Saxophone Forum


by STEVE GOODSON
(291 posts)
8 years ago

Classical specific saxophone design ideas?

We're going to add a classical specific model to our lineup in the near future, and would appreciate some input as to what features you think might be important. At present, we're committed to including: (1) rolled tone holes (2) keywork to high G (3) white 'roo pads (4) seamless metal domed resonators (balanced action style) (5) upper stack speaker key (our style, NOT Selmer style) (6) ultra high copper content alloy for body, bell, and bow (7) multiple necks with different tapers and materials I'd sincerely appreciate realistic suggestions. The market for this sort of instrument is not huge, and we must always keep in mind tooling costs vs. sales potential.

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  1. by barisax999
    (400 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Classical specific saxophone design ideas?

    i would like to see rolled tone holes, the roo pads and seamless metal dome resonators. personally im not partial to fingerings up to high G, not all that useful. and different necks, not especially important, i wouldnt spend extra money on it.

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  2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
    (767 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Classical specific saxophone design ideas?

    Hi Steve, Hope your operation is going well. I'll just add my input comming from a casual classical player and amature technician. (1) rolled tone holes I've always wondered about this. I have never owned a RTH instrument but understand that they perport to have quieter action by virtue of spreading out the impact of the cup to the rim. I also understand there is a tradeoff in the way of needing better pad alignment to avoid leaks, difficulties in repairing a tonehole that became un-level for whatever reason, and significant increase in manufacturing cost. I was just curious what reasons were discussed for commiting to this design feature? (4) seamless metal domed resonators (balanced action style) I was wondering about maybe offering an option for single rivet sans resonator. IIRC, some classical players prefer this sort of setup. Other suggestions I have: 1) proper venting and great intonation with the action set rather low, if possible. 2) Double armed Low C key. It just somehow feels a lot more solid to me with this sort of thing. 3) Ergonomic Front F spatula design. I would particularily find usefull a front-F that was mounted close and flush to the B-key for easy transition between that Front F and the LH Stack keys. Maybe link the B and the F with some piece of metal and a roller to allow sliding back and forth with ease (kind of like most modern LH pinky tables)? I don't know of any production horn that does anything like this... Also, I was wondering about what you were considering with respect to the tone and bore goals of this project? Thanks.

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    1. by STEVE GOODSON
      (291 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Classical specific saxophone design ideas?

      The rolled holes are all about quite action. I think that "button" style resonators lack projection. We won't be oversizing the seamless domes, but you do need some resonating surface to get the sound out there where it can be heard. Insofar as venting, we will incorporate out speaker key that we are currently using on the Steve Goodson Model which does wonders in cleaning up the timbre of A2 and above. We know this design works, it has no additional springs or moving parts, and does not add significantly to the cost per unit. I've used a roller front F on another design for a different manufacturer, and I own the rights to it. I'm sure it will find its way onto this model. I want a dark sound for this series, so we will use an ultra high copper content alloy. I did a lot of experimenting when I was redesigning our straight alto and tenors, and have learned more than I wanted to now about the effects (good and bad!) of altering the bore taper.

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  3. by saxmasterfunk
    (18 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Classical specific saxophone design ideas?

    dont know much about design, just know what kinda sound i like, what sounds good, make it look cool.

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  4. by kneejerk52
    (397 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Classical specific saxophone design ideas?

    keeping in mind who will be playing these mostly or at least some could be students. now if they are young it is possible they can have small hands. So, i would think attention should be give the how high the palm key on both sides sit. with small hands like mine, i struggle to not touch these and create those terrible squeeks. i always need to bend these, not always a good idea.

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    1. by selmer 4evr
      (309 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Classical specific saxophone design ideas?

      Rolled tone holes NO !!!!! Speaker tone holes YES!!!!Booster please stainless steel !! Hi G not necessarily!!! Whatever you do the high C should not roll make it clear and open !!! Palm notes preferaably on the flat side easier to raise pitch than to lower pitch!!!

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  5. by ftttf007
    (7 posts)

    8 years ago

    New "classical" sax may not be worth cost of research and development

    Steve, I hope you are well. Please note I am not being critical of your pursuit; I simply have a few questions. Where is the market for classical saxophones given the strength of Selmer, Yamaha, and a few others? Teacher/student relationship often defines the saxophone equipment purchased. How do you convince a competent and professional legit player to transition from their horn (Selmer, Yamaha, etc.) to a perceived second rate horn? I am not criticizing LA Sax and simply stating that the market is likely cornered and the expense of developing, making, and testing a new horn may not justify such an endeavor. I hope this is not perceived as an attack for this is not my intent.

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    1. by STEVE GOODSON
      (291 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: New "classical" sax may not be worth cost of research and development

      first, we're not talking about an L A Sax product. We've addded several new lines to the mix of saxophones offered by Orpheus Music (our distribution company) which are totally independent of one another. There's the Saxgourmet, the Steve Goodson Model, Bon Fils, and Vespro, in addition to L A Sax. Each line is a completely different design (by me) and none of them share anything in common (including source, parts, tone hole placement, tube taper etc.) with one another except the distribution company. There are thousands of students getting degrees in saxophone at universities today, with quite a few of them studying the classical side. You may not be able to sell someone who has already bought a Selmer your product, but every year new players enter the marketplace. I would repectfully submit that if we build a better, classical specific horn, we can easily sell several hundred a year. That makes it economically viable. I don't think (with the possible exception of the copper Keilwerth, and they're on shaky ground right now) that anyone is producing a classical specific horn. We can do so, and believe that we can do so profitably. The R&D aspect of it is what I do, and we have a full prototype shop here in New Orleans. We already know a great deal about what changes to make in order to achieve specific results, so there's really not that much of a learning curve. Since I teach classical saxophone, and have studied it for years myself, I think I know the changes to make in currently available instruments to make them more suitable for this market. We believe the market is there. We know that we won't be able to sell every classical player one of our horns, but we feel somewhat certain that there's plenty of market share available for a superior product, which is exactly what we intend to produce.

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