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Just wondering about the function of the c# tonehole (no keys pressed) on modern straight sopranos. The one I am looking at has 2 keys covering it -one with a hole and then one above that is solid. The only time I see them operate not together is playing octave c# where the lower key with the hole is down and key on top is up. If this doesn't make sense I can send pic. Thanks.
 

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I understand it is a feature of the more modern sopranos and is supposed to give a better sounding C# in the high register
 

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Yes, its function is to bring down the pitch of your octave C#. Older Yamahas simply have two tiny toneholes and pads one above the other. Many saxophones have similar mechanisms, including some very old ones like the Buescher True Tone soprano. Some close a donut like in the picture, some partially or fully close the C# key.
 

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My 1925 Martin Handcraft partially closes the hole when the octave key is pressed, so this is not really a new thing...
 

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How would pad the donut key? Punch a regular pad?
You're best cork padding this key and making sure the tonehole is completely level beforehand as cork pads won't seat on uneven toneholes - you can either shellac the cork pad into the perforated pad cup and grind the face until it seats or float it in on shellac - then make sure there aren't any leaks between the pad and the pad cup. Any leaks can be sealed by melting wax around the circumference of the pad where it meets the pad cup and also between the hole in the centre of the pad and the chimney in the centre of the pad cup. The small pad in the upper pad cup can be either leather or cork padded depending on how you feel.

Personally speaking, I'd cork pad sopranos from the open C# vent upwards (both 8ve vent pads, palm key pads and high E and F# pads).

On Yamaha sopranos that came in after the YSS-62 (YSS-475, 675 and 875) they've completely done away with the split C# vent and any linkage from the 8ve mechanism so it works exactly as an alto or tenor would.
 
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