One great way of improving the dynamics of a neck is to remove the laquer chemically. This will free dynamics a lot. Make sure to get the laquer inside the neck as well.
Plated necks ad flavor to the dynamic range. Silver wil give you better projection and a clearer tonal center. This SML tenor neck has a Harmonic Bridge that is not just for strength and design but adds articulation to low D and G-C#
Notice how the top of the neck has no mechanics or other unnessesary brass. This neck speaks very freely and produces a very clear tone with extended dynamic range
Laquer adds no accoustic value to to the neck - all it does is preserve the brass nice and shiny. It also limmits the dynamic range of the overtones.
A great neck makes a world of difference - but there is a lot you can do to improve a neck
Let me show you a quick and easy way to tell just how good a certain neck is without putting it on a sax and playing. All you have to do is seal off the tennon end with the palm of your hand, make sure the octave pip is closed and blow air into the neck at the cork end - just like you would do an empty Coke bottle. Listen hard to the sound. Can you get the neck to vibrate freely and produce a clear god tone, or does it sound chocked, windy, sharp or something else. Try a silverplated neck, gold plated neck, non laquer neck, laqured neck, cheap chinese crap neck, handmade dutch Glogger neck and you will discover apart from the necks playing a different note - that they all sound differently.When you get to a real god neck and you feel a wonderful tone - be sure it will play just as wonderful on your sax.
Most saxophones have a clear or tinted laquer from the factory - This is not something producers of saxophones does to make the neck sound better - this is just a marketing trick. We tend to buy 60% with our eyes so a new and shiny sax attracts us more than an old and beat up looking. So laquer on a brass saxophone is merely a cosmetic sales stunt than it is in any way an accoustic improvement. I urge you to try removing laquer from a neck if you have a laquered neck. Just the neck not the octave key arm. Let a professional do it if you are unsertain of how to do it - and for heavens sake do NOT use sanding paper..... only chemical removal is recommended. I think you will be supprised as to how much better your sound will be. Clear, more volume and better projection - not to mention a larger dynamic range overall.
So bare brass necks sound better than laquered brass necks. Silver plated or gold plated necks again have a different dynamic profile. You can get solid silver necks and solid gold necks and they will also give something to your palet. Necks made of solid copper or bronze are very popular these days and they offer a darker tone and wider overtone series.
Saxophone necks comes in very different designs and even the type of octave key arm makes a difference to the sound dynamics. Theo Wannes Mantra saxophone has an octae arm that has NO contact with the neck except for the cup touching the octave pip - witch gives a very free blowing and resonant neck. SaxGourmet has a number of neck designs, some with nodal weights in particular places and some with gigantic solid brass plates mounted under neath. SML, Couesnon, Conn, Buffet, Dolnet and many others have harmonic bridges soldered below the curve and this enhances sertain areas of the range ex. low D 2. octave.
Check out this interesting video were Steve Goodson of SaxGourmet explains his inventive neck designs. Both the neck enhancer and the nodal weights are well explained.