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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I'm new to this site - thanks for all the useful answers!
This morning I found that the octave key on my YAS52 functions fine all by itself, but as soon as I depress other keys along with the octave, it works for a split second, then the lever suddenly drops onto the hole...(while my thumb is still on the key of course) the joints and pads are all in good shape, as seems the lever's spring when it's activated by itself. Any good ideas?
Thanks again for any input - play some for me today :O(
Anne
 

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Hi Anne

That's normal - there are two octave pads - the one on top of the crook and one further down on the body. They switch over automatically when you play G and below (with the octave thumb lever depressed) - it's called an automatic octave mechanism, as older saxes used to have separate thumb levers for this task.

Although auto mechanisms have been around since - I can't remember - 1920s, earlier? - some adverts for new saxes still tout 'automatic octave mechanism' as if it's a selling point!

So your sax is okay. I would say that I have found some of my students' Yamahas to go out of adjustment on the octave mechanism rather quickly, just keep an eye on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
octave key -again

yes, I saw that mechanism; but since today pressing the octave key turns out a squeak rather than the octave note I'm trying to play..
If the lever happens to stay off the hole, it works fine.....?!?!
Thanks for answering!
 

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try oiling it quite heavily and work it in well by flicking between a and g with the octave key pressed, if necessary pushing the secondary octave pad open in closed with a high g fingered.
good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
octave key

Thanks Sgt!
I had oiled it, but I haven't tried the A-G switch.
I'll let you know if it works. Thanks again!
 

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You might try checking to see if the lower octave vent pad is sticking a bit - slow to open. If so try cleaning it by sliding a folded bank note between the hole and the pad, closing the pad then pulling the bank note out. Failing that a small amount of pad powder on a cigarette rolling paper (powder side sgainst the pad of course!) may do the job - but make sure the pad is dry first.

It may need a little adjustment of the automatic octave mechanism as a whole - a small amount of bending of the bottom of the crook lever - where it sits in front of the lever of the octave mechanism on the body - may help - be careful though. Otherwise, a repairer would check and adjust it for you for a nominal sum. At the same time, maybe someone could check the whole regulation of the sax.
 

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RedmanFan said:
Hi everyone! I'm new to this site - thanks for all the useful answers!
This morning I found that the octave key on my YAS52 functions fine all by itself, but as soon as I depress other keys along with the octave, it works for a split second, then the lever suddenly drops onto the hole...(while my thumb is still on the key of course) the joints and pads are all in good shape, as seems the lever's spring when it's activated by itself. Any good ideas?
Thanks again for any input - play some for me today :O(
Anne
Just for clarification;

When you go from high A to high G, there is a temporary pause before the neck octave key drops onto the vent hole on the neck, correct? If so,

It sounds like the teflon wrapping on the outside of the clear vinyl tubing on the top of the octave shift lever is missing and there is just enough friction between the neck octave key and the vinyl tubing on the shift lever to make it hang up. Technicians and players alike have cursed this set-up for decades as that thin teflon wrap always stretches and falls off in given time.

If you think this is a possibility, take a piece of scotch-tape 1" long and wrap it around the clear vinyl tubing at the top end of the octave shift lever making sure there is no seam or tear in the tape where the octave key engages it. If it then works ok, your problem is resolved and it's an easy permanent fix for an experienced tech. Let us know how you make out. There are a lot of other potential problems, but this is an easy one to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
octave key

Dear Sax67+SgtSax,
thanks to both of you - I'm back in business!!
I oiled all the hinges again, did the A/G switch and worked on the lower octave hole..
thanks for all the tips. You guys are great! Hope someday I can help you in any way! ... I'm glad to burn my Redman CDs for you ;0)
Anne
 

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I've read all this thread and the other linked one about the mechanics of the octave key with great interest and still have some questions that I hope one of you will be able to answer.

