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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Conn 10m has a small tone hole below the right hand thumb rest, near the Eb tone hole:

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As far as I can tell, it closes when I press down RH2, and isn't affected by any other key on the horn. What's its purpose? My other horns don't seem to have anything similar. I only noticed it was there when it's post worked its way loose, causing D and E to go very sharp and airy. My only theory is that it could have been used for an alternate fingering that a tech disabled at some point, but that's no more than a guess.
 

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It's called a "fork Eb" and searching on that will find many discussions. It lets you play Eb with the fork fingering RH 1 & 3. As originally set up, that would close the E key but let the small key open and you get Eb. Because it requires an extra linkage to be regulated or it leaks, it's often found disabled, and people discuss back and forth on SOTW whether you should cage it or let it fly free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's called a "fork Eb" and searching on that will find many discussions. It lets you play Eb with the fork fingering RH 1 & 3. As originally set up, that would close the E key but let the small key open and you get Eb. Because it requires an extra linkage to be regulated or it leaks, it's often found disabled, and people discuss back and forth on SOTW whether you should cage it or let it fly free.
Thank you, I just tried that fingering and it still works! I should have thought of that, I have a Leblanc alto which also has that fingering, but didn't know it also worked on some Conns.
 

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Yes, that feature was on all the early Conn tenors and altos, including the early 10Ms. They dropped it some time in the 1940s - I'm not sure when exactly, but my 1937 10M has it, whereas my 1949 one hasn't. They probably discontinued it because of complaints about leaks developing there. There's no need to remove it if you find it doesn't work well for you: just wedge it shut with a piece of cork inserted between the key and the key guard.

There was a similar alternative Eb on the Conn baris, which they kept, probably because it is actuated by an entirely different mechanism — one with a superior design, which really should have been used as a replacement mechanism on the altos and tenors.
 
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One thing to keep in mind if you cork it, or reverse spring it to remain closed, is that the pad will rot away much sooner than others. Ironic, as many believe having it sealed to remain closed will prevent a leak.
Worse than palm key pads?
 

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Worse than palm key pads?
I don't know about you, but I use my palm keys rather frequently. You don't seal them shut like the alternate Eb. I've only come to this realization recently when I unstuck the alt Eb on my Conn soprano. The pad was so degraded that it couldn't have possibly kept a seal. When I replaced it, I reactivated it. Just a week or so ago however, I realized the spring needed to be reset for it to open again and I debated whether or not to just put a cork in there and be done with it. Then I thought about the condition of the previous pad and had second thoughts.
 

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I never use the high F# so that seems to get nasty faster than the palm keys.
Still the palms for me, particularly F. I do use the F# key for altissimo G. And C#4. And other altissimo, but never F#.
 

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I may be alone in thinking this, but corking that tone hole shut makes the F a bit flat. With it open it is more vented and where it is naturally designed to vent.
 
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I may be alone in thinking this, but corking that tone hole shut makes the F a bit flat. With it open it is more vented and where it is naturally designed to vent.
Yes, you're right there. But you get used to lipping that note up the small amount required, so that it becomes automatic.
 

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If the approach is to cork a tone hole shut to prevent leaks, that seems a bit over the top. The horn was designed with the pad, so servicing the horn or pad replacement seems more appropriate. The corking measure seems good for "a sudden leak and get through the gig" sort of thing. But, I have never played a vintage horn with that setup. Isn't F theoretically one of the best notes on a sax? It seems odd for F to be flat.
 

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I think the reason why of the key would be to hav an easier trill

we have really many previous threads on this and it being shut by many repairers.


I count 24 pages of threads where the word Eb trill comes and 25 pages for forked Eb



I have such key on Gebruder Monnig tenor what made in 1962 year.

Selmer was making a special model of the Mark VI called conservatory with lots of alternative keys, also the Eb Trill, even later than that Dolnet was producing the Royal Jazz with such a key too.

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