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Hello,
I bought an old C Melody to rebuild. It's a 1922 conn stencil --Harwood.
I need to replace some springs but don't know what size? Does anyone have a diagram to tell what size spring goes where?
Also JLSmith has blues steel and stainless steel? Any preferences?

Thanks, Floyd..
 

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i doubt you would ever find a diagram with that kind of information...Ferree's tools sells an assortment pack of blue needle (and maybe stainless, I don't know) springs that should give you what you need though. You really have to size them on the horn...the ferree's pack is a good deal I think.

I personally prefer the blued steel, but that's up to you...the stainless to me feel spongy, the blue steel feels much more precise and quick. The blued steel is a bit more brittle though (especially as they age...) so adjust them carefully, or you'll be replacing your replacements...peace, mike
 

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Blued steel springs make the action feel much snappier, whereas stainless steel can make it feel sluggish.

Don't have blunt ends on the springs - always cut them to the right length so they have 1mm maximum of the pointed (free) end showing past the spring lugs. Don't leave too much of the sharp end past the spring lugs - not only does it look shoddy, you can also catch the ends on your clothing, or worse still - stab, scratch or tear chunks out of your fingers!

Depending how many times springs have been fitted to this sax, you can only find the correct gauge spring for each spring hole by findng the one that fits best (neither too tight or too loose) in the spring holes. Then when you have found the right gauge spring, cut it to the correct length, flatten the blunt end on an anvil to make it wedge-shaped and make sure it's a tight fit in the pillar so when you ping it, it gives a good sustained 'doing' rather than a short rattle or buzz which means it's loose.
 

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Also, buy yourself a proper spring bending pliers, or you will certainly go through many springs.
 

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"Blued steel springs make the action feel much snappier, whereas stainless steel can make it feel sluggish."

I don't think this has much to do whether the springs are steel or stainless. Kraus unpointed stainless steel springs perform every bit as well as steel springs.

Kraus versus Ferrees stainless steel probably has a bit to with the actual alloy of stainless steel used, and how polished the surface is. In general, stainless steel makes a poor bearing surface, but higher grades (eg what Kraus sells) are similar to steel.

"Don't have blunt ends on the springs"

I find that blunt ends can be fine. Without going into a long technical dissertation, friction associated with blunt ends is more to do with the shape of the spring cradle, the surface finish of the spring, and the direction in which the spring is tensioned.

For minimum friction, a spring/cradle combination ideally needs to be set up so that there is a rolling action of the spring in the cradle, rather than a sliding action. It so happens that if other factors are not good, this rolling action is sometimes more likely to occur with a pointed spring.

So in this sense, I concede that pointing a spring can be a form of band-aid. At the same time, I think that the reason why springs were originally pointed is only that they came from a needle-making factory.

On the very highest quality flutes, where players are obsessed with the 'feel' (and spending money!!), white gold springs are used. They are never pointed, and are actually quite thick (because gold is a poor spring material!) The feel is excellent.

Sluggish 'feel' is most often to do with the diameter-to-length ratio of a spring (and that is to do with diameter towards the mounted end, not the 'cradle' end. The larger this ratio is, the more the finger force needs to increase during the travel of the spring, which translates to 'sluggish feel'.

Getting this ratio low, while getting sufficient force from the spring, has many repercussions in the design of the sax, eg the location of posts, and few sax makers seem to attend to it well. A Mark VI has a good feel because Selmer must have had a good designer once. That guy has probably now been replaced with a bean counter.:twisted:
 

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I agree with Gordon. Manufacturer's of student flutes use stainless springs the quality of the ones available from many suppliers, like Ferrees. Stainless steel in this instance is a generic term for this type of spring. I prefer the Kraus springs also. If you have to bend a spring more than 30 degrees from straight to allow for proper key function, it's not right. Having to bend them almost into a "U" shape is not acceptable for us. It's a balance between quality of materials and the diameter needed. Needle springs have been referred to as they truly were hijacked to fit our purpose originally. Hence many manufacturers and suppliers now refer to them as "round" springs..
 
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