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So this was interesting today on a horn .. which I can't quite figure out. I was playing a very late sn# VI. not fixing it but just play testing it - but it looks like it needs to be fixed ...

G# w/octave is having a hard time holding that note. I can change my airstream . embouchure (by tightening it) etc to keep it but that is not the solution i'm looking for.

The G is fine, the F is fine. G# starts that dreadful weird wobbling before dropping down an octave.

I've checked the neck octave is closed (taped it to confirm); checked for leaks - varied the height of hte body octave; varied the height of the octave lever action ... i'm kinda out of ideas now ..

has any one come across this before ?
Could it be due to the neck being a little loose ?

late mk VI (in the VII sn#s) tenor
i pulled out alot of the mpcs I had with me - my Couf J8* at 2.4mm tip opening, Selmer metal classic E, Couf 6*R, and a couple other mpcs w/Vandoren 3s
 

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Hi, my Weltklang Bari has that problem as well.
I am living with it an it gets better, but I would be interested in a solution as well!
 

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stevesklar said:
So this was interesting today on a horn .. which I can't quite figure out. I was playing a very late sn# VI. not fixing it but just play testing it - but it looks like it needs to be fixed ...

G# w/octave is having a hard time holding that note. I can change my airstream . embouchure (by tightening it) etc to keep it but that is not the solution i'm looking for.

The G is fine, the F is fine. G# starts that dreadful weird wobbling before dropping down an octave.

I've checked the neck octave is closed (taped it to confirm); checked for leaks - varied the height of hte body octave; varied the height of the octave lever action ... i'm kinda out of ideas now ..
Did you check the lower octave hole(on the body). I clean mine periodically with a pipe cleaner or similar object. Sometimes the pad over the lower octave hole sticks. Clean the pad.
Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #6
haduran said:
If it doesn't I'm afraid I have nothing to offer beyond the old "try different mouthpieces" wheeze- never a particularly satisfying anwer.
tried that - did you see the list i provided plus others not listed. a closed tip, hard reed mpc does make it better. but if you still use a super loose emb, it will drop.
 

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Absolutely. A leak in the neck socket is one of the most common problems with many saxophones. Often times this vital area is overlooked and causes a myriad of problems being it is located almost 1/2 way between the two octave vents. You might say it's "confused" as it senses an opening somewhere in that area.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
just noticed I said originally that G and F were fine. I should have said that G and A were fine.

I refitted my neck, but at 3am wasn't about to potentially wake the kids. Well see how it plays tonight. Thanks for your help .. it's one of those things. I always fit necks, just haven't on mine. Bought mine as a pristine horn .. over the last 9 months of use the neck has gotten use, and has gotten slightly looser over that time .. just never managed to make the time to tighten my own neck up.
 

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You need to be very careful thinking that a snug neck is sufficient. I have, on a couple of occasions recently, run across an oval shaped neck receiver. I suspected a neck leak in both situations because of similar problems to what you indicate, made the neck tenon perfectly round and snug, and it didn't fix. In desperation, I wrapped a little teflon tape on the tenon, carefully slipped it in the receiver and rotated it in (sort of like lapping to flow the teflon) as I slowly snugged the receiver screw. The horn played like a champ!! I then used machinist bluing ink in a very thin coat on the inside of the receiver (without the tape) to locate the high and low spots. Ended up slightly honing the receiver and refitting the neck in one case...in the other case, I ended up making a new receiver as it was ovaled beyond repair.
 

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"FYI, interestingly enough, I also have this problem in my VII tenor though not this bad."

The sax is a compromise in many ways. This statement suggests to me that you are possibly not playing them with sufficient air pressure from your lungs to deal with the compromises.

Of course it could also be the things that others have mentioned.
 

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Thanks for letting us in on the solution. Good diagnosis Jerry. I find the J.L. Smith neck leak isolator to be a great tool to see if necks that feel tight are really air tight as well. Glad you found an easy fix.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On my horn It's interesting due to the fact that I got this horn- a 1976 model in 100% closet condition. Over the past 9 months of use I changed a couple pads due to cuts etc. I also noticed the neck getting looser over time (and not really fixing it even though we have the tools - i'd rather be playing lately than fixing my own horn). recently as the neck got "more" looser I started having that G# issue .. and the looser it got, the worse the G# got.

