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Discussion Starter #1
I live and work in an area where one of the most influential university saxophone teachers was a student of Rousseau. He teaches his students Rousseau's technique of lowering the opening of the Front high F to act as an "octave vent" to facilitate the playing of altissimo notes that uses this fingering.

As a result I have had several of his students come in and ask me to adjust their palm F key opening when played using the front F key to his specifications, about 2mm. The problem of course is that there is a lot of lost motion created by making this adjustment.

After giving it some thought I came up with the following solution that works on Cannonballs and other saxes with a similar front F configuration.



As can be seen in this photo a "U" shaped trough is filed into the underside of the key to allow the transverse motion of the "barrel" to change the opening without lost motion. The key can then be adjusted by the student for full opening or partial opening without lost motion by simply moving the adjusting "barrel". On some saxes where filing that much would weaken the key, I first soldered an additional layer of brass on the underside of the key.



This is the key as it appears on the saxophone.
 

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Im lost with what youve accomplished here john,

I can see that you now have a different lift profile, and the new profile is better IMO, but I question whether the process youve followed to achieve it, was the best

To start with youve scalloped the underside of the front F mech "which in theory creates more lost motion" and then you have adjusted the nub touch point out further to regain that motion back, you mention the point of this modification was to reduce the lost motion

Youve also reduced the structural integrity of the linkage by more than 50 percent, I question the life span now of the mechanism especially now if it will be getting used a lot more as an additional supplement for altissimo

The mechanism now in its movement will tranverse the steep lift profile (about 45 degrees by your picture) and then give a clicking sensation if it rides over and onto the original profile, basically youve introduced a few points of friction and points for the mechanism to jam on
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm sorry you don't get it Paul. It works smoothly, quietly, and with no lost motion wherever the opening of the front F key is set. If you can conceptualize the to and fro motion of where the keys contact as well as the up and down motion you may be able to better understand how it works. I have done at least a half dozen of these for advanced college students in my area.
 

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John, first steve to my friends not paul. Paul is hornfixer. Simso is also fine.

You will note my respoonse was the first in 10 hrs, I saw your post last night and didnt respond becuase I thought others would, most posts are responded to within minutes on this forum, since no one else replied, I had to ask. Becuase Im genuinely at a loss

A question, what was the goal of the mod??, to remove lost motion, or to change the lift profile
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Won't this create a stuffy front F??
Yes, but in rapid passages where the front F is often used, it is still acceptable. However the front E becomes unplayable by lowering the F palm key opening this much. This is a trade off. You give up some tone on the front F in order to make the altissimo G speak easily. Some teachers recommend this adjustment for students starting to learn altissimo so they can get the problematic G and G# to play. Once they have mastered the voicing and breath control required, then the students most often no longer need this "crutch" to get these difficult altissimo notes, and the F can be set to open once again.

Sorry Steve if I got your name wrong. The purpose of the modification is to allow the front F to be adjusted to open the F palm key through a wide range of openings without creating lost motion. By the way, the word is spelled BECAUSE not BECUASE (unless there is some Australian spelling I'm not aware of).
 

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I'm sorry you don't get it Paul. It works smoothly, quietly, and with no lost motion wherever the opening of the front F key is set. If you can conceptualize the to and fro motion of where the keys contact as well as the up and down motion you may be able to better understand how it works. I have done at least a half dozen of these for advanced college students in my area.
My F key on my Yamahas are adjusted to open about !-1/2 millimeters with no lost motion. The altissimo is much easier when the F key is open just a crack. My Selmer Series 11 had the sliding barrel exactly as you did it. I think the Mark V1 had the barrel also.
 

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Im lost with what youve accomplished here john,

I can see that you now have a different lift profile, but I question whether the process youve followed to achieve it, was the best

To start with youve scalloped the underside of the front F mech "which in theory creates more lost motion" and then you have adjusted the nub touch point out further to regain that motion back, you mention the point of this modification was to reduce the lost motion

Youve also reduced the structural integrity of the linkage by more than 50 percent, I question the life span now of the mechanism especially now if it will be getting used a lot more as an additional supplement for altissimo

The mechanism now in its movement will tranverse the steep lift profile (about 45 degrees by your picture) and then give a clicking sensation as it rides over and onto the original profile, basically youve introduced a few points of friction and points for the mechanism to jam on
Yamaha solved the lost motion problem with cork stopping the lost motion. Selmer uses the moving barrel .
 

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My Selmer Series 11 had the sliding barrel exactly as you did it. I think the Mark V1 had the barrel also.
The barrel is a standard fit, thats not his modification, the modification is the 50 percent scalloped relief on the main linkage.

