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KB Sax Handcrafted Saxophone Necks


Inspired by the resonant, colorful sound and the tonal flexibility of
the legendary Selmer saxophones, the Super Balanced Action and the early Mark VI.
 
Joe Lovano endorser KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood
 
Our necks are handcrafted in our shop in New York City and are custom fit
to vintage and modern saxophones.
 
They were developed in our shop in New York City with feedback from many of the top sax players
in the world during a 1 ½ year prototype period, and our R&D is ongoing.
 
Ravi Coltrane endorser KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood

 

A saxophone's neck has a greater impact on the instruments performance than any other part of the horn. The neck is where most of the sound color, intonation, tonal feel and flexibility is created.

By using a KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck, you are getting a product that has been designed to optimize the performance of both modern and vintage horns from the moment your air enters the instrument.

Our necks are not merely replacement necks. Most players feel they are a clear improvement over their original necks, be it on Mark VI, Yamaha, SBA, etc.

 




Jerry Bergonzi endorses KB Sax handcrafted sax neck





Video  -  Jerry Bergonzi talks about his KB Sax necks


  




 




Video  -  Nick Biello on KB Sax Vanguard M-61 brass tenor sax neck








Bob Sheppard KB Sax handcrafted tenor saxophone necks Redwood





Video  -  Bob Sheppard on KB Sax necks & Retro Revival mouthpieces







 

Neck  Models

The KB Sax handcrafted saxophone necks come in three different models: Vanguard, Redwood and Canyon.
Within these models, there are different metals available, each of which have their own specific sound and response characteristic.

VANGUARD

 

The Vanguard is our newest addition to the lineup of KB Sax handcrafted necks. It has been developed to have the core focus situated in the high mid-tone area resulting in a slender, highly centered tone with a very resonant quality and a really strong projection. It is very quick responding, has incredible dynamic range and retains the same precise intonation as the Redwood and Canyon models.


The Vanguard necks are close in sound and tonal response to the later Selmer Super Balanced Action but with the added benefit of precise intonation, easier produced and more stable altissimo range and a sound quality that is very consistent from top to bottom.


We are making the Vanguard in three different metals: M-61 brass, Hand hammered copper and bronze.

 



VANGUARD -
M-61 BRASS

$ 1,180
KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Vanguard M61 brass

more pics
 

We developed a heat treatment method (precipitation hardening/“aging”) for the specific M-61 alloy which allows us to harden the neck tube and bring out the exact tonal color of this metal. The result is a neck with a very smooth frequency curve and a concentration of sound in the high mid-tone area.

Sound characteristic:

The Vanguard M-61 brass is our most mid-tone focused neck. The sound concentration is in the high mid-tone frequencies resulting in a very punchy and direct feeling neck. It is the neck of ours with the most back pressure/least free blowing (a very good kind of resistance - reminiscent of an 86,xxx Mark VI) which makes the articulation feel quick, the tonal feedback feel narrow and shapeable and enables a huge dynamic expressiveness. You experience that all your energy goes into activating a highly resonant and tight beam of sound.



VANGUARD -
HAND HAMMERED COPPER

$ 1,240
KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Vanguard hand hammered copper

more pics
 

We are using a process of hand hammering the copper neck tube after it is formed. It serves several purposes: It hardens the metal, making it as strong and pull-down resistant as a brass neck and it also give the neck its specific tonal sound and response characteristics.

Sound characteristic:

The Vanguard hand hammered copper has the same mid-tone focused qualities as the M-61 brass. It differs by having slightly less resistance and feeling a little freer blowing. The sound is rich and complex with some added lower mid-tone color, yet retaining the strong resonant projection of the Vanguard line.



VANGUARD - BRONZE
$ 1,180
KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Vanguard bronze

more pics
 

We developed a specially timed heat treatment of our bronze (tin-copper alloy) that ensures high tensile strength and resonance.

Sound characteristic:

The Vanguard bronze retains the strong mid-tone core sound and focus of the Vanguard model. However, it is the most free blowing and also the brightest in that line. There is a certain warm sizzle combine with the punchy focus that is highly reminiscent of the more focused of the early Mark VIses (like mid 80,xxx).






REDWOOD

 

The Redwood line is our original KB Sax neck and was inspired by the sound and tonal feel of the early Selmer Super Balanced Action. It features a colorful mid-toney core sound that maintains a powerful focus from the bottom of the horn and throughout the altissimo range as well as at any dynamic level.


Compared to the Vanguard line, the Redwood necks are slightly less mid-tone concentrated and feel a little more open and spread. An analogy would be the difference between early Super Balanced Action (like Redwood) and late Super Balanced Action (like Vanguard).


We make the Redwood in three different metals: C-69 brass, Hand hammered copper and bronze. 

