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Vibratosax plastic sax video

saxismyaxe

Friends of the WF
Distinguished Member
#2
So what is your over all verdict Randy, or is the jury still out? It sounds as though you were struggling to get the thing to play in tune, and I KNOW that is out of the ordinary for you.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#3
It was the first tune I played, and I just had the mouthpiece pushed on too far. Overall, intonation is OK. I think Vibratosax has gotten the body dimensions right. Key mechanism needs some tweaking.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#4
Sounded a little resistant to me.

I'd also like to see you use a white mouthpiece. I don't have lying around .... :p

RE: keywork, how does it feel in comparison to the Grafton and a "regular" sax? I know that you mentioned that the Grafton was "spongy".

Looks like you got that strap hook installed!
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#5
The Vibratosax mechanism feels spongy to me. Others will disagree, but the Grafton feels like a normal sax.
This video is far from an ideal example of the horn in action. I was rushed onstage because the other guys wanted to see and hear the horn. At this point the VIbratosax still has no strap ring, so I hooked the strap to a side Bb key post. Vibratosax assures me that a strap ring is on the way.
 
#6
The action feels spongy to me as well. The only real keywork complaints I have is the pad attachment sticking up through the low E key touch and the low C# depresses too far, making it nearly impossible to roll to the low B (finger goes underneath the low B key).

Does yours have that problem as well? I could put a piece of cork under the pinky G#, but I think that wouldn't allow the C# to vent properly.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#7
The E key pad thing doesn't bother me. I think you could add some cork, mabe 1/16" under the bumper on the G# lever without hurting the sound.
I can live with the low B-C# levers, but I agree. I like my low C# touchpiece higher than the low B touchpiece.
 

saxismyaxe

Friends of the WF
Distinguished Member
#8
It was the first tune I played, and I just had the mouthpiece pushed on too far. Overall, intonation is OK. I think Vibratosax has gotten the body dimensions right. Key mechanism needs some tweaking.
That's good news. By the time of your solo, you seem to have sorted things out just fine. The tone seems to be quite dark in the recording. Did you find this to be the case?

I wonder if the over all keywork design is worth revision and tweaking, or would it be more prudent to just scrap it and go with metal keywork? Will the plastic keys and funky pads ever be able to maximize this horn design's potential?

What uncharted territory this is.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#9
Well ...

I've been doing some research on the Claude Laurent crystal (glass) flutes. How that relates is because Mr. Laurent had a patent on his flutes' construction: post on plate and plate was then affixed to the flute. He did use metal keywork, too.

Considering I don't design horns, I dunno if the same kind of construction would work on a plastic horn. I can think that, even if they didn't use exactly that construction, you could insert metal "o-rings" into the posts and pass the screws through that for metal keywork.

However, I don't think that's much of Vibratosax's concern: it's more, "How can I make a working saxophone for beginners that's considerably cheaper than anything on the market?"

From what I've seen and heard, it's only marginally more expensive to buy a used Yamaha 23 alto from junkdude.com than it is to get a Vibratosax, after you include shipping/handling charges.

All that being said, I like how the Vibratosaxes look and I'd love to try one.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#10
According to the manufacturer/distributor, only altos are currently in their stock. Tenors are in the future plan, and they didn't answer my question about baritones.

So, a lightweight baritone is still a dream...
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#11
.....

So, a lightweight baritone is still a dream...
If you drill alot of holes in the body tubes it will lighten the weight considerably. There might be some effect on the tone though. BUT it will look cool with blinking colored lights in it.
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#12
"Spongy action" or "spongy keys" in tech parlance means that the pad is hitting in the back sooner than in the front of the key cup. The resulting spongy feel is the result of having to squoosh the back of the pad in order to close the front.

Is this what is meant by the description of the action on the vibrato sax? If so, is there any means of adjusting the pad or the key cup to "reseat" the pad to touch all 360 degrees at the same time?
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#14
Is this what is meant by the description of the action on the vibrato sax? If so, is there any means of adjusting the pad or the key cup to "reseat" the pad to touch all 360 degrees at the same time?
This also may be different, depending on the Vibratosax model. The A1S, which I believe both of our above posters have, looks like it has essentially a pad "snapped" onto a "pearl" and that's it. In other words, you don't have that much even pressure on an entire pad. The other Vibratosax model -- which is the "starter" version -- has a semi-traditional key cup, albeit made of plastic, so you do get a more even pressure on the pad.

Of course, this doesn't address the springs or anything. But it sounds like a good theory, no?

FWIW, I have no real desire for a plastic bari. A proof-of-concept prototype might be fun, but with all the rough treatment most baris get, I doubt a school band would say, "Yah. Let's buy that plastic horn!"
 
#15
The A1S pads replace the cups. They are all attached to the keys in the center with a small piece that pops into a hole at the end of the key arms. It takes seconds to replace a pad :)

I think the spongy feel might be due to the coil springs instead of needle springs. It works, just feels different.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#16
The A1S pads replace the cups. They are all attached to the keys in the center with a small piece that pops into a hole at the end of the key arms. It takes seconds to replace a pad :)

I think the spongy feel might be due to the coil springs instead of needle springs. It works, just feels different.
I agree. The pads level themselves upon closing because they are secured loosely in the center and they can pivot in any direction. Other pads in the past have used this method with good or bad (Bundy) results.

The touchpieces of keys with coil springs can move a little more after the pad hits the tonehole, resulting in a less positive feel, but the key still works. It's a matter of getting used to a system that feels different. The keys with needle springs feel more "normal."

If the keywork were built a little stiffer, even the coil springs would feel solid. I think the best approach would be to construct keys that don't necessarily look like standard keys, but are quite stiff. I don't see anything wrong with plastic keys. They make the "play anywhere" idea more likely to succeed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkPW9eswHoI
 
#17
"Spongy action" or "spongy keys" in tech parlance means that the pad is hitting in the back sooner than in the front of the key cup. The resulting spongy feel is the result of having to squoosh the back of the pad in order to close the front.
Someone on SOTW mentioned this spongy feel and I asked if this happens with the pads. He showed photos and although not necessarily the back, but some areas of the pads were touching the tone holes before other areas, and pretty severe actually. So most likely many other pads had this not so severe, but critical especially for adjustments of stacks. BTW this was on the model with white pads, I think there are two models.

The vibrato sax uses a a system where the pads are attached in the center and self-align. So it depends how much force is needed to align them. Another problem seems to be the lack of support to the back of the pads. So even if the pad aligns with the tone holes (eventually) it might still leak because of that.

See photos here http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?149430-Vibratosax-user-experiences/page6
 
#19
also on SOTW a player mentioned that you have to get used to the feel of playing. Meaning if you use too much pressure you essentially push the pad into the tonehole, and thus it leaks. No fixed backing to the pads like the better model.
I saw the picture of the pad with excessive pressure showing leaks, but I can't make mine do that. Maybe some of the pads were softer than others? I can press mine as hard as I want and they do not deform enough to create a leak. Then again, maybe I am thinking about a picture from an A1, not an A1S. They are very different.
 
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