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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Beginner on the altissimo range. On my Selmer SA II and Dolnet M70 the adjustment for the front F key is such that when pressed, the key is opened by 5 mm. If I want to get a G (Sol) reliably, that opening must be very small, less than a millimeter. I had to bend the key on the Selmer to get to that small opening. Voicing the E with front key is now impossible.

I was surprised that by default, the opening of the front F key is so wide.

My question: is my vocal box not trained enough to use that front key with a large opening? Thank you
 

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not all horns have the same regulation of the front F , most of the times (at least in older horns) the opening of the quick F is set to be as open as the side F key, It is only in more modern horns that many begun setting the quick F closer.

If your M70 has ( not all had) a high F# ( Fa diesis ) , a very reliable G is played by quick F and high F# at the same time
 

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is my vocal box not trained enough to use that front key with a large opening? Thank you
You will definitely possibly struggle with a largte front F opening. It ism unlike the other keys in that the point of it is not to open the tone hole in the regular way (to effecrtively lengthen the tube) but is like the octave pips. It is there to cause a harmonic - hence the tiny opening is better than a regular 5mm or so.

However theoretically the same should apply to the front E. The harmonic is actully a minor 6, so F is harmonic of A and E is harmonic of G#. (Why not a per4fect 5th you ask yourself - I think the reason is due to the acoustic imperfectness of a cone that is truncated in order to accomodate the mouthpiece)

That was a bit of a digression, but the point is it makes sense that it can be more of a struggle when the opening is wider. OIn tyour case it seems like you have the choice of adaping the F to a wider opening or the E to a smaller one. Or maybe compensate by splitting the difference.

Either way it is a case of adjusting, whether it is (as you say) voicebox, tongue or aural cavity (all are connected). Another thing we do though is to get used to imagining the pitch of the note. This helps me as it seems to maybe make you subconsciously do something with your embouchure.
 

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'I had to bend the key on the Selmer to get to that small opening.'

No, you didn't. It is adjustable on a Selmer and nearly all other modern saxes.
'Drop the sax and put your hands up!'
 

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Surprisingly my M70 does have an adjustment key. But still the opening is too wide. I like the cork idea that is less invasive than bending keys.
Interesting, I have two M70 ( alto and tenor) and I am pretty sure they had no adjusting screw by the front F, would you mind publishing a picture of that detail?
 

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In my experience the "sliding barrel" type adjustment for front F found on some saxophones does not provide enough difference in the key opening to be of much use. One of the compromises when adjusting the front F to provide a smaller opening is the introduction of "lost motion". My understanding of Rousseau's idea is that once a student has learned the "voicing" to produce G3 the key can be reopened to properly vent the front E and F. In my experience (on alto) the F tolerates a smaller opening than the E.
 

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very interesting this should give you plenty of adjustability

I can鈥檛 see the color of the metal very well but you may have nickel silver keys ( and not only nickel plated ) and the 鈥 brass鈥 maybe permagold, both way harder than ordinary brass.

The serial number of Dolnets is always been a mystery although the M70 may have had the first two digits as year indication.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I posted this previously, but for obvious reasons was probably lost forever. It's from Eugene Rousseau
I was encouraged to bend the key after reading the Rousseau book you mentionned on the Selmer. The G popped up perfectly. I was hoping to do it as well on the Dolnet but that key cannot be replaced and id does not look like I could bend it anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
very interesting this should give you plenty of adjustability

I can't see the color of the metal very well but you may have nickel silver keys ( and not only nickel plated ) and the " brass" maybe permagold, both way harder than ordinary brass.

The serial number of Dolnets is always been a mystery although the M70 may have had the first two digits as year indication.
I got it looking new in 85 so this may be correct. Lacquer is bronze with red pads. will be a challenge to change pads! thanks for the advice anyway.
 

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that " bronze" color may therefore be permagold , if the pads are good it may still take years and years of playing. I have seen and played older saxophones than that and the pads were still good.

Recently there was a discussion where somebody mentioned a tech in France who had bought all the remaining stock by Dolnet

Philippe in Lamnay, France, has bought a massive stock of original red Dolnet pads. He's also an expert on all things Dolly. Also a great repairer.
Most old pads were not waterproof to start with and I suppose that any pad, after some time, will lose its waterproofing.

I am not sure that replacing all the pads on a old Dolnet with some new old stock pads will be worse (or better for that mater) than any new pad out there , but if OP is going to do it for absolute originality he may have his reasons for that.

The link to Mr. Philip Fachin above brings me to a site that wants me to sign with a captcha thing to log in ( I didn't)

This is his Facebook page (I don't do facebook) Philippe Fachin

View attachment 4518
 
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