Imagine for a moment a saxophone without tone holes.
Just mouthpiece and body.
All you can play on it is the lowest note (the fundamental) and its overtones (the partials).
You can make an objective statement about its sound and how it speaks.
How well does the instrument's shape and material support the forming of an oscillating air column?
Now the amazing thing is that this air column still forms even if there are 24 holes punched into the body which are then extended cylindrically and capped of with pads made from felt and leather. Not to speak of random curves in the body.
What I'd like you to understand is this:
The aircolumn forms despite the irregularity that comes with tone hole chimneys and pads not because of it.
The tone holes are only there to lengthen and shorten the air column, not to change or improve the sound.
That brings us straight to tone holes, keys, pads and so called resonators.
welcome to my world...
So called resonators are discs made from different materials and cover the pad where it is exposed to the inside of the body .
Most saxophone players believe that resonators resonate.
As a result of that they attribute a certain sound to the actual key that they press.
• The resonator has no metallic connection to the body and is therefore not involved in its vibration.
• The vibration of the body is the result of the particular waveform of any oscillating air column.
• The toneholes and keys are the technical means to lengthen and shorten that air column.
They have no "sound" and aren't supposed to have one.
This understanding of the instrument led me to the following and simple conclusion:
Resonators are in actuality reflectors.
Maximum reflection is achieved by a smooth and rigid surface.
That's why you want to cover as much of the pads' leather and felt surface as possible.
If you do so you bring out every saxophone's own true sound.
Maximum size reflectors aren't supposed to make an instrument sound darker or brighter.
They make it speak well and even.