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Discussion Starter #1
When I play the low E on my saxophone, I always notice that it is less responsive than other low notes. The low F and low D play fine, it is just the low E that is causing me some problems. I can still play the note, it just doesn't sound as clear or isn't as responsive. Does anyone else have this problem or possibly know what is wrong? I had sent my saxophone in for repair one time when it had this problem but I got it back and it hadn't changed at all.

Also, on the same topic, the short-cut F# fingering does not respond when I play it too softly. I can play other notes at the same dynamic level but for some reason that one just doesn't want to respond. The last time I sent my saxophone in for repair they fixed a couple other things but I guess they did not find anything wrong with this. It came back from repair still not working :(
 

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My immediate thoughts are not enough venting for that key or a leak.
If you take something for repair or adjustment have everything written down. People should be thorough but frequently they are not.
 

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I guess a few things can cause this but here is one possibility: D key closes F#. Neither F or E keys closes the F# key. So no problem playing D. F# is leaking for playing F#, F and E. F and F# having a higher venting in comparison with the leak are less affected. E is lower below the leak so has a problem. To be honest this is probably not so likely, but still a possibility.
Could also be a key height issue. Does the E sound less responsive than other notes around it in both octaves?
It could also be that this note is just like this on this model. What model is this sax?
I don't know which of the two F# fingerings you are calling the "short-cut" fingering (is it the normal fingering or the trill key fingering?).
 

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What kind of horn? That's a wretched note on my low-Bb Mark VI bari, and I still haven't figured out why. It's not leaking, and we've tweaked key heights until I can't stand it anymore...
 

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There could be a very small leak in your high E, the right stack could be slightly over adjusted to the G#, or the right stack key heights may be low. E should not be an issue response wise, there is plenty of venting from the D tone hole. Best of luck to you.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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It could be a leak, key heights suboptimal, damage, etc.

Assuming you take it to a competent tech and you can never get it perfect no matter what combination of things you do, the following information may be helpful:

Some notes on the horn are vented by one or more open toneholes directly following, some notes are not. The notes that are not, like D, E, A, middle and upper C- have to deal with relatively less venting than those with more than one open tonehole directly following, and this can sometimes affect intonation or the relative stuffyness of the note.

Why, you ask?

A simple example- low E only has one open tonehole directly following it (the D tonehole, the Eb is closed, then the low C follows), and thus less venting. Great, so open up the D tonehole to give it more venting. Problem: now F is sharp. Therefore, compromise is needed. Through tonehole positioning and tonehole sizing, a reasonable compromise can usually be found, but sometimes not without auditory evidence. Like middle C. It sounds way stuffier than side C- hence the old-timers calling side C "ballad C".

For a simple test that will illuminate this principle, play F and slowly lower your D key. The tonehole directly below F remains open and unchanged, yet the intonation and sound is affected.

Depending on you, your setup, your horn- results may vary.
 

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It would be interesting to know the type of saxophone as well as the make and model. I agree with Matt's take on this and would suggest opening the Eb key when that stuffy note is sustained in the music although you may need to lip it down a bit while doing so.

What puzzles me is the fork F# not responding when played softly. All I can think of is those "dorky" fork F# keys like the ones found on Bundys that are made too small to properly vent a clear note.
 

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One weird suggestion: look for a very small leak around the palm keys. Sometimes a tiny leak one octave above a note (acoustically) can impact that specific note much more than any others. If it affects E the most and side F# somewhat, I would guess side E, maybe F.

Could also be a leak on your F, but that would be very simple and you said you already had the horn checked out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a Keilwerth ST 90 bari. Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to the F# trill key on the side of the saxophone. This key doesn't open very far from the hole when I press it, so maybe is that the issue? But then with the low E... should I send it in and have it looked at again?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It is pretty scratched up on the side around the thumb rest but other than that just minor scratched here and there.
 

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So no major dents involving heavy bodywork to blame on gurgling and other bore size related problems....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No, no major dents or anything like that.
 
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