Check out this video of Ron Holloway having fun with his Warburton Ultimate Sax Neck while sitting in with Widespread Panic at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 20th, 2010
Ron was using the 62 - A48 initiator for this performance. The numbers mean the outside diameter is 0.62" to best fit his mouthpiece, with the "A" internal shape (described below), and the smallest part of the inside diameter is 0.48"
Larry Johnson tests the Warburton Modular Sax Neck System Charles McNeal compares the brass and copper Warburton neck to his original Selmer neck
Saxophone players are all too familiar with the trial-and-error method of purchasing and fitting traditional one-piece necks to their instruments while searching for a particular set of playing and sound qualities. It can get really expensive in a hurry - and you still might not end up with the desired result. As a result, most players find a one-piece neck that plays "well enough" and learn to like it.
Those days are now over. The Warburton Ultimate Sax Neck puts you, the player, in control of how it fits, plays, and sounds.
Want more or less resistance?
Want to use your favorite neck on multiple instruments (but you can't because the tenon sizes are different)?
Want to use different mouthpieces (but you can't because the cork on your neck doesn't fit the other mouthpiece properly)?
Want a bright sound for lead jazz work - and then easily switch to classic dark sound for a different gig?
The Warburton two-piece mouthpiece system has allowed trumpet and trombone players to fine-tune the feel and tone of their playing for the past 35 years - Now the Warburton Modular Sax Neck system provides that same luxury to saxophone players!
Players quickly realize several things when using our Ultimate Sax Neck:
They're putting less energy into their sax, but they're getting better than ever sound from it. Because it's more responsive they have a noticeably greater level of control throughout the range of the instrument. They can easily adapt a single instrument and mouthpiece to a wide variety of playing situations. They don't want to play their old neck anymore.
How Does It Work?
In a nutshell, there are three pieces:
Initiator - screws onto the mouthpiece end of the neck - available in sizes to fit ANY mouthpiece.
Tenon - screws onto the instrument end of the neck - available in sizes to fit ANY instrument.
Neck - looks just like any other saxophone neck, however, we've installed our threaded mountings on each end to accept all of our Initiators and Tenons. We can also convert your existing neck to accept the Warburton Initiators and Tenons.
The first thing most players notice - NO CORK TO WEAR OUT AND REPLACE! In fact, many players notice this and think we've simply eliminated the cork and that's all it does. KEEP READING - the real benefits come from your ability to choose the INTERNAL SHAPE and BORE SIZE.
Four rubber O-Rings have replaced the cork for a solid mechanical and acoustical connection to provide the most efficient transfer of sound energy from your mouthpiece into the initiator.
Choose the EXTERNAL SIZE to fit your mouthpiece (we've got all the popular sizes covered and we can accommodate other sizes on an as-needed basis).
Choose the BORE SIZE based on how much resistance you prefer.
Warburton Tenons correct the misalignment problems often found where the neck meets the body.
Traditionally, the sax neck tenon has been a cylindrical section of thin-walled metal tubing that often times requires excessive clamping force due to being slightly out-of-round. Warburton tenons are precision machined and available in many sizes to provide a perfect fit for your instrument.
During our research and player testing we discovered yet another area for improvement to the traditional design - whereas the inside shape of a traditional neck tenon is cylindrical (and thus interrupting what would otherwise be a continuously tapered instrument), our player testing revealed that a slight taper from smaller to larger works better in all playing situations. As a result, the inside shape of all of our standard tenons is tapered.
By choosing from easily interchangeable tenons, your Ultimate Sax Neck can be compatible with all makes of saxophones!
Regarding Initiator and Tenon sizing: all of the well-known standard sizes are available and we can produce any size needed to fit the occasional "oddball" sized instruments or mouthpieces we encounter.
Our patent-pending Modular Sax Neck system works equally well for all sax players from recreational to professional – from classical to modern
The Warburton Ultimate Sax Neck System consists of:
1 Neck Body - satin finish raw brass (satin finish Silver plating is optional)
1 Initiator - polished silver plated brass
1 Tenon - polished silver plated brass
Additional Initiators and Tenons are available as desired to maximize the flexibility of your setup.
Also available with Silver Plating
Return Policy on Neck System Components:
Customer supplied necks we convert are not returnable or refundable. The conversion is a one-way process and cannot be reversed.
All other undamaged components can be returned with a $10.00 restocking fee (which offsets our costs of labor and replating needed to restore the items to like new condition).
The Warburton Modular Sax Neck system allows saxophone players to choose the Initiator shapes and sizes best suited to their styles of playing. It's a well known fact that the tonal qualities and air resistance of the Trumpet and Trombone (as well as the other brass instruments) can be favorably manipulated through the use of specially shaped and sized mouthpiece backbores - and the Warburton two-piece system for Trumpet and Trombone has been doing this with great success for 35 years - Now it's time for sax players to start enjoying that same level of freedom!
The Initiator internal shapes are illustrated and described below:
A - continuous Arc - The Arc shape is the brightest and most powerful shape. It shares the uniform timbre of the “CA” while adding brightness and more center to the sound. The resistance and timbre are especially even at full volume. This is an excellent choice for jazz lead playing and more contemporary playing styles when projection is needed.
