DIY Brass Neckstrap Hook

While in Banff, I had the opportunity to learn from tenor saxophonist Greg Tardy about some of the more practical considerations regarding the saxophonic lifestyle: namely, issues of saxophone maintenance and equipment considerations. One of the more novel things he recommended to me was switching from a neckstrap with a plastic hook to one with a metal hook; the reason he gave was that making the switch would have a subtle impact on the quality of my sound—"It makes sense: metal on metal," he told me.

I actually didn't believe him at first—as most people would, I'd think—but he immediately undid the plastic hook on the saxophone and put on his metal hook, asking me to play into the horn. I definitely heard a slight difference, and Greg added that replacing my plastic thumb hook with a metal one would also contribute to an improvement in my sound. His philosophy regarding horn maintenance and decisions about equipment can be summed up simply as, "It all adds up." Put another way, the minute differences resulting from adjustments in key heights, swabbing the pads with Old English lemon oil, changing neck strap hooks, etc. are noticeable when accumulated. Greg also has one of the biggest saxophone sounds I've ever heard, so that was also a persuading factor in my decision to switch. If you're still not convinced, you can also check out this detailed investigation posted by David Valdez.
Beware of buying a hook too large.
Although I was close to buying another neck strap, I realized that I could go to Home Depot and buy a small brass swivel eye bolt-snap hook for $2.48, so I did. 

The rest of the task was pretty simple:

I undid the stitches that held together the two ends of the neckstrap nearest to the strap itself.

Next, I removed the original plastic neckstrap by sliding it out along the newly freed neckstrap end.

Then, I threaded the neckstrap ends through the the new brass hook.

Finally, I restitched the neckstrap ends to rejoin that section to the strap proper.

Removing the stitches and redoing the stitches were the most time-consuming episodes of this simple DIY.
It looks cool, too.