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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.

just for the last coupld weeks I've noticed this horrible squeaking noise that would happen between jumps from the upper to lower octave registers.

I'm not entirely sure if this is a fundamental problem in my emboucher or if its a mechanical problem. But I'm not in a circumstance where I coudl test that.

The squeaking happens right in between notes. Such as F#2 to B2 for example, it seems to switch perfectly fine when I play quitely, but when I push more air into hte sax, as soon as I switch the the B fingering, it would jump up to B3.

Actually, I think I may have found the problem now. My sax neck has been pretty roughed up, and a couple months ago the octave valve on my neck was found to have a leak, so it was soldered back on. But I think it may be cracking apart. Causing that valve to leak again.

So jsut for verification, if this octave key leak a possibility for this weird jump?

I just tried blowing into the neck, with the ther end covered and the key pad in place and it seems as if there is a loss in air pressure in my mouth as I blow.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Easy way to test: Take the octave key off the neck with a small screwdriver. Heavily grease the neck cork. other end while submerging the octave pip under water. If you see air bubbles coming out around the edges of the octave pip, then it is indeed leaking. If you can't get to a tech, you can dab some thick super glue around the solder joint where you saw the bubbles escaping to seal it up until you can get to a tech. Test the new seal with suction, or if you can't tell, do the submersion thing again.

Make sure you dry it off quickly, inside and out, and don't have it underwater any longer than you need to. The cork grease should keep the neck cork from taking on any water.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok, so that doesn't seem to be the problem then.

Any other suggestions as to what it may be? Since we ruled out the octave ipie as a problem.
 

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How is the timing between the two octave keys? When you go from A2 to G2, the neck octave closes and the body octave opens. Put the neck on your horn and look at the octave mechanism while you finger A2, G2, A2, G2... and see if the transition is clean. If for one reason or another it is taking longer than it should and both octave keys are open at the same time, you could well experience cracking in the sound like you describe. Same goes for if the octave mech is stuck completely one way or the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, that might be the problem

The Body octave key seems to be hesitant. when switching between the two notes.

I think that that coudl be becuase of the lever right above the body octave pad isn't right on top of the pad when the G key is pushed down. There's about 2 mm or space between the lever and the Body octave key when G2 is fingered. Would fixing this problem solve my other problem with the F# to B as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry to bump my thread, but could someone please help me a little bit more on my problem. Or help me fix this body octave problem of mine?
 

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It could be so many things, that I think you need to get it diagnosed in the live presence of a good tech who plays sax.
 

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If the problem isn't self evident and easily fixed (gunk on the mechanism binding things up, a cork out of place, etc.) at this point I would agree with Gordon. The octave mechanism is a pretty tricky one to troubleshoot with no prior experience.
 

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Maybe you can give more details about the problem. Are there notes that you play that have the problem and notes that don't (without playing an interval)? If this is the case, maybe let us know all the notes that it happens with. Does it only happen if you play an interval? From what notes to what notes it happens?

When you finger notes that use the crook octave key is the body octave key also open? What about viseversa? What about whe nyou don't press the octave key (lever) at all, is one of the pads open?
 

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Just a long shot, Kaplac...

Check that BOTH your ligature screws tightened firmly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Clarnibass: the E3 and F3 are the only real notes that squeak without intervals.
But otherwise anything fron F2-G#2 to B2 is consistently a problem. But this only happens when I slur the two notes, so when I tongue them its no problem. Also, I'd like to add that it works fine when I play quietly

And there are some other intervals starting in that same range, F2-G#2, going to some other notes on the diferent octave, Bb2, A1 But those are the only notes that noticably squeak all the time. But the F#2-B2 jump is the most noticable and the most consistent. Becuase sometimes it woudlnt' squeak and otehr times it would. So I'm figuring there may be a slow valve somewhere.

Also, I'd like to add that I got anew mouthpiece yesterday which is where I noticed that squeaking, but my other mouthpieces which I've had much longer also seem to do the same thing.

And Gordon (NZ): I've using a Rovner lig on my selmer C* so there is only one screw, and I crank the thing on there. But I am using a stock lig on my stm link so that lig may not be keeping the reed on as much as I'd like it to. But I don't think the reed to mouthpiece connection is the problem.

And I've been looking for a new repair tech for my sax, since I've noticed lots of shotty work from my current tech. So I'm still searchign around for a tech in my area.
 

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The FIRST part of diagnosis is to check for leaks with a leak light. It could be something simple such as a Small leak in a location that affects some notes more than others.

BTW, some mouthpieces are designed for a particular sound, and sacrifice other things, such as the range of embouchure and breath pressure over which the notes are stable. In which case, the solution is to experiment with these, particularly breath pressure, to find a new compromise.

So if this is the case. why does it happen with your original mouthpiece?

May I repeat this story.

I finished work on a sax and it warbled on low B. To cut a long story short, I went over that sax so many times that it was the most perfectly adjusted sax I have ever worked on. It still warbled. In desperation I took it to a top sax player to see if he could throw light on the problem. There was no way that he could make it warble on low B, even with the same mouthpiece.

What I think had happened is that I had practised making this sax warble so much, that I had become very good at it (with embouchure and breath pressure parameters). Perhaps there was something wrong initially, but that was long gone.

I'm not saying that this is necessarily the case for you, but it is possibly that you have practised and got good at NOT making necessary minute breath pressure changes, hence highlighting this issue. These slight changes are more important for slurs than for simply tonguing a note. The importance shows up most when we slur down octaves, but more subtle changes are necessary for other slurs. They become automatic and unconscious for an experienced player.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, Gordon thats what I meant in my initial post stating that I wasnt' sure if this was a fundamental within my breathing as such you explained in your story. Or a mechanical problem.

I think I may have found a sax tech in my area that hopefully is pretty good. So I'll take it up to her and see what she says. Since as everyone says there are lots of possibilities.

But thanks a lot for the help! I think I learned a lot in this experience, and even though we couldn't find the problem. I think it's helping me learn my sax better as an intrument and an expressionistic tool.

^ Wow, reading that again, I sound really ridiculous.

But I'll take it to a tech, and thanks for all the help! :D
 
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