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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey saxo lovers!

Here is Pat Luneau from Montréal, Qc. CAN.

I'm about to repad a tenor Armstrong ELKHART-IND USA sax (N170XXX) and I'm not quite sure what pad set I should get to fit this horn...

I'm presently looking on Musicmedic.com for a set : Replacement Pad sets for Tenor Saxophone

-Do you think the basic "Armstrong Replacement pad set for tenor sax" on this site will fit???

Thanks a lot
cheers!
 

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Measure the inside of your key cups and compare those to the measurements listed in the kit.
If they match up within reason then it would work.
 
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Best results will be had by measuring all the pad cups (inside). Best practice would be to measure with calipers, at two crossed diameters, then average, then pick the standard size closest, but if between two, pick the smaller.

Manufacturers change key cup sizes all the time, and Armstrong never even made any saxophones so you're at the mercy of whichever manufacturer made your particular saxophone.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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Measure the inside of your key cups and compare those to the measurements listed in the kit.
If they match up within reason then it would work.
Unfortunately, MusicMedic (which the OP linked to) does not list the sizes of pads in its kits, nor do most other sellers of pad sets.

As bandmommy and turf3 indicated, to ensure a fit you'll have to create your own pad set recipe by measuring the key cups. The good thing about ordering a pad set via recipe from MusicMedic is that they'll allow you to swap out up to 5 pads (without your having to return the originals) if they wind up not fitting.

I'd also amend turf3's recommendation to suggest that you order the larger of the two sizes if you get inconsistent measurements, especially for the larger pads. The reason for this is that the pads will easily compress by 0.5mm (which is the distance between MusicMedic's pad sizes) and thus it's easier to accurately float a pad that's slightly too large than one that is slightly too small. Moreover, if the pads' leather distorts a bit as a result of squishing, you can always iron them out with a pad slick.
 

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Alternatively, you could also try sending MusicMedic an inquiry regarding your particular horn. They likely have a record of which horn the pad recipe was measured from and, in my experience at least, they are pretty responsive.
 

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Unfortunately, MusicMedic (which the OP linked to) does not list the sizes of pads in its kits, nor do most other sellers of pad sets.

As bandmommy and turf3 indicated, to ensure a fit you'll have to create your own pad set recipe by measuring the key cups. The good thing about ordering a pad set via recipe from MusicMedic is that they'll allow you to swap out up to 5 pads (without your having to return the originals) if they wind up not fitting.

I'd also amend turf3's recommendation to suggest that you order the larger of the two sizes if you get inconsistent measurements, especially for the larger pads. The reason for this is that the pads will easily compress by 0.5mm (which is the distance between MusicMedic's pad sizes) and thus it's easier to accurately float a pad that's slightly too large than one that is slightly too small. Moreover, if the pads' leather distorts a bit as a result of squishing, you can always iron them out with a pad slick.
My apologies. It's been a long while since I've purchased pads. The last time I did the pad 'sizes' and number of each included in the 'kit' were listed.
If the option is available to order pads a la carte that might be the better way to go. At least if you have reasonably accurate measurements of the key cups.
 

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If I recall correctly the price for a pad set where you specify each pad is either the same or almost so, as a pad set where they specify each pad.

In this particular case, given that Armstrong branded saxophones were supplied by multiple manufacturers, I wouldn't do anything other than measuring each one.
 

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If I recall correctly the price for a pad set where you specify each pad is either the same or almost so, as a pad set where they specify each pad.
Yes, that's correct. At MusicMedic at least, they are sold at exactly the same price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you everyone! Very appreciated
I will mesure the whole thing and get myself a set "à la carte" !! :)
 

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Alternatively, you could also try sending MusicMedic an inquiry regarding your particular horn. They likely have a record of which horn the pad recipe was measured from and, in my experience at least, they are pretty responsive.
I totally agree. I know that they carry the complete set of pads for my Buescher 1929 TT Alto. Someday, I may get around to ordering them. I'm sure that an email would give you a better idea of your options.
 

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Pre put together " sets" are one of the most unreliable way to buy pads, the actual chance that you will end up with wrong pads is very high.

there are MANY threads on how to measure keycups (much better and more reliable than measuring the pad

Measuring key cups
Ordering pad size question
There Is An Easier Way To Measure Pads
Measuring Pad Cups

I HAVE bought a set of Buescher pads for a TT and my tech said that only one fitted the saxophone as it should have , I sent the set back

even when ordering pads to measure make sure that you verify the fitting

I take the pads out, measure the inside of the cup with a digital caliper and order from MusicMedic. Sometimes a cup will be iffy and not sure so I order one of each (a bit larger and a bit smaller) as it is better to end up with a few extra pads than to be stuck one pad short.
 

