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Selmer MarkVII Tenor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
where-to-find-Key-opening-(-or-height-)-for-a-Selmer-Mark-VII

I am interested to know the values of the openings or key heigths for Selmer Mark VII... I do not intend to adjust my tenor sax... it is only a matter of “ scientific curiosity “ to know and understand the physics of tone producing and tuning...
Is there any site or web link where can be found these values ?
Thanks in advance
Best wishes to all
Humbardi
 

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Registered
Selmer MarkVII Tenor
Joined
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802 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I am interested to know the values of the openings or key heigths for Selmer Mark VII... I do not intend to adjust my tenor sax... it is only a matter of “ scientific curiosity “ to know and understand the physics of tone producing and tuning...
Is there any site or web link where can be found these values ?
Thanks in advance
Best wishes to all
Humbardi
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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There will be some folks who come along and provide you with a chart indicating the 'standard' or 'proper' keyheight openings, I would imagine.

I always feel that the particular horn, itself, will let its tech know when the keyheights are set correctly (providing the tech is good at dialing in keyheights). There are, of course, heights which are too open or too closed where the horn wouldn't perform all that well, either sonically or ergonomically. Then there is an area where it does, and I have found that within that area there is a range, as opposed to pre-prescribed, definitive numbers.

IMHO.

If you get no answer here, you could poll VII players and ask them, providing they could measure their heights somewhat accurately.
 

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The only manufacturer I am aware of that publishes recommended key heights is Yamaha. I like to use these key openings as a "rough" starting point for other makes. The system that works for me is to set the key height of the F key which then determines the height of the rest of the stack keys through regulation and the elimination of lost motion. I don't have any recent experience with a Mark VII tenor, but the Mark VI tenors I have recently worked on played better with the key heights adjusted a bit higher than the Yamaha specs. The "very general" rule of thumb from an acoustic standpoint is that the key height should not be less than 1/3 the diameter of the tonehole so as not to negatively affect the pitch or timbre of the note. The second attachment gives some measurements I made of the toneholes on a YAS-23 in mm and compared 1/3 that distance to the Yamaha recommended opening.


View attachment Yamaha's recommended keyheights.pdf

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Like he said, set the F key first. On a tenor at 9mm. Everything else follows. Your key heights are most likely not correct since the sax has to be over 30 years old and probably has had a few overhauls. Even using the wrong pads can open it up more than it should be. Selmer at that time was still using the 'fat' MK VI pads (.180", .185") and you measure the opening height to the pad, not the cup.
 

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Like he said, set the F key first. On a tenor at 9mm. Everything else follows. Your key heights are most likely not correct since the sax has to be over 30 years old and probably has had a few overhauls. Even using the wrong pads can open it up more than it should be. Selmer at that time was still using the 'fat' MK VI pads (.180", .185") and you measure the opening height to the pad, not the cup.
Would that be 9mm to the widest part?
 

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The graphic below shows how I like to measure saxophone key heights. The tools required are a set of small "ball gauges" and a caliper. I insert the ball gauge on top of the tone hole and slowly expand the tool until it just barely touches the leather of the pad above it. Then I measure the diameter of the ball gauge with the caliper. When setting key heights, I open the ball gauge to the required diameter by measuring with the caliper and adjusting, and then open the key height so that the gauge just barely touches the leather. This is a trick I learned from Jeff Peterson formerly at Horn Improvement who now works at the Yamaha Atelier. Others may measure differently, and that is fine. This is just the way it works for me.

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I use the Yamaha specs as a guide. I take the opening to be the greatest distance from the tone hole edge to the corresponding location where it seals against the pad.
Another rough guide is to set the opening at about 0.3 times the tone hole diameter. Deviate from that if necessary for any reason. (Octave vents more than that!)
 

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A friend and I both bought SA80 SII tenors from an importer. We watched the carton containing both being opened.
The first thing I noticed was that even though they were the same model, both direct from Selmer Paris, The stack key openings for one sax were about 2.5mm m ore than for the other.
So I doubt that Selmer actually has specs.
 
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