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seems to be featured on almost all modern horn but i've read alot about the possibly negative impacts of having one on a horn. wondering if theres any truth to these claims
 

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My main gripe with it is that by relying upon the key, one will never learn to properly play and voice an altissimo F#3, which is an important bridge to learning more difficult altissimo notes (such as G3 and G#3). There's also the key clutter and possible (and highly debatable) affect upon voicing the low B harmonics due to the placement of the tonehole.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i use the altissimo F# fingering anyway because it responds better on my horn. The F# with the key i find harder to play
 

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seems to be featured on almost all modern horn but i've read alot about the possibly negative impacts of having one on a horn. wondering if theres any truth to these claims
I have two horns with, and two horns without. Doesn't seem to make a difference to me, as long as it doesn't leak.
 

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I don't smoke but I wouldn't make a car buying decision based on wether or not a car had a cigarette lighter in it.. If you found a sax and it was everything you were looking for in a fine playing and sounding instrument would you walk away because it had an F# key? I think the argument for and against an F# key is much ado about nothing.
 

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...but why are they making and advertising these horns with the f# -they should just make them without the F# like the old horns-it's just something extra that doesn't need to be there and it's another hole punched into the body tube high up on the tubing-this has to make a difference and in some cases i believe it does. The Tiawanese manufacturers have a good thing going they should offer these horns without the high F#- and for that matter start making the sopranos without the two necks as the default option-these options are mainly for classical players. I personally do think it makes a difference response-wise and on the harmonics as well-and this is my only complaint about the tiawanese horns right now because i think they are great horns but they should respect the fact that jazz players and guys coming from the Mk VI's aren't going to dig the extra key or the extra punch-out in the horn.
 

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...but why are they making and advertising these horns with the f#...
It's always been sales pitch, but probably the fact that most rock songs are in concert E has fueled the demand for the key from those with no altissimo ability who wanted to easily expand the range of the horn when playing rock and roll. Some of the new Asian imports are in fact being made without the F# key. I missed my chance to play a couple I got to see last January however.
 

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It's always been sales pitch, but probably the fact that most rock songs are in concert E has fueled the demand for the key from those with no altissimo ability who wanted to easily expand the range of the horn when playing rock and roll. Some of the new Asian imports are in fact being made without the F# key. I missed my chance to play a couple I got to see last January however.
Mauriat is making a one piece sop now-but I wonder which tenors are being made without the high F#-I think they can be special ordered but the price tag is very high on the Mauriats
 

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It's always been sales pitch, but probably the fact that most rock songs are in concert E has fueled the demand for the key from those with no altissimo ability who wanted to easily expand the range of the horn when playing rock and roll.
I really don't think you have any solid evidence to back up this statement.

My teacher Frank Tiberi says the problem people have with it is it blows open b/c of the length of the rod & weak spring tension. He has added a spring to his Mk VI w/ High F#.

He uses the F# key on his VI and doesn't play rock and roll.
 

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seems to be featured on almost all modern horn but i've read alot about the possibly negative impacts of having one on a horn. wondering if theres any truth to these claims
I have the F# key on my alto but I never use that key. I use the original F# fingering using the front F key. It's a better bridge to the altissimo. I would like to know how the elimination of the F# key makes the horn play better?
 

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It's always been sales pitch, but probably the fact that most rock songs are in concert E has fueled the demand for the key from those with no altissimo ability who wanted to easily expand the range of the horn when playing rock and roll. Some of the new Asian imports are in fact being made without the F# key. I missed my chance to play a couple I got to see last January however.
Yamaha makes an 82Z model without the F# key. That key was introduced as an option by Selmer on the Mark V! before rock and roll became popular, I think.
 

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I really don't think you have any solid evidence to back up this statement.
It's my opinion based upon my interpretation of reality. Yours may differ.


Yamaha makes an 82Z model without the F# key. That key was introduced as an option by Selmer on the Mark V! before rock and roll became popular, I think.
I didn't say the high F# key was invented for rock and roll (though guitar driven music was gaining popularity at the time of the initial VI production). I said rock songs mainly being in the key of E fueled the demand for the additional keywork; which became a standard fixture on nearly every horn subsequently produced during the age of rock and roll.
 

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I didn't say the high F# key was invented for rock and roll (though guitar driven music was gaining popularity at the time of the initial VI production). I said rock songs mainly being in the key of E fueled the demand for the additional keywork; which became a standard fixture on nearly every horn subsequently produced during the age of rock and roll.
This is all just a guess.

Jean-Marie Londeix includes the F# key in his book Hello! Mr. Sax as a key to use for altissimo and various other "parameters."

Londeix is French School Classical all the way.
 

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Londeix is French School Classical all the way.
So what? It doesn't change the reality that the key gained popularity and became standard during the age of rock and roll, for which a high F# key became more useful for those challenged by altissimo. It's not just a guess. It's called inductive reasoning, and is most logical.
 

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So what? It doesn't change the reality that the key gained popularity and became standard during the age of rock and roll, for which a high F# key became more useful for those challenged by altissimo. It's not just a guess. It's called inductive reasoning, and is most logical.
OK. So, it's an semi-educated guess.
 

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I used to own a Mk VI tenor with a high F# key 105,000's that looked like it was added on there
a friend of mine great player in the military bands still has it and digs the horn
I spoke to one of the techs at saxquest awhile back and was told that PM's can be ordered without the key
although they didn't think it made much difference
I put in an email to Phil Barone but haven't heard back-but I know what he will say
that it doesn't make a difference I would bet on that
There is a vid with Lakatos who is a nice player Italian guy I think who talks about the PM's
and mentions that he would get one without that key if he was to get another horn due to the added weight of the mechanism
I personally do not play that key I always use the fork plus 1 in the RH & side Bb-on alto the same but without 1 in the right hand
the only time I open the F# key is to get the high G to speak a certain way on the horn...
 

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Tony Lakatos is originally Hungarian, born in a musician family in Budapest, Hungary.

BTW. I have a selmer Mk6 (129xxx) with a high F# key. I play with a Mouthpiece Cafe Bergonzi Slant Supreme mpc and Vandoren ZZ reeds. I never use the high F# key. It simply doesn't sound good.
 

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I love having a high F# key. It is not "neccessary" but it's very convenient. Sure, some players don't want it and some horns may sound better (?) without it. But i don't think the manufacturers would sell very many saxophones without that key. Do we really want to go back, because we can go all the way back to the 1920s when many saxophones did not have even a high F natural or low Bb key. No one questions those keys today.

If the high F# is really bothering you, your tech can take off the key/rod and fill the hole in with solder.
 

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For a number of years I always used the high F# key, but recently I got both a tenor and alto that doesn't have the high F# key. After a short time using the altissimo fingering for high F#, I now prefer it and find it sounds better to my ears, and I don't miss the high F# key.
 

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Back when Heath was active at SotW, there was a loooooooooong thread about this - many (not including me) simulated the change by using adhesive-backed copper or aluminum foil. Some liked it, some found no change.

Give it a try.
 
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