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G# Key (and low C# Key) - Two Questions

lydian

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Just about every low A horn will close all the bell keys with the low A key. The question is how well do they seal. I still argue that the laws of physics keep the force of one thumb from working as well as one thumb plus one pinky, now matter how well the mechanism is designed.
 

rhysonsax

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Just about every low A horn will close all the bell keys with the low A key. The question is how well do they seal. I still argue that the laws of physics keep the force of one thumb from working as well as one thumb plus one pinky, now matter how well the mechanism is designed.

I think we are all vehemently agreeing with that ! But in the previous post you wrote "the laws of physics say no".

Rhys
 

lydian

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I think we are all vehemently agreeing with that ! But in the previous post you wrote "the laws of physics say no".

Rhys
Exactly. The question was "cleanly" which I interpreted as "perfectly". The answer is still no. A thumb mechanism will never work as "cleanly" as thumb plus finger. Bottom line is I'm not convinced the Yamaha mechanism is that far superior to any other or any better than using two fingers.

Like you, I've play lots of baris in the past 40 years. Most of them close all the bell keys with the low A. But are all of them closed really tightly, leak-free, so that I could hold out a pianissimo low A with the C# key still depressed for 16 bars? Probably not. I'd definitely move my pinky to the Bb in that case no matter what horn I was playing.

Spending 10 grand (USD) on a new Yamaha is not a better long term solution than simply moving your pinky.
 
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Colin the Bear

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Before criticising any low A baritone one should try a weltklang. They all have better actions.
 

Stephen Howard

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Before criticising any low A baritone one should try a weltklang. They all have better actions.
Actually, the ONE good thing about them is that they have dual low A mechanisms. As well as the thumb key you also get an extra key on the bell key table. It's a sort of 'belt and braces' design - which I rather like. Mind you, you damn well need it on the Weltklang - but on a modern horn it would be well worth having.
 

lydian

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Oh, do tell why. I'm all ears.
Well it appears to be the same as my Yani. Plus I've played even better ones in the past. In the 70's I had a bari with a low A on the pinky table like the Weltklang (I don't remember the make). The Wilmington has a far superior low A to Yamaha's.

At the end of the day, all of them have to close the 4 largest bell keys with just the force of your thumb. The only way to get more mechanical advantage is to make the lever longer. But the longer the lever, the further the travel and the slower the action. So everybody has to make their lever fairly short in order to keep the travel reasonable.

But if you and the OP think $10k will solve his problem, go for it.
 

lydian

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Is it really? In what way?
The only difference is the Yani is linked to the A which is linked to the Bb and so on. The Yamaha has separate linkages for A and Bb. Same total force divided among all the bell keys in both cases. I agree the Yamaha is elegant and more adjustable, but the same force is required on both.
 

Stephen Howard

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but the same force is required on both.
No it isn't. And there's a really very simple reason why. Can you tell us what it is?
Can you also explain the difference in setting up the Yani bell key mech as opposed to the Yamaha? What considerations would apply to one, but less so to the other?
 

lydian

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No it isn't. And there's a really very simple reason why. Can you tell us what it is?
Can you also explain the difference in setting up the Yani bell key mech as opposed to the Yamaha? What considerations would apply to one, but less so to the other?
I can’t because that statement is false. Why don’t you tell us.
 

lydian

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It’s false because the sum of forces is the same in both cases. It’s just divided differently in the cascading setup than in the split setup. To set up the Yani, every lever has to be perfectly bent or corked for every pad to precisely close. The Yamaha has adjustment screws, which is far easier and much more likely to stay in adjustment.
 

Stephen Howard

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It’s false because the sum of forces is the same in both cases. It’s just divided differently in the cascading setup than in the split setup. To set up the Yani, every lever has to be perfectly bent or corked for every pad to precisely close. The Yamaha has adjustment screws, which is far easier and much more likely to stay in adjustment.
The sum of the forces isn't the same - it ought to be obvious why.

