The Difference Between Tenor Saxophones With and Without the High F# Key

The following is a guest post by Rheuben Allen.

Hi everyone, this is Rheuben. I’d like to talk to you very briefly about the difference between a tenor saxophone that has a F# and one that does not have a high F#.

Many people believe that the tenor without the high F# key responds better. It’s hard to prove this because you can’t take a tenor with no F# key, have somebody play it and then in 15 minutes put on a high F# key so that they can try it with the same reed, the same mouthpiece, the same player and do everything at the same time.

So the main thing about the high F# tenors that makes them not respond quite as well as one might think they should is that up here is the pad cup and down here is the spring [shows]. The spring is actually on a different key. It’s not on the key that it has to play, it’s on the lever, the part that works it. So, if you have a high F# tenor, and you think it’s not responding as well as you think it should, then you could possibly add a spring here at the top [shows] to hold the high F# key down. And that’s right at the top of the horn and that generally improves the saxophone quite a bit.

So that’s the difference between the high F# tenor and the F tenor. Everyone is entitled to believe what they believe, but I believe that if you put a spring up here [shows], you’re high F# tenor will respond much better. Thanks so much.

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Published by Rheuben Allen

Rheuben has been recognized worldwide as one of the premier saxophone and clarinet repairmen for many years. With over 40 years as a repairman Rheuben has turned his talents to the manufacturing of quality woodwinds and brass instruments. Rheuben's current project is the Rheuben Allen Education Foundation, Inc., set up to provide musical instruments to young students that cannot afford instruments and would otherwise not be able to play an instrument.