Experiments in Saxophone Design

pipWhat happens when you change the length, size, shape or lacation of a saxophone octave pip? If you’ve ever wondered, you’ll enjoy reading the results of MusicMedic.com’s octave pip experiments.

What is missing in this fine article is any specific recommendation for where the pip should be. But they do promise, “There are several more experiements that we plan … and there are more conclusions to be drawn from the data.”

The reason I am fascinated is because I play so many kinds of saxophones (soprillo, sopranino, C sop Bb sop, mezzo, alto, C melody, tenor, bari, and bass) and there are so many intonation factors that come into play with each instruments. I do not, by the way, recommend playing so many instruments unless you have a really strong sense of intonation and a really good ear. It would be so much simpler for me just to pick one or two instruments and stay with them.

Read more…

Update: MartinMods at Woodwind Forums notes:

"That’s interesting, but if you read this:


you see you don’t need to do all that. Knowing why/how the octave key works, eliminates all the trial and error. IMO."

Ah, conclusions. Excellent.

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra) a GOLD sax quartet, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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