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Cannonball key heights

1699 Views 22 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  habschi2
Hi, thanks for looking and thanks for any clue on this in advance:

Just purchased a used Cannonball Big Bell 107000 Tenor.
Wonderful instrument, only suffers from bad intonation caused by bad adjustment of key heights.
Particularily the left hand korks for key heights are almost gone.
G to middle-oktave key connection kork almost gone.
Right hand k.h. korks have been partly filed so that right hand is too open.
So here´s my question:
Is there a "general" kork thickness for the left and/or right hand openings, that anyone knows of ?
Or does anyone have an original instrument in good condition where he might be able to measure the original key hights ?
Any help on this is highly appreciated !
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Thanks for your reply.
As this is a horn deriving from a current production line I was hoping to find some measures for the original key hights or/and for the korks. So hopefully someone has a horn like this around to give me some rough figures.
Going the long way of trying out intonation by trial and error makes more sense to me in working with vintage horns where the info I´m looking for is mostly lost.
Gordon: Bending keys is one of the worser things that can happen to a horn, as it will affect not only opening but also the angle between key cup and tonehole. I´m grateful that this horn just misses some kork and doesn´t suffer from bended keys.
Just to give you an example how a rough measuring for key hights could look like:
Emilio Lyons once did this by using a round pencil rubber as measuring tool for MK VIs. (fits tight between B and tonehole on left hand, loose on right hand).
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Gordon: Sorry for hitting a wrong note. Basically you didn´t suggest bending of keys but only warned, that there might have been some bending and therefore
kork thickness might not be representative, right ? I´m on your side in this respect. Still bending keys is a dangerous territory, mostly done to correct top and bottom (left right) openings of keys, rarely to correct keyopening, as this can damage the angle between key cup and tonehole and the pad will sit on the back or leave the back open afterwards. This out of my personal experience of 20 years with saxes professionaly playing and repairing.
Thanks for posting your experiences on this thread in a very kind effort to try to help with my problem. The whole key bending affair seemed to haven taken over the main topic, but still it was interesting to hear your opinions. Just one basic thought from my side to round this up: Wouldn´t it be wise to go back to the factory settings for a horn that has to be adjusted ? Most of the sax producers have invested a huge effort in finding the optimum setup for their horns, so why correct them, unless obvious miscalculations where done in the factory.
If a player wants a more open sound, no problem but he might loose the original and therefore best possible adjustment.
So it seems quite reasonable to me to try and find factory settings if they´re still present and not lost as with many vintage horns. Leaving small adjustments aside the basic key heights should be well known. As far as I know good techs know the heights of the common models (and I know them for the other models I have to deal with) , even have lists, because they just don´t have the time to fiddle around and check intonation for half a day.
To finally find the info I was looking for, I will open another thread in the "Cannonball" section.
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Ok, just to finish this up from my side:

1) I never suggested to do any key bending to open or close key heights on this or any other horn. I know from years of experience what it can do and what it does not. As I´ve seen lots of horns that were damaged by unprofessional bending of keys, particularily to open up, I felt like warning from this procedure. I do not regard this as beeing necessary on most of the horns around, as the thickness of the keybumpers is responsible for regulation.
2) Keybending was not done to the Cannonball horn in question neither by shmuelyosef (who did an excellent job in fixing the horn in any other respect) nor by myself.
3) The Cannonball has adjusment screws to adjust the F# to F-E-D connection but not to adjust the keyheights.
4) My credo in general is to go back to the factory setup, regarding keyopening, pad thickness and others. Because I think instrument builders like Selmer, Martin, King and finally Cannonball have all found different solutions for the above problem and I don´t feel like correcting them, rather like researching to come as close as possible to the original idea. (Choosing mpces that fit this adjustment often seems a necessity too).
5) As Cannonball horns are fortunately still manufactured, I still think it´s a good idea to get the measures in question a) from Cannon owners with original setup or b) from Cannon directly. For this reason I opened another thread in the Cannonball section of this forum, please contribute !
6) Finally it might be interesting to hear, that the Cannonball producers themselves chose as one of their main goals in production, to find materials that try to prevent or minimize keybending, to preserve the "optimum adjustment".
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Hi, to whoever might be in search for the original key hights of Cannonball tenors. Cannonball factory finally got back to me and sent me the original values:

B: 7 mm
F: 8.5 mm
Low C: 12 mm
Low B: 11.5 mm
Low Bb: 10.5 mm

This is was I call unbelievable costumer support.

Best wishes !
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