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Discussion Starter #1
I play a Cannonball Vintage Reborn in the Dark Amber. A few weeks ago I came across a fellow on Instagram who did a comparison with his Vintage Reborn using the High F# key, then with the high F# key taped. I was intrigued by his results so I tried it myself! I wanted to use 1" copper tape, but I didn't feel like spending $20 on amazon and found similar tape at a local store for $3.50. It wasn't wide enough so I attached the two strips together and through it on the inside of my horn.
At the time a buddy of mine (Old junior high music teacher if you can believe it) was over jamming with me. I installed the tape and played away. I saw his jaw literally drop! My horn was far more centred and focused in the mid range, the palm keys were darker and fuller vs bright and brittle. I added and removed the tape 3 separate times to confirm he was not just hearing things. I personally heard some change, the biggest thing I noticed was that the response seemed quicker, altissimo popped more and was more stable and the low keys sounded smoother and more vibrant. Palm keys I heard a slight difference as well. I thought that the fact a listener heard the biggest difference in tone was astonishing! Typically it's the player who hears a difference and the listener doesn't.

I then played it with and without the F# for my girlfriend - She doesn't listen to jazz other than me playing and has no ear for this kind of thing. She said it sounded smoother and more beautiful with the key hole covered. She can hear differences because on many occasions she's had to listen to me try mouthpieces, different horns, ligatures ETC. Most of the time she doesn't hear a difference, the odd time she does! And that was that, I was convinced I liked my horn better without the high F# key. I also find the C'ball to be very heavy... Since I play 5-6 hours a day any removed weight will be a blessing!

I briefly spoke to Simon @ tenor madness, he told me that Randy Jones stopped deleting F# keys because of the sheer difficulty! You can patch the hole or fill the hole, but the moment you add weight it will negatively effect the sound your going for! so patching it permanently is tricky business. Thus he suggested plumbers putty. It allows for a perfect seal, smooth in the chamber and it won't add any weight.

Today I went down to my techs place (Wonderful technician I might add) He told me it was a breeze to remove the key, rod, remove the posts. He is working on her now and I should get my horn back on Thursday. Once I get it back I'll track down some modelling glue to paint the grey putty. Either green to match my key's, or vintage amber lacquer to match the lacquer on my horn. There will be silver bits showing as we are removing all three posts that hold the rod in place and thats okay.

While I was there he removed the key and the rods (Did not yet remove the posts which will reduce the weight even further) I was astonished how much lighter my horn was to be honest, and after taping up the key it sounded even better! Removing weight from the horn amplified the benefits of plugging up the F# key. I'm extremely excited to get her back! She won't be as stunning given that the silver will show from the removed posts & I'll have paint covering the putty, but thats okay:)

We are leaving the tone hole as is - He is just going to rough up the inside of the tone hole so the plumbers putty has some friction to stick to. I plan on popping out the putty and re-installing it once a year to ensure it doesn't break down on me and leak. Who knows, maybe this stuff will last much longer than that?

This modification transformed my Vintage Reborn - If anybody from C'ball reads this, MAKE YOUR HORNS WITHOUT THE HIGH F# key. It's incredible what it does to the sound and weight.

I've never gone more than a day without playing my sax for the last several months - My biggest stress factor was not being able to practice while he had my horn! luckily he had a vintage Buffet SA-80 or something like that from the 40's on hand. I've borrowed that to practice over the next two days. Beautiful sound, but my god the ergonomics are strange. My pinky hardly reaches the low keys - It is going to take me a few hours just to get use to the ergo's but it will allow me to continue playing until I get my horn back.

I'll throw up some pictures and a sound clip once I get my horn back. I never planned on selling this horn, It is the horn that got me back into music, it has a special place in my heart and once day when I purchase a Mark V1 it will be my backup horn, so I have zero concerns with re-sale value. Down the road I could also re-install the posts and the F# key, at the end of the day this modification isn't permanent. It is in my eyes though <3

I'm also ordering a KB M-61 brass sax neck later this week! It's a 2 month waiting list so I can throw up a review on how it changes my horn in the summer time. I'm very excited:)
 

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FWIW, PP, this was a Hot Topic several years ago. SotW member "Heath" was experimenting with similar copper tape.

