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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my Indiana does play in tune pretty ok but when I play a low Bb the harmonics just dont seem in tune with the rest of the horn. The low Bb actually seems slightly flat (but all the other notes are in easy to get in tune) and I'm wondering if this could be from the overtones? getting messed up due to the bent bell. The bell is bent slightly to the side near the top. I even tried to bend it back a little and I think I did manage to a bit but it's still bent and the fundamental Bb still doesn't sound right. :( I will post a pic soon. Is it possible that this could be fixed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
pic of bent bell

as you can see the bell is slightly twisted. I have a feeling this is affecting the intonation, particularly of the low Bb, which seems flatter than the other notes, and although I can adjust the pitch, the harmonics don't sound right. Is what I think I'm hearing related to the twisted bell? Is this worth trying to fix? I know I've invested too much $$ into this horn but it seems to play pretty decently except for this. I think the rest of the body is straight, and with a tuner I find it easy to play all the notes in tune, except for the low Bb which seems a little wierd, and seems to want to play a few cents flat on the tuner. Is this possible?

 

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I doubt the bend has anything to do with the flatness. Maybe the keys are too close on the notes about Bb giving the scale uneveness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
im looking at it now, its possible the felt cushion on the keyguard may have been closing the pad a little too much. I'm going to try to push it out of the way. Thanks for the suggestion, I hope this fixes it.

update: wow it's so noisy now, haha. Wait, this won't affect low Bb, only low B, right? :?
 

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Looks completely normal to me... bells are often not dead strait with the body. Older selmers are to the right, maybe Martin's are to the left? This would not affect intonation, the low Bb on pretty much every horn out there is out of tune, it's the nature of the beast, like the sharp middle D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TenTenTooter said:
Looks completely normal to me... bells are often not dead strait with the body. Older selmers are to the right, maybe Martin's are to the left? This would not affect intonation, the low Bb on pretty much every horn out there is out of tune, it's the nature of the beast, like the sharp middle D.
I posted this in the Martin subforum and bruce bailey said to check the key heights, so I moved the felt on the Bb pad out of the way some and I think this may fix it. I will test it tomorrow and find out! :)

lol, I don't think I'm making sense tonight. I don't know how the key height on the low Bb keypad is going to affect the pitch of the low Bb (maybe the low B!.) :p err...
 

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Coolsax,

I merged your thread in the Martin forum with this one so all the answers to your inquiry can be found here.
FYI, cross posting of topics (posting the same thing in multiple forum sections) is in violation of the SOTW posting rules.

Best of luck with your inquiry.
 

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BTW,

I don't see any bend in the horn, and concur that, unless the bell notes aren't sealing properly as a result of a slight bend, this isn't going to matter one iota. Least of all the intonation.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Mike, and sorry about the double post. I'm hoping bruce was right that the key heights might have been affecting the scale somehow. I will check tomorrow, but I do think the bell is bent slightly, at least it appears to be compared with the '21 HC alto I just got. But it's barely noticeable, I only noticed it when I found it wasn't fitting evenly on one of my sax stands. Maybe it was made this way?
 

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No problem my friend.:)

Regarding your horn:

Just have a good tech check that it is sealing properly, and maybe play around with a digital tuner and opening/closing appropriate keys slightly to see if it helps with the tuning.

If you find that it is the bell keys and not the stack key we are talking about (in terms of key heights and intonation), you should be able to adjust it by adding a bit of felt to the bumpers or cork to the keys yourself without any need for fancy skills or tools etc.

I have an older H.N. White King alto with a subtle bend in it, and it is a great playing horn, so don't let this discourage you as long as the keywork is put right if needed.

Cheers.
 

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SAXISMYAXE said:
BTW,

I don't see any bend in the horn, and concur that, unless the bell notes aren't sealing properly as a result of a slight bend, this isn't going to matter one iota. Least of all the intonation.

Cheers.
I agree with all of the above - I'm looking at my HC Comm I alto and it's got the so-called "bell-bend" to the left when you look at it from above. I think Martins of this period were simply made this way. Stop worrying about it and practice, coolsax. ;) :) You'll probably get that Bb in tune yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I didn't have problems with the tuning today. I was using a different mouthpiece and reed but it played nicely to my ears, intonation was easy to manage. Thanks for everyone's help. Yesterday I was trying to bend the bell by squeezing it against the kitchen counter... trying to make the low Bb play in tune. This is really sad and no one should follow in my foot steps. :p
 

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Coolsax,

You just might be the first person in history, to merge 3 threads, please post some "after my kitchen bench dent removal " pics. Then, we can merge this thread with the "Player caused uneven toneholes" thread,
Did you back yourself to get the trifecta? ;)
 
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