CA - Cylindrical first 1/3 of length then Arc - (alto only) – This shape provides a warm and uniform timbre across the full range of the instrument. Soft dynamics are especially stable and the player isn't forced to subtone in the lower register. This is an excellent choice for classical, pit orchestra, or any situation when control is of extreme importance.
F - cylindrical first 2/3 of length then Flare - The Flare shape is the warmest and most flexible shape. The lows in the sound are more prominent and the timbre is easily changed. The lower register is big and warm with an excellent subtone and the upper register is fluid and singing. This is an excellent choice for straight ahead jazz and classical where the use of all possible sound colors is desired.
RT - Reverse Taper large to small - (tenor only) – This shape helps players who have too much middle in their sound. The RT emphasizes the highs while balancing out the mids and lows. This quality allows the player to push a lot of air and not have their sound become harsh or brittle. The palm key notes have a special character to them that none of the other shapes provide.
S - Straight cylinder - The Straight initiators are the most balanced in terms of lows, mids, and highs in the sound. When pushed this shape will hold its center and not break up even at extreme volumes. This is an excellent choice for more contemporary styles.
Purchase a complete package from us including the neck - or we can convert your existing neck as shown here:
A customer we met at a Sax show with an older model Buescher Tenor Sax tried out our system - and he couldn't bear the thought of continuing to play his sax without it! He sent us his neck - which arrived looking "respectably beat up". We installed our threaded adapters and cleaned it up just a little bit - and shipped it back with his choice of Initiator and Tenon.
Here's another conversion we did on a copper MacSax neck:
We are working to establish a network of regional representatives to allow everyone to try out the Ultimate Sax Neck if a stocking dealer is not near by.
The simplest way is to call us at 800-638-1950 - we will either direct you to a near by dealer or we can work directly with you over the phone.
During our research and product development we learned one very interesting thing about saxophones - there is no standardization of mouthpiece or tenon sizes across the manufacturers - and furthermore even within the same brand and model there are often times significant size differences. If you've ever tried to swap mouthpieces and sax necks around you probably already know this. The result of this situation is that we manufacture our Initiators and Tenons in various OUTSIDE diameters to make sure we can properly fit different sized mouthpieces and saxophones.
It's really just a simple matter of making sure we send you the correct outside diameter initiator to fit your mouthpiece AND the correct tenon to fit your saxophone.
OK, so how do we figure out what size parts I need AND which style and size of initiator will work best for me ?
When you place your order, we will charge your credit card for the order and send you the following items:
Your new Ultimate Sax Neck.
A selection of Initiator size gauges you will use to find out which one best fits your mouthpiece (similar to trimming and sanding the cork to fit your mouthpiece using a traditional neck). If you use more than one mouthpiece, go ahead and use the size gauges on ALL of them just in case you want to order Initiators for the other mouthpieces later.
A selection of Tenon size gauges you will use to find out which one best fits your saxophone. If you have more than one saxophone, go ahead and use the size gauges on ALL of them just in case you want to order Tenons for the other horns later.
Simple instructions on how to use the size gauges.
You ship the size gauges back to us.
As soon as we find out which size parts you need, we will send the following items:
A selection of Initiators with various INTERNAL SHAPES and SIZES based on your playing style (for example: if you're an orchestra musician there's no point in sending you initiators suited for the bright piercing sound a contemporary lead player might want).
A Tenon with the correct outside diameter to properly fit your saxophone.
Spare rubber o-rings to have on hand in the unlikely event your Initiator o-rings need to be replaced.
You ship the Initiators you are not keeping back to us.
Now what do I do with this pile of parts?
We're almost done!A few minutes of play testing the various Initiators will allow you to figure out which INTERNAL SIZE and SHAPE you like best in terms of resistance and tonal qualities. However, you keep them all for a full week for extra play testing to make sure you're happy with your selection.
Send the Initiators you're not keeping back to us.
Reviews and Endorsements from Customers and Reviewers:
The difference in the Warburton Neck System for me is the increase in volume and quality of sound in all registers. The band also noticed the difference.
Thanks Terry and Eric! I have been playing the Neck System in conjunction with my Jody Jazz DV in various studio, live, acoustic, and amplified settings including during the European tour with Arturo Sandoval.
The Ultimate Sax Neck System helps me produce a highly focused sound and generates a more accurate scale throughout the entire range of the saxophone. The combination of your system with the Jody Jazz DV offers me the flexibility and power needed to deliver musical ideas more easily and with greater flexibility than ever before. In my experience, the ability to adjust the feel of the horn via the initiators is exciting and highly practical for those of us who enjoy and are challenged by opportunities to perform in a variety of settings. In acoustic or amplified settings in the studio or on the stage, the neck system affords an innovative approach to maximizing the beauty, virtuosity, and power of the saxophone.
This is a brilliant idea. Thank you for creating something that makes me a better musician.
I am completely surprised by Warburton's "Ultimate Sax Neck". The first impression playing their brass neck with the F50 and A50 initiators left me speechless.
