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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I have been negleting the C mel as of late...lots of Alto needs during the holiday season. Anyhow, i pulled her out again a couple of days ago and played through some scales and etudes to warm up. after a while, I noticed my low C, B and Bb are burbling...a lot. I have always had to open up the oral cavity on the low notes and think about them on this vintage horn but i just could not make the burble go away for the past couple of days. I leak lighted the horn yesterday and did find a slight leak on the G pad...adjusted it and thought, ahhh...that sould fix things...not :evil: Burble is still there. object in the bell does not make it go away either.
 

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Check the spring tension on Eb and the F# trill key, if the spring is weak, those keys can open a bit when playing the lower notes.
 

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I struggle with that with Tenor pieces on my '23 Conn C-mel. The problem disappeared when I switched to a large chamber alto piece. That also made a huge improvement in intonation.
 

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Yes, quite likely a leak. What leak light are you useing and hwo are you using it. Small leaks are not picked up unless you have strong local light under a pad, very little leaking light through neighbouring tone holes, and a dark room.

But:
B (and neighbouring notes less) is precarious for burbling on many saxes. (It's to do with acoustic design, I believe at least related to the bend in the bow, and also the location along the air column of the step from neck inner diameter, to mouthpiece inner diameter.)
Some mouthpieces exacerbate the problem.)
Some embouchure/breath pressure setups really exacerbate the problem, i.e. player. You can actually train yourself to get better at burbling. I did! ARe you out of practice on this instrument? Or have you been practicing burbling!
Pushing the mouthpiece on too far (or is that not far enough... I've forgotten) seriously exacerbates the problem on some instruments.

Dropping an object such as a wine cork, or mouthpiece cap down into the bow is often a good band-aid.
 

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These can be tough to track down...I often go through one key at a time, and use key clamps or rubber bands to really CLOSE each of the large lower keys in succession...see if it has impact.

I second the wine cork in the bow, as an independent (and simple) thing to try.

You can actually train yourself...often pushing yourself to use a slightly harder reed can force you to do the right things embouchre and air support-wise. Deep breath, more length of reed inside your mouth...also, play long tones and see what it takes to make the burble worse, then less, back and forth and you will start to feel what you are doing. Any horn (even in perfect playing condition) can be made to burble. I agree with Gordon....B, C, C# are always problematic...the worst case is curved sopranos, where the harder reed is often the best fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies.
I typically use one of those "string" leak lights in a dark room moving the lights as necessary to be near the tonehole I am checking. I know that over the years many have wedged the fork Eb vent closed but mine is working, has good spring pressure and doesnt show a leak but may be minor leak as pads are old '[new set still in box as I have procrastinated my overhaul]. I did slip an alto mpc [selmer LT] on and burble was mostly gone with it.

I think my microtuner leaks from time to time as the lockring probably needs to be tightened a bit; I can feel just a little movement up and down of the mouthpipe in relation to the neck itself however, if i remove the neck and cover one end and blow in it holds pressure so if leaking must be really minor.

I didnt drop a wine cork in but did slip the mouthpiece cap in originally and it didnt help the burble.

Perhaps, I just need to bite the bullet and tear her down, repad and start fresh.
 

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Thanks for all the replies.
I didnt drop a wine cork in …
Why not ? It worked on my NW I alto. You may well have a leak somewhere, but then again, you'll feel a bit of an idiot if you go to a techy only to be told that all you need do is drop a cork in, to change the airflow in the bell… Do the simple stuff first, ffs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why not ? It worked on my NW I alto. You may well have a leak somewhere, but then again, you'll feel a bit of an idiot if you go to a techy only to be told that all you need do is drop a cork in, to change the airflow in the bell… Do the simple stuff first, ffs.
I figured the mpc cap would do the same thing as the cork [of course, I could drink the wine first then deposit the cork--probably will not care if it burbles then...:)].

I will go over the horn again, and try the cork thing too...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your replies; i pulled the leak light out again last night and some magnifying glasses and found two very slight leaks. palm key Eb and alternate Bb side key were both leaking ever so slightly. I pressed them closed and the horn plays the low Bb, B, and C beautifully. I then used those keys and let them seat themselves...burble is back so i pressed them closed again and burble is gone...success. I plan on repadding the horn soon anyhow but just glad to have figured this out.
 

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What you call very slight leaks are probably what a technician calls large leaks. I call 0.0004" a leak worthy of attention.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What you call very slight leaks are probably what a technician calls large leaks. I call 0.0004" a leak worthy of attention.
True dat!
 
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