As you can see by the picture, the bare-brass Aquilasax C has arrived, and is in use… I was so keen to try the sax out (about ten seconds after it had arrived, fastest unpack ever) but the new ‘tenor’ style C neck had a slight mechanical problem, so I impatiently tried it with the ‘alto’ style neck that was also in the case. Click on the picture for a better view of the sax.
But (surprise, surprise…) when I went back to the tenor neck, having later easily rectified the problem, I found that the alto neck suited me so much better. Very little appreciable difference in sound quality and blowing characteristics between them, so it’s really all down to comfort and ‘feel’.
You might remember back-away when I commented that the new Aquilasax C ‘tenor’ neck was shorter than the standard C-Mel ‘tenor’ neck – because the body tube had to be lengthened to accommodate the high F#, so the neck was then proportionally shortened to maintain the same overall ‘tube’ length ?
Well, so it is with the new Aquilasax C ‘alto’ style neck – it’s considerably shorter than the original 20’s Conn C-Mel straight neck, in fact only about an inch longer than a standard Eb alto neck, and with none of the microtuner gubbins that also seemed to affect harmonics. So, using the new C straight/alto neck doesn’t appreciably push the sax ‘out and away’ – the real hate I had with the 20’s straight/alto-neck Conn C’s, having quite short arms ! Instead, on the Aquilasax C, it drops the sax down from a normal C ‘close and high’, to a ‘close and lower’ position – quite tenor’ish, despite looking like an alto on steroids, still with all the keys in easy reach, plus the neck doesn’t get in the way when reading music – and it’s so comfortable – as you can see, nothing is strained… (except maybe the listening ears 🙂 )
The sling can now also be appreciably looser/lower, and can usefully be slipped on/off the neck without disturbing the setting. Going back again to the Aquilasax C tenor style neck re-confirmed all my initial findings, so I sharply returned it to the case and went back to the alto-style neck. I’m probably the last person to readily admit this, but (certainly at this moment in time) I actually prefer playing with the Aquilasax C ‘alto’ neck. How strange, I really didn’t expect that ! More observations later, as I get to know the sax… Thanks Steve, much as I like my original lacquer C – I just love this new bare-brass one !