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Thread: Bb bis key slightly more flat on later Martin

  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2013 asterix2k10's Avatar
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    Default Bb bis key slightly more flat on later Martin

    I have two The Martin altos, one is a '49, one is a '54. To my surprise, when I got the '54, I noticed it had a slightly more narrow bore, and is a little heavier. The bell is also slightly more narrow. The tech set up the key heights slightly lower on the later model too. I prefer the '54 so far, but last night while playing I noticed that I kept playing middle Bb bis slightly flat, and I got the impression that this note on the the '54 plays a little more flat.

    Is this kind of variability normal between saxes? Is it just something I will adjust to and shouldn't worry about?

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Technician Stephen Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bb bis key slightly more flat on later Martin

    Yes, it's common - and the difference in the height of the action will play a major part.
    You'll probably adjust to it in time...provided the action hasn't been set lower than is realistic for the horn.

    Regards,
    Stephen Howard
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    - Woodwind instrument repairs & period restorations
    Author, Haynes Saxophone Manual, Haynes Clarinet Manual

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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    Default Re: Bb bis key slightly more flat on later Martin

    I haven't noticed that but will check. What I have noticed on many Martins is that the 1+1 Bb is flat and the bis pretty close to pitch.

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member 1saxman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bb bis key slightly more flat on later Martin

    Lowered action could mean flatter pitch in some areas. If your upper stack is too low, this could be your problem.

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