Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I recently purchased an early SBA tenor and have encountered a warble in the low D. I have tried the good old cork-in-bow trick and there was no improvement. No leaks appear with a light and I can whisper a low Bb, B, and C. The springs seem to have enough tension and I've tried three different mouthpieces. The cork on the neck is a little compressed, but I've made modifications to fill the mouthpiece gap on my NY 8.

Has anyone had this experience with an early SBA?
What might be causing this?

I'm horrified that I have a lemon, here. My series iii was extremely even and i'm finding this motor-boating SBA frustrating.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,285 Posts
Nichola: Welcome to SOTW. There could be a variety of reasons but the one answer I always seem to find for low-end motorboating (warbles, whatever they are called) is that somewhere, somehow, the horn has a leak. Regardless of past checks, I'm betting the situation was missed. Neck socket, upper-end pad leaks, improperly closing G#, etc., etc. - somewhere that horn has a leak. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
Nichola: Welcome to SOTW. There could be a variety of reasons but the one answer I always seem to find for low-end motorboating (warbles, whatever they are called) is that somewhere, somehow, the horn has a leak. Regardless of past checks, I'm betting the situation was missed. Neck socket, upper-end pad leaks, improperly closing G#, etc., etc. - somewhere that horn has a leak. DAVE
+1! Check especially the LH palm keys --a tiny leak there may affect D more than the lower notes-- and the neck socket.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
+1 to Dave & Alain.

Some players have an inappropriate mouthpiece &/or embouchure &/or breath pressure. This puts the tuning/scale out of wack, so they band-aid this by putting the mouthpiece in an extreme position which the sax was never designed for. This is another possible cause of burbling on low notes.

Also: I once worked on a sax and just could not get rid of the burble. In despair, I took it to a top local player. He used my mouthpiece and just could not make it burble. l I conclude from that during all my testing I had simply taught myself to get very good at making a sax burble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your responses everyone! This seems to be a wonderful community.

I have been playing the saxophone for about 16 years and have only played horns from the 80's and beyond. I might be on a vintage learning curve here, but I believe any quality saxophone in good adjustment (such as the iconic SBA) should flow and be flexible through all registers. I HOPE, HOPE, HOPE, that this is a leak issue. I'll take my horn to my tech this weekend for another sweep.

Thanks again everyone!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,285 Posts
Nichola: Before you do that (and I think you should), I always advise players with your problem to take the horn into good light (like outside in the sunshine), sit down, and slowly look closely at each tone hole, top to bottom as you work every note and their alternatives. Look for a hair or other debris stuck on a tone-hole edge, look to see if there is ANY inappropriate movement, look at each pad's facing, look to see if every pad closes when it should - and to what extent it closes, etc.

I've done this many times over the years and have been able to either eliminate the problem OR isolate it for the repair-tech. DAVE
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
211 Posts
+1 to Dave & Alain.

Some players have an inappropriate mouthpiece &/or embouchure &/or breath pressure. This puts the tuning/scale out of wack, so they band-aid this by putting the mouthpiece in an extreme position which the sax was never designed for. This is another posdsible cause of burbling on low notes.

Also: I once worked on a sax and just could not get rid of the burble. In despair, I took it to a top local player. He used my mouthpiece and just could not make it burble. l I conclude from that during all my testing I had simply taught myself to get very good at making a sax burble.

I have also had this problem with an alto when using a high baffle mouthpiece and a hard reed - low B liked to warble. Fixed with a different mouthpiece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
A "classic" reason for causing motorboating, that hasn`t been mentioned yet, I think, lies in weak spring tensions of low Eb and low C#.

If you play low notes, the airpressure (?) may lead to short existing leaks in those pads, because the springs don`t keep the keycups shut properly. You won`t see this kind of "functional" leaks with a leaklight.

Giving more tension to these springs may help...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,464 Posts
Also a leak in the Body to Bow or Bow to Bell connections. This can cause lots of pesky little problems.

I wouldn't worry about it as this is always a fixable problem ... can be pesky and time consuming, but it's fixable.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
A "classic" reason for causing motorboating, that hasn`t been mentioned yet, I think, lies in weak spring tensions of low Eb and low C#.

If you play low notes, the air pressure (?) may lead to short existing leaks in those pads, because the springs don`t keep the keycups shut properly. You won`t see this kind of "functional" leaks with a leaklight.

Giving more tension to these springs may help...
As far as low D is concerned, spring tension in low C# would be irrelevant, and spring tension of Eb highly likely to be relevant (because there is not much air pressure oscillation there.)

But yes, check spring tension for side F#, side Bb, side C. (for diagnosis, get a third party to hold them firmly shut.)
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
I find it a bit odd that it is D that burbles. Burbles are usually worst around low C or B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
Have you checked the left hand G# ?
I think G# is an unlikely culprit: the situation would be worse for the lower notes, because C#,B and Bb depress G#. The pad above F is linked to G# to prevent its opening; if this linkage is not well set up, the situation would worsen as soon as you use the LH pinky table.
Because the problem is selective and does not affect the lower notes, it's probably a tiny leak in a place corresponding to a partial of D -a tiny leak or a porosity on palm key high D ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Hi everyone,

it was the compressed neck cork. Tim put new cork on and extended it to the end of the neck. Purrs like a beautiful jungle cat now.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,285 Posts
Interesting. Congrats on solving your problem. I've played on a variety of neck corks in my time and those which were too loose, I shimmed the cork/mouthpiece fit with paper or plumber's tape wrapped around the cork. I've never experienced the gurgles on a horn with a bad neck cork. I am not saying it can't happen. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Interesting. Congrats on solving your problem. I've played on a variety of neck corks in my time and those which were too loose, I shimmed the cork/mouthpiece fit with paper or plumber's tape wrapped around the cork. I've never experienced the gurgles on a horn with a bad neck cork. I am not saying it can't happen. DAVE
This was the first time paper, nor tape worked for me. I'm guessing it had to to with the size of my mp chamber, length of cork and playing on a smaller bore horns since I started (the perfect storm). I had a compressed cork on my series iii from classical playing and never had a problem using paper to fill the gap. very interesting.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top