· Distinguished SOTW Member
Totally agree! I've always thought that a bit too high is better than too low. Intonation I can deal with, but if a horn is stuffy or has poor response you can't do much about it - except raise the key height!Simplistic - it just doesn't work that way. Too close and it becomes stuffy, too high and the intonation can go wonky. I had a student with a Buescher Super 400 with too high keys, and I could not get it to play in tune. After a trip to the tech to set the key heights, it played so much better.
Regarding Selmer key heights: I found a truly closet condition 5-digit Mk VI - original neck cork was not compressed, and its keys were set way high - played amazing. And no, it was not slow by any means. A poorly vented horn will feel slower - to me - because it's response is weak. I don't care how "fast" the action seems to be, if it doesn't speak clearly, it just doesn't work.