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I have two Altos that are the same model and vintage. Both are about 50 years old and while each has its own personality, they play great. While both necks appear identical, one doesn't seem to fit either horn as tightly as it should. It's not super loose in the body, but I cannot tighten it down completely. The neck can then still rotate. This makes me believe the connection suffers a small or micro leak. I have considered wrapping the neck with some thin tape to beef up the connection. This seems like a very temporary solution. Might work well for a few days but not for any meaningful duration.

I've asked my tech to stretch the neck so that it will fit better and while they did whatever magic they do to better fit the neck, it's still not what it should be. Maybe this is an unanswerable question without seeing the neck but I'll float it out there anyway. Can it be stretched to fit properly? Am I chasing a rainbow?
 

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Sometimes when either the tenon or receiver (or both) are slightly oval the fit can feel tight, but there can still be a leak. Another common issue is when a "bubble" forms at the base of the tightening slot caused by over tightening the neck rather than expanding the tenon which is the proper solution when the neck feels loose. The only way to insure that the neck fit is airtight is to check it with a Neck Checker also called a Neck Leak Isolator. If your tech doesn't have this tool, suggest that he buy one or find a new tech since it is essential for professional saxophone repair.
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Yes, this is a common fix that every sax player needs to have done. Just take it to the shop and get it done.
 

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Also, check for corrosion / crud build-up at the tenon "clamp", that is the slot that is tightened when you tighten the screw. I have seen that a few times and simply pulling a ~ 300 grit sand paper through the slot to remove the build-up sometimes fixes it. Do NOT try to open up the slot, you will get an uneven seat from top to bottom.
 

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I have two Altos that are the same model and vintage. Both are about 50 years old and while each has its own personality, they play great. While both necks appear identical, one doesn't seem to fit either horn as tightly as it should. It's not super loose in the body, but I cannot tighten it down completely. The neck can then still rotate. This makes me believe the connection suffers a small or micro leak. I have considered wrapping the neck with some thin tape to beef up the connection. This seems like a very temporary solution. Might work well for a few days but not for any meaningful duration.

I've asked my tech to stretch the neck so that it will fit better and while they did whatever magic they do to better fit the neck, it's still not what it should be. Maybe this is an unanswerable question without seeing the neck but I'll float it out there anyway. Can it be stretched to fit properly? Am I chasing a rainbow?
So the tech has already tried and failed? Is the neck original (as in “Do you know that it is a correct neck for that horn?”)

If it is the right neck, and the tech didn’t get it to work, they might not be the right shop for the job.

Take it back and talk to them. If they are not skilled with necks, find another tech. I’ve seen horns messed up by NAPBIRT-trained techs that just didn’t have enough experience with the correct tools. Not a knock on NAPBIRT, just to say that it happens.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
So the tech has already tried and failed? Is the neck original (as in “Do you know that it is a correct neck for that horn?”)

I'm pretty sure it's the right neck. The horns are old so I could be wrong, who knows? My regular tech took a quick shot at fixing it about six months ago while I waited. While the outcome was less than stellar they were cool enough to take a swing and didn't charge me. I can't really complain. After reading the comments here, I think he'll just need a bit more time with the old girl.
 
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