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.