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Hi guys, I‘m down here in Costa Rica and my guy down here just overhauled this 1960s Bundy Keilwerth tenor for me. Your expert feedback is greatly appreciated! here’s a mishmash of upper stack and lower stack pics.
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Hi guys, I‘m down here in Costa Rica and my guy down here just overhauled this 1960s Bundy Keilwerth tenor for me. Your expert feedback is greatly appreciated! here’s a mishmash of upper stack and lower stack pics.
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Hi guys, I‘m down here in Costa Rica and my guy down here just overhauled this 1960s Bundy Keilwerth tenor for me. Your expert feedback is greatly appreciated! here’s a mishmash of upper stack and lower stack pics.
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I've repaired saxes for many years IMO they are definitely too low. They should be about another 1/3 opened, requiring careful sanding of corks, including adjustments.
 

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Yep, they are what we term 'closed' compared to 'open'. Stan Getz liked his 'closed' and King Curtis liked his 'open'. I had my MK VI tenor overhauled (but my wallet was what got overhauled) and he left many problems which I'm still fixing but the horn is at least playable now. He put Teflon everywhere including on top of both corks in a stack key, which is too much material, so my action looks about like yours. I'm just going to have to tear it down and re-do the stacks. These horns came more open than that.
 

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Yep, they are what we term 'closed' compared to 'open'. Stan Getz liked his 'closed' and King Curtis liked his 'open'. I had my MK VI tenor overhauled (but my wallet was what got overhauled) and he left many problems which I'm still fixing but the horn is at least playable now. He put Teflon everywhere including on top of both corks in a stack key, which is too much material, so my action looks about like yours. I'm just going to have to tear it down and re-do the stacks. These horns came more open than that.
I think you want the keys open enough to get the tone you prefer, but not so open that your note to note reaction time is adversely affected.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I think you want the keys open enough to get the tone you prefer, but not so open that your note to note reaction time is adversely affected.
I don't think "reaction time" is a real concern with these small differences in opening (e.g., consider the much larger differences in key openings across tenor, alto, and soprano). Instead, the main concerns are (1) intonation and (2) evenness of timbre. Saxes are designed with the effects of key venting as an important consideration. If you substantially change the key venting from the design specifications, then the note-to-note relationships will no longer be correct.
 

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I don't think "reaction time" is a real concern with these small differences in opening (e.g., consider the much larger differences in key openings across tenor, alto, and soprano). Instead, the main concerns are (1) intonation and (2) evenness of timbre. Saxes are designed with the effects of key venting as an important consideration. If you substantially change the key venting from the design specifications, then the note-to-note relationships will no longer be correct.
It sounds like it's all very tricky. To some degree, that could be why a technician might specialize in a particular make of saxophone?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to all for the replies.
I think they are a bit low. The horn plays great, but my gut tells me I could get a bit more out of it with wit’s more open upper ano lower stacks. I will keep you updated.
 

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Selmer Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone, Powell Flute
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Measure them. There are many accepted key heights, but the majority of tenors fall between 8-10mm on the right hand F and 7-8mm on the left hand B. Many horns play great at 7 & 9 respectively. Sand to get rid of the lost motion after the B and F are set up. That's a start, but you can go down a rabbit hole fast :)

The bell keys you should be able to stick your finger in no problem, this may mess up your pinky stack though and you'd have to bend stuff around.

Best of luck.

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How is the intonation? Does it sound stuffy? Is the timbre consistent from note to note?
That would be a sign that it could be adjusted better, but...
Sometimes it doesn't have any of those issues, at least not in any way that is obvious even to an excellent player who is intimately familiar with their instrument.
Even more so if it had an overhaul, which likely means it needed an overhaul, so it's an improvement from how it used to be. Especially if it was a slow and gradual decline, which is the case most of the time.
Only after it's adjusted you notice that it's suddenly much better.
 

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Measure them. There are many accepted key heights, but the majority of tenors fall between 8-10mm on the right hand F and 7-8mm on the left hand B. Many horns play great at 7 & 9 respectively. Sand to get rid of the lost motion after the B and F are set up. That's a start, but you can go down a rabbit hole fast :)

The bell keys you should be able to stick your finger in no problem, this may mess up your pinky stack though and you'd have to bend stuff around.

Best of luck.

Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
Hi Simon. Can you explain exactly the two points you are measuring from between the tonehole and pad? For example are you measuring to the outer rim of the pad or the pad seat?
 

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Hi Simon. Can you explain exactly the two points you are measuring from between the tonehole and pad? For example are you measuring to the outer rim of the pad or the pad seat?
I personally use calipers to measure from the tone hole to the pad. Straight up and down. I also have a key height measuring tool that fits into the space between the pad and the tone hole. It is in increments of .5mms. I use this as a guide to get close but then the calipers are what I rely on to be precise. I will often set key heights .25mm lower than I want as the materials will compress over time.

Does that make sense? I can try to clarify more if needed.


Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
 

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I personally use calipers to measure from the tone hole to the pad. Straight up and down. I also have a key height measuring tool that fits into the space between the pad and the tone hole. It is in increments of .5mms. I use this as a guide to get close but then the calipers are what I rely on to be precise. I will often set key heights .25mm lower than I want as the materials will compress over time.

Does that make sense? I can try to clarify more if needed.


Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
So does "straight up" hit the pad around the outer perimeter of the pad seat in the leather? It seems to me measuring to the pad seat would be a good way to standardize measuring. "Straight up" could mean different things to different people unless everyone was using a tiny square gauge.
 

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So does "straight up" hit the pad around the outer perimeter of the pad seat in the leather? It seems to me measuring to the pad seat would be a good way to standardize measuring. "Straight up" could mean different things to different people unless everyone was using a tiny square gauge.
Yes ... It will hit right around the pad seat when you do it correctly. Whether on the inner or outer diameter will depend on the key geometry, throw and desired height.

I don't think you can say that it must always touch on the same exact spot on the pad, but it will definitely be within a certain zone.

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Hey Larry, can you tell me what the serial number is on this one ?

Hi guys, I‘m down here in Costa Rica and my guy down here just overhauled this 1960s Bundy Keilwerth tenor for me. Your expert feedback is greatly appreciated! here’s a mishmash of upper stack and lower stack pics.
View attachment 136965
View attachment 136964
View attachment 136963
View attachment 136958
View attachment 136961
View attachment 136962
View attachment 136960
View attachment 136959
 

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Late to the discussion but ...I am not sure how a tech can LOOK at a photo of keys... and conclude the heights are low, unless the photo shows ridiculously dramatically low heights.
Keyheights can vary from horn to horn, maker to maker, vintage to modern.

What I see in the photo are heights very slightly low but not dramatically so.

So...as noted by others...IF:

~It doesn't sound stuffy or dead
~It tunes well (IOW you aren't pushing the MP unusually far onto the neck to bring the pitch up to a tuner)
~IT feel responsive enough under the fingers...IOW the action isn't alien to you....

...all is fine. If one or more of the above is 'off', yeah raise 'em a bit.
 
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