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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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We shall soon see purposefully square saxophone toneholes now -- as opposed to the usual variety that started off round and are now square (or something resembling something other than round).

That "dark yet brilliant" bit is hard to pass up.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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5,528 Posts
I think triangular tone holes would be best. They have a bright focused almost "pointed" sound. Some say they play sharp and only have half the presence of the square tone holes, but I disagree. :bluewink:
 

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SOTW Administrator
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I think, truthfully that it's easier and cheaper to make and maintain round toneholes.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
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but then again if you want to show off with a flute that no one else has and be a great conversation piece, they are very happy to oblige with prices to match the unicity of the horn.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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AFAIK there is no acoustic benefit to square holes, notwithstanding What Lopatin says (which is acoustic technobabble). it seems to me that the only conceivable benefit would be in a situation in which one needed maximum cross-sectional area in holes which were close to each other, bit this is not a case that applies to either sax or flute. Round holes are stronger and easier to nanufacture.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist/Official SOTW Guru
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Chances or your local tech having square pads?????
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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On a (low C) flute, low C effectively has the perfect tone hole, having even more of the qualities than a square tone hole could claim to have, It is the cut-off end of a tube.
If this was superior to a round tone hole, then the low C would have a noticeably better sound than low C#.

Indeed, silly technobabble. The world of flute is so full of this!

And it looks stupid to boot. And much more difficult to make and maintain.

But it has drawn a lot of attention to its maker, which is possibly the main reason for construction.

A guy in my country made an oboe with a square cross section bore. Guess how.
 

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A guy in my country made an oboe with a square cross section bore. Guess how.
The obvious way would be to make the four sides and glue them together... Quick, easy to be accurate, easy to tinker with the bore in ways that would be quite difficult with a conventional cylindrical bore.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Yep. I'm, told he made it in two halves after making the tapered groove in each half.

"Or he could have made the oboe with a triangular section, and then filled in the pointy bits. "

Hehe. That reminds me of one of those old elephant jokes:

Q: How do you shoot a blue elephant?
A: With a blue elephant gun.
Q: How do you shoot a red elephant?
A: Hold his trunk shut until he turns blue, and then shoot him with the blue elephant gun.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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Serpents had their two halves laboriously carved by hand from blocks of wood, then joined and sealed with a leather covering. They had round toneholes, more or less.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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He could re-cover the current ones, but the felt would still be in a state of use-induced compression, compromising accommodation, hence reliability.
 

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Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
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As toneholes are typically formed by drawing a ball pulled through a smaller hole (creating the side walls of the tone hole), the round tone hole minimizes the stress concentrations which result from the tonehole forming process. Round tone holes are primarily a manufacturing practicality.
 
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