Home Alt Forums Saxophone Tips amazing discovery

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  • #92083
    james brown
    Participant

    i read somewhere that some sax players used to put objects inside the bell of the sax.

    so i put a small bent metal plate taken from this rovner ligature
    see the photo to see the size of the metal plate and placed it inside the bell of my alto

    https://www.rovnerproducts.com/versa-ligature

    i Played the saxophone and was amazed that there was a difference in sound, the sax sounds actually sounded more stable and in tune, very noticeable when playing long notes. In fact the overall pitches sounded far better.

    I got my Pro to test it out on his Alto and he tried it out just to humour me and was taken aback with the difference, he now plays his alto with a metal plate in his sax all the time.

    Whats even more incredible, he uses a legere plastic reed on his alto, and he was complaining all the time that it sounded too plasticky, but when he put the metal plate in his alto bell, it got rid of the plasticky sound and made his sax sound more metallic and got rid of the plasticky sound.

    #92084
    JohnnyJohnny
    Keymaster

    sounds great JB, what’s the link for a lig?

    #92085
    saxomonica
    Participant

    #92087
    james brown
    Participant

    Hi Johnny, i took the metal plate used in the rovner ligature and placed it in the bell of my alto. if you look at the photo of the ligature, it gives you an idea of what the metal plate looks like in terms of size and shape, so its roughly half the size of a reed. but the difference in sound is amazing. i dont know whether its the plate vibrating in the bell as the same sound frequency of the sound moving through the sax, or if its the sound waves being reflected of the plate around the inside of the bell. Bear in mind a metal plat will vibrate at the same sound frequeny, just like microphones vibrate when they pick up a sound wave, as the sound wave changes in the bell, the plate is still vibrating in a frequency related to the last sound, so smoothing out the change over of frequencies in the sound waves between different notes

    #92097
    brother cavefishbrother cavefish
    Participant

    this is just weird, why not just change mouthpieces or reeds, “legere plastic reed on his alto, and he was complaining all the time that it sounded too plasticky,” Dont use them then

    #92100
    james brown
    Participant

    I can see your point cavefish, the reason he’s using a plastic reed, is for teaching purposes, put yourself in his shoes, 75% of his lesson is listening to a student play the sax, 20% of his lesson is talking to the student, 5% of his lesson is playing his sax to the student to demonstrate sounds. So in a 30 minute lesson with one student he might only be playing his sax for a few minutes at random intervals in the lesson – so it makes sense to have a plastic reed that plays straight away every time, compared to using a cane reed.

    In a Gig situation, its different, he would then move to a cane reed, and just warm up before the gig, that’s his choice. horses for courses.

    if you try out a metal plate in your sax, make sure its a bent metal plate, and its roughly the size and shape similar to bottom part of the reed that is fixed to the mouthpiece by the ligature. see the rovner picture, i’m using the metal plate taken out of the ligature.

    There is a difference in sound, and the sax sounds far better, regardless of whether you use a plastic reed or cane reed.

    #92110
    JohnnyJohnny
    Keymaster

    Ok I thought when you said a metal plate I envisioned something much bigger, not the plate off the lig…that’s why when the link took me to the lig I was scratching my head.

    #92116
    james brown
    Participant

    two other interesting facts that i’ve read about.

    Some people with saxophones that warble on the low c key, got rid of the warble sound by putting a cork in the bell of the sax.

    Some Selmars had a similar problem with the low keys, and it was corrected by welding a metal plate inside the bell, apparently the air volume was reduced – previously excessive air volume was slightly opening the low pads causing a warbling sound

    #92118
    james brown
    Participant

    Putting a cork or other object into the bottom bow reduces the bore of the bow, eliminating the acoustical “bulge”. Often it solves the problem of a “gurgle” (motorboating) on low B and other notes.

    Swing era saxophonists sometimes put the mouthpiece cap into the bell of the saxophone when they played to achieve the same result. Selmer soldered a piece of metal into the bottom bow of late 1960s Mark VI alto saxes (around serial number 200,000) to solve the same problem.

    #92135
    JohnnyJohnny
    Keymaster

    cool JB, all these years of playing a selmer I hadn’t even heard about that!
    Very interesting

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