The Manufacturing Process
The Body Tube Process
Our body tubes start life as a humble, flat sheet of brass, just as our bells do. To get the sheet of brass into the right shape, we first use a special heat treatment method called annealing, this enables us to wrap the brass round our Saxophone body shaped mould, but more importantly it changes the internal structure of the Brass. This process gives our Saxophones more resonance and fuller tone.
The Bell Process
As stated above, the bell section of the Saxophones also starts life as a plain sheet of Brass. The traditional way of making a Saxophone bell was to cut the brass and shape into a tube like shape, much like the body tube, but then spin it at high speeds to get the curved shape. This was a sound method, but left too much margin of error for our liking. That’s why we now use a special machine and mould that
The Tonehole Process
We’re very proud of our technique for ensuring accurate and even tonehole placement on the body of the Saxophone. Our toneholes are pulled out from the body, rather than
The Keywork Process
Many Saxophone producers like to buy their keywork in from other sources, as it is a complex procedure – not us though! Our keywork is all made by us. We also like to make sure our keywork is some of the strongest out there, and to do this we use a method called induction heating. The keywork is initially made in multiple parts, and then the parts are put together using this method. The induction heating method only heats precisely the part of the key that is that is being attached to the lever, and so the rest of the key stays cold and doesn’t lose any of its hardness. This is why our keywork is some of the hardest wearing out there and a big reason why our Saxophone are so durable and able to stand up to being gigged so hard.
The Polishing Process
In the past the polishing of a Saxophone has been a tricky problem to navigate around. A traditional way of doing this would be to us a buffing machine to get the Saxophone looking all nice and shiny. This method seems sensible and straightforward at first, however it is full of problems; the main one being that it was impossible to keep all the posts that are attached to the Saxophones body in position and aligned during the buffing process. This meant that every Saxophone would have to be repaired after polishing to ensure that these posts were positioned correctly. Now this may not sound too bad, but not only does this add a considerable amount of time to the manufacturing process, it also adds an element of randomness to things, as the chances of a Saxophones being repaired to the exact precision desired is almost zero. We don’t like the idea of one of our Saxophones having this level on inconsistency, and so we came up with a new way to streamline this process. Using a large machine, the complete Saxophone body is spun for around 24 hours in separate containers filled with … . This method allows the structure and integrity of the Saxophone to remain unchanged throughout the entire process.
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And here is the end result
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The Finishing Process
Our Saxophones come available in many different finishes, each of which has its own set of procedures and needs. Our most popular finish of the most recent years is the Hand Rubbed Raw Brass. The process to this is rather simple, instead of lacquering the brass, we treat it with Microcrystalline wax and hand rub the instrument to ensure full and even coverage. The results are outstanding, giving that almost ‘vintage’ look to the horn, that will only get better with age.
The Final Building Process
Now that all the pieces are in place, all that is left to do is assemble the Saxophone and give it a final setup to ensure that the Saxophone plays well and feels good under the fingers. First comes springs, then goes on the keys, after this one of our expert technicians closely inspects the Saxophone and gives it any final tweaks that are needed to ensure the action and feel is perfect.
Come and See us
Visitors are welcome to our workshop and showroom but please do help us to help you by making an appointment.
Make an appointment online or by telephone.
Weekdays - 09:00-17:30
Saturday - 10:00-16:00
Sunday - Time for Practise - a few bars may need checking out!
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Hanson Musical Instruments