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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if anyone else here with various c-melody brands ever has issues with a weak tone on D2? Is it inherent to c-melodies, or all saxes in general?

I have been working on correcting it, but sometimes in my improv my D2 comes out more like some sort of weak clarinet than a sax, especially with a C2 right before it that sounds great.
I can get a good tone on it but I have to keep focus. Other than that, the rest of the notes on my sax are very consistent in their qualities...
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Many saxophones have dull sounding and often sharp in pitch D. When playing slowly I sometimes use the palm D for that note, ie top D but without the octave key and played an octave down.
 

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Ahh, yes Pete sometimes I use that way of getting a D also, but my teacher tells me to avoid that if possible. Its relieving to hear that many saxes have this issue and that its not just mine. If I need a good clear D I will use the palm key from now on...

Curt, that is a terrific article, as are all of the articles I have read on your site. They have been invaluable in the restoration of my 1919 C Melody... thankyou I think I will give it a try
 

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The height of your low C key should help a lot with this. That pad usually has to be open more than you think.... sometimes more than the manufacturer ever intended.

If that doesn't completely do it, this may also be part of the problem:
http://www.musicmedic.com/info/articles/num_46.html
I hate to say this, but while I can see how this would help with a hissing A (or anything above), I fail to see how it would have any impact on second octave D, or on G (as mentioned in the article) as that pad is supposed to be closed for those notes.

Ahh, yes Pete sometimes I use that way of getting a D also, but my teacher tells me to avoid that if possible. Its relieving to hear that many saxes have this issue and that its not just mine. If I need a good clear D I will use the palm key from now on...
You can do both -- try fingering D the "long way" (x x x x x x) but add the palm D instead of the octave key. This too might be slightly sharp and thus not worth the effort, but it might also be spot on. This is akin to the clarinettist's trick of adding the throat G# to make bell B natural speak without a "pop". On some vintage basses, it's the ONLY way to get a D that responds quickly AND plays in tune.
 

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I hate to say this, but while I can see how this would help with a hissing A (or anything above), I fail to see how it would have any impact on second octave D, or on G (as mentioned in the article) as that pad is supposed to be closed for those notes.
You can apply the same principal to the body octave. Sometimes (most of the time) the player feels resistance more than hearing a hiss. It's easy enough to check by just stretching some panty hose over the vent. Good question.
 

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Correct that the low C pad has a great deal on the D, both D1 and D2. If it is more open, the D will really sing but you may get unwanted sharpness. I usually try to get it just open enough to free up the sound and not get [email protected] too sharp. Also if it is too closed, D1 will be flat! Always a trade-off.
 

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If your embouchure is to tight, it manifests itself as not only a harsh tone, but intonation problems in various ranges of the horn.
Typically a biter might have to pull the mouthpiece out farther then optimum to just tune the sax, but will then find low D flat, and at the same time middle D will be sharp, and the the higher you go (typically palm keys etc) sharper as well . . . I can't diagnose something like that with out you playing right in front of me . . . but since most students bite to some degree (its very difficult to be a beginner without biting to some degree because you don't have any embouchure strength developed yet) they have this problem. Centering the embouchure is the key to optimum intonation throughout the ranges of the horn. Having said that, you are not alone.
 

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I spent about an hour with a Chu alto getting the C pad just right! I am with MM that it is easier to adjust the pitch than to try to unstuffy a note. Since D2 is played more than D1, I go for pitching down the D2. My Mark VI I got in 1964 is sharp on D2 as is almost all my horns. My Chu soprano is right on however, just lucky!
 
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