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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There have been one or two posts addressing the difficulty of hitting C# on the LH pinkie cluster. I've taken my 1968 Buescher 400 tenor to a very good tech, and he's lightened the action as much as he can. But it hasn't made enough of a difference because it didn't address the leverage problem. The key is much closer than the B and Bb so that your pinkie has to curl and push straight down. One member said he felt he needed to get his last pinky joint amputated in order to hit that C#! Any new ideas out there?
 

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It is what it is, really. The table is left-hinged, which means the point where you hit the touch with your finger is very close to where the barrel is hinged, which means (usually) more resistance than a modern-style, right hinged table.

Holton used 3-touch table in the 20's, where the G# and C# were one and the same touch, an L-shaped touchpiece. Brilliant, IMHO, for a table which does not have its G# linked/tabbed.

I was gonna write "you could try to connect the G# to the C# with a tab in the back, so the G# operates the C#" (in effect making a 3-touch table) but then, I believe that would mean that when you depressed the B and/or Bb, it would activate not only the G#, but now also the C#....probably way too much mechanism being activated, which would make the B and Bb a bear to press.

So I didn't suggest that....:dazed:

You could move the entire table over to the left, but that would entail separating the touch barrel from the key barrel and linking them all back together with a lever/flipper. It would entail several new posts, if they can be fit in. It would also mean the Bb touch now moves further away from your hand. And once it was done, it couldn't be reversed very easily (without some significant aesthetic consequences).

So...I didn't suggest THAT, either.

And extending the C# touchplate to the left might allow the middle of your finger to hit it more comfortably...but now the problem is....you are applying pressure to the wrong side of the hinge, so effectively not activating the key....

So you didn't hear that suggestion from Me.

So, an old table which requires your pinky to slide down, as opposed to across; as you say. That's basically what you have there. Only way to change that is to graft on a different table altogether. Possible, although an uncommon mod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, JayePDX, for your detailed and thoughtful reply. It seems clear there isn't a mechanical fix for this. I may try sliding down toward the bottom of the key. It feels awkward, but there's a little more leverage.
 

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It's things like that which moved my prefernce to modern saxes. And the fully articulated low C# on modern floating tables is nice too!
 

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Yep, the best answer is a horn with contemporary ergonomics. You can get certain benefits from older horns, but there are costs as well. Either way, you may need to compromise.
 

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Not ideal, but on my Bundy II alto, I found myself throwing my elbow out for more leverage on the pinky keys. I still catch myself doing that from time to time on my newer horns with the articulated table....
 

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Thank you, JayePDX, for your detailed and thoughtful reply. It seems clear there isn't a mechanical fix for this. I may try sliding down toward the bottom of the key. It feels awkward, but there's a little more leverage.
Sorry, but this is not true. Captain Beeflat did a simple and totally disguised mechanical fix on his Big B that is quite easy to use and will not necessitate the use of a hedge clipper and make you look like a Yakuza.

Hand Sleeve Gesture Thumb Finger

Do a search and you'll find the thread where he posted about it and put up photos to show how he did it. The man is a mechanical engineer and quite clever at such mods. Or shoot him a PM directly as I know he will be more than happy to post the link and more info about it.
 

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Yep, the best answer is a horn with contemporary ergonomics. You can get certain benefits from older horns, but there are costs as well. Either way, you may need to compromise.
That may be the best answer for LostConn, but not the OP. The LH table on my 156 is as easy use as the table on my SX-90 horns.
 

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That may be the best answer for LostConn, but not the OP. The LH table on my 156 is as easy use as the table on my SX-90 horns.
Your comment doesn't make a lot of sense, given that it was the OP who mentioned amputation as a possible solution! The table on his horn certainly isn't "easy to use" for him, is it? If he didn't have a serious problem, he wouldn't have posted here. Telling him you think it should be "easy" won't help. And my remark was directed specifically at his C# difficulty. I stand by it. The best way to fix a major problem with old-fashioned keywork is to switch to a horn that has modern keywork. That doesn't necessarily mean that the new horn will be the best instrument for him overall. As I said, he may have to compromise, and choose between an easy-to-use C# and the features that he likes in his Buescher. Some players can't get everything they want in a single horn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I followed JazzIsAll's advice and looked up Captain Beeflat's thread on the C#/G# modification. If a zip tie is all it takes, I'm going to be amazed! Can someone link these two threads for the benefit of future inquirers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Of course, this is exactly what JayePDX suggested earlier. I'll report back on success after I try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I tied the C# and G# arms together with a zip tie, as shown in photo by Captain Beeflat. Pressing the G# bar worked for both notes. The problem is that B and Bb keys didn't work. I'm not going monkey with it anymore - don't want to break something. But I am going to check with my tech to see if he has a fix - it was amazing to hit the C# with so little effort.
 

