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Discussion Starter #1
Is it me, or is altissimo on the 20's era saxes unique? I played a 20s era Conn, and now the True Tone (both Altos), and both have had some difficult altissimo fingerings. It's not that Altissimo was impossible, it's just that I found myslef re-teaching myself new fingerings to get it to speak.
I can pick up a 1935 Aristocrat Alto, and use the same altissimo fingerings on it as I do my 1977 Mark VII, or a brand new sax of any make. Is it me, or is the horn? Both 20s saxes had some pad leak problems (very minor). I used a Selmer Soloist (C*) on both.
 

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One of the differences in altissimo fingerings on alto and tenor is the first G.
Oddly enought my experience with the True Tone alto has been that i could use the same fingering for G on both tenor and alto:? , i've never come across another alto that could do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I've been able to use the same Altissimo fingerings across the board on "modern" saxes. G has been the same fingering for Sop (Yani, Selmer Paris (SA80II), any Taiwan/China make), Alto ('35 Aristocrat, Selmer Paris (any model), any Taiwan make), Tenor (Amati, LA Sax, Yani, Selmer Paris (SA80II), and Bari (SA80II, Mark VI, King Super 20).

Tenor Altissimo has always been challenging for me on all but a few select saxes, but Soprano (to high G only), Alto (to D3--2 octaves above the staff), and Bari (stratosphere and everywhere in between), have always spoke easy.
 

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NissanMarkVII said:
I've been able to use the same Altissimo fingerings across the board on "modern" saxes.
Humm...that's interesting because my fingerings vary a lot for the first altissimo notes (F#, G, G#) on my vintage Selmers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here's what I use on my Mark VII, Winston, and Amati (still waiting for the neck for my King) (Alto, Soprano, Tenor): (I think I have nomenclature right, G1 being G w/out the octave, Bzero being B below the staff)

plus octave
F#3: Alt Fork F + A# palm
G3: 1,3 and 1,3
G#3: 1,3 and 1,3 + alt C palm
A3: 2,3
A#3: 2,3 + palm D
B3: 2,3 + palm D, D#
C3: palm D, D#, E
C#3: palm D, D#
D3: Fork F key only

Don't know what everyone else uses, but this works for me. Altissimo is controlled overtones and "squeeks". The "fingerings" just make it more acoustically possible for the note to come out. But ya'll knew that anyway :) .

Anyway, none of those work for me on the early Conns or True Tones. With some practice, I can get them to speak, just takes some really exotic fingerings (exotic to me anyway).
 

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23/123 is my usual A3 on any horn, but on my '28 TT, it's G#3 and I have to use 23/12 for A3. That's really the only different fingering I use specifically for the TT. I do use an Aristocrat (01) neck on it however.
 

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NissanMarkVII said:
Here's what I use on my Mark VII, Winston, and Amati (still waiting for the neck for my King) (Alto, Soprano, Tenor): (I think I have nomenclature right, G1 being G w/out the octave, Bzero being B below the staff)

plus octave
F#3: Alt Fork F + A# palm
G3: 1,3 and 1,3
G#3: 1,3 and 1,3 + alt C palm
A3: 2,3
A#3: 2,3 + palm D
B3: 2,3 + palm D, D#
C3: palm D, D#, E
C#3: palm D, D#
D3: Fork F key only

Don't know what everyone else uses, but this works for me. Altissimo is controlled overtones and "squeeks". The "fingerings" just make it more acoustically possible for the note to come out. But ya'll knew that anyway :) .

Anyway, none of those work for me on the early Conns or True Tones. With some practice, I can get them to speak, just takes some really exotic fingerings (exotic to me anyway).
What kinda fingerings work for you on the True Tone then? Can you post up a list like the above, if you don't mind? Thanks loads.
 

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Altissimo isn't really any different on 20's saxes, especially if they have the aux/alt front-F, which I've always used for E3 to altissimo F#/G on modern horns. But what will really affect how the notes speak (if at all) can be the choice of mouthpiece on 20's saxes. That can often lead to more exotic fingerings, with more reluctant mouthpieces in order to coax the notes out.

What's sometimes the best mouthpiece for the 20's sax. isn't always the best for harmonics, or indeed a modern sax (and vice-versa). And sometimes you have to 'feel for' the notes (embouchure etc.) slightly differently on the old 'uns, they don't all always come instantly, using 'standard' harmonic fingerings - but when you find them, they have real old-sax character.

Selmer Soloist C* wouldn't be my first choice for easy harmonics on any age sax, with all due respect...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In the past, I would've agreed w/you about a Selmer C* (mine's a vintage Soloist C*). I would have to disagree now though. I think I forgot to mention my Jazz setup on Alto though: Runyon Metal Spoiler #6 w/out the spoiler, and a Med BARI* reed, w/modified Rovner ligature. Both mouthpieces speak very well in all ranges (harmonics included). This setup works VERY well on my Selmer Mark VII, as well as many modern clones. But, it looks as though I'll be on a mouthpiece quest for the True Tone. Makes sense that a modern mpc wopuldn't work well on a vintage sax.
 
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