Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Screw

The other day I found out about the Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Screw, which is the brainchild of Meridian Winds.

Meridian Winds Ergonomic Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Screw

According to their Facebook page, this product:

  • “provides tonal character and color for some discerning artists”,
  • “[is] available to fit all brands of saxophones, in Raw Brass, Silver Plated and Gold Plated versions”, and
  • is handcrafted in Okemos, MI.

Despite the company showing these lovelies in all kinds of slightly-out-of-focus-detail, Meridian Winds is a bit short on details as to what their Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Screw is supposed to do exactly. They do however, provide us with this shot of an informational card….

Info

Again, it doesn’t provide us with any real details about the product’s supposed end result. Interestingly enough though, the company’s catch phrase, “The best place to take a leak”, is certainly familiar. It’s been the Saxgourmet’s catch phrase for at least as long as I’ve been aware (since 2000).

Similarity to Steve Goodson’s catch phrase aside, adding weight to specific parts—nodes if you will—of the saxophone is not a new idea. As a matter of fact, years ago Steve Goodson designed a neck with nodal weights to increase mass at some pressure nodes that occur within the neck. This is supposed to improve the sound of certain notes that are otherwise dead—such as D2.

If you’re familiar with Cannonball saxophones, then you’re likely familiar with the semi-precious stones that they utilize for “enhanced resonance”.

Left-Hand-Keys-&-2nd-Neck-ws

Source: 2saxy4u on eBay.com

Not only does Cannonball utilize these semi-precious stones on the neck, but also on the keys. The implication is that even the use of these semi-precious stone on the key touches changes the horn’s resonance:

The Stone Series® is adorned with semi-precious stones. These beautiful stones give the instrument a striking look, as well as changing the way the instrument resonates.

Source: cannonballmusic.com

So is all this stuff true, or is it just snake oil? I’m certainly not an expert, but I can tell you that I’ve played a lovely Cannonball Stone Series Mad Meg tenor that belongs to a colleague of mine, and it is very close in resonance and tone to my 1950 Zephyr. However, both he and I prefer my Zeph to his Mad Meg for tone and resonance. Oh, and just to be clear, I haven’t glued any semi-precious stones to my 95% naturally delacquered Zephyr. :clown:

The Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Screw: bling, or serious resonance aid?

I really don’t know what to make of the Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Screw. If I buy into the nodal theory, then I could see that adding weights to a sax neck in strategic spots could in theory change the resonance of the horn. However, is there a node at the point of the neck screw? I don’t know. :scratch:

Are these things more ergonomic? Perhaps. Some people who have chimed in on the Meridian Winds’ Facebook page certainly claim so.

One thing is for certain, if you like bling, or if you would like your saxophone’s neck screw to match your body piercing, then the Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Saxophone Neck Screw will likely appeal to you.  Note: All images below from Meridian Winds Ergonomic Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Screw Facebook page.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

Bassic Sax Blog Site Functionality Issues

Keyboard 2

Some of you might have noticed that there is some site functionality issues ATM. There’s a simple reason for this. Over the past 10+ days I’ve been getting a lot of 500 Internal Server Errors when I work on my blog.

Keyboard Confused
Why these 500 errors are popping up have been the source of a great deal of speculation. I’ve been working with my hosting company, Go Daddy, to try and identify if the problem is on their end or mine.

This morning we discovered what I already suspected, the source is on my end, and specifically a conflict among the 40 pieces of software (plugins) that I have running on my WordPress CMS, which improve my massive site’s functionality, and increase its safety.

Yesterday I updated to the latest version of WP, and in so doing had to deactivate all 40 plugins. Over the next few days I will be slowly bringing them online one at a time in an effort to see which will bring about the Internal Server Error message.

What does this mean for you? It means that the Bassic Sax Blog will have some site functionality issues over the next few days as some of its regular plugins are not activated. You’ll notice that comment editing is not available at present. The site map is currently offline, and some of the YouTube videos that I’ve uploaded in the past may be missing as well. There are also some other things that are not as noticeable, that nonetheless affect the site’s functionality.