I thought my original set up, a Borgani Pearl Gold tenor with a JodyJazz HR 8, was quite good as it was, but your Ultimate Sax Neck substantially improved the dynamics, richness of tone and the core to the sound. I have been using the Ultimate Sax Neck for the better part of a rather busy month and have discovered that, with the use of various initiators, it is easy to fine tune how the horn feels and sounds under quite different playing situations.
The F50 combined with the brass neck is in my opinion, the ultimate set up for amplified stage situations, where the music requires a sound with big presence. The amazing thing is that the set up doesn't sacrifice the bottom, deep fullness for brilliance. I also find it easy to shape the sound. As far as volume is concerned, it isn't just loud or nothing either. I can play from barely a whisper all the way to full volume, comfortably and predictably from the bottom to the top of my horn. The neck feels extremely efficient at converting air into sound. The smaller diameter F46 is similar in response but with a tighter feel which I find very comfortable when playing in un-amplified, less acoustically demanding situations. The A 50 is both bright and fat with an amazing center and a tad more resistance. This set up has been great in recording situations.
Warburton has definitely changed the "playing" field with this development. They, through the use of their unique precision manufacturing and years of brass experience, have brought repeatability and perfection to the most critical part of the saxophone. Congratulations and thanks!
"The Warburton Ultimate Sax Neck is a state of the art achievement. I feel that the neck and its various initiators give me a wider palette of tone colors, resonance, and projection; allowing me even more flexibility, whether I am playing in a loud electric setting or something more intimate and soft.
The initiators also give me varying levels of resistance, which makes it easier for me to adjust to fluctuations in my reeds. I find that regardless of the initiator used, my sound is bigger and fuller. It also is a good feeling to finally stop having to replace my neck cork - especially when I am out on the road.
Warburton has invented something that will truly help anyone take their playing to a new level."
"I've had the pleasure of playing on the "Warburton Modular Neck System" for the last few months and I must say "I'm impressed!!!" Each of the necks (Copper and Brass) played wonderfully and added certain characteristics to my sound that I really enjoyed. I found them both to be very free blowing and well crafted. While I did have to make minor adjustments for intonation I found that I was able to play each neck in tune throughout the horn and they blended well when I played in horn sections with other musicians."
"The Warburton modular neck system completes the job a good mouthpiece begins.
First of all, it's simply a great sounding neck. Warm, rich and singing, it enhances my sound in every way. Through the screw on initiators I can fine tune the resistance, focus and projection to perfectly match any acoustical situation. Sure, you can change mouthpieces to effect these attributes, but that change always comes at a price.
The Warburton neck system takes what's already there makes it work better. If I'm playing in a large hall with a huge sound system or acoustically in an intimate club I can choose the appropriate initiator to get the most out of the situation. No need to over blow, no need to worry about my sound becoming too bright if I open up.
Think about this: the best tools are always transparent. Everyone, at all levels, will benefit from using this neck system."
"When looking for a trumpet mouthpiece, I noticed on your website the ultimate sax neck. In the past I had tried other after-market saxophone necks that were disappointing. What a surprise it was to try this neck !!! The overtone series was easy to play and in tune. Playing in the altissimo register was a pleasure. If you own a keilwerth tenor saxophone you have to try this neck !!! A different size tenon also makes it possible to play on my Yamaha tenor saxophone.
You can receive the neck on trial, and if you don't like it send it back. Anytime you have a question or a problem, you can call and someone always answers the phone. (I have never been fowarded to an answering machine) So, what have you got to lose by trying out anything made by Warbuton ?.....Nothing!"
Keilwerth SX90 Shadow Tenor Saxophone Warburton Silver Neck Tenon Size 103 Initiator A50 Size 63 Bach Stradivarius Trumpet Warburton 5SV mouthpiece cup with an 8* backbore
"My tenor is a 1965 Selmer Mark VI, and I love the way the copper Warburton neck increases the dynamic range of the horn while producing a very stable and even response in all registers. My setup plays more freely with the Warburton neck, and I hear some added sizzle in my sound. It is difficult to explain how dramatic the difference is from a stock neck, but it is instantly apparent when you play, and I am delighted with the Warburton tenor saxophone neck that I purchased."
"Terry and his staff at Warburton have hit the mark with their Modular Neck System. No longer do I have to trade tone for projection. These necks let you have it all. Quality materials, innovative design, and great craftsmanship are evident in all of Warburton’s products and these “Ultimate Necks” truly live up to their moniker."
You can buy yourself a new sax...any sax---but a Warburton Ultimate Sax Neck will make it a true musical instrument. The "A" series initiator gives me the resistance and control I couldn't get before; and the "S" initiator will take as much air power as you can put into it and the sound remains even from top to bottom. At a recent jazz festival in California a saxophone player from another band came up to me and said, "Okay, what'd you do? Your sound is HUGE!".
"The Warburton sax neck makes playing smoother and easier. My low notes can be soft and breathy while I'm still able to get my high notes with enough brightness and all the while my range is in tune. I don't have to force them."