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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I am a bari player and I've got all that taken care of but I'm trying to get myself a tenor for various reasons. I found one that from what I've played of it is okay and suits my needs I THINK but it was a very short playtest and I didn't even have time to break out the tuner, but the sweet thing is the asking price is dirt-cheap so I'd really like to get it - after playtesting it more, of course.

The only problem is that the previous owner must have drank while playing or something because it absolutley reeks of alcohol and the (bad IMO) flavor goes up through my own mouthpiece and is absolutely disgusting.

Is there any thing that can be done about this?
 

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I had that same issue with tobacco.

Great horn, just reeked of tobacco you could see leaves falling out of it when you flipped it upside down. It was pretty bad.
I just took it in for an overhaul, with an ultrasound cleaning. it took the smell out. But some of the smell also remained in the pads, so I had to get a repad as well. And since I was diong that much I just went for the full overhaul. Definately much better.

I'm not sure about the pads on the sax your looking at, but a through professional cleaning will clean it up of the smell.
 

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If the smell really is alcohol, then leave the caes open in a well ventilated place and the smell will go away inside a couple of days...

Sadly this is not likely, more probably it is another smell which you associate with alcohol - possibly tobacco - these can be much more persistent - but a good clean (and if needed a re-pad) will sort it.
 

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Perhaps waterproofing or sealing the pads would help lock down the smell?

There are various types of "pad dope" on the market.

Might not be 100% - but it's cheap - and may work. What have you got to lose anyhow?


Beyond that - have you tried disassebling the horn and giving the bore a good bath yet? That may help as much if not more.
 

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An effective process requires:
- Disassemble the horn
- Soak and clean (I use "Simple Green" in the bathtub and have a variety of brushes and swabs to clena all the grunge away.
- Wipe all the pads with naphtha or isopropyl and remove all visible grunge
- Clean rods and pivots and assemble with new grease as typical

Takes 3-4 hours if you've done it before...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DougR said:
If the smell really is alcohol, then leave the caes open in a well ventilated place and the smell will go away inside a couple of days...

Sadly this is not likely, more probably it is another smell which you associate with alcohol - possibly tobacco - these can be much more persistent - but a good clean (and if needed a re-pad) will sort it.
Well, the owner is fairly certain it is alcohol, so I'll go ahead and try leaving it open for a few days.
If that doesn't work I'll try some of the other things.

Thanks everyone :)
 

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Are you sure the smell is alcohol, and not all the OTHER components of an alcoholic drink, - the malt, esters, whatever.
 

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Grumps said:
I concur. A booze stench might be a better way to put it.
Makes me think of when I do church gigs and the smell of the bar I played in the night before comes wafting out of my horn into the congregation. I just tell them it is the smell of brimstone and it will pass after a couple of tunes.
 
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