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If you want to combine both the G# and low C# keys to work as one, then you'll need to disengage the link (tab) between the G# and low B touches.
 

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You have to remove the little tab that makes the G# key go down when pressing any of low C#, B, or Bb. Then you could replace it with a similar tab, but mounted to the low C# instead of the G# key.

You would lose the ability to do certain movements without sliding.

If you were to attach the two keys together, then you would lose certain arpeggios.

Using a zip tie will add strange bending moments and is not recommended for the long haul.
 

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Sorry, but this is not true.
:| Praytell.

Captain Beeflat did a simple and totally disguised mechanical fix on his Big B that is quite easy to use and will not necessitate the use of a hedge clipper and make you look like a Yakuza.
:|.....(from my initial post):

... I believe that would mean that when you depressed the B and/or Bb, it would activate not only the G#, but now also the C#....probably way too much mechanism being activated, which would make the B and Bb a bear to press.
........

I tied the C# and G# arms together with a zip tie, as shown in photo by Captain Beeflat. Pressing the G# bar worked for both notes. The problem is that B and Bb keys didn't work. I'm not going monkey with it anymore - don't want to break something. But I am going to check with my tech to see if he has a fix - it was amazing to hit the C# with so little effort.
....One Mississippi, Two Mississippi...... ;)

If you want to combine both the G# and low C# keys to work as one, then you'll need to disengage the link (tab) between the G# and low B touches.
Indeedy.

You solve one problem, you create another. Vintage tables with tabbed G#'s (thus allowing the G# to be played by hitting a bell key touch instead) already are usually at their max by having those bell key touches engage the G# touch. Press the B/Bb, you are dealing with not only resistance from the B/Bb, but additionally from the G#.

As I posited initially, in the 'simple fix' you're now ADDING another key which would be engaged by depressing the B or Bb. Press the B, you are pressing the G# as before....AND additionally , pulling the C# along. All of those resistances now transfer to the B....

So...you have a nice fix for getting the G# touch to operate the C# more easily...at the cost of making the B and Bb more difficult to depress.

Some players can't get everything they want in a single horn.
In a nutshell, yes.

So you are left with Chris's decision, and what Turf alludes to as well:

do you NEED to engage the G# note using your B/Bb key anymore ? How important is that interconnection to you ? Is the trade-off of now having an effortless C# more than worth it ?
 

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:| Praytell.

:|.....(from my initial post):

........

....One Mississippi, Two Mississippi...... ;)

Indeedy.

You solve one problem, you create another. Vintage tables with tabbed G#'s (thus allowing the G# to be played by hitting a bell key touch instead) already are usually at their max by having those bell key touches engage the G# touch. Press the B/Bb, you are dealing with not only resistance from the B/Bb, but additionally from the G#.

As I posited initially, in the 'simple fix' you're now ADDING another key which would be engaged by depressing the B or Bb. Press the B, you are pressing the G# as before....AND additionally , pulling the C# along. All of those resistances now transfer to the B....

So...you have a nice fix for getting the G# touch to operate the C# more easily...at the cost of making the B and Bb more difficult to depress.

In a nutshell, yes.

So you are left with Chris's decision, and what Turf alludes to as well:

do you NEED to engage the G# note using your B/Bb key anymore ? How important is that interconnection to you ? Is the trade-off of now having an effortless C# more than worth it ?
This is Captain Beeflat's original thread with pictures of the tab and link he added to it.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...tula-table&highlight=Buescher+pinky+table+fix

As you will note you yourself discussed this with him back and forth and you stated that you thought it was a clever fix.

But beside the point. I like these sorta mods and that was a pretty ingenious one, the lucite plate. I have never seen that before and I can understand how shaping its end would make it act 'like' a roller. Very cool. Really cool.....v
Here are some additional photos of the pinky keys from the front.

Motor vehicle Automotive design Tableware Automotive exterior Automotive lighting Musical instrument Reed instrument Hood Wind instrument Automotive lighting Musical instrument Brass instrument Reed instrument Motor vehicle Wind instrument

So I don't get why you questioned my original post about this and now appear to state otherwise. Did you forget this thread and your posting on it? Or is it simply because he removed the rollers on the B and Bb keys to add that tab enlarging the size of the tiny B in the center? Frankly, in my experience rollers are not all that they're stacked up to be and a bit of nose grease on your pinky can get it to slide just as fast. What is a drag is the small size of the dumbo B in the middle design which makes it that much harder to hit dead on. That is the exact reason I never could get on with my New Wonder I, which has the same stupid layout. At least this way the B is both a decent size touch-pad to hit and now the defacto leftmost key, as G# takes up the job of C# and one needn't put your pinky on it at all. So no more trying to find the damn "monkey in the middle?"
 

