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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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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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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.


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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.
 

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Old Conn's have a reputation on the internet for liking high key heights. I slowly started lowering mine over time and they are set quite a bit lower than the prescribed heights in Simon's post (I know he didn't mean for this to be set in stone, but rather a general starting point or middle ground).

I have found that the horn speaks just as well with just as much volume with the low key heights. I think lowering them did affect intonation slightly for the better,and my mouthpiece is not pulled out so much.... either that or I have just loosened up over time.
 
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