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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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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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