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· Registered
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm having a bit of c mel trouble and looking for suggestions.

I have 2 conn's one silver plate with gold keys in nice condition, the other a nickle plate that's missing a rolled tone hole. But stick any mouthpiece on them and they both play well enough, down to lowest Bb. But only when that are totally "out of tune" once I tune them the lower C,B and Bb notes burble/pulse.

I've tried every mouthpiece I own and I seem to be able to tune them so that they play down to low D and while I can pop out a lower "note", I just can't hold a steady low note tone (out of tune they blow overtones from low Bb no worries, in tune I just can't hold a steady low note, unless I let them overblow up one octave)

I've tried everything I have lying around

Alto 6m Myer- sounds great

Rico M7 metalite louger, nice sound
Otto Link 6 (refaced) nice enough sound
Selmer C* S80 (can't tune shank too long)
Brecker II (didn't work out)

Original C mel piece, can't get a nice sound anywhere, buzzy reedy
Cheap plastic modern Cmel piece didn't help either.

I've tried a bass clarinet reed (vandoren) as well as my usual LaVos, Rico Jazz Select, Alexander Superial. No real luck.

Any suggestions? I"m basically using the C mel for 2 things -
Practicing scales and stuff at home as it's the quietest sax I own using the myer 6m
Playing with a few mates with drums and guitars (It's nice not going nuts trying to play along with jams in E :) ) The metalite is for that and it cuts through them easy.

I usually play Bari and Tenor and I tend to like large chamber pieces, like my otto link, I haven't played the metalite on tenor for ... almost 20 years and I rarely play the brecker II (on Bari I play an RPC, never needed anything else) I really don't play alto much either, I could try a few different alto mouthpieces, but I 'd like to play the Cmel with a tenor mouthpiece if I can get one to work.

Not sure if this is something I should/can fix via "set up" or with "more practice"

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
21,531 Posts
Common on older horns and magnified with modern mouthpieces. You need to push the mouthpiece in more or do what I do for some of these....put a baffle of sorts in the bow. Try putting the mouthpiece cap or similar object down the bell and see if it helps. I glue a large cork or wooden egg in side the bow to eliminate this on some of my Conns and Bueschers.

· Registered
611 Posts
hey artmgs,

Thats a nice pair of Conn's you've got there! I love the look of the silver plate with gp keys!

As far as the burbling, not one of my three Conn C's has this issue now.

Two of them had it going on--- one was solved when I had the tech recork the neck, and the other was solved by repairing and restoring function to the forked Eb mechanism on the lower stack.

For me, it seems like this issue is most likely a leak based issue, whether at the neck cork or on a pad somewhere. I have never personally tried the "bow baffle" method but it seems to be a temporary fix for the problem.

· Registered
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Basically problem solved by dropping a cork down her bell. Thank you :)

Longer response -

While I had not heard put a cork in it this millenium :lol: I do remember the old hands in band (back in the early 90's) talking about champagne corks in the bell to fix the tuning on the lower notes. Never did anything to the horn I played back then. My school music teacher once suggested a piece of foam in the bell (opposite the tone holes) but again I could not hear a difference (and my bell note already played fine on that horn)

My C didn't come with the original neck cap (apologies in advance for incorrect terminology) but someone had lovingly hand carved one out of wood. However I live at the bottom of a hill where those that live in the expensive houses at the top seem to like popping champagne corks off their balcony, I almost always find one after the weekend when I go for a walk in the morning. So I had just acquired a cork this week for the nickle plate C, recalling hearing from the past they they would made good replacement neck caps (and they do)

So after all the mouthpieces etc I'd tried I decided the metalite M7 was the closest to working well, playing in tune and sounding nice. So I put some plumbers tape on the cork (it had been sanded down to accept alto mouthpieces). Taped up with the mothpiece on all the way she tunes in the middle on the micro tuner neck and actually plays low Bb (so a good seal on the neck cork may have helped too) B and C were still badly misbehaving, but drop the mouthpiece cover down the bell and it smooths it right out, same with the cork. Could be a bit of reed component too as the reed is about 15 years old and is rather played out.

So now I just need to work out which "bit" to keep down there (probably the cork as I foresee wandering around looking for my mouthpiece cover for ages until I give up and it falls out when I put the sax away :lol:

And to get some weeks of practice under my belt so I get use to how she behaves with this set up, I still sort of expect to hear a Bb tenor note from what I'm fingering! She sounds like this with me attached (although I stayed away from the bell notes) Before I start looking at anything else I'll need to practice to fix up those hesitations.


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