This is an amazingly simple concept which I’m very pleased to see available from the well established and highly reputable company from Switzerland, Jazzlabs. The reason I’m happy to see it made by Jazzlabs is that their products are all extremely well designed and made, for example the Saxholder.
This is no exception. I have to be honest when I first saw the Deflector I thought it looked a bit too fragile, rather like my Grafton plastic alto. I contacted the manufacturer with my concerns and received a very speedy reply pointing out that it is manufactured from polycarbonate (and not acrylic as I thought) I feel totally confident. However, more of the construction and design later.
This is not an entirely new concept. Saxophone players have found that playing against a wall can really help you hear your sound as it reflects back at you, and this is where a dedicate device such as the Deflector can really help. It takes that simple idea applies it wherever you are.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome as a live artist is the ability to hear yourself on a gig. In an ideal world you are on a stage in a room with wonderful acoustics and a professional sound monitoring system. Along with a highly competent sound engineer. However this is sadly not often the case, and often we wish for that nice reflective practice room wall to magically appear in front of the stage.
Your very own portable wall.
So here is the solution: just clip the deflector onto your bell, adjust the angle to suit and away you go.
“But wait!” I hear you say, “this is going to impede some of the sound going out front, to the audience.”
That doesn’t seem to happen, or if it does, it is certainly an insignificant amount as can be shown if you record with a deflector in place. It actually has a hole which of course would not only allow sound directly forward, but is in an ideal position for a clipon or stand mounted microphone.
It will also help other musicians, for example in a horn section some of the sound is reflected towards the players on either side. This is especially the case if you are playing alongside louder instruments, such as trumpet or trombone.
Construction: built like a wall?
Not quite, but it certainly does appear to be very sturdy and practical. The screw and clamp are very robust looking, the angle of the reflective plate is easy to adjust, without slipping once in place.
- The deflector plate itself is made from transparent polycarbonate
- Clamping device is made from fibre reinforced plastics, with the actual bell clamp made in thermoplastic elastomer
- Metal parts are brass and stainless steel
- Hear yourself much better in any situation.
- Fits all saxophones
- Be heard better in a section.
- Well made and elegant looking
- None that I have yet found.
In fact I did find a “con” – this would not work with a straight soprano as the bell faces downward rather than up.
Enter the new version with a straight soprano (or trumpet) attachment:
Disclaimer: review is based on a free sample I was sent. Normally I sell all review samples and donate revenue to charity, but in this case it is so good I have decided to keep the deflector for my own use.