I don't understand the statement about adding weight to the horn. If you file off the tone hole, install a patch (like they used to patch Varitone pickuip holes on necks), the local mass should be much the same. Remove the offending key and related hardware, and your horn comes out lighter overall.

Just think of what you could do if you removed all the extraneous keys! Do you really need side C and alternate Bb keys? What about those ugly palm key appendages???
 

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I play a Cannonball Vintage Reborn in the Dark Amber. A few weeks ago I came across a fellow on Instagram who did a comparison with his Vintage Reborn using the High F# key, then with the high F# key taped. I was intrigued by his results so I tried it myself! I wanted to use 1" copper tape, but I didn't feel like spending $20 on amazon and found similar tape at a local store for $3.50. It wasn't wide enough so I attached the two strips together and through it on the inside of my horn.
At the time a buddy of mine (Old junior high music teacher if you can believe it) was over jamming with me. I installed the tape and played away. I saw his jaw literally drop! My horn was far more centred and focused in the mid range, the palm keys were darker and fuller vs bright and brittle. I added and removed the tape 3 separate times to confirm he was not just hearing things. I personally heard some change, the biggest thing I noticed was that the response seemed quicker, altissimo popped more and was more stable and the low keys sounded smoother and more vibrant. Palm keys I heard a slight difference as well. I thought that the fact a listener heard the biggest difference in tone was astonishing! Typically it's the player who hears a difference and the listener doesn't.

I then played it with and without the F# for my girlfriend - She doesn't listen to jazz other than me playing and has no ear for this kind of thing. She said it sounded smoother and more beautiful with the key hole covered. She can hear differences because on many occasions she's had to listen to me try mouthpieces, different horns, ligatures ETC. Most of the time she doesn't hear a difference, the odd time she does! And that was that, I was convinced I liked my horn better without the high F# key. I also find the C'ball to be very heavy... Since I play 5-6 hours a day any removed weight will be a blessing!

I briefly spoke to Simon @ tenor madness, he told me that Randy Jones stopped deleting F# keys because of the sheer difficulty! You can patch the hole or fill the hole, but the moment you add weight it will negatively effect the sound your going for! so patching it permanently is tricky business. Thus he suggested plumbers putty. It allows for a perfect seal, smooth in the chamber and it won't add any weight.

Today I went down to my techs place (Wonderful technician I might add) He told me it was a breeze to remove the key, rod, remove the posts. He is working on her now and I should get my horn back on Thursday. Once I get it back I'll track down some modelling glue to paint the grey putty. Either green to match my key's, or vintage amber lacquer to match the lacquer on my horn. There will be silver bits showing as we are removing all three posts that hold the rod in place and thats okay.

While I was there he removed the key and the rods (Did not yet remove the posts which will reduce the weight even further) I was astonished how much lighter my horn was to be honest, and after taping up the key it sounded even better! Removing weight from the horn amplified the benefits of plugging up the F# key. I'm extremely excited to get her back! She won't be as stunning given that the silver will show from the removed posts & I'll have paint covering the putty, but thats okay:)

We are leaving the tone hole as is - He is just going to rough up the inside of the tone hole so the plumbers putty has some friction to stick to. I plan on popping out the putty and re-installing it once a year to ensure it doesn't break down on me and leak. Who knows, maybe this stuff will last much longer than that?

This modification transformed my Vintage Reborn - If anybody from C'ball reads this, MAKE YOUR HORNS WITHOUT THE HIGH F# key. It's incredible what it does to the sound and weight.

I've never gone more than a day without playing my sax for the last several months - My biggest stress factor was not being able to practice while he had my horn! luckily he had a vintage Buffet SA-80 or something like that from the 40's on hand. I've borrowed that to practice over the next two days. Beautiful sound, but my god the ergonomics are strange. My pinky hardly reaches the low keys - It is going to take me a few hours just to get use to the ergo's but it will allow me to continue playing until I get my horn back.

