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Discussion Starter #1
Are there Zephyr players here on the forum who have modified the left hand table of their horn?
If so, what did you do?
And, by whom was this work done?

To add a bit of precision, I play a 1940’ version of the Zephyr.

Thanks
 

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The 50's Zephs have a better table than the earlier ones...which I believe do not have the Bb touch extending beneath the B, but rather only to the side of the B. I think the table changed at around 260,XXX serial (as did some body tube specs), which would be around 1942.

So, LouCo....is that the sorta mod you want ? Because that is a key mod which is fairly straightforward, albeit requiring the services of a tech who is good with keytouch mods.

Or do you want to completely alter the table to make it more 'modern' ?
 

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Thank you all for your replies.
This is the table I have on my 242XXX Zephyr.

View attachment 214906

I would be very happy with a table that has the G# on top, the C# and B in the middle, and the B flat on the bottom. Selmer style might be the word for it.
I would like very much a recommendation of shops/techs that do that kind of work. I’m in the Bay Area. Lee Kramka won’t do it, I asked.

Thanks
 

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The only LH Table modifications I have seen have been done by the Music Medic Pro Shop on a Buescher and the ones Edited*


I know of a half dozen techs who can do pinky table mods, among other keywork mods. It ain't rocket science....just requires someone with good soldering/grafting skills and the desire to try it...
 

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Thank you all for your replies.
This is the table I have on my 242XXX Zephyr.

View attachment 214906

I would be very happy with a table that has the G# on top, the C# and B in the middle, and the B flat on the bottom. Selmer style might be the word for it.
I would like very much a recommendation of shops/techs that do that kind of work. I’m in the Bay Area. Lee Kramka won’t do it, I asked.

Thanks
Ha. I stand corrected. That is the typical Zeph "cloverleaf" table. You already have got the best table any Zeph would have.

Here is the thing, Lou.....

Just because a table would have 4 touches wouldn't make it a "Selmer style" or "modern" table. There is also the hinging to be considered. Vintage tables have touches which hinge on the left, thus causing key barrel and armature to move in one direction. The 'modern' table has the touches hinging/pivoting from the right, thus causing the key barrels and attached armatures to rotate in the opposite direction.

(Interestingly, and as a quick digression - a few J. Keilwerths and Kohlerts appear once in a great while with tables which have half the touches hinged one way, half the other. They were clearly trying to figure the best way to design those for a time. Both quickly gave way to tables w/ touches all hinging same direction, though. )

To do the former (just place the Bb solely below the B and C#, thus eliminate the Zephyr 'clover', but keep all the hinging/pivoting of the touches in their current orientation) is significantly more straightforward than attempting the latter (i.e shooting for a table which 'feels' and reacts like a 'modern' table). Because the former just requires extending or cutting existing touchpieces, then re-silver soldering them onto the existing armature mechanisms in a slightly different position. Extending a touchpiece, cropping a touchpiece, re-shaping a touchpiece...all pretty straightforward (in the right hands).

For the latter, I believe Paolo Tung (member ptung) has done such things. Here is one thread I recall of his...more info than you want as it concerned literally 'modernizing' an entire horn, but worth a read:

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ersion-modernizing-a-Conn-quot-Chu-quot-tenor

Tony Bigham (of Anthony's Woodwind Corner, S. Rafael ~ a good friend of mine and excellent tech) and I have in the past discussed the possibility of 'grafting' a modern table onto a vintage horn (this requiring post additions/relocations and likely additional linkages so the new table touches could function properly with the existing lower portions of the keys to remain), and we both opined about having the free time to do such. That was several years ago and I dunno if Tony ever experimented with that or not (I moved away from Bay Area in 2011). He certainly has the precision and skill to do that, however.

Just wanted to point out a bona-fide modern table would be a major modification to any vintage horn, while tweaking and shifting key touches, much less so.
 

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That's not a bad arrangement of touches.

Maybe just change the G# - my eyes aren't in love with the shape of the key.

My Zephyr Special has a more crescent shaped key touch that I like very much.

View attachment 214936

Might be a simple, easily reversed, modification that you could consider.
 

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Talk to Curt at musicmedic. He’s the only tech I know who does this kind of work on a regular basis, has the skills, the tools and the know-how. They’re very easy to work with, not on an ego trip and do amazingly clean work for very reasonable prices. I’ve had him do extensive modifications on my Conn Tranny (including the left hand table) and each time he’s turned it around in a timely manner and the results have been better than expected.
 

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Talk to Curt at musicmedic. He’s the only tech I know who does this kind of work on a regular basis, has the skills, the tools and the know-how. They’re very easy to work with, not on an ego trip and do amazingly clean work for very reasonable prices. I’ve had him do extensive modifications on my Conn Tranny (including the left hand table) and each time he’s turned it around in a timely manner and the results have been better than expected.
BB, can you please post (or direct us to) some pics of those table alterations on your Conn ? I'd love to see 'em. thx.
 