So please bear with me as I try and figure this all out. As great as it is to have a resource that is just shy of 1900 pages, with 4,742 comments, it also has its challenges.

keyboardThanks for your patience. You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve reached for this key on my keyboard in the last 10 days…

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

 

Vancouver’s Massullo Music

Massullo Music Logo, saxophone, saxI think I have shopped in every music store in Vancouver that sells saxophone supplies for professional players. This week I wanted to pick up a couple of Protec Pro Pac saxophone cases, so I went to the store that I knew had very fair prices (better than the two big Canadian chain stores that have super stores here in town), and where the owner himself is usually one of the people helping you: Massullo Music.

Massullo’s is one of those rare birds that still dots the retail landscape: an independent music store that hasn’t been squeezed out of existence by big box stores or by Internet sales. As a person who actually likes to support local business and the local economy, I’m very happy about that. I like to know that local people are benefiting from the money that I spend in their shop.

Massullo Music has is owned by Sandro Massullo, and has been a fixture on the Vancouver musical landscape since 2001. Prior to opening his own shop, Sandro already had a solid reputation with Vancouver musicians for his workmanship and service.

If you like vintage saxophones, you’ll likely not find a larger selection of vintage saxophones to try out than those at Massullo Music. When I was there on Wednesday, I saw no less than about 12, and those were just those in their display cabinet. Among the notable ones were an interesting Super 20 tenor with a sterling silver neck, a Mark VI tenor, and a Grassi bari (didn’t see any model name engraved on it). Sorry, I didn’t pay attention to the makes and models of the altos and sopranos, the bigger horns always attract my attention. :drooling:

As I mentioned at the outset though, what I really went to Sandro’s shop to buy were a couple of Protec Pro Pac cases. I have been wanting a tenor case for my Hohner president for quite some time. While its original case is minty as the horn is, as I’ve noted in my description of the gear, the original cases are crap, and don’t protect the horn worth a damn. Also, one of the short screws that holds the handle into the flimsy case is loose. I figure it’s only a matter of time before the handle breaks away and the case falls—and with my luck, the horn will be in it. :pissed:

Sandro had exactly what I wanted, so I picked up a Contoured Tenor Sax Pro Pac Case.

I also wanted to get a new case for my Martin Committee III bari. I’ve been keeping it in a first generation Protec case—one of the trapezoidal-shaped cases. (I believe they were called Pro Pac Standard.) I just find the case a bit too cumbersome to pack around however, and really wanted to get a Contoured Baritone Sax Pro Pac Case.

Massullo Music had one of these in stock, so I picked it up for my new Martin. Something to note though for all you The Martin Baritone players looking for replacement cases: there is just a little too much wiggle room in the Pro Pac case. The case accommodates a longer bari, so you’ll have to make up for the room at the top (or bottom) with a bit of filler. It also really helps if you have an end plug. (Sorry no pics of my horn in its new case. It’s too early in the day, and the sun is shining in the room still. I’ll take a few pics sometime and add them.)

These two Protec Pro Pac cases are not the first saxophone cases that I’ve bought at Massullo Music. Almost three years ago to the day I bought a J.W. Eastman tenor case from Sandro’s shop. It was then that I discovered how reasonable their prices were.

If you’re in the Vancouver region and you haven’t visited Massullo Music, what are you waiting for? Stop in and see what Sandro and his staff have. (BTW, the shop also has a nice selection of vintage mouthpieces to try out. That’s where my Brilhart Level Air tenor came from.)

Oh, and if you’re looking for new horns—BTW, why are you reading my website? ;) —Massullo’s is also the North American distributor for Trevor James saxophones. I didn’t have any mouthpieces with me when I was the shop on Wednesday, so I’ll have to try out a couple of the horns the next time I’m in. I am curious about them, because so many of my colleagues from the other side of the pond seem to really like theirs.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!