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The keys heights on my Committee III tenor seem a bit open. I realize that it is hard to tell from photos, but is this typical of how Martin tenors should be set up?

If I tune to A1, most notes will be between 5 cents flat and 10 cents sharp except D2 (about 20 cents sharp), F#1, E2, F2, C3 (all 15 cents sharp) and the palm keys are all off the scale (probably 30-40 cents sharp). I don't have a problem with palm keys being way sharp on my other horns.

I'm using a V16 T6 metal with what Vandoren calls a "large" chamber (probably more like medium large).

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Edit: photos didn't upload correctly
 

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FWIW: the horn was set up a bit more closed when I got it. Had an overhaul done after finding the post I cited above. Opened up the sound more than it was. Have fun! Martins are great horns.
 

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It isn't clear from that post (in the link) which pads he is referring to. Different pads on the same stack would have different heights (when measured in the normal way at the front of the pad) as a result of the lever length being different.
 

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Those pad heights don't look excessive to me. Maybe a tad more open than I'd personally prefer, but not by much. For what it's worth, I seriously doubt you'll be able to fix pitch issues like that solely by key height. Unfortunately, some horns just do NOT like playing in tune with themselves. Some horns don't like certain types of mouthpieces. That's the cold, hard fact.
 

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This is about as open as I could get my C3 tenor without bending keys or filing the key foot. I've read, probably on Facebook's Martin group, that they are designed to play best with close openings. There's only thin ultra suede on the feet and the opening is about 1/4".

Maybe inquire of FB group, too. I don't think there's a searchable archive but the knowledgeable Martin Mods guy frequents the group.
 

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Um... Perhaps the most relevant detail: How accomplished are you at sax playing? Good tuning is more to do with the player than the instrument.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Um... Perhaps the most relevant detail: How accomplished are you at sax playing? Good tuning is more to do with the player than the instrument.
I suppose that I should have left the tuning details out of the original post because I'm not really complaining about them. They were taken while purposely holding a steady embouchure instead of adjusting slightly to bring the note in tune. The palm keys are annoying but I can play them (and the others) in tune.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is about as open as I could get my C3 tenor without bending keys or filing the key foot. I've read, probably on Facebook's Martin group, that they are designed to play best with close openings. There's only thin ultra suede on the feet and the opening is about 1/4".

Maybe inquire of FB group, too. I don't think there's a searchable archive but the knowledgeable Martin Mods guy frequents the group.
Mine is set up with corks but they could not reasonably be any thinner than they are. It could be the photo, but yours look at least somewhat lower than mine.

I try to avoid Facebook for a variety of reasons but I might have to break my self imposed ban.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Intonation with that mouthpiece is manageable. I did play it with an Otto Link 4 Star. The tip opening was practically microscopic and I didn't have anything harder than a Java 3 with me so it's difficult to judge, intonation was probably better but the sound was too tubby for my tastes.

The keys do feel a little high under the fingers but not outrageously so. The strange anomaly is that if the mouthpiece is pulled out slightly from in tune, low B warbles. I've seen this before (on a modern Selmer alto) but the horn had to be very flat and it was aggravated by leaks. The Martin responds well with a huge sound and it does not feel leaky at all. (It's also seen a tech recently.) This led me to wonder if maybe the mouthpiece was further out on the neck than Martin had originally intended. i was trying to decide if a mouthpiece with a truly large chamber would be better or if maybe there was some possibility that the keys were set way too high and I was pulling the mouthpiece out to compensate.
 

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I suppose that I should have left the tuning details out of the original post because I'm not really complaining about them. They were taken while purposely holding a steady embouchure instead of adjusting slightly to bring the note in tune. The palm keys are annoying but I can play them (and the others) in tune.
You did not really answer my question. Here's another, follow up question:

A capable player can get used to a particular instrument and come to automatically adjust for tuning and tone for different notes. They reach a point when they simply don't know they are doing it. Then when they try a different instrument, they persist with these automatic adjustments, without knowing it, and declare that the instrument has problems. If that were the case for you then you would not really know whether the issue was you or the sax until many playing hors had change your automatic adjustments.

