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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old True Tone alto where the C# hole appears to be out of round. It kind of comes to a point at the bottom (bow end). But I see no evidence of dents anywhere around the bow or the hole (or anywhere on the horn).

Could this cause intonation problems? Should I try to fix it? Maybe I should complete the overhaul and then play it first and then go back and fix if necessary. Thanks!
 

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Does it leak?
I would want the hole to be perfectly round, but the most important thing is...
Is the tone hole level?
Drop a leak light in there and find out if it leaks, take the key off and put a small piece of sheet glass on the tone hole to see if it is level. If not, take it to an expert, I've seen so many tone holes filed down way too far by well meaning butchers. Once the metal is gone, it's gone for good. You can't put it back. This will definitely affect intonation.
Good luck.
 

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If you are having the horn overhauled then you should get the horn back with the tonehole fixed. Any decent tech will fix an out of round tonehole as part of a standard overhaul routine.
 

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My hunch if the C# tonehole is "dimpled", would be that the body to bell brace was/is bent/distorted and the bow was also contorted enough to fold the metal at it's weakest spot, the C# tonehole. Perhaps look and see if the toneholes between the two 'F" keys are bowed downwards in the back, both angled towards where the brace meets the body tube. I have encountered many saxophones with this disease, even though it was not apparent upon first inspection.
 

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If it is level, and not round, then I presume that at some time the body metal around the tone hole was once stretched, either at manufacture or later, and the tone hole has since been levelled.

If that is the case, you cannot unstretch the metal, and any attempt to do so will wreck the levelness. If it is level, you may be best to leave it like that.

Most tone hole levelling involves at least SOME metal removal, so it is a really bad idea to keep re-levelling tone holes.

If you attempt to round it, and this makes it non-level, and then even more metal is (potentially) removed from the tone hole to make it level again,then you are going down that slippery slope of having little wall left on the short-wall sides of the tone hole.

So consider leaving it as a viable option. As long as the pad seals, fine (apart form cosmetics, but do you really notice that?

On the other hand if the non-roundness is just because of a local un-or-minimally stretched distortion in the higher regions of the wall, then simply straighten it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
JerryJamz2 said:
My hunch if the C# tonehole is "dimpled", would be that the body to bell brace was/is bent/distorted and the bow was also contorted enough to fold the metal at it's weakest spot, the C# tonehole. Perhaps look and see if the toneholes between the two 'F" keys are bowed downwards in the back, both angled towards where the brace meets the body tube. I have encountered many saxophones with this disease, even though it was not apparent upon first inspection.
Thanks. That's what's weird. I measured all the other toneholes in the lower body, bell and they are fine.


Gordon (NZ) said:
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If you attempt to round it, and this makes it non-level, and then even more metal is (potentially) removed from the tone hole to make it level again,then you are going down that slippery slope of having little wall left on the short-wall sides of the tone hole.

So consider leaving it as a viable option. As long as the pad seals, fine (apart form cosmetics, but do you really notice that?

On the other hand if the non-roundness is just because of a local un-or-minimally stretched distortion in the higher regions of the wall, then simply straighten it.
Thanks. I think I better see how it seals after replacing that pad as I think it is level and at the top of the tonehole there is not much wall height (about 3mm).
 

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Crash,

If the bell had been, or is, pushed out of alignment, the low C# is the weakest link in the chain in the already stressed bottom bow. You mentioned measuring all the toneholes, which is irrelevent to the problem I am describing. Check the toneholes from G# to low E. THey can be round, yet not flat, and it can be flat, yet not round. Place a flat object on top of those toneholes and by using a leaklight, confirm to yourself that they are indeed flat. You should be able to determine if the body to bell brace has distorted the body tube and the rear quarters of those 2 toneholes by your findings.

This might not be the case, but worth checking. Something is definately not right if the low C# is dimpled as you described. A pic would help also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JerryJamz2 said:
Crash,

If the bell had been, or is, pushed out of alignment, the low C# is the weakest link in the chain in the already stressed bottom bow. You mentioned measuring all the toneholes, which is irrelevent to the problem I am describing. Check the toneholes from G# to low E. THey can be round, yet not flat, and it can be flat, yet not round. Place a flat object on top of those toneholes and by using a leaklight, confirm to yourself that they are indeed flat. You should be able to determine if the body to bell brace has distorted the body tube and the rear quarters of those 2 toneholes by your findings.

This might not be the case, but worth checking. Something is definately not right if the low C# is dimpled as you described. A pic would help also.
Ok, got ya. I was going to check if all holes are flat. The shape of the C# just jumped out me first. Thanks!
 
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