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Cannonball Mad Raven Bari-F# tonal quality

2055 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  stevec55
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?


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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.

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.

Pictures might help.
Here's the F# key on the Cannonball; the rod in front of the low F# runs to the top of the horn.

Hand Musical instrument Finger Woodwind instrument Musical instrument accessory

On the Selmer tenor, the low F# runs over a short rod linked to the upper F#

Musical instrument Brass instrument Light Wind instrument Woodwind instrument

I don't know if this is unique to the Cannonball bari, or if they do it on their other horns.
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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:
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.

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