keyguards broken, and the bell brace had be crudely re-glued by one of the previous owners. I permanently welded these, as well as a few key blocks that were broken, with the chemical welding agent I mentioned. This is THE answer to these type of repairs, as it is the same chemical used to assemble these horns originally.

    The horn had to be disassembled, heavily cleaned (the plastic was filthy), repadded, with all the associated adjustments, felts, corks etc. of an overhaul. I tried to save and reuse any original felts, springs etc. where possible.

    After all the work, it plays and sounds great. The intonation is actually better than a lot of horn in my collection.
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  19. Groovekiller

    Groovekiller Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    That's a really good job, and worth the effort. These horns play very well
     
  20. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Sweet ride Mike. I still remember the day my "project" Grafton purchased on eBay arrived in a thousand pieces. I was heart broken. :(
     

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