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Discussion Starter #1
I recently looked at a sax I repadded this winter. For 6 months it had hung from the ceiling untouched. I was surprised to see that it had many leaks.

Then I put 1 and 1 together; Saxophones need seasonally adjustment.

I can only assume that in the fall and spring players should get their instruments adjusted.

Or if you play only in winter it matters less…
 

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My initial answer is to say no, but then I live in a fairly mild climate.

If adjustments alter with time, without the instrument being played, then they were probably unstable when they were made. eg:
- some of the pad felt unnaturally crushed.
- unstable linkage materials.
- For any mketal bending operation, the metal needs to be bent too far, then back to a stable state.

Adjustment to a stable state is a critical aspect of sax adjustment.

It is apparent that many factories adjust very roughly, then rely (act of faith!) on key wedging to complete the job during transit. It doesn't work. After the wedges are removed, the pads gradually revert somewhat, to an unadjusted state.
 

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My thought is that the adjustment must be marginal to start with.

I live in Canada and my Yamaha tenor and alto get carried around +30C to -25C which are not the extremes, BTW. Humidity ranges from very humid in the summer to bone dry in the winter. No problem apart from checking the tuning in the winter as it warms up. I have never heard anybody in the 2 community bands I play in, talk about spring and fall adjusting for any kind of instrument.

Given the insulation of the case padding it is hard to say just how cold the instrument really gets on a 40 minute trip outside before it is back in a building in the winter. The alto does get the summer temperature outside though.
 

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Another 1 + 1 = 2 conclusion might very well be that the techniques you used when repadding the instrument compressed the corks involved in the key requlation, and the felts of the pads themselves so that when these materials relaxed back to their normal states things moved significantly causing leaks. A similar effect can take place when bending the metal. Most techs agree that bending slightly past the desired location and then bending back slightly leaves the metal in a more relaxed state so that "metal memory" doesn't change the adjustment.

After doing a repad (especially on a pro instrument), I will give the instrument a thorough play test and leave it overnight. In the morning I will go through again and tweak the small things that have moved and give it an even more vigorous play test. Again it sits overnight and the next morning it is checked again. Once the sax has stablized, then the customer is called to sax his sax is ready.

Using good techniques and the best available pads, and materials can dramatically cut down on the instability of the adjustments once they are done, but even then there is some "settling in" that takes place once the sax is played with the new materials installed.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tip about giving the sax time to stabilize.

Here in Montreal the weather has been sweltering humid; In winter the air in homes is very dry. Thus I can't discard the possiblity that seasonal changes in the air's humidity affects the organic materials in my horn.

Pianos are traditionally tuned in the spring and fall...
 

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zagzig said:
Thanks for the tip about giving the sax time to stabilize.

Here in Montreal the weather has been sweltering humid; In winter the air in homes is very dry. Thus I can't discard the possiblity that seasonal changes in the air's humidity affects the organic materials in my horn.

Pianos are traditionally tuned in the spring and fall...
And your sax is traditionally tuned every time you put the mouthpiece on.

Maybe the easy way is to play it rather than hang it from the ceiling - nothing like your breath to increase the humidity inside the horn in the winter.
 
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