Yamaha solved the lost motion problem with cork stopping the lost motion. Selmer uses the moving barrel .
Agreed

John - Why not simply cork or bend the geometry of the lever, why groove the mech to create more initial lost motion, that keys structure (thickness) looks seriously compromised, I still see no advantage gained over the original mechanism other than introducing a steep lift profile, this steep profile will provide a faster action for front F
By the way, the word is spelled BECAUSE not BECUASE (unless there is some Australian spelling I'm not aware of).
Thankyou, I dont use spell check before posting, or write responses of the board and come back and post them, however I do type with both hands, my right arm being broken slows me down a smiggen, sometimes my left hand will get a letter in before my right
 

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This could have done without filing. You just use a pin where the "barrel" is, and thread it so it would fix on the front F rocker piece reversed (original: the slider is hollow and threaded, retained to the rocker with a thru screw. modified: the slider has way less OD and has a flange that stops agaisnt the rocker's slit face, a threaded part of that same stud goes thru the rocker and it's fixed using a nut where the screw is on the original regulable pivot point mechanism)
 

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This could have done without filing.
My point exactly, Its the change of lift profile that has achieved the end result, and this can be achieved by lot of other methods other than scalloping half the thinkness of the key away. Your one described being a good option

The purpose of the modification is to allow the front F to be adjusted to open the F palm key through a wide range of openings without creating lost motion. of).
One other question, in many recent threads you mention you do repairs to different standards, subjective to your percieved abiltiy of the end player. Is this an example of a repair you would do for a student or pro player,
 

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If the goal of the modification is to adjust the opening to ~2mm and elliminate the lost motion, I think bending the exisiting keys would have been easier and just as effective. The solution John used seems to work, but would not have been my solution. I would be very interested to know what the cost is for the modification you made to the mechanism.

Possibly a more useful mod would be to add an additional mechanismm or keys to lift the F for venting while essentially leaving the normal F rocker mechanism to lift the key to play a fully open F.

The one thing that I find oddly out of place is the idea that a player is going to get their screw driver out of the case and adjust the F key for passages that require either full or partial venting of the F key. Quote: "The key can then be adjusted by the student for full opening or partial opening without lost motion by simply moving the adjusting "barrel". " IMO, A dual F rocker mechanism or a mechanism concept like a bassoon whisper key lock that could be engaged or disengaged at an instance would be more useful.

Matt
 

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However the front E becomes unplayable by lowering the F palm key opening this much.
Funny, this makes total sense to me, but in all the discussions about this technique (i.e. the idea of reducing the front F to a vent in general) that I have read, jbtsax is the only tech who seems to acknowledge that it costs you your front E. Seems like a big trade off!

One way to "open" those front notes after lowering the front F is to play them with the Gsharp key pressed--not exactly comfortable, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This could have done without filing. You just use a pin where the "barrel" is, and thread it so it would fix on the front F rocker piece reversed (original: the slider is hollow and threaded, retained to the rocker with a thru screw. modified: the slider has way less OD and has a flange that stops agaisnt the rocker's slit face, a threaded part of that same stud goes thru the rocker and it's fixed using a nut where the screw is on the original regulable pivot point mechanism)
Your description sounds interesting, but I am one of those people who have a had time visualizing mechanical objects from a verbal description. Is there anyway you could provide a drawing or a graphic?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If the goal of the modification is to adjust the opening to ~2mm and eliminate the lost motion, I think bending the existing keys would have been easier and just as effective. The solution John used seems to work, but would not have been my solution. I would be very interested to know what the cost is for the modification you made to the mechanism.
Around $20---a bit more if a piece needed to be soldered to the underside of the key.

Possibly a more useful mod would be to add an additional mechanism or keys to lift the F for venting while essentially leaving the normal F rocker mechanism to lift the key to play a fully open F.
Agreed. However, that would take the modification to another level of time and expense, and require the player to adjust to the "new" fingering.

The one thing that I find oddly out of place is the idea that a player is going to get their screw driver out of the case and adjust the F key for passages that require either full or partial venting of the F key. Quote: "The key can then be adjusted by the student for full opening or partial opening without lost motion by simply moving the adjusting "barrel". "
In one of my previous posts I described how this limited F key opening is commonly used to help students who are learning altissimo to quickly be able to play the G and Ab which for most players are the most difficult altissimo notes to master. For many players, after they have mastered the "voicing" of the altissimo the "crutch" of the limited opening F is no longer required. Then they can adjust the key back to its full opening without bringing it in for the tech to bend the key and replace the cork.

IMO, A dual F rocker mechanism or a mechanism concept like a bassoon whisper key lock that could be engaged or disengaged at an instance would be more useful.
If you have the ability design, engineer, and fabricate such a key, my hat is off to you. To me the elegance of my design lies in its simplicity and relatively low cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you, I dont use spell check before posting, or write responses of the board and come back and post them, however I do type with both hands, my right arm being broken slows me down a smiggen, sometimes my left hand will get a letter in before my right
Did you know that when you use Mozilla Firefox to go to SOTW that it provides an automatic spell check when you write posts? I'm sorry, but 32 years of teaching school makes me want to correct spelling errors when I read them. ;)
 

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...If you have the ability design, engineer, and fabricate such a key, my hat is off to you. To me the elegance of my design lies in its simplicity and relatively low cost.
The charge you quoted for the repair seems quite reasonable if the horn was brought in solely for that purpose. If I were repadding the horn I would not charge extra for this adjustment.

I think there are many people who have replied to your post that are capable of doing this modification. I would include myself as one of them. Making keys and designing key modifications does not take an engineer. It takes understanding of simple machines and an ability to understand what the problem is before you try to solve it. I find this type of repair to be quite enjoyable.
 

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have no scanner nor drawing software here, I cna draw it tonight when I get home. In the meantime try to imagine an automotive spark plug, the metal end will go thru the slit in the rocker, the fork touchpiece would operate on the isolator wich is thinner than the metal threaded part (on an automotive spark plug that is)
 

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How did you go about filing the "U shaped trough" ???
 
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