Saxophone Necks?

hammertime829 writes “I was wondering if anybody could tell me if getting a new neck for a saxophone makes a big difference in the sound or intonation?”

Great question. Anybody? I know a guy who plays a Selmer Mark VI with a Yamaha neck………works for him, so he says.

8 thoughts on “Saxophone Necks?”

  1. Wow, now that is seriously trippy. I know Lovano was (and maybe still is) using a wooden mouthpiece, but a wooden neck? Wonder if it has to cared for differently?

    Interesting to see Brecker use one with some sort of mouthpiece I can’t identify……..

  2. Upon further exploration of the site, there is an interesting neck:

    "Selmer Tenor Series III Booster Neck in clear lacquer
    The "BOOSTER" has been developed by Selmer (Paris) with spiral grooves on the inside tenon of the neck. This different surface changes the air flow producing a more focused sound and enhances high pitched sounds with a broad and rich tone."

    They also have silver necks as well. I remember that being kind of a thing to have back in the 90s, Yanagisawa was pushing horns that had silver necks and parts of the body…….

    Great site, thanks for the heads up.

  3. yes, I can assure you that it makes a difference.
    I tried a new Selmerneck on my old Selmer (1972) tenorsaxophone.
    in my case it gives a darker/fatter sound

  4. The sound on the M6 tenor that I purchased new back in 1963 was too spread and the horn also had a very stuffy bottom and somewhat unresponsive altissimo register. I took it to the Selmer factory in Elkhart and they checked everything and found the horn to be functionally okay. They suggested that the problem could be in the neck and had me try several other ones of various lengths and bores and the sound and playing differences became very noticeable right away. It did not solve the stuffy bottom, but the overall sound was much more focused and I was able to hit altissimo notes from F# to D# with relative ease. The one I purchased has a letter L stamped on it (meaning long?) and measures about .004” larger in diameter and roughly 3/16” longer.

  5. I have had a selmer mark 6 tenor since 1969. I have always been happy with this horn so I was surprised to find what a great difference adding a yanagasawa silver neck made. The neck was an exact fit and made the tone more centred and easier to play at the bottom. It’s just possible that any new neck would have made a difference, as I have heard that the buildup of deposits inside the neck can introduce turbulence to the air flow, but I was so impressed with the improvement from the silver neck that I just bought it and didn’t experiment further.

  6. I think the factory visit was sometime in 64 or 65. Don’t recall if there was any intonation differences between the two necks (other than the mp tuning position would be different since the L neck is longer). Good question: I still have the original neck laying somewhere in my studio and will dig it out and compare them.

    Interesting comment from Stan that the silver Yanagasawa neck improved his bottom register. Once I compared several aftermarket necks by Boesken (silver, cooper, brass and gold)and they did not make any imporvements to my stuffy bottom problem. They did make slight differences in tone color though but not enough, at least to my ears, to change from the Selmer L neck. I’ll go check out a Yani neck and see what happens.

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