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I received my C-Melody I ordered yesterday and am currently in the process of fixing it up (I might put up an independent thread with pics in case anyone is interested). Luckily it actually arrived in far better condition than I expected. What's strange is that it seems someone at one point tried to fix it because while some of the pads are an original white with no resonator, there are a few pads which are the typical brown leather with no resonator yet it is the white pads that show no leakage when using my leak light.... anyway, I noticed the horn had a cup on the bottom left (if you view it from playing position) kept purposely closed by pads being wedged in the guard. I've never seen anything like this on a modern horn. Any idea what this is?

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/850/img1291l.jpg/

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/171/keyti.png/

I removed the pads and noticed it stays open (broken spring or meant to stay open and randomly forced closed by the prior owner?) and is attached to a rod but can't figure out what the heck that is attached to. I know the horn has a G# trill key but that's not related to this... so it must be either something no longer on saxes or moved to the other side (like the cup above it) and i've not noticed.

I'm also not sure why it was stuck closed- after removing the pads from the exterior and redoing the neck cork and octave pad I tried the sax again- the notes it can play (C#-->A because the G leaks a lot) came out even nicer and with a much better tone than when it was closed.... any idea what this thing is?
 

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I think that you are talking about the Eb trill , common feature on all older saxophones. Some people block this key (I personally like to have a horn functional in all its parts). Bueschers are relatively easy to block by reversing the spring. Your C melody appears to be (sorry the pics are not very clear) a Conn and therefore you need to find a different way to shut the key. Apparently someone found that crude way to do it. Again, I would keep it functional (your horn has also a G# trill).
 

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Thanks! I figured it was probably a trill of some kind. And it was made by Conn. I think I will heed your advice and keep it operational.. I think it's cool to have it there
 

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Sometimes called alt Eb. I prefer to get them working too. Often see them wedged shut. I've seen a couple of horns that had a cap made and soldered on to seal it permanently and the key removed. Bit of a shame really. I think with modern materials like tech cork they can be made a bit more reliable.
 

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No advantage to closing the hole, other than it's one less pad to regulate. I think that when it became unpopular some thought that it fell out of favor because it was hard to adjust. Not the case. It was probably more of a production cost issue. The downside is that when you get used to using a "forked" Eb fingering, you have to remember not to use that on other horns.

Mark
 

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No advantage to closing the hole, other than it's one less pad to regulate. I think that when it became unpopular some thought that it fell out of favor because it was hard to adjust. Not the case. It was probably more of a production cost issue. The downside is that when you get used to using a "forked" Eb fingering, you have to remember not to use that on other horns.

Mark
okay thank you mark, i have a 20`s handcraft c-mel that I'm (trying to) fixing up which also has the Eb trill I think I'm keeping it then..
 

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I have always kept it functional.

There are two synchronized pad regulating issues to address, (obviously the pads have to be properly set in the first place as is always the case to get decent results).

The second- which I always do first- is that the tab on the edge of the D cup has to close both the E cup and the D cup in perfect synch when you press the touch on the D cup. This can be a fidgety adjustment- right up there with the A closing the Bis cup and the A cup- but a little more precise.

The first- which I do second (go figure)- is simply ensuring that as the arm the E touch is mounted on comes down over the E cup the lever on the back end closes the alt Eb cup on the back in synch.

Remember- while you clearly want them both to close at the just same time, the E cup is also going to be closed by the D touch. The only time you'll be closing it just with the E touch is when you play an E- and then it's the last closed tonehole- pretty much always the least critical in playing any note. Given the lengths of the arm, the difference in compressibility between the large E pad and the small alt Eb pad, and the probable use of felt under the E touch you'll have to consider this. The E is, again, closed by two touches; the E and the D.

Before Gordon sets me on fire once again- clearly the proper solution results in both closing in perfect synch.

Fortunately the alt Eb tone hole is fairly small and the cup for it is usually mounted on a decent length of hinge tubing so it can usually be adjusted to close perfectly as a stand alone with out much trouble at all.

You'll want to ensure that there's a very thin buffer of a very noncompressible (tech cork or a teflon tubing sleeve probably best) between the extension on the back of the E lever and the small arm that gets pushed to close the alt Eb.

The adjusting of the synchronized closing of the E and the alt Eb takes place under the touch of the E arm. Once you're in the ball park a gentle tweak to the E arm is the best way to make the final adjustment. The very thin (to minimize compression over time) layer at the back end should not be used to effect adjustments unless you want a really clear understanding of why people get mad and spring- or solder- the alt Eb's shut.

