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Split bell keys

ProfJames

Elementary member
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12,033
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Can someone explain what these are please? Is it purely for design or is it functional as well?
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
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2,601
Locality
West Midlands
This was common on 30's saxes,it is where you get bottom B and Bb cups/pads where split left and right on the bell instead of both inline as you get with new saxes today.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
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3,349
Locality
leicester
I found this via google - "Placing the bell keys on the left is easier to make from a keywork standpoint. Placing them on the right keeps them away from the leg if you play on the side. Placing them opposing on both sides (ie split) gives more strength on the tubing as the tone holes don't sit so close together"

not sure how accurate that explanation is, but split bell keys seem to have appeared at a certain stage of the saxophones evolution in the 1920's and then fallen out of favour...
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
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21,913
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Just north of Munich
My alto's got split bell keys. Another advantage is that when you play low Bb as the key move together in opposite directions, you don't get the sax moving like you do with both keys on the same side. It's really noticable when I play bari or tenor after it.
 
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