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Some technicians use cork instead of the regular kind of pad for the octave keys.

I can only presume in their minds it makes for a better seal.

However, does cork really make a difference?
 

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I don't know how well cork works for a sax octave key, but it's great for the register key on clarinet. I prefer it to a skin pad anyway.
 

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I have found that cork pads work well on octave mechanism for some instruments. Generally smaller instruments, those with lighter spring tensions and/or 8va key travel work the best with cork pads.

The cork pads give a positive action and do not have the sticking noise some tan kid leather pads have. However, on larger instrument, those with strong springs or more key travel, they can be too noisy for me, when they close.
 

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I admit I'm random about it, but often use cork pads on octave keys. On soprano saxes, I always use cork on register keys and generally on palm keys, high E, F# and G (when present). If the horn is played a lot, cork lasts much longer. I personally like cork on clarinet upper joints...just feels more secure and much quieter.
 

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cork pads

Curt,

You should try Jeff Smith's Valentino Green back "Cork" Pad. Not cork and not as soft as the white pad. Works well on the wing joint keys (Bassoon) that have metal tube tone holes similar to a oct. vent tube. I have lately been using them on oct. keys on Sax.
Looks like cork but works and seals better. No grain to crack, no stick.


Take care,
Carl
 

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Valentino Pads get a bad rap because some techs install them wrong (Yamaha Buffet) Then when a good tech takes a look, it looks a mess. If installed with the right glue, heat and seat or lack of seat they are a very good pad.

Also now that Jeff Smith makes and owns the pad they are MUCH better. I like that you can get 3 thickness and 8.25, 8.5, 8.75, 9mm and so on. Omni is another great pad from Kraus.

Don't remember the last time I used a bladder pad and will never look back!

I know it is hard to change, I was that way. But when Jeff Smith keeps telling you your missing out and just try it, then buys the Co. and makes them better.


Carl
 

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"... I'm not a big fan of Valentino anything, but I try to keep an open mind..."

"... Valentino Pads get a bad rap because some techs install them wrong..."

There's more to it than that. Historically, self-adhesive backing caused huge problems, because the Valentino material was mobile on the metal. The original Valentino product was alos of pretty low quality.

I have a heap of Valentino product never used. I have never quite got over being ripped off with that substandard concept, promoted as god's gift to technicians, and still promoted many years after most technicians found how awful it was.

I know that Smith may be a great guy, and I acknowledge that the current offerings may be a lot better. But once bitten, twice shy.
 

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"Historically, self-adhesive backing caused huge problems"


Yes I could see that. But I've never used the "Band Director Pad" Those are used for quick fix.

I use the "Green Back" and float them in. Low heat glue from Votaw and NO seat and they don't stick. Just get them flat and thats it. Ring Keys on Clarinet I use Omni pad they are firmer. Pro clarinets I will still use Cork pads on the top because that's what most players want.

Gordon, Yes the old pads where not good you are right.

Griff, Yes if the seat is deep like Yamaha and Buffet student Clarinets they will stick. This is not the way to install them.


BTW, I have some prototypes of a new Valentino pads and they are more firm and better yet.

If you see Yamaha Piccolos try the .080" green back installed like I explained and you will be happy!

Carl
 

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"Griff, Yes if the seat is deep like Yamaha and Buffet student Clarinets they will stick. This is not the way to install them."

If a pad readily takes a deep seat, then won't a sprung-closed key's pad acquire a deep seat naturally?

I agree that the Greenbacks are a lot beater than the Valentino predecessors. Omni pads are probably an improvement on Greenbacks. Last time I costed, they were pretty expensive though.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
Last time I costed, they were pretty expensive though.
True, but on the flip side they are synthetic vs. traditional structured pads. The jury is out (and will be for a long time) as to how long they will last, but all indications are that under normal useage, they should last forever. That in itself is a great selling point. We're feeling the temperature of the water as we speak. :D
 

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"...but all indications are that under normal usage, they should last forever..."

Hmmm. I wouldn't bet on that. These squishy plastics typically include plasticisers, which typically eventually leach to the surface and makes it sticky.

Think old polythene bags. Think old polythene tubing. And I have some decades-old, top-quality, agglomerated cork which has a most unpleasant (and probably carcinogenic) acrid taste one the surface now. No doubt some plasticiser. The jury's out as far as I am concerned, unless we get reliable guarantees specific to these sorts of problems, determined by appropriate testing. On the other hand, I have goldbeaters skin that is decades old, with no apparent deterioration.
 

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Unless they have improved the structure in the last few years, Valentino fake cork pads are very porous, so don't expect to use more than one on any sax -and don't even bother padding oboes with them as you'll just be wasting your time!

I use a fake cork Valentino on my bari water key as it does keep it's shape well, but that's the only application I'd ever use them for. Once it gets waterlogged with condensation in the top bow it becomes airtight.

Cork pads in water keys tend to break up under the pressure of the spring tension, but I use cork pads in both 8ve keys on my saxes as they don't stick to the 8ve bush (and therefore make the switchover much more positive), and on my soprano (YSS-62) I've cork padded it from the 8ve keys down to the double C# vent as the leather pads that were in there bulged too much. Cork pads stay flat.
 
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