New reference 54 vs old Dolnet
In the early 60's when I was in my teens, I played sax for a few years in a rock band. When the band broke up I continued in rock bands but for the next 10 years I played bass until I opened a recording studio and recording overtook any chance of playing.
A few years ago, (after a break of about 40 years) the original members of my teenage rock band decided to reform the band, so I dusted the cobwebs off my old tenor and did some rehearsals and began gigging again.
I always viewed my old sax which I purchased in the early 60's as inferior, so a few months back while a local music store was running a promotion, I purchased something I had always dreamed of - a Selmer. It is a reference 54 gold lacquer.
Before I purchased it, I consulted with the technician who services my saxes. (As well as my old tenor I also have a 1930 something Conn naked lady alto, given to me by my grandfather when I was ten.) Anyway, my technician assured me that the new reference 54 would be a huge step up from my old and heavy Donlet (early 60's, Royal Jazz).
So I made the purchase, played it for a couple of weeks and then had the technician give it the once over. Then started playing it with old rock band.
At first I had a little trouble making the change and and blamed my lack of ability and experience. While the new Selmer is much lighter and the intonation is better, I was disappointed with the sound and lack balls (for want of a better word). However I persisted and slowly began to feel more comfortable with the new horn.
Then two weeks ago I needed to make a trip to Europe and I knew I would be away for three weeks with some gigs close to my return, so even though I had not played it since buying the Selmer, I decided to take the old Dolnet as it had a better hard travelling case.
When I took the old horn out of the case and began playing it, I could not believe how good it sounded - open and raw.
Now I'm totally confused. Is it my lack of experience? The Selmer is so much lighter, the intonation is much better (the Dolnet is a little sharp on low Bb and a little flat at the very high end) but the sound is so much better from the old horn.
I'm using an old metal Berg Larsen mouthpiece on both horns. As the Selmer did not come with a mouthpiece I don't have another to know if the mouthpiece is a problem with the Selmer.
Is what I'm experiencing possible? Or am I just so used to the old horn and I only think it sounds better? Or is it a mouthpiece issue?