If you are a relative beginner, then you are in no position to claim that you are maintaining a consistent embouchure and breath pressure while comparing tuning of notes.

The palm keys are annoying but I can play them... in tune...
This begs another question: Have you gone from clarinet to sax? If so then it is possible you are playing with too much breath and lip pressure for those notes.
BTW different manufacturers make different compromises in what range of breath pressure and lip pressure can be successfully used for any particular note.
 

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You did not really answer my question. Here's another, follow up question:

A capable player can get used to a particular instrument and come to automatically adjust for tuning and tone for different notes. They reach a point when they simply don't know they are doing it. Then when they try a different instrument, they persist with these automatic adjustments, without knowing it, and declare that the instrument has problems. If that were the case for you then you would not really know whether the issue was you or the sax until many playing hors had change your automatic adjustments.

If you are a relative beginner, then you are in no position to claim that you are maintaining a consistent embouchure and breath pressure while comparing tuning of notes.


This begs another question: Have you gone from clarinet to sax? If so then it is possible you are playing with too much breath and lip pressure for those notes.
BTW different manufacturers make different compromises in what range of breath pressure and lip pressure can be successfully used for any particular note.
No, I don't play clarinet. Never really had any desire to. I'm not really sure how to answer your question objectively. I played very seriously through middle and high school. I played only occasionally through college and grad school then started playing seriously again 5 years ago and took private lessons for three years of that time. The bulk of my playing time has been on a different tenor for the last 3 years, the last two and half years have been on the same mouthpiece/reed combination as well.

A bit of history on the horn itself: I bought it in an unplayable state and had it overhauled at a highly regarded shop. There were some issues with the overhaul and the horn was barely playable by the time I got it home. I took it back, told them to fix it, it came back improved but still not really playable. I had to have a different tech fix the leaks left by the first tech.
 

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Bad experience.. a tech should be chosen very carefully. Ask experienced players/teachers until a pattern of recommendation emerges.
 

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Bad experience.. a tech should be chosen very carefully. Ask experienced players/teachers until a pattern of recommendation emerges.
That's good advice Gordon and more or less exactly what I did. Shop #1 has done work for my teacher and three other players I know. They also did sterling work on my alto a couple of years ago. I had also previously play tested a few horns that they had overhauled and put up for sale. I've done some real soul searching over the last few months and don't really see what I should have done differently to predict that result.
 

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I’m not an expert on key heights, but after following this thread, I’d like to make a recommendation. Consensus seems to be that key heights are probably not causing a problem....but perhaps you should consider a different mouthpiece. You chose the V16 T6 for a different horn.

After exploring a lot of mouthpieces for my vintage horn (Conn, in my case), I concluded that most modern-design mouthpieces are designed to extract a vintage sound from a modern horn, rather than getting a great vintage sound from a vintage horn. I’ve tried a variety of new Vandoren, Otto Link, Jody Jazz, D’Addario mouthpieces on my 1950s Conn. None of them are anything special. When I stick the same mouthpieces on my Mark VII (1970s), I start feeling some serious quality differences in sound and playability. My Vandoren T75 and D’Addario D8M are just what the doctor ordered for my modern design Selmer, but very un-helpful for my Conn. (My $35 Hite Premier sounds just as good as my $175 Vandoren T75 on the Conn). I’ve settled in on a vintage Gregory Hollywood 20M, mouthpiece for my Conn. I think it is very easy to keep in tune for the lower half of my playing range. I certainly can’t say this for the modern mouthpieces I have tried.

I kind of think that all of the “current thought on mouthpieces” only applies to modern designed horns....70s and after. You might want to consider a vintage mouthpiece...though I can’t imagine it is easy to set aside your gold plated baby. That would be difficult, even for me.

If you want ‘new’, I believe that there are some mouthpiece manufacturers out there today that specialize in mouthpieces for older horns. I just don’t think that any of the big name manufacturers do it well for their new production stuff.
 
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