I have a Kessler Solist alto which is a knockoff of a Yani 991 (if only it were a real Yani). If you're not familiar with the octave key setup it has a fairly large diameter flat metal thumb rest with the octave key up to the right curving between 12 and 3 on the clock. It is raised slightly higher than the level of the thumbrest so that the tip of the thumb is resting on it already and therefore theoretically doesn't require much more than the thumbtip to provide downward flexation or movement to depress the key. How much of the thumb to put on the key is however one thing I still haven't worked out, because the unequal amount of pressure needed to operate the two octave pads requires me to put more of the ball over the key to get more movement when playing A and above than G and below. At the expense of overexplaining this to you I'll break it down in detail.

1st issue:

When playing the body key notes (D2 to G2) I don't have to depress the key even half way to being level with the thumb rest for the body pad to open, although if it is depressed all the way the pad opens to its maximum. It opens with just a small bit of pressure with my thumbtip and in fact that sometimes causes an inadvertent squeak. I've thought of raising the level of the thumb button slightly with a thin piece of stick-on mouthpiece protecter cut to fit and wonder if that would solve the problem and is adviseable or something that others ever do?

Secondly, the big question is, will the 2nd octave play properly as long as the pad is open even a minor amount, or do I have to depress the key all the way and have the pad fully opened (against the bumper) to get proper tone on the note? In other words do I need to really flex my thumb more?

2nd issue:

When I play A and above, and the body pad and neck pad switch, the pad doesn't open with that same minor amount of downward thumb tip pressure, but requires being depressed almost all the way. So I have to flex my thumb more or even move more of the ball onto the rest. This is apparently due to the distance that the vertical rod that operates the neck mechanism has to travel before it touches and engages the neck key lever. Playing the two octave pad ranges is therefore unbalanced because the neck rod mechanism has to take up slack air space tin the linkage o play A and above that doesn't exist in the mechanics of playing G and below.

It seems to me that having so much slack isn't correct and there must be a way to balance the two by adjusting this and move the rod cthe mechanism so the rod is closer to the neck lever therefore removing that slack. I may even have seen that written somewhere, but I wonder if can it be done by turning some screws rather than bending the rod? I imagine at any rate that it requires a professional to do it because I wouldn't want to try it myself and screw things up worse. Actually, how close can the body rod and the neck lever be to each other without causing any other type of problem such as binding or being damaged when taking the neck on and off?

Sorry for being so detailed and any advice or help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
 

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Jazz Is All said:
I imagine at any rate that it requires a professional to do it because I wouldn't want to try it myself and screw things up worse.

Sorry for being so detailed and any advice or help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
I think you answered your own question(s) and gave yourself some good advice. ;) For an experienced tech, we can fix this problem faster and easier than we can type a lengthy and questionable repair solution here. I think there are a few different minor problems happening (not happening actually) in conjuntion with each other, from bent keys, to adjustments (no screw-type adjustments here), to balancing spring tensions. IMO... :)
 

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I agree. Far to complicated an issue to describe here, without the particular sax in front of us to analyse. There could be many contrributing factors which you are not aware of, such as sloppy linkages and pivots, and what Jerry mentioned.

In general, if an octave vent opens say 2 or 3 mm (depending on vent diameter and design), it does not matter how much MORE it opens. As with everything, there may be exceptions.
 

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JerryJamz2 said:
I agree. Far to complicated an issue to describe here, without the particular sax in front of us to analyse. There could be many contrributing factors which you are not aware of, such as sloppy linkages and pivots, and what Jerry mentioned.
Thanks Jerry and Gordon for your answers. :) I understand that without seeing how the octave pads operate you can’t really say much. However, since this is a new horn which presumably was adjusted by Kessler before shipping 2 months ago, I’d like to figure out if there even is a problem to be fixed or just that the opening of the two octave pads feel different on my thumb. :? It isn’t that the sax has any problems playing the second octave (the pip pads aren’t leaking or sticking) and in fact I can adjust my thumb action to accommodate the difference in thumb key movement that I have noticed.

So I hope you’ll bear with me, because I measured the distance the thumb key travels before engaging and then opening the pads covering each pip hoping that it will be enough data for you to go on in order to say if they are out of adjustment or within acceptable tolerances.

