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Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
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Discussion Starter #1
In Musikmesse there was a guy who makes a new system of keys and also had them on a Martin tenor that he also changed to modern style keys. I guess I'd prefer silver plated or lacquered body but anyway here it is:

 

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Interesting...somewhat similar to a vibratosax (kinda-sorta). I'm guessing that the purpose is to enable some kind of self leveling of the pads by attaching the cups to the arms in that fashion?

The color doesn't do it for me either, but to each their own!

The only thing that I don't dig is what appears to be a removable bow/bell conversion.

While I understand why many people might prefer a modern style bell/body brace, I have yet to understand the logic behind converting a soldered body/bow joint to one that enables you to remove the bow and bell (apart from just making it look like a 'modern' horn).

Do you have any other pics of that horn? It would be neat to see a little more of the key design.
 

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Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
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Discussion Starter #3
There are two seperate things here. One is the different key system, the other is the modern keys. This is basically to show the modern keys on the Martin. Personally I really like Martin saxophones but really don't like the feel of the keys. This felt great, although a couple of keys felt slightly "heavier" (not in weight) than the originals on a Martin. This one had the stacks offset, I would probably not go to that extreme and would just change the left pinky and some of the other keys (front F, palms maybe, etc.). I personally have no problem with making the body-to-bow attachment modern. I prefer it actually. I don't mind the modern look of it, I just prefer a removable connection there and don't agree with the claims that a soldered connection is better.

Re the other issue of the key system. It is like the Vibrato only in that keys are "floating" by something holding them in the middle. But they are more different than the same. In this system, it is actual metal key cups, with normal leather pads securely installed. The key cups themselves "float" with force applied from the center. Unlike the Vibrato with squishy, rubbery pads flexing over the tone holes. Another significant difference is that by simply using screws you can make this floating system solid again, like a nomral sax, with the key cups then held in place and not floating anymore. I think I would prefer the solid condition. He does this key cup modification on instruments with modern keys too.

I think I have a few more photos that I can post when I get to it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Kinda interesting...although I agree with VSG. It is one argument to say that the old Martin keywork is a problem (IMHO, it's NOT at all...nor is most other vintage keywork; the "problem" lies more in the players who cannot make relatively simple adjustments either mentally or physically to getting different horns under their fingers)....but it at least is an argument which is...arguable, and quite popular....

Something like the removal of the original bellbrace, though...which is really a classic, classic feature of The Martin....is just errant, really. There are certain specs which make a model...a model...and certain ones which one can alter for the (ostensible) sake of 'improvement'.

Tech might have done a great job with the details, but in a number of 'improvements'....unfortunately he didn't really honor the original instrument....perhaps next time they will think about that sort of context a bit more.....

This is funny timing on this thread. I have been communicating with a person who wanted to buy BOTH SML Rev. D's I have for sale. When I inquired as to why one would need BOTH, they replied that they were going to experiment with replacing a lot of the keywork with 'modern' keywork.

I had to decline the sales...I spent a lotta time getting these horns into great shape, and every day there are fewer on the planet....

So, on the one hand, while I am not adverse to modifications which might make vintage horns more popular to younger players (whether the reasons for the changes are apt or misguided)...I am one for maintaining certain holistic and intangible qualities of vintage horns which make them special in the first place.
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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'the "problem" lies more in the players who cannot make relatively simple adjustments either mentally or physically to getting different horns under their fingers'

I find this to be an extremely condescending statement implying players to be at fault if they don't care to get used to semi-primitive keywork on a 'straight' (in-line tone holes and bell not curved away from the player) saxophone. Obviously the Martin keywork can be played well; just listen to early Earl Bostic. In my case, getting used to the Martin keywork on tenor just didn't work out. I'm a tenor man, so I play tenor most of the time. I don't want to play the Martin tenor all the time, just once in awhile, so as the years went by I found it more and more difficult and painful to make that switch. So, the Martin and I are soon to part. However, it doesn't bother me on Martin baritone. I guess it's because that's the only bari I have. It would probably be the same as the tenor if I also had a Selmer-style bari.
 

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... thin pads with flat metal resonators? (ha,ha)
 
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