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This probably have already been discussed but I could not find the post about it. I heard a lot of debates about to have the High F# key or not. I had some altos that had it and some that didn't. So what difference is it really making in terms of projection and sound? Is it true that adding an extra tone hole would make a horn more resistant? I also heard that a lot of people add oversize metal resonators on altos with High F# to make it sound bigger or more like an alto without it..

I would like your experiences with that..I got a VI that has a high F# right now and it sounds way bigger than a couple ones I had that did not have that extra key.

Thanks!
 

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My Barone tenor has it, my Mark VI tenor doesn't. In terms of sound and response, I don't notice it. However, it took me a little while (and some work on hand position!) to keep from accidentally pressing the key with my right index finger, thereby introducing some resistance and occasionally some multiphonics into my playing... My soprano has it too, it's a little more buried so I don't have the same problem.

Bottom line, I don't see the need for a high F# key, but I don't think it matters a bit to the sound or performance of the instrument. Assuming the horn is in good regulation, of course. I almost never use it, preferring my standard altissimo F# fingering. If given the choice, I'd leave it off, but it's not worth it to me to make a "special request" to a manufacturer. Besides, if I were buying a horn from a store, I'd choose based on other things than the presence or absence of this key.
 

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I've never had a sax with this key.

Honestly if I found I was accidentally tripping it, I would probably just cork it closed as I have two perfectly good F# fingerings that are a lot better suited to use in passages that leave the palm key register.

That said, I have heard there are some high G fingerings that work well and use the high F# so if that turned out to be the case I would re-think that.
 

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This probably have already been discussed but I could not find the post about it. I heard a lot of debates about to have the High F# key or not. I had some altos that had it and some that didn't. So what difference is it really making in terms of projection and sound? Is it true that adding an extra tone hole would make a horn more resistant? I also heard that a lot of people add oversize metal resonators on altos with High F# to make it sound bigger or more like an alto without it..

I would like your experiences with that..I got a VI that has a high F# right now and it sounds way bigger than a couple ones I had that did not have that extra key.

Thanks!
Sounds like you answered your own question . . .
 

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My Armstrong tenor has one, though I didn't realize it at first. Once I discovered it, it was briefly cool.

Then one day the key broke, the pad flopped open, and I couldn't play a single note, as it's the highest key on the horn. Luckily it was just a rehearsal, and I was able to close it up with my bassist's hair elastic, which has remained there ever since.

Her hair has never looked better.
 

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My early Mark VI tenor S/N 63k has the high F# key. It’s an awesome sounding horn with great tone and intonation. In fact my repairman, in business for 40+ years, says it’s one of the Mark VIs with best intonation he’s ever seen.
 

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I'm used to playing horns with them. I can quickly adapt to not having them. As far as the same models with and without go, I don't notice a difference as long as they have similar setups. Guess it matters if the high F# pad is leaking though.
 

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I'm a strong proponent of having high F#. It's not a big deal but it does expand what you can play on the horn. As far as tone and projection, I don't find any difference. A lot of players find that playing G3 is much easier too. I think most of the guys who didn't like high F# key were tenor players and long-time players who found it confusing to learn new fingerings.
 

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My guy, face the future, F# isn't altisimo any more, it's in the standard range.
Unless it's a dope vintage horn, get a high F# even if you might not use it every day.
The instrument is evolving my guy
 

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My guy, face the future, F# isn't altisimo any more, it's in the standard range.
Unless it's a dope vintage horn, get a high F# even if you might not use it every day.
The instrument is evolving my guy
Your “guy”?
 

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Yeah ... it is not confusing to anybody of even average intelligence.

It is certainly not necessary to have an F# key to play lots of altissimo.
 

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In my experience with 155XXX Mark VI tenor with no high F#and Newer Selmers with F#:

Not having the high F# makes a more hollow clear and direct sound.

With the F# the sound is more spread.

I've talked to some of the top tenor players about this and their responses vary but there are a couple who said they would not play a tenor with a high F#key.

To me they both sound good, just different.
 

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IMNSHO my 63k Mark VI with the high F# key is the best sounding Mark VI ever made :twisted:
 

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Well, as I've said before, if I were to find myself in possession of a sax with the high F# key, I probably would not practice a lot of things requiring it because all my others don't have it and I don't want my fingers to get confused (they would match the rest of me). But the vast numbers of people successfully playing horns with the high F# key indicates it probably doesn't hurt anything.

If I decided I could still feel the pea even under all those mattresses, then I'd probably fish a piece of aluminum tape down in there and close it off (to make a smooth bore there at the tone hole). That way it would take about 5 minutes to reverse if I changed my mind.

But my experience tells me that after a brief period of familiarization to the different instrument I would never even notice that it's there. Heck, how many people go along with a G# trill on their old Conns and Bueschers, or the fork Eb, and never use them for decades on end?
 

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My guy, face the future, F# isn't altisimo any more, it's in the standard range.
Unless it's a dope vintage horn, get a high F# even if you might not use it every day.
The instrument is evolving my guy
A dope vintage horn? I think this site requires posting in English. I for one would appreciate it if you post in the proper language. DAVE
 
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