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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a Cannonball Mad Raven Bari for a few months now; overall I'm very pleased with it. One thing I have noticed, however, is that the tonal quality of the alternate F# (opens the pad above the right thumb rest) is quite different than that of the regular fingering. I don't know exactly how to describe the difference, other than it has a much more stuffy, or less direct/centered quality. Is this a general characteristic of this model? Can this problem be corrected by an adjustment to the horn?

Thanks

SteveC
 

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Also the timbre or tonal characteristics of that alternate F# fingering are seldom exactly the same as the regular fingering on most saxophones. As was mentioned, if the note is excessively stuffy, the key can be opened a bit by sanding the cork on the foot of the key where it contacts the saxophone. You can do this yourself with an emery board, but it is very important that you cover one side of the board with masking tape so that you do not scratch the body of the saxophone if you sand the cork with the key on the instrument. Opening the key beyond 1/3 the diameter of the tonehole will not change the pitch or tone quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jbtsax, legitalto-

Thanks for the replies. I don't know where I got the "Mad" from; the horn is just a Raven - iced black nickel/black nickel keys.

Sorry about not being clear - I'm referring to the trill F# key that is used in the lower two octaves. I took a look at the pad & I have room to raise it maybe a millimeter before it hits one of the long connecting rods (it opens about 4 mm currently; the hole diameter is 20 mm). jbtsax, do you think that will be enough to make a difference? I'll give it a try - thanks again for your very complete instructions.

SteveC
 

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jbtsax, legitalto-

Thanks for the replies. I don't know where I got the "Mad" from; the horn is just a Raven - iced black nickel/black nickel keys.

Sorry about not being clear - I'm referring to the trill F# key that is used in the lower two octaves. I took a look at the pad & I have room to raise it maybe a millimeter before it hits one of the long connecting rods (it opens about 4 mm currently; the hole diameter is 20 mm). jbtsax, do you think that will be enough to make a difference? I'll give it a try - thanks again for your very complete instructions.
SteveC
I'm trying to picture in my mind what "long connecting rods" might be above the alternate F# key. The rod your are referring to probably goes to the high F# key, which is usually below the fork F# key mechanism and not above it. Yes, I would open the key as much as possible since it doesn't take much to improve the venting. The key could be made to open even more by a tech, but it would involve moving posts around, and I'm not sure it would be worth the trouble and expense. It is important to remember that the purpose of the alternate F# is to facilitate going to and from F natural in fast passages where the tone quality of individual notes is not as critical compared to longer tones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm trying to picture in my mind what "long connecting rods" might be above the alternate F# key. The rod your are referring to probably goes to the high F# key, which is usually below the fork F# key mechanism and not above it. Yes, I would open the key as much as possible since it doesn't take much to improve the venting. The key could be made to open even more by a tech, but it would involve moving posts around, and I'm not sure it would be worth the trouble and expense. It is important to remember that the purpose of the alternate F# is to facilitate going to and from F natural in fast passages where the tone quality of individual notes is not as critical compared to longer tones.
Yes, that's exactly it; the low register F# arm goes underneath the top register F# rod (on my Selmer tenor, it is the other way around. On the selmer the high F# is actuated by a short rod connected to a much longer rod. The low F# arm goes over this short rod. On the Cannonball, the top register F# is actuated by a single very long rod. They apparently chose to simplify the top F# mechanism, but the tradeoff is that the motion of the lower F# pad is restricted. Never noticed that before.). I probably use that F# more than most players - use it in legato transitions from F. I had never noticed such a big difference in tone between the two F# fingerings on my other horns - Selmer alto & tenor, LA Sax soprano - & that prompted my question.

SteveC
 

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Maybe he is just Stark Raven Mad that his alt F# is stuffy on what I am sure is an otherwise great sax...:mrgreen:

Someone had to go there. hehe, haha.

I agree with jbtsax in the respect that you would only use this fingering for fast chromatic lines and trills. If the rest of the horn sounds great, I would just take the advice of everyone else and improve the venting yourself. Put it on the list of little annoyances to bring up when you next visit your trusty sax tech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe he is just Stark Raven Mad that his alt F# is stuffy on what I am sure is an otherwise great sax...:mrgreen:
Yeah, must have been the classic Freudian slip on my part...

I'm going to try jbtsax's suggestion & open it up a little. If I don't get around to it, I'll have the dealer make the adjustment because I think I get a free adjustment within the first year. Other than this I have no complaints about how the horn was set up as I received it or how it plays.

Thanks for all of your advice.

SteveC
 
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