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I suppose that, like for other saxophones, updating the left hand table will involve a great deal more work than “ simply” putting a new style table there since this will only work if the associated mechanics are changed.


There are several techs, mostly in Germany or Zwitserland whom have specialized ion doing this work on Conns ( and possibly other brands too).

Leopold Kodratov does all kindsupdating and conversions which include his incredible system of pivoting keys (which can be also fixed into a position).

http://meinsax.de


here you see a Martin conversion

http://meinsax.de/portfolio/martin-tenor-sax/


this is a SML

http://meinsax.de/portfolio/leopold-kondratov-saxophon/

But, my oh my, that comes at a considerable price!

Mind you,it is not that they don’t deserve the money for what they do but you have to have an absolute dedication to your horn to want to spend that kind of money!

We have spoken expensively about James Carter Conn modifications before
 

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Thanks, Billy.

LOL, a friend of mine once asked me to do a similar mod to his NWI alto, extend the surface area of the G#. I did it, too using a piece of a Holton side key touch grafted on to the original G#. :mrgreen:

It ...didn't... look ...as sweet as yours, however. :(

:whistle:



This mod falls into my 'category 1' as I wrote above. Pretty straightforward mod to a touchpiece. No alteration to pivot mechanism required.

Highly doable by a talented tech. Curt did a nice job on that.
 

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That looks like a 12M table on a 10M. The additional roller on the C# to slide to the Bb is the change, correct?

I don't understand what it is that the OP wants since it looks to me like he has a setup where you can go to low Bb either by extending the little finger OR sliding it sideways. Not clear to me what he wants to be different about it.

Honestly, I think, as someone who plays a number of different instruments with different designs, that we ought to put a real effort into adapting to the keywork that's there.
 

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I suppose that, like for other saxophones, updating the left hand table will involve a great deal more work than “ simply” putting a new style table there since this will only work if the associated mechanics are changed.
Yes and no. It could well be, like Billy's example, the player just wants the touch surfaces modified to make it a bit easier for them, personally.

The reason I chimed in here is because, as you say....altering keytouches on a vintage table is not gonna result in a 'modern' table, which is the semantics the OP used.

That work you linked to is superb.
 

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Thank you all for your replies.
This is the table I have on my 242XXX Zephyr.

View attachment 214906

I would be very happy with a table that has the G# on top, the C# and B in the middle, and the B flat on the bottom. Selmer style might be the word for it.


Thanks
It looks to me like you have exactly that ("a table that has the G# on top, the C# and B in the middle, and the B flat on the bottom"); just ignore the part of the low Bb key that wraps around the B key. Maybe you want the Bb key to go up further (up as shown in the pic)? That would be a little fiddly to do as the C# key's arm would need to be modified, but in no way a technical challenge.

You will not be able to change the direction of action (from pivots on top as shown in pic to pivots on bottom as shown in pic, as Selmer and all current production saxes) without a huge amount of re-engineering which is likely to lead to suboptimum results on an instrument not originally designed for that mechanism. I'm sure it could be done but would challenge whether it would be more worthwhile than just adapting to what you have.
 

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I did extend the keytouch on my 6M alto but I just soldered a piece of sheet brass on top of the key. Took all of 20 minutes, of which most was the disassy and reassy.
 

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That looks like a 12M table on a 10M. The additional roller on the C# to slide to the Bb is the change, correct?

I don't understand what it is that the OP wants since it looks to me like he has a setup where you can go to low Bb either by extending the little finger OR sliding it sideways. Not clear to me what he wants to be different about it.
Look at the table of a Chu or Tranny, then a 12M. It's not quite a 12M table. Look at the G#, the way it is extended and shaped. IMHO this is a nice mod, particularly the 'canted G#' which ...while perhaps looking a bit large aesthetically... I could imagine as feeling quite nice.

Lou wants the Bb to be solely below the B and C#, with the G# sitting above and probably extending entirely above both B and C#. Sorta like a Yamaha 21/23 table.


Honestly, I think, as someone who plays a number of different instruments with different designs, that we ought to put a real effort into adapting to the keywork that's there.
Generally, I agree with you there. Human physiology is quite capable of small adjustments to utilize a variety of implements we have created, both large and small. I think the 'ergonomic' sorta conversations which go on here can get a bit overstated at times. A good tech can adjust most keywork to be nice and responsive under a player's fingers. The rest is up to the player to just adapt to the horn.

The other side of me, the tech-nerdy side....loves the idea of modifying older horns (which just flat out sound better 90% of the time) to give it some contemporary keywork arrays. It's just a great, fun challenge to attempt....
 

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"It is a 12M.. notice the X bar brace ."




Nope. Among many other changes, I had Curt swap out the original brace for a 12m x brace. He had somehow come into a box of them from the original Conn factory. So much better than what was there before.
 
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