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Has anyone noticed the intonation on a Tenor 54? Are they all way out above high C? And; it seems the forked E and F are so sharp I don't think the key cup can be lowered any more w/out the key being almost closed. This is driving me crazy. Who do I send this horn to?:
 

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I A/B/C'd Selmer tenors this summer and they all had good intonation. Could you be over compensating on some notes that you have learned to humour, without thinking, on your present sax?
 

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My Ref 54 tenor had a very sharp forked E when I first got it. I lowered the F key cup which was much too high and the intonation got much better, although still a bit high - I just blow it in tune. Another Ref 54 tenor I tried this summer had the same 'problem'.
The harmonic (altissimo) tuning on the Ref 54 tenors is not the same a MKV1, although it's much closer than it was on my Series II.
 

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Over all my 54 is in tune. The ref horns don't have what I'd call flawless intonation. Neither does my 36. However I can play both of these in tune and haven't had a reason to be concerned.

This could be multiple issues with your 54. Get it set up and possibly tell us what kind of mouthpiece you're using. Also what horn are you switching from.
 

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MasterBlaster said:
Gary ...you might be right about the subconscience lip-up I will be more critical of this..thx
Absolutely, but check the distance that the front F key lifts the high F. It doesn't need to do much more than 'vent'. If it's too high you'll still be able to lip the high E into tune, but it will be much harder to control, and also sound less focused. (whatever that word means! ;) )
 

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I find the Reference horns differ somewhat as regards intonation. Proper set-up is key, key height, etc. But I found recently that Selmer Necks are really inconsistant. I believe they have the biggest bearing with regards intonation, and even sound for that matter. One 54 neck I played recently was really bad and the intonation was all over the place. I placed my 54 neck on the that 54 and the intonation was significantly better, almost perfect.

The 54 is an awesome horn, provided it has a good neck. Selmer really needs to do a better job with their quality control. Just my opinion and experience.
 

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Yes every Selmer neck is unique. With regards to the Ref horns you have to find a good Ref neck to match with the horn, but once matched I think it offers the best fit for these horns. Some of what I'm seeing though is the recent Ref 36 and 54 necks aren't as stuffy as they used to be a few years back. I don't know if anything has been changed.
 

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heath said:
Some of what I'm seeing though is the recent Ref 36 and 54 necks aren't as stuffy as they used to be a few years back. I don't know if anything has been changed.
Possibly, but I think that you would have had to try a lot of necks over a period of time to draw this conclusion.

My original (early) Ref 54 tenor neck is very free blowing. I bought another one recently because I wanted one offering slightly more resistance and control with a slightly different tone colour.

Although they sound different, the intonation on both of them is the same.
I'm not saying that necks don't affect intonation at all, but if the necks are the same length and have the same curve (shape) and are free from any dents, then the intonation should be very similar.
 

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With the proper set up, I don't think you could find a MORE in tune sax than the Ref horns (unless you went to a Yamaha).

It is most likely a set up issue or you are carrying over your intonation fixes (lipping up or down) from your previous horn.

I did that at first with my Ref 54 tenor too. When I stopped lipping up certain notes, it was subliiiiiime! ;)
 

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heath said:
With regards to the Ref horns you have to find a good Ref neck to match with the horn, but once matched I think it offers the best fit for these horns. Some of what I'm seeing though is the recent Ref 36 and 54 necks aren't as stuffy as they used to be a few years back. I don't know if anything has been changed.
By match, do you mean actual tenon to receiver fit or do you mean try a bunch until the magic flows?
 

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Better than the note is sharp rather than flat. Whether you are overcompensating (or miscompensating, as the case may be) by applying habits from another horn or the horn is just sharp, you can adjust it easily. A fix, borrowed from a decades past fix for Bueschers with similar issues, is to fashion a cresent-shaped insert to place in the tonehole that effectively lowers its position along the length of the bore.

I, too, had a miserably intonated Serie III several years ago. It was my fault - I had been playing a BA for the decades before that and had learned to compensate most every note on the horn. Once I relaxed and unlearned those habits, my Serie III nailed most every pitch. My Ref 36 didn't have to go through that. ;)
 

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Dr G said:
My Ref 36 didn't have to go through that. ;)
I am very happy to hear that...
 

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The intonation on my Reference 54 Tenor is as good as any horn I've ever played. For me, the horn seems to play in tune without any conscious adjustment.
 

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I tried a couple when I was looking for a work horn and I found one of the 54's to be way way out above C2. The forked fingerings were very high going into the altissimo. It's too bad because it had a fantastic sound. I ended up with a Custom Z with no high F# or lacquer because it was more stable with a decent sound.
 
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