Really strange .. it's like being a doctor and seeing the patient get worse over time vs having one come in the shop already with the problem.

on that other horn, no matter what you did to your airstream or air pressure the G# would drop - it was in worse shape.

I'll have to check into the JLS neck leak isolator - we have mostly Ferree tools and he doesn't have a tool like that last time i perused the catalog.
 

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My Yamaha alto (875EX) often drops the upper G# when pushed and always has done since I bought it new in 2003, though the G and A are fine (and playing a grace note G to the G# isn't always acceptable!). The crook is an excellent fit and all pads are seating well.

Could Yamaha have changed the diameter of the lower 8ve vent (ie. made it smaller)? My previous 62 altos (both pre-'87) never had this trouble.

I also found out a colleague has the same upper G# trouble on his new 62 tenor, though my 875 tenor is fine.
 

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I experienced this same problem on a customer's (student's) Cannonball Big Bell Stone Series Tenor Sax. The G# key opening was fine, neck was airtight, the body octave key opened the correct distance, no obstruction in the body pip.

I tried decreasing the diameter of the body octave with a piece of teflon tubing and the problem was the same. Also tried the panyhose over the pip, also no change. Tried taking the body octave key completely off to vent the body octave 100% and no change.

Cannonball's suggestion was to take a small round file and very carefully round the edge of the octave tube that is inside the sax. I did that as much as I could without changing the diameter of the tube and there was only a very slight improvement. I was using a rather easy blowing reed to play test the horn. Perhaps with a harder reed, the player will never experience the problem.
 

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I have got the perfect solution: A New Horn! I would completely take apart the upper stack and the palm keys to fix it. Have you used a leak light yet?
 

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jbtsax said:
What's a leak light and how do you use one?
I always had the impression that you were a repairer, so I'm very surprised you don't know this. It is the new method for fixing leaks.... with a light! The light seals the leaks. You put it inside the saxophone, and if you see a leak the light goes through it and stays there and there's no leak anymore! I'm sure this is the most common method since almost any sax that I see was fixed this way :D ;)

OK I woke up too early....

One solution that is possible is.... the owner might not even have this problem! Sometimes it is just weird but some people won't have problems that others would on the same sax/mouthpiece/reed. If it still exists when he comes to pick up his sax then when he plays try to make him play the G# in a way that would create the problem, but without even implying there is a problem or even mention G#.

Did you try gauze/pantyhose yet? A friend of mine had a similar problem on a Reference 36 tenor (maybe with the G note and not G#, I can't remember) and he tried lengthening and shortening the tube, changing its location and size, and combinations of these, but the only thing that helped was some gauze on the octave tube hole. Here is one example of something he tried: The high F# hole acting as the octave hole (with control of its size).

View attachment 2910
 

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Thanks clarnibass for shedding some light on that for me. I think that ChuBerry47 is well on his way to becoming "Carbs Deux" on SOTW. :)

I tried making the pip smaller with an insert and the pantyhose trick and nothing seemed to help including Cannonball's suggestion of rounding the bottom of the tube. I think the problem stems acoustically from the fact that the placement of the body octave vent is a compromise to work for the notes from D up to G#. G# of course is at the upper limit of the acoustic compromise before the neck octave takes over for the A and above. As I read more posts this phenomenon on the G# is not that uncommon. I plan to dig into my Benade papers and see if he gives any clues to fix this problem.

John
 

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Chris Peryagh said:
My Yamaha alto (875EX) often drops the upper G# when pushed and always has done since I bought it new in 2003, though the G and A are fine (and playing a grace note G to the G# isn't always acceptable!). The crook is an excellent fit and all pads are seating well.

Could Yamaha have changed the diameter of the lower 8ve vent (ie. made it smaller)? My previous 62 altos (both pre-'87) never had this trouble.

I also found out a colleague has the same upper G# trouble on his new 62 tenor, though my 875 tenor is fine.
I'm having trouble with my YAS-62 (an early purple logo model) dropping from both G2 and G#2. I have pushed pipe cleaners through the body vent to make sure it isn't plugged, to no avail. I see from other threads that this is fairly common with some Selmers, and can be fixed by enlarging the body octave hole. Has anyone tried it on a Yamaha? I know the horn is not perfectly leak free, but wouldn't a leak cause the low notes to tend to jump up an octave, rather than the high notes to drop an octave? Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong about this, because I thought that's how the octave key worked. Then I read some of the above posts about how tightening the neck fixed the problem, and I'm getting confused. :?
 
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