Sticking Your Neck Out
There are two stand-by makers of aftermarket saxophone necks out there: one is very expensive, and the other is moderately expensive. Both would require me to spend a good deal of money on something that I might not like, even though both products get great press. I am a saucy fellow, but doing that sort of thing makes me nervous.
As I was thinking about this a few days ago, I remembered how G$ had once told me about a conversation he had with our college sax professor about trying different necks back in the day... which rang a bell about a later time in the same conversation when G$ had told me about different necks he auditioned when he bought his luscious Reference 36. That led me to do further research -- the substance of which is neither here nor there -- which led me to believe that the neck of a Selmer Reference 54 might fit my 1959 Buffet Super Dynaction. I further realized that the store in which I teach unwashed, farty urchins to play flute has a Reference 54 gathering dust in its stock room.
This afternoon, after lunch, I swung into action.
The Reference 54 neck is somewhere in the neighborhood of half a millimeter too small for the receiver on my horn -- something which, I'm told, can be easily fixed -- but I got several pitches and their octave-up brothers to speak... and I was astonished. The same core sound was there, but that edge-of-oblivion feeling was gone. The octaves were perfectly in tune. It was exactly what I was looking for.
So, now I have to scrape together the funds for a Reference 54 neck. I'm also interested in trying out one of these, and I have a new classical mouthpiece/ligature combination for my alto arriving shortly in the mail, so keep your eyes open for an evaluation of that. Right now, it's all about getting my sax priorities in order. Not a bad place to be.