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The only piece I can think of that requires the low B-G# link tab is Ted Heath's 'Hot Toddy' bari sax part - there's a bit in that with low Bb-B to G# where that linkage comes in very useful as the low B key can be held down for the G#. Apart from maybe some 'Classical' (more like 20th Century) piece written for soprano, alto or tenor, I don't think there will be many occasions where a low Bb or B to G#/Ab slur occurs on soprano, alto or tenor. Low C#-G# slurs are more common, so having the G# touch operate the low C# is a good compromise if it means making the low C# key easier to operate due to the extra leverage the G# key has on older style saxes where the low C# touch is very close to its fulcrum.
 

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Here are some additional photos of the pinky keys from the front.

View attachment 73586 View attachment 73587 View attachment 73588

So I don't get why you questioned my original post about this and now appear to state otherwise. Did you forget this thread and your posting on it? Or is it simply because he removed the rollers on the B and Bb keys to add that tab enlarging the size of the tiny B in the center? Frankly, in my experience rollers are not all that they're stacked up to be and a bit of nose grease on your pinky can get it to slide just as fast. What is a drag is the small size of the dumbo B in the middle design which makes it that much harder to hit dead on. That is the exact reason I never could get on with my New Wonder I, which has the same stupid layout. At least this way the B is both a decent size touch-pad to hit and now the defacto leftmost key, as G# takes up the job of C# and one needn't put your pinky on it at all. So no more trying to find the damn "monkey in the middle?"
Older Bueschers had a round pearl for the G# and the low B key only had the one roller as the low Bb touch didn't have the extra 'ear' attached to it, so you'd roll down from low B to Bb as you would do on more modern designs (with post Selmer BA style keywork). The ear on the Bb touchpiece gave the player more leverage for that, but at the same time adding rollers only made the low B touch very narrow as the rollers took up all the room. Other makers also added the extra ear to the low Bb touch for the same reason - Selmer (Paris) added a more elegant and slender ear to theirs, but on Bueschers it was that size to make the LH pinky keys all look symmetrical.
 

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So I don't get why you questioned my original post about this and now appear to state otherwise. Did you forget this thread and your posting on it? Or is it simply because he removed the rollers on the B and Bb keys to add that tab enlarging the size of the tiny B in the center? Frankly, in my experience rollers are not all that they're stacked up to be and a bit of nose grease on your pinky can get it to slide just as fast. What is a drag is the small size of the dumbo B in the middle design which makes it that much harder to hit dead on. That is the exact reason I never could get on with my New Wonder I, which has the same stupid layout. At least this way the B is both a decent size touch-pad to hit and now the defacto leftmost key, as G# takes up the job of C# and one needn't put your pinky on it at all. So no more trying to find the damn "monkey in the middle?"
Hi. I guess I don't get what you don't get. Nor do I get how I am contradicting myself.

The Captain's thread, which he provided for all, was a discussion on making the odd C# activate more smoothly by linking to the G# (which he did, successfully). It was then a discussion of how he made the (smallish) B touchpiece surface...larger. Which he did, successfully.

But...it did not get into the discussion of the ease or difficulty or difference in feel of now operating the B/Bb when the C# is linked to the G#.

Interestingly, it was never mentioned, asked, or brought up there. But it was raised by a few people here, this time around.

And, the OP here ....stated the issue which arises for him: the B/Bb gets too hard to push. As I would have presumed, and as Chris also alluded to.

So...your suggestion, which claimed with some surety to 'solve' the problem very easily.....actually solves one problem (makes a quick and easy C# activation) while creating a second problem (a harder B activation).

In this mod: Pressing the B, makes the B press the G#, which in turn makes the G# pull along the C# with it.
Whereas, before, the feel of the resistance on the B touch was solely the combination of the B mechanism + G# mechanism.

The addition of the resistance from the C# mechanism when you press that B touchpiece may be a deal breaker here.

This seems confirmed by the OP's experience himself. Unless, again as Chris suggests, one unlinks the B/Bb from the G# (thus actually reducing the resistance on the B and Bb fingerings) which would result in a successful mod, probably. But the B to G# tab connection is a pretty typical vintage table connection, so the decision would be nixing that (for whatever it's worth).

I am not dumping on the Captain's fix...nor am I dumping on your comment, but merely pointing out that linking the G# to the C# creates an issue elsewhere....something which the certitude of your semantics seemed not to take into account, something which hadn't come up before in the previous discussion....

That's about all I was getting at.
 
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