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Cryogenics, Redux

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#1
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Ed

Founder
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#2
From all of the research I have read and people I have talked to about this subject I believe that the article posted is pretty much on target. The thing is it is so hard to test these theories out against a saxophone because there can be some normal variation between instruments. You can't just pull six and deep freeze them and pull another six and compare. It's also difficult to deep freeze just a single horn and compare it unless all of the pads make it through the cycle.
 

Merlin

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#3

Heckelphone

Double Reed CE
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#5
Cryo

Considering that you can make saxes with lacquer coats, silver plate, or even make them out of plastic, it is hard to imagine that something as subtle as altering the crystal size in the metal would make an audible difference in a wind instrument. Strings, yes: all of the sound comes directly from the string's vibration. For woodwinds, at most a negligible part of the sound comes from vibration of the body, and a subtle difference in a negligible part... Well, I don't plan to have this done to any of my instruments.

Grant
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#6

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#7
Considering that you can make saxes with lacquer coats, silver plate, or even make them out of plastic, it is hard to imagine that something as subtle as altering the crystal size in the metal would make an audible difference in a wind instrument.
When I first heard about cryo-treating a sax, I mentioned that there were a number of finishes I'd have a hard time wanting to treat because they might get ruined. These were lacquer and enamel. The former is what, oh, 80% of saxophones are finished with.

I also hesitate on any plated finishes. I don't know how the bonding of materials (silver + brass, gold + silver + brass, etc.) would be affected by a cryo treatment, if at all.

Strings, yes: all of the sound comes directly from the string's vibration.
Yes and no. I would say that the strings start the sound. The body of a violin, say, is what amplifies and colors the sound.

As an example, I've heard violins that don't have a body. It's a different, quieter sound.

For woodwinds, at most a negligible part of the sound comes from vibration of the body
This is debatable, to a certain extent. In the flute world, there have been studies that suggest wall thickness and the amount of tone holes actually makes a difference in the sound (I have the articles in a different thread in the Flute area).

However, flute != sax != clarinet. There's something to be said for the bore.

IMO, cryo has always been snake oil.
 

sideC

Artist in residence
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#8
Beanie beanie, chili beanie....the spirits are about to speak. Are they friendly spirits?




Julian
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#14
I take the simple way out. I use snake oil. It's cheaper and I don't have to send my horn away. By the way, Garter snake oil works as well as Rattlesnake at half the price.
I think rattlesnakes are more common out here :p.

RE: Yamaha, IIRC, said that the following improves tone:

* Gold-plated keys on their clarinets
* Their white-lacquer for saxophones
* Special French brass
* Now it's cryo

I'm not exactly sure why Yamaha is doing this sorta thing. I don't think that, say, Yanagisawa or Selmer has. Obviously Cannonball has, with their "resonance stone" thing. Another reason why this confuses me is that I was under the impression that the pro horn market was tiny. Awful lot of advertising effort for a little market! Maybe Yamaha IS feeling the heat form pro horns manufactured in Taiwan or China.

Again, IMO, most pros aren't going to buy any instrument because of cryo or whatever gimmicky thing: they'll get whichever horn they feel is best for their requirements, after play testing a bunch. Maybe Yamaha's thinking is that player X used a Yamaha 23 throughout high school, got a 34 in college and, now that he's a pro, they want to keep him a "Yamaha Guy" and buy an 82Z.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
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#15
I don't think the Pro horn market is as tiny as you think.

Around here there are some rich high school neighborhoods. Many kids I recall had top of the line pro horns (Selmer Reference, Yani solid silver etc). Price seemed to have been no object. Of course at the high school soccer game I drove past seeing an Audi R8, Mercedes, Audis, Range Rovers, etc were common.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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#16
Well, the standard reasoning has been that the reason why a lot of musical businesses collapsed or were combined with other music houses in the 1960's through 1970's (and later, if you want to include UMI and Buffet Group) was because they were not profitable. If you wanted profit, produce an inexpensive student horn that was "good enough," like the Bundy II and Yamaha 21-series, and sell it at a good profit. And sell a LOT of them. I've heard this mantra an awful lot.

RE: Pro horns in schools, I attended a school that did have a couple Mark VI tenors kicking around that were probably purchased in the 1950s and the Leblanc contra I played was obviously pro -- there weren't any student contras when I went to high school. However, none of the sax or clarinet players I played with in my high-school years (5 different schools) used pro. Awful lot of Bundys. A few had Signets. Hey, I had a YBS-52 that I bought myself. I've never even bought a new pro horn.
 
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