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Discussion Starter #1
I've recently bought a new bauhaus tenor - & the sound is great

however - I notice the difference in pressure for the various keys much more than I did on my old buffet SDA

in particular the keys for which I use my forefinger seem much easier than the 4th & 5th finger keys

testing then all with the same finger - they seem much more similar in pressure needed to depress

so - is it usual to have key pressures set so they're all the same - or is it usual to have them set so they seem all the same - taking into account that our forefingers & 3rd finger are usually stronger than 4th & 5th finger

or is it simply a matter of getting used to a new sax - so that it's second nature again?

km
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I just get a new horn set up for how it feels best, it's totally up to you as different people like different spring strengths or key heights.

When you get a horn set up, most techs should let you try it and then tweak to your preferences. Of course, if you don't have a local tech it's even more crucial you be there to check as it's not so easy for a return trip if things aren't just right.


But for that very reason it's a good idea to learn how to alter spring tensions yourself, it's not difficult. I have a handy tool from Music Medic, but you can also use various other tools, e.g. a small screw driver with a notch filed in the end, or one of those doodads for getting hooks out of fish's mouths.
 

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Most techs that I know simply set them up for what feels comfortable to them.

We ask customers to test play whilst in the shop so we can adjust to suit there preferences, however most people are a bit shy to play in front of there tech, dont know why..

So recommendation, Live with it first, Give it a month or so and if its uncomfortable then learn to adjust tensions for yourself or visit a local tech
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks both - as simso suggests I'll just live with it a while - at the same time ordering steve howard's sax maintenance manual for guidance on adjustment!

km
 

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I strive for a "consistency" and evenness of touch with all of the stack keys. The pinky keys of both hands I like as light as possible without any key bounce. For the side keys and palms, I want the springs to be heavy enough for a positive closing, but not so heavy as to create deep seats in the pads.

In my experience, after two weeks the new mouthpiece, sax, ligature, strength of reeds, etc. becomes what one is used to, and what it replaced then feels new and strange. Simso's advice to give it some time is right on target.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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On some saxes the springs are of a horrible design (i.e. lack of design), being too short for their diameter, the result being excessive increase in finger force needed during the travel. Lay interpretation... "sluggish". Corrections can require quite a lot of modification.

I don't know whether this disease is the one you are experiencing, or simply tensions that don't suit you, in which case they can usually be easily changed.

My adjustments are something like JBTs. My sax customers usually play when they pick up the sax; flute and clarinet players usually don't.. go figure. I cannot recall a sax customer ever wanting something different from my spring tension set-up.

Note that sometimes (for certain keys) a key is working against just one spring, but at other times it is operating other keys and working against up to 3 springs. So total evenness of force for pressing keys down is impossible.
 
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