I'll throw up some pictures and a sound clip once I get my horn back. I never planned on selling this horn, It is the horn that got me back into music, it has a special place in my heart and once day when I purchase a Mark V1 it will be my backup horn, so I have zero concerns with re-sale value. Down the road I could also re-install the posts and the F# key, at the end of the day this modification isn't permanent. It is in my eyes though <3

I'm also ordering a KB M-61 brass sax neck later this week! It's a 2 month waiting list so I can throw up a review on how it changes my horn in the summer time. I'm very excited:)
Sounds like an awful lot of trouble to go through.

I would have stuffed up the hole with cork, using silicone sealer to make the inside smooth to the bore, left all the keywork in place, and put a block of cork under the keytouch. If I believed the tiny additional weight of one keytouch, one pad cup, and a rod meant anything, I would just take off the key and put it in the filing cabinet in a padded envelope marked "High F# key".
 

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FWIW, PP, this was a Hot Topic several years ago. SotW member "Heath" was experimenting with similar copper tape.

Every hardware store sells aluminum tape. I have a crack in one of the turns in the top loop of my bass sax that I sealed up (from the outside) with this stuff a couple years ago, have had no issues. Someday when all the other work's done I'll pull the nearby keys off and solder it closed. Or maybe not.
 

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FWIW, PP, this was a Hot Topic several years ago. SotW member "Heath" was experimenting with similar copper tape.
Every hardware store sells aluminum tape. I have a crack in one of the turns in the top loop of my bass sax that I sealed up (from the outside) with this stuff a couple years ago, have had no issues. Someday when all the other work's done I'll pull the nearby keys off and solder it closed. Or maybe not.
Shouldn't we be concerned about the density of the tape, aluminum vs copper? :twisted: :shock:

What would happen if one used clear tape? Would the higher order wavelengths dissipate through the window?
 

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Amazing! Just think how much better it will sound if you remove the F key. Then the E key and so on.

Interesting experiment was the RSR saxophone that had all the unnecessary keys removed.

Personally? I've never seen the need for F# key anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was just relaying what Randy Jones mentioned whenever he did an F# delete. If you add to much mass with a plug it effected the tone and didn't provide what was initially wanted. A brass plug was a no no - a thin sheet of brass or copper could be saudered to the inside of the horn, but saudering on the inside is extremely difficult and takes hours upon hours. This is why plumbers putty is the best option to seal the key. I couldn't be happier to have this done:) I recognize It's not for everyone, and thats okay!
 

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I was just relaying what Randy Jones mentioned whenever he did an F# delete. If you add to much mass with a plug it effected the tone and didn't provide what was initially wanted. A brass plug was a no no - a thin sheet of brass or copper could be saudered to the inside of the horn, but saudering on the inside is extremely difficult and takes hours upon hours. This is why plumbers putty is the best option to seal the key. I couldn't be happier to have this done:) I recognize It's not for everyone, and thats okay!
Ah, that is more clear. Thanks.

Did you try sealing the tone hole at the top of the chimney vs in the tube?

FWIW, as I recall from the previous thread that I mentioned, some participants reported favorable results with removing the key and soldering a disk (I think at least one person showed a picture of a coin soldered in place) to the top of the tone hole where the pad would normally make contact.
 

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- a thin sheet of brass or copper could be saudered to the inside of the horn, but saudering on the inside is extremely difficult and takes hours upon hours.
Well, not really. Especially up at the top, it's no trouble at all, you just have to get the surface clean. Certainly not "hours upon hours".

As I say, a piece of cork sealed with silicone sealer will stay in place essentially forever, cost = $0.00 if you have a tube of silicone sealer lying around the house. Cost to remove the key and save it for possible future use = $0.00. I have a couple of cork tone hole crescents in my baritone that have been there for at least 15 years, secured with contact cement (I think) and then coated with clear nail polish, and no issues.

