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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.

(First of, i apologize for my English. I understand i construct the phrases the way my original language does.)

I have an excellent Balanced Action Tenor in hands. I have made a full recover of this sax, 4 months ago, and it is almost perfect.

The big problem:
-It has a "buzz" / "trembling" when pushed very loud on the C side key.
-Loud Subtones where very difficult to sound.

The evolution:
The client took the sax home and only had excellent things to say about the sax, until last week.
As the horn was very easy to play, the client felt the need to raise the hardness of reeds. He started with a #10 Otto Link Early Babbit and 3S D'Addario SJ reeds, and now he uses 4S reeds. Yes he pushes it. That is when he started to feel the horn shacking on the C side key.
He asked me to identify the problem as he was playing, and honestly, i did not ear anything. I was going to tell him he was crazy when i asked him to play with his setup. When i was blowing normally nothing happened, but when i pushed to a fairly amount of air pressure, there it was. It started to shake "A LOT", something very annoying, almost impossible to handle.

What i have tried to do:
-First, there was a small slack on the pivot receiver on this key (it was so small that i did not touch this when i overhauled the horn 4 months ago). I fixed this now the proper way.
-I hardened the springs of the side keys to keep them all even.

What i got from this small changes:
- The loud subtones are now very easy to achieve.
- The "Buzz"/"shaking" issue is almost impossible to achieve, except when we blow to a very very high pressure of air (nobody plays this loud).

Although the problem is solved, i am not happy because i know there is a problem on the pressure limit of the horn. At a limit situation, if the client evolutes to a #5 reed, the problem may appear again if i make myself clear.

QUESTION:
Does anyone got this problem before?
How did you solve it?

Thank you all in advance!
Best Regards
Hugo Gama
 

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I think you might be hitting a resonant frequency on the horn, causing it to do weird things. The “a lot of something, almost impossible to handle,” would be the key.

This could be caused by a mismatch between the mouthpiece/reed combination and the horn. It happens.

It could also be caused by a mismatch between the mouthpiece and reed. I am pretty sure that a Link #10 mouthpiece is not designed for a number 4 reed.

(I am also posting this note to keep the message at the top of the New Post list so more people will see it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your opinion Bjroosevelt.
I do not know what is a mismatch between mp and reed
(i.e. I have never felt it. I understand the concept perfectly :D ).
I am an Alto player (mostly) and i can blow endlessly without any trouble. I use #9 mouthpieces with #3,5 vandoren green Java.
On Tenor, i often feel some limits. Maybe i cannot blow properly on the Tenor. Don't know why.

Regards
 

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If you push anything to its limits, you can expect consequences. For saxophones, that includes quiteness of sound, loudness of sound, hardness of reeds, various parameters of mouthpiece, etc.

Think of the valves in a car engine. At racing car revs, they start bouncing. To deal with that, stronger springs are installed. And then there is another limit somewhere else in the engine. And another, and another, and another.....
 

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I don't think it'd be a resonant frequency, because if it were you should be able to feel it at lower volumes too to some extent.

My guess is it's a leak or flutter that develops when lots of air is pushed, possibly from one of the other side keys. I had a leak issue from one of the side keys (unrelated issue), that wouldn't show with a leak light, and would only develop when blowing lots of air through the horn. He stiffened the spring and the issue went away. Subtoning becoming difficult seems to back that it's a leak.
 

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It seems I get one of these on the side C on all three of my tenors, one of which is a BA.. The only way I found what it is is putting my left thumb on it while playing.
 

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It seems I get one of these on the side C on all three of my tenors, one of which is a BA.. The only way I found what it is is putting my left thumb on it while playing.
had the same issue with alternative low F# key on Balanced Action that was blowing open when sax was pushed , tightened the spring , the problem is gone.
the original springs on BA's are very light action and that problem could be showing up on any closed keys including low F# , Eb , C#
 
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