Re: Cannonball Intonation Problems
Is the issue the same with both necks your horn came with? That could help us narrow down the issue.
The first thing I always recommend when someone has this problem may seem too simple: pull out. Our neck corks are longer than what a lot of players are used to, so out of habit, most people push the mouthpiece on the cork until they see the same amount of cork showing as what they’re used to. I play Cannonball tenors with my HR mouthpiece right about halfway onto the cork, whereas my old Selmers and Yamahas were closer to the 3/4 mark.
The large bore of your Big Bell sax takes some getting used to as well. Since it requires a bit more air, another natural inclination is to “pinch” your embouchure up high and “loosen up” down low. Make sure you’re making the acoustical adjustments with your tongue and oral cavity and not with your embouchure, which should remain static.
Did you buy the horn new? Every once in awhile I have to fix a horn that’s been “set up” by a repair tech; the most common offense is that the key heights get closed down way too much. Cannonballs require fairly open key heights, and for some reason a lot of techs just love to close them down way too far, which throws off the intonation and chokes off the sound.
There are a few other things we can check, but if you’re convinced the horn is out of tune, give me a call (801-563-3081) and I’ll just have you send the offending neck(s) to me and I’ll fix them and send them back. We’ll get this worked out for you!
All the best,