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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya, as many of you know there is a small little pad before the Low B Bb pads, but it appears to have no function does anyone know what its purpose is? Thanks :)
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That's the pad and tone hole for the fork Eb fingering. This is one of the most useful features on a saxophone, which was removed in the 1930s/40s for no apparent reason. Get it working and properly adjusted.
 

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It is for fingering Eb by playing D and lifting the middle (E) finger. That way you can go to low C from Eb without rolling the pinky.Today it is not popular and techs often reverse spring it to keep it closed as it is prone to get out of adjustment. The pearl lever over the E key closes it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This would not become an obstacle for the playing preformance after it's been restored right? Or is this a useless feature now? I am very much considering keep everything the way it was made but just replacing all the pads cleaning up the gunk and polish it up. It's got quite the road of restoration ahead but it will be a beautiful player. The microtuner neck is also perfect no leaks whatsoever. But will require an oil change as it's running a bit crusty. Thanks for replying everyone! :)
 

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No, you want to leave it functional.

I have read many times about how it's supposedly "so difficult" to keep in regulation, to which I call BS. Any woodwind technician that is working on oboes, and bassoons, and the dreaded paperclip shaped contrabass clarinet (I mean, those things are like linotype machines!), and then says the fork Eb vent ought to be eliminated, usually involving mutilation of the instrument, is blowing smoke out his you know what. It's no more difficult than any other pad on the saxophone to keep in regulation.

And if you think there's no value in it, I invite you to spend a few decades playing in the "money register" of the baritone or bass sax on a horn with, then one without, this fingering.
 

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Oh, fork Eb. How useless you were. Much like the G# trill.

Great ideas, but really not needed.
Pinky fingers are generally the weakest. The aux trill keys move the trill to the strongest and, with the majority of people right handed, the dominant hand.

With makers competing for something to distinguish themselves, I can't understand why some builder hasn't returned them! Yet.
 

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Oh, fork Eb. How useless you were. Much like the G# trill.

Great ideas, but really not needed.
I Disagree. On horns with the fork Eb, I use that fingering around 75% of the time for Eb as opposed to the spat fingering.

It's incredibly useful.

The reason you see it disabled so much these days is sooooooo many techs have no clue what it was intended for. So they just get it out of the way. Why regulate another key of you don't have to ? Easier to tell the owner "oh this was a bad idea and never worked well, and it leaks all the time, so best to just disable it".

I have read many times about how it's supposedly "so difficult" to keep in regulation, to which I call BS.
+1. Complete BS. Any tech worth a hill of beans should be able to a) figure out the mechanism in about 4 minutes (even if they have NEVER worked on one before)... and b) regulate it properly.

This would not become an obstacle for the playing preformance after it's been restored right?
It would be the opposite of an 'obstacle'. It gives you a very useful alternate fingering (as I said, IMHO...it actually makes the spat Eb touch the alternate fingering most of the time). But in the spirit of your question - you can also have it enabled and then just ignore it when playing, if you prefer...no harm would be done to the function of the sax.
But my advice - get the key enabled. You can have a lotta fun with that fingering.
 

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I don't actually know this, but it does seem that saxes designed with the fork Eb vent might (I repeat, MIGHT) have minor intonation effects on a couple of notes near it, if it's not there or if it's closed when it should be open. F and G, maybe?

As to the motivation I think the "old saxes are junk, can't be played in tune, and the only saxophone worth owning as soon as you graduate from your Bundy II is a Selmer, either a Mark 6 or Super Action 80" mentality of the 1960s through 1980s was a big contributor to the anti-fork Eb prejudice in many techs, which still lingers on today.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Old saxophones are great for anyone willing to take the time, once you get a basic understanding on a Yamaha student or some other saxes like a Buescher Aristo IV or Bundy II then I think it's perfectly acceptable to move onto a vintage sax if that is your thing. I'm a huge fan of vintage saxophones but I know some aren't willing to pay the price it takes to get them restored or want to get a little learning experience from repairing it, that is my main goal right now I have already serviced a Buescher Aristocrat IV Tenor turned out great I also enjoy doing regular maintence on my Yamaha YAS-23 :)
 

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There is one problem with the forked Eb fingering on old Conns which has not been mentioned above — not surprisingly, because it only affects doublers who play Albert- or Oehler-system clarinet.

On saxophone the note F is obtained by using on the right hand just the index finger, whereas to obtain F# the player must raise his index finger and lower his second finger.

These fingerings are the same on Boehm-system clarinet, but on Albert- or Oehler-system clarinet the saxophone F fingering produces not F but F#.

F on Albert- or Oehler-system clarinet is produced by adding the third finger of the right hand, as a forked fingering. This happens to be the exact same fingering employed by Conn to produce the alternative forked Eb.

As a doubler, you can get your head around the F and F# fingering changes, but having to add in an extra change — whereby forked F on clarinet becomes forked Eb on saxophone can be something of a challenge, particularly where fast fingerings are involved.

I suspect that back in the 1920s and 30s many saxophones had their forked Eb disabled by their Oehler and Albert clarinet-playing owners to avoid having to cope with another, unnecessary, fingering challenge.
 

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Oh, fork Eb. How useless you were. Much like the G# trill.

Great ideas, but really not needed.
Psht, says you!

Seriously though, they are fun to use in practice. Selmer even offered both keys as an option through the Mark VI run. Don't plug the key. The horns with them were designed with it in mind. It's one extra pad, and one more small mechanism to treat like... any other mechanism of the horn. Seriously, if one takes the time to work on the lower stack, they have the time to fix one more key. My Conn New Wonder was overhauled 10 years ago, and this key has not worn down faster than anything else on the horn. In fact, everything is still sealing very well. Jaye hit every nail on the head with his post above.
 

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My Mark VI has the G# trill but it works the opposite of the standard US horns. You don't need to hold the LH pinky down. Some Holtons were rigged this way too.
 

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On the M series Conns and Buescher Aristocrats the trill G# was redesigned to work "positively" - ie, you could press the RH button when fingering G and get G#.
 

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Old saxophones are great for anyone willing to take the time, once you get a basic understanding on a Yamaha student or some other saxes like a Buescher Aristo IV or Bundy II then I think it's perfectly acceptable to move onto a vintage sax if that is your thing. I'm a huge fan of vintage saxophones but I know some aren't willing to pay the price it takes to get them restored or want to get a little learning experience from repairing it, that is my main goal right now I have already serviced a Buescher Aristocrat IV Tenor turned out great I also enjoy doing regular maintence on my Yamaha YAS-23 :)
Quite a few of us vintage saxophonists started on vintage saxophones without an opportunity to learn the basics on a Yamaha, and some turned out to be decent players. When I bought my one and only modern saxophone a few years ago, I thought something was wrong because it wouldn’t play Eb.
 

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My first sax was an old Beaugnier Noblet, then in short order a Conn 16M, Conn 6M, King Zephyr baritone, Holton bass, Holton soprano, and I don't think I've ever owned a modern Selmer-copy or Yamaha saxophone in my life.

Somehow I was able to learn how to play without "gaining a basic understanding on a Yamaha student"; especially since they were hardly ever seen in my neck of the woods in the late 70s. In those days student horns were old Bueschers, Conn Directors, Evettes, King Cleveland, Martin Indiana, Bundy, and Pan Ams. All would be considered "vintage" nowadays and we never thought a moment about it.

I don't deny that today's student saxophones are good instruments, but the idea that vintage saxophones are so difficult to play that it really takes some kind of special dedication and talent, is simply nonsense.
 
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