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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

So, my soprano tilts over (from it's bell) and falls to the floor. I pick it up, and the thing is totally un-playable. I take it to a repair man, and he says he cant do much for it. I guess he's scared of breaking the keys/rods while trying to repair it (finding new parts would be difficult).

While it does play now, some keys just don't move normally anymore. I'm very surprised that such a short fall can knock a new horn out of whack so bad that you cant fix it. Does this sound right, or should I find a new repair man?
 

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i would find a new repair man cause ive dropped my saxophone a bit too many times but i got it fixed and it plays fine
 

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If your sop is say 26 inches high and its put on its bell and falls over then the mouthpiece end has fallen 26 inches whichever way you look at it, and yes it can be pretty badly damaged just from it falling over. It only takes a small knock on the left hand pinky stack to push the bracket that holds that group of keys into the body tube - the result could easily be a dented body tube/ warped toneholes/binding keywork etc.

lets not go shooting the repairman without first seeing the damage and the make of instument. It is difficult to comment whether or not you need to find another repairman. A lot will depend on the make and value of the sax and how much you want to spend to get it put right - sometimes its easier and more economical to get a new one!

Often as a repairer I advise against getting any work done on some instruments, particularly poorly made instruments with soft keywork, low budget pads and loose play on the keywork etc that are not worth my time as a repairer trying to put right. Horns like the one I described will forever go out of regulation and the customer will come back and blame the tech. It's happened once to me and now I either advise the customer its not economical and if they still insist on getting it fixed I inform them that no warranty will be issued as the instument is likely to go out of regulation very quickly.


lets see some pics of the damage and some close ups too.
 

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I would like to see pics too, but it should be fixable. I have seen some pretty messed up horns that were able to get fixed. I wouldn't think that it would hurt to get a second opinion from another repair tech.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Check em out. let me know if you need closer ones
 

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From what you describe the body of the saxophone has been bent. Even a slight bend can cause the keys to bind. Any competent repair tech and straighten the body back to where it was, and attend to the keys that are binding. Occasionally we techs luck out and simply straightening the body will free up all the keys, but I have learned not to count on that, because each situation is unique.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alright, here are a few more. Nothing really looks out of place.
 

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It is sometimes difficult to see from the outside. In many cases the binding keys is the most obvious clue. It takes practice, but you can learn to spot a bent soprano by looking directly into the bell. The illustrations below show how it looks in a somewhat exaggerated fashion to get the idea.

 

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Hey guys,

................................................While it does play now, some keys just don't move normally anymore. I'm very surprised that such a short fall can knock a new horn out of whack so bad that you cant fix it. Does this sound right, or should I find a new repair man?
Which keys dont move normally? and at what point do the notes become difficult to play?
 

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IMO:

If at least some of the damage is not even visually obvious, and manufacturer is OK, then there should be no problem at all in getting the sax right. Routine work.

However if it is a standard of manufacturer where there is something unsatisfactory about almost every part of the sax, and misalignments from the knock mean that many of these issues now must be attended to, then getting it going well could well be economically non-viable. The cost of repair could well be more than what the instrument cost, and a lot more than it would be worth after repair. What brand is it?

Photos do't tell us anything unless they identify and highlight the detail actual damage, or at least a good deal of it. In this case, that probably means really close up, taken from a technician's perspective.
 

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Assuming that it's your Antigua and that you DIDN'T buy the soprano from the tech's store . . .

Those that have been around SOTW for any length of time know the quality and value of an Antigua. Unfortunately, that reputation is not common knowledge among other shops, and shops/techs can be a fairly opinionated bunch when it comes to something they consider an "off-brand" - sometimes without any first-hand knowledge to back it up. You might want to consider boxing it up and sending it to someone that knows Antiguas for a second opinion and (likely) repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@griff - The "bis" (Bb) key does not move freely or often gets stuck in the closed postion. The low C# key only works when it wants to. Bottom half of the horn sounds leaky.

@Gordon - it's an Antigua 3286.

I guess I'll have another guy look at the horn. I just hope someone can fix it....just purchased it in the fall.
 

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Anything is repairable. From the pics alone that you supplied it looks like a very trivial repair

I have on occasions told customers its not repairable, not because its not phyiscally repairable but becuase the cost of the repair IMO outways the value of the instrument or the value of a replacement unit. I also clarify my reasons why its not repairable, did your tech tell you why this is not repairable
 

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most likely the lower post of the bid Bb key got pushed out of place. You can try'n inserting a flat blade small screwdriver between the bis Bb and the G lower posts (they're near the G cup) and see if pushing back the bis Bb post a tad it frees up the motion. Check all of them posts marked with arrows in this pictures. Get a used drumstick, chop about 4" from the business end and grind the tip slightly concave so the post will rest in the "notch" and carefully whack them with a rawhide mallet.
View attachment 27362
View attachment 27363
 
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