How to Destroy a Saxophone Neck 101

Selmer Reference 54 Kookaburra neck. No way to make that look like new

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~ by inhorn on November 2, 2009.

4 Responses to “How to Destroy a Saxophone Neck 101”

  1. So what happened to the neck?

    • Not exactly sure, that came in from a sub-contractor. I can guess that the receiver was lodged in the body, and rather than using finesse the owner grabbed it and tried to manhandle it out. Real shame too, because those reference models are near works of art.

  2. It can be made to look new. The hard part is getting it to play correctly, and well. I once had a silver Super 20 neck that had been run over by a car, or something. It was absolutely flat, with a wrinkle in it. I farmed the work of making it look like a Super 20 neck again to a man with initials MV, who was specializing in extreme brass rescues at the time. He returned it to me looking like a Super 20 neck — appropriate curvature, and general shape, and in round, but it played phenomenally badly. Not long afterward, I got two earlier Super 20 tenors and took measurements at 5 spots from both necks — these were of the exterior, but at the time I did not have a method of measuring the interior bore. Using these measurements, I altered the repaired neck to match at those 5 points (not an exact science, getting the points correctly matched) and then completed the taper and relationships by feel and eye. When I was done, the repaired Super 20 neck was better than the other two in every category. Had it not been for a split in the metal where the wrinkle had been — this split occurred during the farmed out work — it would have come out looking every bit like new. This was easier because the neck was silver. For that neck, you would need to completely dissemble (remove braces, etc., all the obvious things), but it would be returnable to something very close to new with careful reworking; the labor just probably would not be worth the cost.

    I will leave this anonymous so that it will stand as informational, and not appear self-promotional.

    Good luck.

  3. Oh…you probably know this, but you should be able to buy a replacement neck. It may or may not play like the original. IMO the necks are going downhill on the new Refs. The only players who can really unlock them are strong players with iron chops who can pressure the horns with a ton of air and superhuman support (maybe the top 2-3% of top professional saxophonists. Most other players would sound better on something else, imo.

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