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  1. #181
    Distinguished SOTW Technician ptung's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Good luck with the rescue, Conn-H. I'm sure it can be saved. From my memory you had two issues with the bore; as long as those are attended to well (and it sounds like they will be), the rest of the job is the same as if no damage had ever occurred at all, given sufficient parts on hand.

    You all might have a look at the link Oilyw posted above: http://www.stevecrow.co.uk/projects.htm

    To me, the way the touches on the main stack were moved around looks comfy and well-spaced. Those kinds of mods are not that expensive, and can even be done "soft" for a very modest cost, i.e. with epoxy extensions, etc.. What makes Conn Chu stacks clunky, to me, is the way they're weighted. As a general rule, if after your tech gets the tubes/rods nice & clean & smooth, and gets the spring tension optimal for you -- if after that the keys still feel heavy and slow to you, then probably you're one of the people who would much prefer lighter stacks with keys that are designed and weighted differently; if not, then you'll probably be very happy with the original stacks, with just some customizing.

    IMO, 6M, Conn Chu alto, Aristocrat (Big B and preceding and directly later models), 10M and 26M/30M models all have stacks that are already plenty fast. When in proper adjustment & optimally goosed (to match player preference, spacingwise), and with optimal spring tension for that player, most people would be happy with how the main stacks are. Low C/Eb and LH table are another question. Even aside from preference, some players actually have health/joint problems that prevent them from using the older American LH pinky tables. IMO, Buescher and Conn low Eb/C tables (putting aside the LH) are very limited in how good they can feel -- it's about how they're weighted. The best situation will be fine (or even great) for some, but not for others.
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  2. #182

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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    I've just read this thread with immense interest. For years I've been thinking and saying that I think the ideal tenor would be an old Conn with modern keywork.

    I've learnt about the Das Blashaus tenors recently, and been excited by some of the modifications being talked about above.

    I'm wondering if anyone has tried transplanting the whole bottom bow, bell, and associated key cups and mechanism from a newer horn onto an older one - perhaps an SX90R lower section onto a Transitional or 10M, for example. Would the bottom bow and bell be similar enough to the original to not affect the way the horn sounds and feels to blow? Would this kind of transplant make the use of the associated keywork easier? The holes would all be in the right place relative to their key cups for a starting point.

    I'd love to hear of any stories of success, failure or even speculation.

  3. #183
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    the transplant that you are talking about is almost certainly impossible. The variables between horns are simply too many to be able to do such thing unless constructing a hybrid for no purpose other than grafting one thing upon another.

    It will result in a ď ChimeraĒ.


    Anyway, in Germany there are several people able to do modifications to an old donor horn using the body tube and fabricating new and even better mechanics than the original horn had.

    Leopold Kondratov is such a person.

    A Ukrainian national he moved to Germany some years ago and works there, he has worked in some capacity for Benedikt Eppelsheim and that alone is enough guarantee to me that he is a great tech.

    He has developed his own mechanics system which feature incredibly innovative technology.

    http://meinsax.de/kontakt/


    But also in the USA you find people who do special custom modifications on old Conns.

    this is B.A.C. ( the price of all these modifications is eye watering though! )

    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some donít. Those who have the cherries arenít likely to share them though.

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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Hi Milandro.

    Thanks for your response, and the suggested links.

    I still wonder though if the "Chimera" might be a great horn if by some happy coincidence the bottom bow/bell of a modern horn had the same or at least similar acoustic properties to that of the older horn, and was of the right diameter at the join. If that happy coincidence occurred there'd be no need to move tone holes or engineer a hybrid mechanical system.

    I wonder....

    In the meantime, I applaud all the fine work that all the people referenced are doing.

  5. #185
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    there is a minute chance that:

    the diameter, the general shape, the volume, the length and the position of the toneholes would ALL match.

    I think that there are better odds in winning a major lottery, in which case acquiring a custom made a saxophone would be the least of your problems
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some donít. Those who have the cherries arenít likely to share them though.

  6. #186
    Mike T's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    I'd like to fix up the keywork on a Selmer.

    Anyone got a spare Mk VI I can have so I can refit it with decent 10M keywork ó the LH little finger table in particular ?
    "So many guys were anxious to get to playing fast. They forgot about what that horn was supposed to sound like." - Lee Allen.
    "It's much better to be sharp than out of tune." - Pete Thomas, 29 March 2006.