Your explanation of the setup is, frankly, complete whitewash - the sort of thing one might find on, say, Wikipedia.
It bears sod all relation to the actual process of setting up the bell keys on a bari.
Now, I'm more than happy - eager even - to discuss the finer points of bari bell key mechs, but unless you understand the inherent complexities involved I'm not going to waste my time.
My apologies if this sound rather brusque, but folks who quote mechanics verbatim are ten a penny on the web - the real debate to be had is with people who have an innate understanding of the practicalities.
 

lydian

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Sure, I'm up for it. It's been over 40 years since my last physics class. But I do remember how levers work. If you can make some diagrams of both systems, I'm sure I can follow the torque calculations.

Keep in mind, you're arguing with someone who only has experience with the mathematics. I'm not a repair technician. If my horn needs adjustments, I just bend things or add cork/felt until it works. I have no tools or expertise whatsoever.
 

Stephen Howard

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Sure, I'm up for it. It's been over 40 years since my last physics class. But I do remember how levers work. If you can make some diagrams of both systems, I'm sure I can follow the torque calculations.

Keep in mind, you're arguing with someone who only has experience with the mathematics. I'm not a repair technician. If my horn needs adjustments, I just bend things or add cork/felt until it works. I have no tools or expertise whatsoever.
You make the diagrams. You're the one arguing that the Yamaha mech isn't superior. I've spent the last 45+ years setting up bari bell key mechs - if you want to assert that the Yamaha mech is no better than any other, prove it.
And if you know how levers work you should have a head start.
Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of respect for mathematicians, physicists etc. - but if you approach a horn with the misguided assumption that it's a perfect machine, you're in for a good many nasty surprises.
 

lydian

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You make the diagrams. You're the one arguing that the Yamaha mech isn't superior. I've spent the last 45+ years setting up bari bell key mechs - if you want to assert that the Yamaha mech is no better than any other, prove it.
And if you know how levers work you should have a head start.
Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of respect for mathematicians, physicists etc. - but if you approach a horn with the misguided assumption that it's a perfect machine, you're in for a good many nasty surprises.
In that case our discussion will have to end here. I only have access to a Yani. I'd have to get my hands on a Yamaha and take measurements to make the diagrams. I'll concede that the Yamaha mechanism is superior and a much more efficient and elegant design. The Yani feels like mush, and the Yamaha feels very precise. But I won't concede that the total forces are any different. And yes, that statement comes from a purely theoretical standpoint, not a practical one.
 

Stephen Howard

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The Yani feels like mush, and the Yamaha feels very precise. But I won't concede that the total forces are any different.
They'd have to be, that's what the mushiness is all about - you're using extra force to overcome the opposing force provided by the flex in the keywork.
 

turf3

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I think Steve's got it right on this one.

Let's say you're going to close all three of the bell key pads on a low A horn with one key (disregard the C#).

Just before the first pad closes, you're working against all three springs (Plus the "tabbed" G#).

Now your first pad closes. Now to get the second pad closed, you've got to flex the first pad mechanism (combination of bending and torsion of the metal parts, plus compression of cork/felt). Once you've got the second pad closed, to get the third one closed you've got to flex the second pad mech, and you've got to flex the first pad mech a bit more.

On the other hand, if all three pads hit the tone holes at EXACTLY the same time, you're only working against the needle springs.

The amount of force to close a key a small amount (say, 0.1 mm) against its spring is a lot less than the amount of force required to twist-bend-compress-cork to move that same pad the same amount by flexure of the machinery.

Personally I have done considerable modifications to my baritone and bass saxes to stiffen up those long flexy keys. Generally the mechanical design of those long keys is pretty bad, and of course with the Selmer style tilting low Bb a whole additional collection of bits with their own slop and flexiness is added.

At any rate, let's keep this civil, hey?
 

Stephen Howard

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I think Steve's got it right on this one.
Oh, I know I have ;)

I was once asked to restore a Marzoli bassoon. It was one of only three made with Boehm system keywork. My brief was to get it up and running for a lecture/concert tour. But it just didn't work. The idea was fantastic, but the mechanics were abysmal - even when all the play in the keywork had been eliminated, there were keys you could fully press down at one end of the instrument...and absolutely nothing happened at the other end. It all got lost in the flex.
 

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