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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I play G-sharp I get a squalling sound. I tried different mouthpieces and reeds to no avail, so now I'm suspecting something in the mechanism.

I won't be able to get my tenor to a tech for a few days. Any ideas on things I might look at on my own?
 

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I assume you mean G#2, the high G#. If so, it is caused by a problem with the body octave pip. Try cleaning it out first and then we can go from there. What brand tenor?
 

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Good call Bruce. I would add the question, does it sound like low G# and its octave sounding at the same time like a multiphonic? Also, does it happen at all dynamic levels, or just when you play loudly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Multiphonic, yes

High G#, yes

Pip cleaning seems to have worked, but I can't give it an extensive test at this time of the evening.

Man, I was pushing buttons and pressing keys, but I never would have looked at the octave pip.

At risk of being premature, Thanks!
 

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I like to use the Dills Bristle Pipe Cleaners to clean out octave pips. My only experience with this phenomenon was on a Cannonball Tenor that came into the shop, and the high G and G# played the multiphonic at the louder levels of playing. I called the Cannonball main office and explained the problem. Tevis Laukat told me to just take a small rat tail file and open the bottom (not the top) of the octave vent inside the body just a little bit. It worked like a charm on this saxophone in this instance. I am just giving this as an example that the problem lies in the body octave vent. It cannot be generalized that the same fix would work on your instrument.

The octave vent works by making the fundamental so out of tune that it can no longer participate in the "regime of oscillation" that includes the fundamental and its overtones allowing the second partial to take over and sound the octave above on the sax. When the octave vent lacks the proportions to adequately "untune" the fundamental, the sax can't decide which partial to let dominate the sound. You are experiencing the sound this "indecision" makes. :bluewink:

If yours is a new saxophone, I would contact the vendor before taking it to a repair shop or trying to do any modifications yourself since it should still be under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The octave vent works by making the fundamental so out of tune that it can no longer participate in the "regime of oscillation" that includes the fundamental and its overtones allowing the second partial to take over and sound the octave above on the sax. When the octave vent lacks the proportions to adequately "untune" the fundamental, the sax can't decide which partial to let dominate the sound. You are experiencing the sound this "indecision" makes.

I can't believe what a good explanation that is. I mean, that's a tough concept, and you made it understandable in a snap. Cool.

I'm reminded of a comment of, I think, Waylon Jennings to David Allen Coe; "David, indecision may or may be your problem."
 
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