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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've owned a '27 chu tenor for a while now and I have to warn people of the effects of the terrible ergonomics. The way the strap ring balances the horn and how low the LH thumb hook is puts lots of weight on your left hand. I didn't think much of this at first and got used to it, which was silly. Now I've been without practice for a month and a half due to tendinitis. Even now I'm typing with one hand. When I started at university my practice regime increased and I couldn't take the strain. If only I had modified the balance and raised the thumb hook this all could have been avoided. Its a simple fix that makes playing these amazing horns risk free.

Believe me, you don't want tendinitis. Don't forget to stretch aswell.
 

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I have had two 10M's and the first thing I have done was to change to a modern thumbrest and to lower the strap ring.

Best mods you can make on these old girls. Good luck and Happy New Year.

HUTMO
 

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I also modified the position of the strap ring for better balance on mine and bought and installed a new Steve Goddson thumbrest. But what was it worth? Lance Burton stole the sax.
 

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Well I`ve had mine for almost 30 years now and I have to admit the ergonomics are pretty guff. My right hand thumb has eventually adapted to the thumb rest on the horn showing a defo development of new bone, callus or muscle growth.


If I keep playing the same horn for another 30 years perhaps my left pinkie will continue to increase in length.

I promise I`ll let you Know.
 

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Well I`ve had mine for almost 30 years now and I have to admit the ergonomics are pretty guff. My right hand thumb has eventually adapted to the thumb rest on the horn showing a defo development of new bone, callus or muscle growth.

If I keep playing the same horn for another 30 years perhaps my left pinkie will continue to increase in length.

I promise I`ll let you Know.
My thumb was the same, huge callous on the knuckle. I bought a thumb rest protector from Karacha http://www.karacha.com/Thumbeeze-Saxophone-Thumb-Protector after about 3 months I found that my thumb was improving and after about a year it is nearly back to normal.

Can't help with the left pinkie though, just keep stretching.
 

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The weight on the left hand (and also the dread "cobra strike" of mouthpiece against neck) are because the strap ring is too high - not too low. The reason was apparently to balance the saxes on the 1920s style stands that suspended the horn from a single hook, placed in the strap ring.

The simplest fix is to install a screw-in strap ring that projects from the horn in whatever direction you like.
 

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Hi Paulwl, I agree the ring Is far too high, mine hits me in the left cheek and I once remember reading about a guy who had a new ring solderd on lower down, but a screw-in ring? that scares me if it means drilling a hole in an instrument that's around 90 years old.
 

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FYI,
You don't drill a hole in the body to install the type of aftermarket ring Paul is talking about.
 

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I've been playing a 10M for about 3 months now, practicing at least an hour or two every day. I haven't noticed the slightest effect on my thumb. I have never had a problem with saxophone thumb rests like I did when playing the soprano clarinet. In fact, I bought a neck strap for the clarinet just to take the weight off my thumb. That helped a lot. Even better was when I stopped playing clarinet.

I use a BG harness with my tenors and Cebulla on my altos. I sometimes had a sore neck with Neotech straps, but never a sore thumb. I adjust my straps so that there really isn't any weight on my thumb. That must be the secret. Either that or the late 60's 10Ms didn't have the digit torturing design.

Mark
 

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The rings are affixed to a base which is soft soldered on to the body tube of the sax- as is the stock strap ring.
Henry is correct.

Another alternative if you have a stockpile of spare parts/horns is to steal a ring and base plate off of an old scrapper horn, and soft solder that on below the original. I've done that to a number of my Conn C-Melodies myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I never had any pain in my thumb or anywhere else. the tendinitis snuck up on me.
 

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It would be easy to make a piece of delrin, nickel silver, or brass with two holes in it to bolt to the existing ring, giving a new position for your neck strap, up or down from the present ring. It is not a good idea to solder anything onto these old gems unless it is absolutely needed, and it would not be needed in this case.
 

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10M's and Chu's never bothered my hands, but the MKVI thumb-hook used to kill my thumb. Different strokes.
I know people who have gotten tendonitis playing the VI too.
I like the higher strap ring.
 

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This is why my 50's 10m naked lady sits in its case. I played it a lot back when I got it and it does have a tone to kill for but I personally like modern key work etc. All of the above stuff were issues for me, the left hand pinky cluster, strap ring and thumb hook. The thumb hook I dealt with by putting a rubber thumb cushion on it but the other issues remained. Thats just me. They are great sounding tenors though.
 

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I've bitched before (in the thread Talk Me Out Of These Destructive Mods To My 10M) about the blasted Satan-spawned convex left-hand thumb rest on my Conn 10M; as I noted then...

I've been playing this horn along with my new TH&C alto on trio and quintet gigs, and I'm starting to get the thumb equivalent of carpel tunnel syndrome thanks to the cruel, convex, satanic pearl left thumb rest on both horns. My left thumb burns and tingles, and I have problems even with grasping objects and such (I'm left-handed besides...). I didn't have this problem when I was alternating between my (cruel) TH&C alto and the (oh-so-very-kind) VI tenor, because I think the tenor's friendly thumb rest gave my poor hand a break. When I'm alternating between the Buescher and the Conn, my thumb is aching by the end of the night.

Part of the problem is the 10M's odd balance, which has been noted here by plenty of folks. The placement of the neckstrap hook makes the horn want to swing over and crack you in the chops. So, of course, I'm pushing away with my thumb...
The left hand burning and tingling was a very real concern for me, and part of the reason I'm most likely to pick up my much-more-ergonomically-friendly VI. However, the Conn and its glorious sound are calling, and one of these days I'm going to trick it out with a new LH thumb rest and repositioned strap hook...
 
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