As best as I can measure with a simple metric ruler, the body pad travels 1 mm before I feel the linkage engage the pad lever; the slightest further pressure pops it open with a distinct click so it is open half the maximum distance it can go after 2 mm of thumb key movement. The pad reaches its maximum opening off the pip (which is about 1.5-2 mm) when the thumb key is pressed to its maximum range of 3 mm. The neck pad on the other hand doesn’t begin to open until the thumb key has traveled 2 mm and needs the full 3 mm of thumb key travel for the pad to open fully (about the same distance as the other) off the pip. There is no feeling of it snapping open by itself and it seems to need steady thumb pressure to open it.

Given the above, although you can’t see the instrument, maybe you can answer the following questions:

1) On a properly adjusted sax do the octave pads have exactly the same opening parameters, so that either the body pad linkage or the neck pad linkage will engage and open the pad in the same manner and amount of time and distance travel of the thumb key, despite the differences in their linkages?

2) If that is the case, what are acceptable tolerances for them to differ and is my sax within that range or outside of it? The difference between the two is only about 1mm but that amount has a distinctly different feel to it and requires more thumb for the notes about G than for those below it.

3) If my octave keys are outside the acceptable range of difference, how serious a problem is it really and what effects might it have on playing the sax? Is it a big enough problem to be worth sending it back to Kessler or taking it to a tech?

I really will appreciate any light you might be able to shed on the matter. Thanks.:)
 

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Jazz Is All said:
So I hope you’ll bear with me, because I measured the distance the thumb key travels before engaging and then opening the pads covering each pip hoping that it will be enough data for you to go on in order to say if they are out of adjustment or within acceptable tolerances.

Is it a big enough problem to be worth sending it back to Kessler or taking it to a tech?

I really will appreciate any light you might be able to shed on the matter. Thanks.:)
Definately take it to a tech Jazz. Why frustrate yourself and take the risk of damaging it or making the problems worse by messing with it yourself? If the dealer is local it will/should be no charge. Either way it should be an easy and cheap fix for a tech with some experience. There is a fine line betwen "out of adjustment" and "within acceptable tolerances". Measurements really don't help me help you. (I'm also not familiar with that brand/model, but I've dealt with practically every brand/model/type of octave mech there is/was.) This is the part (the last 5%) which is not answerable even with the detailed information you provided. Occasionally there are octave mechanisms on models that we see regularly, that are real buggers to figure out and repair easily/quickly. Anything advised here would be a guess at best, and I don't feel comfortable with that, especially if you can get it to a local tech. I'm not sure of an answer, so it would make no sense. Perhaps Gordon can further refine your search better than I, but please consider taking it to a tech ASAP. ;) I'll be curious how you make out. Best of luck.
 

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"...As best as I can measure with a simple metric ruler, the body pad travels 1 mm before I feel the linkage engage the pad lever..."

You have lost me already. You need to say what you are pressing to make this happen, before it has meaning.

"...The neck pad on the other hand doesn't begin to open until the thumb key has travelled 2 mm..." Likewise. Are you starting with all fingers off, then pressing the thumb lever, or are you changing from second octave G to A.

If the former, and it bothers you, then the first step is to observe exactly where that lost motion occurs before the neck key operates. I think for this sax we can probably assume the pivots and linkages have little play, so the most likely cause is that the tech has left a little more than perhaps necessary gap between the neck key and the lever that operates it. That is understandable, because some players like to turn the neck around at a different angle, and this often means that this gap reduces (unless the tech goes to the trouble of altering the geometry of this linkage.. most manufacturers seem not to strive for an ideal!)

If this gap is too great, then it can be reduced by judicious bending of the neck key. This may have other consequences though, such as the neck pad not sufficiently closing for G# and below. And if you don't bend it carefully, you may well do other damage to the key. Really, as has been said, this is an area that you should leave well alone, unless you fully understand how that entire mechanism works, and the repercussions of altering anything.

On a Yamaha, it is most likely that a technician could have corrected the issue within 20 seconds, so labouring the issue here is not really productive. I gave you a link for instructions if you want to diagnose and do it yourself. What more can I offer?
 
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