• The shortest neck, to start with, is of the same length as Adolphe Sax's baritone neck and is about a 5 centimetres shorter than the modern french standard. According to Steinkopf, a larger truncation makes your instrument more open and thus favours a bigger tone and the lower range. The aim of this neck is to explore this.
  • The second shortest neck is about the length of the 'american vintage', about a 1½ - 2 centimetres shorter than the modern french standard.
  • The second longest one is the standard modern french-style baritone neck.
  • The longest neck serves two purposes: one is to reduce truncation once more and gain in intonation preciseness; the other is to provide a place for a third register hole through the mouthpiece's shank to facilitate top-tones.
  • following Sax

    This was the last one I made. It is shortest one of the set and like the 'american vintage' neck, it had its states of development, but having got wiser from previous necks, the work was now easier. It was out of the question though to compromise on the neck's length as here Sax had set the example to be followed. The consequence intonationwise is that palm-key notes, and especially high-E and high-F have to be handled cautiously. This is not so much a fault of the neck, but simply follows from the design of Sax's baritone, which had keys up to high-Eb only and its neck matches that.
    There is still some more 'air' to the tone and some more dynamics compared to the 'american vintage' neck. This confirms Otto Steinkopf's assertions. This neck needs a specially designed mouthpiece with an extra large chamber.

    'american vintage'

    The aim of this neck is to obtain as open an entrance to the instrument as possible. The limits are posed by intonation and stabilty. The modern standard neck has an opening of a 13+ millimeter. The idea was to open up the entrance to a maximum, making it both shorter and wider than the modern standard. This was not immediately successful. I had to work toward a correct bore profile in at least three successive steps. At first a profile was chosen that was simply a shorter version of the french standard neck, neither wider nor narrower. Truncation was almost 40% bigger in volume than with the standard neck. In this state the far upper end of the second register was way too sharp and unstable too.
    Finally I settled on a compromize which is about 1½ centimetre shorter than the standard neck and has an entrance width a 23% wider. This gave an appreciable difference with the french standard neck: there is more 'air' to the tone and a certain preference for the lower range. Also the instrument seems to be more dynamic. The instability, which was there in a previous state (and which is also present in the shortest neck), now has gone. It again confirms Otto Steinkopf's assertions that a greater truncation favours the lower range and is helpful in greater dynamics. Don't expect too much though. Within the limits of what is musically viable, the difference is a nuance, but quite an interesting one. The neck can be played with a commercially available wide chamber mouthpiece.

    modern french standard

    This neck remained unchanged and for comparison purposes only. I found that modern baritones in general have a relatively longer neck than the smaller saxophones, of about the acoustical length of G#3 instead of F#3.

    longest neck

    First purpose: the profile of the first neck is the same as that of the modern standard neck, except that it is 2 centimetres longer still. I did not change the profile, I only wanted to compare a difference in (truncated) length. its entrance is a 13% narrower than the 'american vintage' neck. This makes an appreciable difference. Yet intonation stabilizes even more in the highest ranges. It also confirmed Steinkopf's claims: the centre of gravity of the tone, so to speak, moves upward, higher partials are enhanced.
    Second purpose: the added register vent makes the baritone to easily play a minor sixth higher on the same fingerings that are normally used for your written A2 up to F3 and obtain F3 up to Db4. An extra mechanism is needed to operate the key. A picture of my baritone shows the way in which it is done. It is of course the instrument makers solution to a problem. Most people will have to rely on the musicians solution and practice and practice...