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Altissimo on vintage tenors

zootspiker

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I have a number of horns and way too many mouthpieces and this morning I was fooling around on altissimo. My primary horn (tenor) is a King Super 20 (300xxx) Series 1. I have a Selmer MVI (86xxx) that I don't play much but I keep it out more or less to study contrasts in tone with my other horns. Well, this morning I stumbled onto something very interesting:

I have always struggled with altissimo (Overblowing D-4 is the end of the line for me) and especially on the Selmer. In particular G-3 is tough to hit dead on without a grace note and the tone is stuffy compared to my King. Long story short, I tried G3 without the octave key and it was not only accessible but the clarity of the tone was much clearer. I took it up to D4 with the same effect.

With my King there was no difference whether or not the octave key was used. I then tried this with 3 different mouthpieces on both horns: Wanne Shiva 9 and Datta 9; and a Barone Hard Rubber Traditional Contemporary 9. On all three mouthpieces the G3 on the Selmer was much cleaner without the octave key being depressed. There was no difference on the King. Just a note: Both horns are only keyed to F3.
 
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