Oh well, whatever. It's a Taiwan horn, no long term collectible value. That's the kind of horn to do experimentation on. You will probably get less for it if you ever sell it.
 

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Well, not really. Especially up at the top, it's no trouble at all, you just have to get the surface clean. Certainly not "hours upon hours".

As I say, a piece of cork sealed with silicone sealer will stay in place essentially forever, cost = $0.00 if you have a tube of silicone sealer lying around the house. Cost to remove the key and save it for possible future use = $0.00. I have a couple of cork tone hole crescents in my baritone that have been there for at least 15 years, secured with contact cement (I think) and then coated with clear nail polish, and no issues.

Oh well, whatever. It's a Taiwan horn, no long term collectible value. That's the kind of horn to do experimentation on. You will probably get less for it if you ever sell it.
Cost to solder on a silver $ ... and it adds value :evil:
 

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Oh well, whatever. It's a Taiwan horn, no long term collectible value. That's the kind of horn to do experimentation on. You will probably get less for it if you ever sell it.
Really? Most "sonic corrections" usually add value - especially if they can be called original designs.
 

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In Selmer's brochure for the mark 7 they mention the high F sharp tone hole giving a ' matching timbre ' to the F natural of more appeal to classical players i would have thought .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The putty should work for now, if I come up with anything different down the road I'll consider it! - Patching the outside of the tone hole will produce the same tone as if you had the F# key. There will be a space for the airflow to go in when it runs down the horn. I want things to be flush on the inside of the horn, just like if the tone hole was never there in the first place.

I've been playing around with the Vintage Horn I got earlier today. Intonation is wild, and the keys are tricky. It's a blast to play though! You guys may get a kick out of this

https://youtu.be/a0lPR2TLIqo
 

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Id suggest recordings and trained ears that are not your own to do blind tests. Players convince themselves of many things that simply dont pan out in the real world.

A large percentage of people respond to sugar pills as well as those who take antidepressants. Believe is a powerful thing and can sometimes be a detriment and costly.

Sorry but Im just not a true believe. Ive seen the damage it can do.

Frankly, rather than buying expensive necks, doing modifications, wrecking resale value and more...I would just go buy a horn that sounds good.
 

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As some others have said, you can use a cork it can be compressed for the insertion/installation and then it will expand and form an airtight seal. You can use a deburring tool to remove any excess in the tube.
 

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What about just putting the biggest resonator on that fits on the F# pad without tone hole interference, make sure the pad seals perfectly on the tone hole and call it a day. Try one of those Maestro resos that protrudes farther into the tone hole. Completely un-doable in the event of a sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It wasn't my ear that convinced me of the difference in sound. It was from other listeners! My main reason for doing this was the weight savings - I never use the key, and it takes of a lot of weight! Even if the tone was not impacted, I would still do this to save weight on my horn, there heavy! This horn holds sentimental value for a few personal reasons, I'll never sell it. One day it will be my back up horn, so I am not worried about re-sale.

I was talking to my tech again, if we grind down the tone hole to be flush with the body and patch the exterior there will be sharp edges on the inside of the horn. That will effect airflow and sound - The best option is one where the plug sits completely flush on the inside of the body, plumbers putty does this easily without adding weight. He will do some investigating to see if we can find a suitable permanent fix down the road, for now this will work :)
 

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I was talking to my tech again, if we grind down the tone hole to be flush with the body and patch the exterior there will be sharp edges on the inside of the horn. That will effect airflow and sound -
only if it is done improper. The correct way would be to have a metal circle fit into the hole, and attached to a slightly larger brace on the outside (like a mushroom). If he is good, he can also sweat the plug into the hole without generating any edges, the little bit of solder excess can be removed with the deburr tool or even some fine sandpaper wrapped around a wooden ladle. All you need is a piece of brass (medal shops are good resources if you can't find it), a vise, a small hand file and a good eye.
 
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