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Discussion Starter #1
I own a tenor that plays about 10 -15 cents flat compared to the rest of the horn on every note that uses the octave vent on the neck. It's a Selmer Reference 54. Any thoughts on what might be causing this problem? The distance between the 1st and 2nd partial in the overtone series appears to be about 10 - 20 cents short of a pure octave.

Do you think it could that the octave vent on the neck is drilled too small?

It's probably not an embouchure issue.
 

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Have you checked the mouthpiece pitch you are playing with your regular embouchure setting? It should be around G concert on tenor. What you are describing is a common symptom of playing too high on the pitch of the mouthpiece, tuning by pulling the mouthpiece farther off the cork, and causing the upper octave to be flat in relation to the lower octave.

You can also try this test from Larry Teal's The Art of Saxophone Playing. Play your low A and just flick the octave key. If it goes to high A and stays there the embouchure is too tight. If it goes up momentarily but the upper A is flat and flabby sounding, the embouchure is too loose. If it produces a clear and in tune A for a few seconds and then drops back down, the embouchure is set correctly.

You might also try playing the low octave note and overblowing to the note an octave higher without the use of the octave key. Another way to do this is to start the upper note with the octave key pressed and then release it. These tests will show what effect, if any, the neck octave vent has on the pitch and/or tone of the upper note.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's definitely a G. If anything I might be a few cents low on the mouthpiece pitch. The flick test also works just like it's supposed to. Thank you for the suggestions, though.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I own a tenor that plays about 10 -15 cents flat compared to the rest of the horn on every note that uses the octave vent on the neck. It's a Selmer Reference 54. Any thoughts on what might be causing this problem? The distance between the 1st and 2nd partial in the overtone series appears to be about 10 - 20 cents short of a pure octave.

Do you think it could that the octave vent on the neck is drilled too small?

It's probably not an embouchure issue.
I would suggest pushing your mouthpiece on further and relaxing your embouchure, especially the lower notes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Perhaps I should ask the folks up at Tenor Madness or someone with experience voicing and setting up saxophones. Anyone that's ever taken an acoustics class should know that an interval less than octave between the first and second partial is likely the result of a venting issue. I was just wondering if anyone else had any experience rectifying this issue in a similar manner.
 

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Perhaps I should ask the folks up at Tenor Madness or someone with experience voicing and setting up saxophones. Anyone that's ever taken an acoustics class should know that an interval less than octave between the first and second partial is likely the result of a venting issue. I was just wondering if anyone else had any experience rectifying this issue in a similar manner.
Anyone who has studied woodwind acoustics knows that this is not entirely true.
 

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Perhaps I should ask the folks up at Tenor Madness or someone with experience voicing and setting up saxophones. Anyone that's ever taken an acoustics class should know that an interval less than octave between the first and second partial is likely the result of a venting issue. I was just wondering if anyone else had any experience rectifying this issue in a similar manner.
Paraphrasing: "You guys are stupid, maybe I should have asked someone who knows what they're talking about."

Nice.
 

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Does it play in tune if you voice it up without using the octave key? If so, perhaps you're right. If not, then it's another issue -- likely that the mouthpiece doesn't work with the horn or your embrouchure is too tight.
 
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