Thought I might stir up some conversation......
I attended a band directors convention in San Antonio over the past few days and got to look at some saxes I've never seen before. Jean Erich alto and tenor saxes now come with high G keys. Some models also feature a "C whisper" key (a tone hole actually) which raises the pitch of the notoriously flat middle C.
I know it's pretty much commonplace amongst pro level sopranos to have a high G key. Do you think it's only a matter of time until the more popular manufacturers (i.e. Selmer, Yamaha) include them on altos and tenors? Or is it just a gimmick?
Selmer Series IIIs have that nifty C# speaker hole which makes open C# usable. When I owned one, I found it to be more of a hinderance. It was always leaking and it didn't really bring it up that much. This "C whisper" key seems like a really good idea. Probably the most out of tune note on my EX alto is middle C. If I have to sustain for any length of time, it I add the side C key to raise the pitch. The biggest down side I could think of to this added tone hole is that it remains open when fingering an altissimo A (I'm assuming most of us do not have LH1 down while fingering this note). This would make a sharp note sharper.
It's probably safe to say that Adolphe Sax was a guy that was always trying to make instruments better and easier to play. I think he would welcome these ideas to his masterpiece. Ever seen a Loomis sax????
So. What are you opinions on these things and what innovations might you want to see in the near future?