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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1962 Aristocrat III...rebranded EBIC S-40. tenor.... that I like a lot, but it has an issue. Once playing above high D, with the left hand palm keys, the notes are terribly flat. What should be high F is almost a half-tone flat. The alternate fingering Altissimo A, which is a 'money note" on my '38 Buescher alto Aristocrat, is honestly a G-sharp. The altissimo D, again a "money note" on that alto..is a half-tone flat on this tenor.

Mouthpieces are: Meyer 7, Metalite M-9 and a Brilhart Level Air...and the problem is consistent across all three.

My highest "honest"...as in "use the fingering that the charts give me" Note is a high e-flat and even that one is dicey. Any higher and I have to play the note that's supposed to be a half-tone higher and lip it down a bit. Thoughts on this?
 

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Neck octave not opening enough or hole plugged. Take off the octave key and clean the hole. Just for starters.....
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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Wrong neck?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, gents....no, it's the right neck. I mean, it might possibly not be the exact original neck, but it's definitely an Aristocrat III neck. I'll pop the key off and clean out the speaker hole and see if that fixes it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is an old post, but I thought I'd resurrect it. Cleaning out the octave hole didn't fix the problem. Any other suggestions?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011
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If you finger low C with the octave key (or better yet, play the first overtone for low C) and compare the sound produced to the sound that comes out when you finger middle C, is the normal fingering much flatter than the overblown one? If so, push the mouthpiece in until they are pretty close, then see where your overall tuning is.

In short, see if you can make the horn play in tune with itself, and then figure out if you are perhaps, playing with too firm and embouchure or voicing too high.
 

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I had a Couf tenor that had the same problems that the op described in his first post, palm key D was flat, palm key F would sound an E, Eb a D, alt F# played an F. I also cleaned out the octave hole with no avail. My solution to fix that problem was to get rid of that horn, as I didn't/don't have time to mess with that. I bought that horn on here from a guy named Marshall??, anyway I haven't seen him on here for several years now.
After getting rid of the Couf I bought a Keilwerth SX90R bn tenor, and it was a great horn, palm keys played great on it, no problems with the intonation on it over all.
 

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Have you played this horn an entire year without fixing the problem? Or have you just not played it at all?
Anyhow.
Where do you place the mouthpiece on the neck?
What are the key heights for the pads in question?
 

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My Aristocrat III (sold in the meantime), had excellent intonation with a medium to large chamber mouthpiece (OL Tone-Edge, etc.). So unless it's the embouchure, my first guess would be a mouthpiece/sax mismatch.
 

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Yep, a lot of horns don't like tiny chamber high baffle grass cutter duck call mouthpieces, because their scale design was based on larger chamber pieces. If you put one of those tiny chamber pieces on, you'll be pulling way out to get medium-tube-length notes in tune, which makes short-tube notes flat and bell key notes sharp. Personally I can't imagine why anyone would take a Buescher Aristocrat with its characteristic tonal quality and put a duck call on it, anyway.

Of the three mouthpieces listed, the Meyer ought to work fine. Which indicates to me the OP is probably used to biting and playing with a real high "input pitch". I know that over the 35 years or so I've focused on baritone sax, with lots and lots of attention to airstream development, my mouthpiece position on the cork has gone in at least 3/4".
 

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I never played a Meyer on tenor, but if it is anything like a modern Tone Edge, then a good Aristocrat should be in tune with it indeed. I played two (and a Bundy II) which had a very even scale (and clumsy keywork for my hands).
OTOH, my Martin “The Martin” tenor has great intonation as well, plus a wonderful action. And that sweet Martin sound ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I feel kind of dumb, but I finally fired up the tuner. Where I had the mouthpiece was making the horn way flat. When I pushed it in, to where the middle "C" was in tune, magically the problem with the higher notes got a whole...WHOLE lot better. They're still a bit off, but nothing I can't adjust to on the fly. LIke I said, I feel kinda dumb about this.

As for "stop biting". ....I figured out real quick that playing tenor the way I wanted it to sound required a much more relaxed embouchure and softer reeds, while still maintaining a solid airstream. In fact, it requires just as much airstream pressure as when I play clarinet for chamber music...but that embouchure. Gotta relax!
 
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