The MartinMods "Ultimate"

Acoustical Set-Up


Acoustical facts are acoustical facts. It doesn't matter what horn your have, the newest modern wonder or the greatest vintage gem, whether straight from the factory or you just got the best pro set-up for $400, no matter how good you think it is playing, your horn is still only working at 85% - 90% of it's capacity, quite simply because manufacturers and the best service techs leave that much undone. 85%-90% is very often satisfactory for most players, but if you are still looking for that special horn, that last 10% - 15% can very well be the difference between good and the great horn of your artistic dreams - a good instrument and a Stradavarius.

The best mechanical overhaul, a repad with the best pads/resonators, and the most meticulous, balanced venting adjustments can do only so much. The acoustical irregularities of each specific instrument/mouthpiece/reed type/player combination must be addressed in the order of their severity, and as a whole. Nothing is unimportant. If one aspect is ignored (...and, as things are, the most basic and supremely important acoustical component is left unaddressed) you are just polishing a scratched finish, The common practice of using tone hole inserts to balance tonal color and intonation irregularities serves only to mask the effects of these neglected acoustical issues, and at the cost of lost potential. The problems still exist. This applies to all saxophones. All saxophones can be improved.

Besides all the elements of the current best pro set-up, this service includes:

1. meticulous mouthpiece matching

2. conical tenon/receiver

3. non-protruding, tuned Benade pips

4. deburr of all air column surfaces

5. optimization of resonator surface area


As the instrument nears it's "optimal" acoustic condition, the effect of smaller adjustments and improvments, i.e., the polish, becomes more and more noticeable. Is this Set-Up for you? If you can differentiate between your own limitations and those of the instrument, and have a good handle on the former, then you stand to open the door to a new level of tonal center, ease of response and agility, note stability, and refined intonation.



1. even, centered, and seemingly effortless intonation between registers and throughout the range and at all dynamic levels, to +/- 5 cents.

2. even, centered, and more refined tonal qualities between registers and throughout the range, at all dynamic levels - those problem areas are gone,

3. a clear, centered, and stable upper register at any dynamic (Bb3-C#3 included),

4. a new definition of note-to-note response - the old subconscious limits of what you can/can't do vanish,

5. a new definition of articulation response - with improved tone stability comes new articulation possibilities,

6. a new definition of dynamic range, resistance, and free-blowing,

7. a new definition of low register, especially at low dynamic levels.


Each aspect of this set-up is 100% in accord with the proven acoustical principles of woodwind instruments, so neglected by manufacturers and techs. That's why it works, and why you need it.



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