  7. #187
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    I'd like to fix up the keywork on a Selmer.

    Anyone got a spare Mk VI I can have so I can refit it with decent 10M keywork
    I've often thought of having something like that done.
    TamingTheSaxophone.com & PPT Mouthpieces
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  8. #188
    Distinguished SOTW Technician ptung's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    I've often thought of having something like that done.
    I can vouch for Pete's veracity on that!

    I'm doing one of these for hire at present -- the prep work is underway and the horn and all the donor parts are in hand.

    I'll be starting it as soon as I finish the rescue of an SBA (for myself) that was water damaged to the point it seemed to me a smaller and more pleasant project to replace all the keywork than try to rescue and restore all of the old keywork. I bought the flooded SBA expecting to do this, as I've always wanted an SBA for myself, but usually it's not worth the market price to me to have one.
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  9. #189
    Distinguished SOTW Technician ptung's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    A photo of the Chu to be converted (the only one on my phone at the moment -- I'll take more later, and I think I have some others stored on a different computer, somewhere...):

    20160912_151453.jpg

    A photo of the SBA, with the stripped SBA in the foreground and the donor in the background:

    20161205_163445.jpg


    The latter is is the same type of work as for a Conn-version, but is a much smaller job. There is far more key fabrication for a Conn.

    The modern donor for both of these is an ROC-made tenor prototype for an tenor I haven't released yet. Very nice keywork, similar to an Eastman's. I've already finished the assembly for the SBA, and am very happy with how it feels. The one knock people have had on the ROC keywork layout from this factory, and releases from P. Mauriat for example, which feel similar as original, is that the LH table feels too far away from the pinky -- this can be improved on when you are mounting the table from scratch, though it does require a number of changes to the ribbed post mounting and configuration South of the table.

    I'll document the SBA properly elsewhere...or maybe on this thread if no one objects, since the thread is limping and not likely to get a lot of updates, and the work is similar. The SBA was waterdamaged, and in such bad shape that it made more sense to me to just change it all to modern. Plus, it's for me, and though I personally love the SBA's original feel, when right, I also love the way the modern donor tenor feels.

    A Conn-version is maybe 3x the assembly work as the SBA rescue was, due to the amount of key fabrication & unique problem-solving required.
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  10. #190
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Quote Originally Posted by ptung View Post
    A photo of the SBA, with the stripped SBA in the foreground and the donor in the background:

    20161205_163445.jpg


    The latter is is the same type of work as for a Conn-version, but is a much smaller job. There is far more key fabrication for a Conn.

    The modern donor for both of these is an ROC-made tenor prototype for an tenor I haven't released yet. Very nice keywork, similar to an Eastman's. I've already finished the assembly for the SBA, and am very happy with how it feels. The one knock people have had on the ROC keywork layout from this factory, and releases from P. Mauriat for example, which feel similar as original, is that the LH table feels too far away from the pinky -- this can be improved on when you are mounting the table from scratch, though it does require a number of changes to the ribbed post mounting and configuration South of the table.

    I'll document the SBA properly elsewhere...or maybe on this thread if no one objects, since the thread is limping and not likely to get a lot of updates, and the work is similar. The SBA was waterdamaged, and in such bad shape that it made more sense to me to just change it all to modern. Plus, it's for me, and though I personally love the SBA's original feel, when right, I also love the way the modern donor tenor feels.
    I've admired your work for years, Palo. It's great to see you back at it. Please do document the progress on the SBA for us to share, and please do consider giving it its own thread so it is easier to find in the future.

    All the best to you and yours!

    Cheers,

    George
    Go for The Tone,

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  11. #191
    Distinguished SOTW Technician ptung's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    One neato thing: the way problems are solved on this kind of job is by a combination of feel and some (actually quite a bit of) practical rational decisions, i.e. if someone does this job the same way as me, placement of much of the hardware is done by feel, which creates some interesting problems to solve in terms of making the mechanical & subjective "ergonomics" demands meet up. It might be an easier job for someone using purely mechanical references, but I kind of don't think so.

    Inconsistencies in tonehole layouts, etc., probably make eye/feel more efficient, and of course if you want to move the whole table relative to the original donor's layout, everything changes. Feel/eye/rationalization measurements are probably quicker and maybe better for end result (especially taking into account that someone whose first reference is feel, rather than numerical relations, is probably has better "feel" than the latter, because that is how that person relates to the world & mechanical problems, as opposed to someone guided differently.