 



REDWOOD -
C-69 BRASS

$ 1,180
KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood model in brass

more pics
 

The Redwood C-69 brass has a weighty and round core sound. Your air is channeled into a tight yet robust tone feel that makes the horn feel quick and compact in the lower range while maintaining the strong and present core sound without changing character as you move through the palm keys and up throughout the altissimo range.

Sound characteristic:

There is a great clarity and direct presence in the Redwood C-69 brass. It stays incredibly round and centered at all volume levels and while it is a focused neck it has a multidimensional or layered sound quality. It has the most core-weight resistance of the Redwood line which enables great tonal formability.

 






REDWOOD -
HAND HAMMERED COPPER

$ 1,240
KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood model hand hammered copper

more pics
 

As with the Vanguard, for the Redwood Hand Hammered Copper we are using a process of hand hammering the copper neck tube after it is formed. It serves several purposes: It hardens the metal, making it as strong and pull-down resistant as a brass neck and it also give the neck its specific tonal sound and response characteristics.

Sound characteristic:

Compared to the Redwood brass, the Hand Hammered Copper is a more complex sounding neck with the dominant core sound being slightly darker. There is a smooth brightness with warm undertones. Where the Redwood brass has a very straight and direct sound column, the Hand Hammered Copper is more complex and rich sounding.








REDWOOD - BRONZE
$ 1,180
KB Sax handrafted tenor sax neck Redwood bronze

 

We developed a specially timed heat treatment of our bronze (tin-copper alloy) that ensures high tensile strength and resonance.

Sound characteristic:

The Redwood Bronze is quite focused and punchy with good mid-tone weight and is close to the Redwood C-69 brass in that respect. However, there is a little more low frequencies present as well as a stronger emphasis and cutting brilliance in the higher frequencies compared to the C-69 brass.






CANYON

The Canyon model is developed to be generally wider and more spread with a sound that opens more up as volume increases.


 
KB Sax handcrafted sax neck Canyon model brass

more pics
CANYON -
C-69 BRASS

$ 1,180

The Canyon C-69 brass in inspired by the free blowing and full spectrum sound of the very early Mark VI. It features a wide and slightly spread sound with a deeply resonant tone feel. It is fast responding, has a rich tonal color with that certain “sizzle” and brilliance in the higher frequencies that gets more pronounced when you lean into it.

 






APPEARANCE & FINISH

Our necks are sold in different brass alloys, in copper and bronze. Upon completion, we add a coating of a special wax. The wax can be reapplied if you wish to retain an unlacquered raw/bare look. If no additional treatment is done, the neck will over time take on the natural patina of the given metal.

 

We also offer a clear lacquer finish on any of our necks to preserve the raw brass, bronze or copper look. Additionally, we offer all models in various platings (gold, silver, brushed silver and others). Please contact us for more information.

 





 

Videos - Comparing various models of KB Sax handcrafted necks

          More videos coming!
 
 

7-day trial period & free shipping

We offer free shipping to the US, and also free return shipping should you wish to return the neck within the 7-day trial period.

The neck must be returned to us in its original condition and include all original packaging. There is no restocking fee. A full refund will be made. Please contact us within the 7-day period for a return authorization, and we will email you a free return shipping label.

US customers (50 states) - you can purchase our necks online, at our shop, call or email us.

For online purchases, please read our Custom Fit section below. **Note that the gauges must be shipped back to us within 7 days, or your order will be cancelled and you will receive a partial refund. $270 (plus sales tax for NY residents) will be deducted from the full price of the neck to cover the cost of the gauges.

International customers - you can purchase our necks by phone or email. Please email us your address if you wish to obtain a shipping quote. Please read our Custom Fit section below. Online purchase is currently not available. We accept bank wires and Paypal. Customers are responsible for import duties and custom taxes.

Custom Fit

KB Sax handcrafted sax necks custom fit gauges
KB Sax handcrafted saxophone necks custom fit gauges

 
  For US customers:
 

To ensure the best possible fit when you try a KB Sax handcrafted neck, we have designed a set of tenon receiver measuring gauges. They are sized in 0.001” (one thousandth of an inch) increments. When ordering a neck, simply tell us the brand, model and serial number of your saxophone and we will send you a set of three measuring gauges, 0.001” apart. With these gauges, you can then measure the exact size of your tenon receiver and notify us which one fits best. Once we receive the gauges back from you, we will ship you a neck that has a tenon specifically sized to your horn. There is no shipping charge for the shipping and return shipping of the tenon receiver gauges.

  For International customers:
 

When ordering a KB Sax handcrafted neck, please tell us the brand, model and serial number of your saxophone. It is helpful if you can have the tenon of your current neck and/or tenon receiver on your horn measured by a professional. At this point in time, we do not ship our tenon receiver measuring gauges to international customers. We will send you a neck for your saxophone based on the information you provided us with, but you may have to have the neck fitted by a professional in your area to ensure a perfect fit.




