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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

The Bis key on my late 60s mark VI tenor is clicking. Eg When trilling between A and B.

I can see two points of contact between the Bis key and the horn - one just below the G# key cup and one just below the A touchpiece (sorry for describing these poorly - I'm sure you techs know all this anyway!!). If I slightly depress the A key the clicking stops, similarly if I slightly depress the F key the clicking stops too which makes me thing the clicking isn't coming from inadequate cork or felt at these points.

I've gone a bit mad trying to identify where the sound is coming from but no luck. Any advice greatly appreciated!

Thanks all!
 

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You need a new felt under the key where the A pearl is. Slightly depressing F keeps the Bis from opening fully and hitting the A above it.

My VI got to the point where the Bis was hitting/rubbing the B key as well. So I had to sand down the brass a little to create a small gap again. That could also be your issue. In my case it didn't really make any noise, but would sometimes cause the Bis to get stuck and close with the B.
 

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As mdavej indicated, this key often clicks when the pearl holder rubs against an adjacent pearl holder, usually the result of a small bend.
 

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As mdavej indicated, check to see if the pearl of the Bis key is making contact with the edge of the B key cup. Sometimes there is very little clearance between the two and if one gets bent they make touch. If you can't tell, a "feeler gauge" can be made using the leader of a cassette tape (Kenny G tapes work the best :) ). You hold the plastic feeler between the bis and the B and see if there is any drag. If there is, it means there is less than .001" inch clearance between the two. An other thing to check is to see if the A key moves slightly before it contacts the Bis. This is called "lost motion" and should be eliminated on a well regulated saxophone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for the responses.

I (think) I’ve managed to find the culprit: The “arm” of the Bis key is hitting against the rod!

I suppose there just isn’t quite adequate clearance between the arm of the bis key cup and the rod.

The horn recently took a knock to the body and was repaired (the bell to body brace dented the body after the sax took a fall). I’m not sure if something happened during the repair or somehow the knock changing the geometry of the horn ever so slightly

Thanks all for the help so far
 

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Just to make sure I understand. By "rod" do you mean the hinge tube of one of the adjacent keys to the Bis on the upper stack? For example, the one that connects to the A key. If the Bis is coming up and contacting that piece, it could mean that the Bis is coming up too high or traveling too far. There are two places that limit the upward travel of the Bis key. They are the A touchpiece and the adjusting arm that extends from the low F#. Lowering the upper stack a bit by adding to the thickness of the cork on the feet of the keys might correct the problem. Ideally the lower stack key heights would have to be lowered a bit as well to eliminate lost motion at the lower stack to upper stack bridge. Another more drastic fix I have sometimes used is to take a file and file of a bit of the key arm that is touching. Generally this is done to correct a "birth defect" on a cheap and poorly made instrument.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the reply and apologies for my poor description!

When I say "rod" I mean those long tubes which run up the saxophone! They are perpendicular to the arms of the keys. E.g. there is a "rod" which connects the right hand side E key with the tone hole way up by the top of the sax.

If I gently lift the rod the noise stops completely hence I *think* this is the cause.

i've attached a photo, hopefully this helps!

View attachment 241658
 

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Thanks for the reply and apologies for my poor description!

When I say "rod" I mean those long tubes which run up the saxophone! They are perpendicular to the arms of the keys. E.g. there is a "rod" which connects the right hand side E key with the tone hole way up by the top of the sax.

If I gently lift the rod the noise stops completely hence I *think* this is the cause.

i've attached a photo, hopefully this helps!

View attachment 241658
The photo helps to make it quite clear. Now you have nicely diagnosed the problem the next step is to find a solution. One suggestion would be to add to the cork on the foot of the A key to decrease the upward travel of the Bis. Putting small bits of masking tape on the body under the key foot would be a quick way to accomplish this. The same would need to be done under the foot of the B key to eliminate lost motion. Doing this would create a bit of lost motion between the extension from the F# and the arm connected to the bis, but this lost motion is not as noticeable or critical IMO. That could be addressed by putting the same amount of tape under the feet of the F and E keys on the lower stack.
 

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Perhaps the G Key's "rod" is bent down.
 
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