    Also, one thing that making surfboards has taught me recently is that the eye is actually very, very accurate -- it can see less than 1/16 of an inch of unevenness, for example, on a surfboard on a surfboard rack. The problem is more one of organizing what the eye sees.

    For example, to place the LH table (even on the SBA), I don't measure physically but rather by eye and feel. This means that to assemble and place the arch, you have to...assemble and place the arch, and continually move all the parts until everything is good both mechanically and ergonomically. Thankfully, the more you do this, the easier and more efficient it gets. Doing the arch and bell keys for the SBA is an all day project, potentially a long-workday all day project -- I think in practice I spent about 2 full days on the LH table, and of course there will be more work when it comes to actually seating pads and fine-tuning mechanically and for performance. It's even more work (by a good margin) for a Conn Chu.

    To place the thumbrests and strap ring -- maybe in a way the most critical factors in how the whole mechanism feels, I literally run back and forth between a horn whose feel I already like, and the the one under construction, making marks on my fingers with a Sharpie. The best final result is probably specifically *not* a numerical parallel to the horn I'm using for comparison, because there are slight differences from the reference horn all over the one under construction.

    That's why this work is fun, though. Surfing around SC has sucked lately, and I actually found myself preferring to go to work to do this SBA than to surf, because work is "going off," which is probably not a way too many surfers ever feel about going to work. Musicians, surely, also often excepted.
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  12. #192
    Distinguished SOTW Technician ptung's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    I've admired your work for years, Palo. It's great to see you back at it. Please do document the progress on the SBA for us to share, and please do consider giving it its own thread so it is easier to find in the future.

    All the best to you and yours!

    Cheers,

    George
    Thanks, very sincerely! And AOK, I will.

    I was never gone -- just not here very often. Too much other stuff, and the older we get it seems every day is shorter and shorter.
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  13. #193
    Distinguished SOTW Technician ptung's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    I've admired your work for years, Palo. It's great to see you back at it. Please do document the progress on the SBA for us to share, and please do consider giving it its own thread so it is easier to find in the future.

    All the best to you and yours!

    Cheers,

    George
    Took me a minute to find "before" photos of the SBA, but I got that thread started.

    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...19#post2613619

    Good thing those were in archives, because other than what I posted above I apparently didn't bother to document the before with photos of my own lol
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  14. #194
    Distinguished SOTW Technician ptung's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    20170104.jpg

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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    If you are in the UK, I can absolutely recommend Steve Crow: http://www.stevecrow.co.uk/projects.htm to update an old Conn's keywork. He did my 33-4 Transitional Conn, which I was actually afraid would screw up my tendons, so uncomfortable was it. It is now only slightly less amenable than a Selmer VI and, having already sounded great, now sounds phenomenal. I've not fully got to its potential, but there are a few tracks here https://soundcloud.com/andy-bowie from 5.2.17 (check the listings, as some are on alto). Steve is delightful to deal with, and, given the specialist work, which he has refined over the years, the price was more than reasonable, as the horn plays as well as my wonderful 67 VI, if not better.

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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    I can understand how Crow's key work mods could effect the ergo's of your horn, but the sound? Could you please elaborate?

  17. #197
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    oh man...another of those threads?
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some donít. Those who have the cherries arenít likely to share them though.

  18. #198

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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    I think he just set the horn up to its maximum potential, making leaks less likely, and evening out everything, which is helped by the alterations he does. That plus the ease of playing means you can focus on tone production with far less effort. It's the whole package that works.

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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewbowie View Post
    I think he just set the horn up to its maximum potential, making leaks less likely, and evening out everything, which is helped by the alterations he does. That plus the ease of playing means you can focus on tone production with far less effort. It's the whole package that works.
    Got it Andrew. That's what i figured you meant. Steve's alterations were the model for my own alterations on the upper stack. Looking at the photos he does a few regulation mods to the right hand, the purpose of which is unclear to me. Any light you could shed on this would be helpful.

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    Default Re: modern keywork on a conn

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    oh man...another of those threads?




    A little presumptuous, no?

    Relax... log out, go blow your horn.

    In light of the fact that you have posted an average of three times a day, everyday, for the past ten years, it is easy to understand your distress. Too much thread for any one man - bound to unravel even the best of us.

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