I never realized how much a designed experience playing my saxophone is. Minute variations in manufacturing make very noticeable differences in playback, and there’s an art in creating every part of the instrument. Within the saxophone itself, quarter turns of screws change how easy or difficult notes can play. Mouthpieces have manufacturing tolerances within tenths of millimeters. The material, shape, and material blend of the mouthpiece also impacts the sound hugely. The finish (lacquer v. non-lacquer) also impacts the sound. The reed, though, especially wood reeds, need to be machined and worked on to be sure fibers are evenly distributed and aged, and in a perfectly controlled humid environment. There is an innate aesthetic beauty in all of this to me that draws me to the instrument. The craftsmanship and precision of such an instrument cannot be overstated. I am proud to have refined my setup over the years to get my personalized, designed sound out of the instrument, and am proud to have tailored the aesthetic of my instrument over time as a reflection of myself.