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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Martin alto, and a Yamaha alto. After work today, I got to the practice studio and decided to take the Martin, after playing tenor or my Yamaha alto recently. I was also playing around with three different mouthpieces, after sticking with the same one for a couple of years.

So, I was switching reeds and mouthpieces for half an hour on the Martin alto, and after a while it became difficult to play the low notes - they kept jumping up the octave. Tried another mouthpiece, and another ... same thing. Changed reeds, same thing again.

Then I took the same reed and mouthpiece, put it on a Yamaha 280 - it played fine, no problem with the low notes. Tried it on my own YAS62 - same again - it played fine.

Here's the thing - before I tried the Martin again, I remember fooling around with the neck a little, before putting the mouthpiece back on; also I was opening the octave key on the crook; but the main thing is that I think I adjusted the placement of the neck a bit, i.e. I turned it to a slightly different position.

Anyway, the result was I could now play down to bottom B flat, on the Martin, same as on the Yamahas.

Any explanations as to what might have happened here?
 

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You accidentally fixed a leak. I assume you're aware that a leak anywhere on the horn can act as an octave vent and cause a low note to jump to the next octave (acoustically, this is easy on a saxophone anyway, due to the conical bore, so leaks can be deadly). A neck tenon can leak if it's not perfectly round or is not sealing tightly for some other reason. Turning the tenon may have improved the seal.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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I’m guessing it was one of the octave keys that wasn’t closing all the way. Very easy to fix
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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When at rest, there has to be some sort of gap, small or smaller, between the neck key and the "arm" that operates it.

Ideally the geometry should be such that that gaap; does not change when the neck is turned a little. Most manufacturers do not seem to appreciate that.

Probable scenario: The gap is quite small. You turned the neck. The gap vanished, and that made the neck key open ever so slightly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to you all. Anyway, I'd like to take this to a tech. for a quick check, and service, if needed. time and money, though ....
 
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