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What makes modern keywork different than, um, older keywork?
When did keywork become modern?
 

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manufacturers of "modern" keywork take into consideration anthropometric issues more than old manufacturers did.. data is nowadays easily gathered so this makes it easier for engineers specialized in design to take the right decisions.
 

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I think "modern" keywork started with the mark VI keywork, since pretty much all horns base their keywork design off of that design.

A number of things are different from old keywork to modern keywork. Check out the left hand pinky table, palm key height, offset lower stack keys, etc.
 

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I think the short and easy answer is that anything based on a Mark VI (including the tilting left pinky table, etc.) is "modern." Pretty much all of the major manufacturers have copied one or more aspects of the Mark VI into their modern designs. That said, I think a person can get used to just about any kind of keywork with a little practice. My Martins don't feel that different from my old Yamaha.
 

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Rowka said:
What makes modern keywork different than, um, older keywork?
When did keywork become modern?
Selmer style keywork is what most people are referring to when they say modern keywork. Selmer's balanced action horns and later have a different feel than say a vintage Buescher or Conn(excepting the 28m).
 

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jacobeid said:
I think "modern" keywork started with the mark VI keywork, since pretty much all horns base their keywork design off of that design.

A number of things are different from old keywork to modern keywork. Check out the left hand pinky table, palm key height, offset lower stack keys, etc.
Whoa! Jacobeid and I were typing at exactly the same time. :)
 

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Speaking of modern keywork..lately I've been AB'ing my series III alto vs. my conn 6m. Obviously the keywork on the series III is a lot easier. It fits my hand better. The funny thing is though, I can't play any faster on my series III than on my conn. The only problem I have with my conn right now are that my palm keys aren't high enough, so I'm going to put on some risers to fix that, and going from low Bb to low C#, but I think that's just because the low C# spring is the heaviest thing I've ever felt! And of course, the sound of the conn blows away the selmer. Surprisingly intonation on the conn is much better than on the series III. The only notes on the conn I have to watch for are C2 (a bit sharp) and D#/Eb2 (around 15 sharp). Overall, the conn is much superior.
 

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Every saxophone player should have to do one job on a Conn horn from the good old days. That way they could learn what they've been missing all of the time with the "French" style horns like a Selmer.

On the other hand, if they don't try them out, then they will never know what they have been missing (as far as power and tone are concerned. H'mmmmm....
 

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The other big problem with the "modern" Selmer keywork is that it slows down speed between low Bb (tilted) and C#. I find that Buescher Aristocrat series I keywork is the best of any keywork on any horn, the spatula, articulated G#, RH G# trill and not forgetting to mention impeccable intonation.

I dont have an issue with the Conn transitional models which seem to feel the most comfortable of all the Conn models.

Martins have very light slick keywork with a slightly heavy low Bb. It is possible to play exceptionally swiftly on a Martin sax which has great ergonomics for those of us with larger hands.

The King saxes have the worst low C# of any model of sax I have ever played or owned, it makes a Conn low C# comparable to putting a knife into hot butter. Intonation isn't as wonderful as many would have you believe either.

Many of the other European makes have some nice features but there are various issues with key placement and less than ideal mechanism.

More thoughts later.
 

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I agree on the Selmer connection. I find the pinky table on my onld Conns to be better than my VI. The best keywork I own is a Conn 28M. I think the early Martins don't have a good pinky table but the stack keys are some of the best.
 
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