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I'm in the middle of installing pads in my Beaugnier/Vito Model 37. I measured every key, in some case multiple times due to the key cup being not quite round, and ordered double the number of pads (that is, 2 for every cup). In one case, I ordered two sizes, as Bruce described. I am using the Music Medic tan pads.

I'm glad I did order multiples, because
a) I'm a clumsy oaf and ruined one pad (so far)
b) more importantly, often one of the pads fits better

Because of the natural materials that pads are made from (just like reeds) they will vary slightly from pad to pad. I'm talking about a tenth or two of a millimeter here. So for example, a nominal 25.5 mm pad might be 25.4 or 25.6 mm, and if your pad cup is slightly off 25.5, one of the two will fit better. A 25.4mm pad in a 25.6mm cup will be just a tad loose. It will probably work OK, but it will be a little harder to work with because it won't tuck firmly into the cup.
 

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I'm in the middle of installing pads in my Beaugnier/Vito Model 37. I measured every key, in some case multiple times due to the key cup being not quite round, and ordered double the number of pads (that is, 2 for every cup). In one case, I ordered two sizes, as Bruce described. I am using the Music Medic tan pads.

I'm glad I did order multiples, because
a) I'm a clumsy oaf and ruined one pad (so far)
b) more importantly, often one of the pads fits better

Because of the natural materials that pads are made from (just like reeds) they will vary slightly from pad to pad. I'm talking about a tenth or two of a millimeter here. So for example, a nominal 25.5 mm pad might be 25.4 or 25.6 mm, and if your pad cup is slightly off 25.5, one of the two will fit better. A 25.4mm pad in a 25.6mm cup will be just a tad loose. It will probably work OK, but it will be a little harder to work with because it won't tuck firmly into the cup.
I don't know if MM changed their pad policy. The last time I ordered from them, the policy was that if some of the 'set' doesn't fit properly, they will send you up to five more - and you don't have to return anything. Perhaps someone could confirm this.
 

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I don't know if MM changed their pad policy. The last time I ordered from them, the policy was that if some of the 'set' doesn't fit properly, they will send you up to five more - and you don't have to return anything. Perhaps someone could confirm this.
Yes, see my note in post #4 of this thread.
 

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Yes, they'll allow you to return mis-sized pads, but it's a lot easier to just order the correct ones in the first place. Beside that, you have to know which manufacturer made this Armstrong and which of their models it's copied from - I've seen them made by B&S, Keilwerth, and Conn (I think), and I bet there are other manufacturers in the Armstrong bucket too.
 

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Yes, they'll allow you to return mis-sized pads, but it's a lot easier to just order the correct ones in the first place. Beside that, you have to know which manufacturer made this Armstrong and which of their models it's copied from - I've seen them made by B&S, Keilwerth, and Conn (I think), and I bet there are other manufacturers in the Armstrong bucket too.
I think that Randyfast meant to point this out specifically in response to skeller's suggestion to buy two sets of pads (i.e., not in response to the suggestion of forgoing pad cup measurements).
 

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OK I see.

For small horns the pads are cheap enough that ordering two of each isn't prohibitively expensive, but for baritone or special pads it can be pricey. Advantage is that should you mess up a pad you can just proceed with the job rather than putting it on hold.
 

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Right. Even for tenor, it's pricey enough (> $50) that I wouldn't buy a second full set if I only planned on doing one horn. However, I do sometimes order extras for pads that I'm uncertain about.
However, as I mentioned above, for the larger (and more expensive) pads, I've learned to simply size up to the next largest half millimeter. It's no problem getting those larger pads to compress, and it's a hell of a lot easier than floating a pad that's slightly too small.

I should also add that MusicMedic is wicked fast on turnaround, in my experience. If you order early enough, they ship on the same day, and I typically receive my orders (in NJ) within 2-3 days. So the wait hasn't really been a problem for me.
 

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Just to add on to my post about sizes, the pads that are a smidge too small (they fall out) do fill the cup completely. I think the next size up would be too big. I measured very carefully, and I do know how to use a caliper...

If I had a dozen of each size I am sure that I could find one that would fit better. Or maybe a dozen of the next size up, and find a really small one.

I agree with mmichel that it's pricey - it was about $120 for the two sets for my alto, which included a couple of extra pads because I was unsure enough on the size to buy a couple of the next size up. Turned out the extras weren't needed, but that added only $10 or so to the total.

I also agree about MusicMedic turnaround times - I ordered on a Saturday night, and the pads were here on Wednesday, in California.
 
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