 

Neck Making Process

 

The KB Sax handcrafted saxophone necks are made in a unique and innovative way.

Traditionally, a saxophone neck is made by forming a metal sheet around a mandrel to create a conical tube. The tube is then bent over a form to give it the specific shape of a saxophone neck. Some parts of the metal are stretched much more than others, resulting in a neck which has varying wall thickness.


KB Sax necks handcrafted in NYC stamping
KB Sax handcrafted saxophone necks silver soldering

The KB Sax handcrafted necks on the other hand, are made by stamping out the two halves/sides of the neck, which are then silver soldered together to create the neck tube. This results in a neck tube with a much more uniform wall thickness throughout. We believe this is part of the reason these necks sound and feel so resonant compared to other necks.

KB Sax handcrafted saxophone necks
 

By maintaining tolerances of +/- 0.002” (two thousands of an inch) throughout production, we ensure consistency in quality and sound. By keeping all the production in house, we have 100% quality control and we play test each neck extensively to ensure it meets our standard.

 

Tenons and endrings custom made for KB Sax handcrafted saxophone necks






Video  -  Watch the making of the KB Sax handcrafted necks







Endorsers


Ravi Coltrane endorser KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood on Selmer SBA
Bob Sheppard endorser KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood brass
Jerry Bergonzi endorser KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood brass on early Mark VI
Joe Lovano endorser KB Sax handcrafted saxophone necks Redwood copper on Borgani and Redwood brass on Selmer SBA

Ravi Coltrane
Bob Sheppard
Jerry Bergonzi
Joe Lovano

 
“Wow! Great neck. It blows away my SBA necks and it is a step up from the #6 prototype – tonally very happy with it.”

Redwood brass &
Vanguard brass
on Selmer SBA
 
“When you first play the KB Sax handcrafted neck, the feeling is liberating. There is a striking improvement in overall dynamic range, evenness of response and tonal flexibility. Kim Bock's design and creation has taken one giant step for the saxophone.”

Redwood bronze on
early Mark VI &
Redwood brass on
Selmer SBA

 
“It has the immediacy of response that I look for with a richness of all the overtones ringing!”

Redwood HH copper &
Vanguard HH copper on
early Selmer Mark VI
& Radio Improved

 
"I find the added Buzz, Clarity and Dynamic range the KB Sax 'Redwood' Handcrafted Necks gives me a New Vibration in the body of my various horns. Try one and you'll feel what I mean!!!"

Redwood HH copper
on Borgani &
Selmer SBA


John Ellis endorser KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood brass on Selmer Mark VI Craig Handy endorser KB Sax handcrafted saxophone neck Redwood brass on TM Custom


John Ellis Craig Handy


“I was shocked by the focus and power of these necks when I first tried them. Paradoxically, they felt both wider and more directed than my Mark VI neck. I must have played nearly 20 necks that first day, and every one was better than the neck I'd been using. I haven't looked back!”

Redwood brass on
Selmer Mark VI
“The KB Sax 'Redwood' neck is one of the best necks I've ever played. There's an ideal blend of high/mid/lows with a warm emphasis in the mid range that produces a wonderful array of colors. Lovin' it! Home run!”

  Redwood brass on
Selmer Mark VI


 




 

Reviews


DOWNBEAT (May 2016) - KB Sax tenor necks review

BEST.SAXOPHONE.WEBSITE.EVER - "Is your neck on your side?" by Zach Sollitto

Ben Wendel and Bob Reynolds compare vintage Selmer Saxophones // VLOG #122

 




 




Testimonials

Testimonials quotes customers reviews KB Sax handcrafted tenor necks





More Videos

Kenji Omae
Ravi Coltrane Quartet on NPR Music


 




Tim Lin
Kirsten Edkins










 

Dealers

  USA
Japan
Japan
Japan
  Tenor Madness
  2855 Deere Road
  Waterloo
  Iowa 50701

  Tel: (319) 234-3561
  www.tenormadness.com
TAO Music
ST bldg. 2F,
1-17-10 Hyakunin-cho
Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo
169-0073
Japan
 
Tel: 81-3-5338-1122
Mobile: 81-90-3632-8809

GAKKIDO Co.,Ltd.
17-21 Sagami-cho
Kochi-city
Kochi-ken
780-0047
Japan

Tel: 81-88-824-1840
Email: biz@gakkido.jp
www.gakkido.jp
www.sax-fun.com
SHIMAMURA
various locations across Japan

Tel: 81-3-3613-4160
Email: inquiry@shimamura.co.jp

www.shimamura.co.jp
































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