Good luck and seriously- I've several horns here now with the thing, and have done dozens over the decades; it really isn't rocket science and can work just fine and quite reliably.
 

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I have several vintage saxophones and every one has the forked Eb tone hole permanently closed (corked in the cage or spring reversed - NOT really permanent). I never learned to use that fingering and sure don't miss it. DAVE
 

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I have several vintage saxophones and every one has the forked Eb tone hole permanently closed (corked in the cage or spring reversed - NOT really permanent). I never learned to use that fingering and sure don't miss it. DAVE
Not surprising you'd not miss something you never learned to use...
 

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Well, using a forked Eb is certainly not something that would stump me. Lets see, keep R1 and R3 down and raise R2 . . . there, I think I have it. That's easier than switching from Boehm to Albert and back.

Now, where would I use that fingering and more importantly, why, when I've been playing for 55 years and never found the need for it. Maybe instead of "learned" I should have written "wanted". DAVE
 

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It is very useful when playing in C-Minor, or to hit quick Eb's when you need them. The tone on it is not very good compared to the standard Eb key because the tone hole is so small, so make sure you don't play a long Eb using it.
It was also corked shut on my Conn's but I have restored it on them.

The reason you find them sprung/corked shut is that over time they can become a nasty leak and its easier to just disable it then restore it.

Nice C, welcome to the C-Melody players!

It would be nice if you posted a thread showing us some pics of your restoration process...

-Danny
 

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Danny: I suppose that an operational forked Eb may be useful to someone, just like other alternate fingerings or long-gone mechanisms (like the G# trill on my King alto; or the non-connected left-pinky tables on several of my vintage saxophones - admittedly not as good as modern saxophones with the interconnected left-pinky notes and G#, but certainly playable).

My point is that MANY vintage saxophones have this feature disabled (right or wrong, they are plugged in some way) and all saxophones for decades have not had this feature, yet thousands of players play them without difficulty.

I KNOW how it can be used, it is just that mine with that feature came to me already disabled (and admittedly on a few that I had overhauled, the forked Eb was kept closed by the repair-tech doing the work). If someone wants that feature on their vintage saxophone, be my guest. But the OP apparently didn't know what it was for and probably won't miss it if he chooses to disable it. He needs to know there is no laws about this.

I've also had the snaps removed on Bueschers!!! Oh my!! I realize my comments may be blasphemy to purists, but this feature hasn't been on saxophones for decades and here we are today, all surviving and playing our saxophones. DAVE
 

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well, there you are........

I think that the matter is that a classic saxophone is both a useful implement and a witness to its history. In the first instance one can simplify things that might or might not suit habits and playing style of the player, after all it is a means to an end and that is playing music. In the second scenario a classic saxophone should be kept as original as possible to keep its historical integrity. The choice is to the player and owner, of course. Some time ago someone here bought a Conn 26M where the G# rod was removed completely. Nothing wrong with the horn as a playing instrument, everything wrong with it as an historical witness .

To me the fact that the rod was removed made the horn completely uninteresting and I wouldn't have bought it but the owner seem to think that it was alright all the same and kept it. Do I need a G# or a Eb trill, no Sir! Do I want to keep it if it was there when the horn was made? By all means!

I just think that if people bother to discuss at all the originality of the lacquer (which in my view does absolutely nothing to the sound or the playing) and its impact on the value of a horn the lack or volunteer disabling of a feature should be much more significant (I am talking of permanent mutilations here not reversing a spring or blocking it with a cork!).


A classic car with an updated engine runs better but is a fake.
 

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Sometimes called alt Eb. I prefer to get them working too. Often see them wedged shut. I've seen a couple of horns that had a cap made and soldered on to seal it permanently and the key removed. Bit of a shame really. I think with modern materials like tech cork they can be made a bit more reliable.
The cork is the least of the worries.

Most of these Eb trill keys have very little 'meat' on the lever key's barrels - in some cases they're just the width of the key arm (around 5mm). If there's any wear in these, particularly the lower one, it either causes a leak or results in a less-than-precise feel to the lower stack.
The situation can be remedied by taking up the free play in the action (via a variety of methods), but it's a poor design and soon wears again.

I've owned a few horns with this mech - and curiously enough I've taken the time and the trouble to sort out the free play...and then reversed the spring on the trill key to take it out of commission.
I hate trilling, me.

Regards,
 

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I stuck a cork to disable this in the Voll true Alto I sold to a buddy a while back.Never an issue.
 
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