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Discussion Starter #1
My bottom D on my Yamaha tenor has always been a lovely round easy to play note. Last night at band practice it was a horrible. Hard to play and very croaky flat. Trying it at home this AM and a new reed it just wants to play an octave up each time.
I`ve checked the little pad that lifts when octave key is pressed but this seems to seal OK. I`ve checked all pads also with a light and can`t find a leak.
The C below the D is also playing up an octave but this has always been trying to do this unless I`m really careful with embouchure and have tenor well warmed up.
Would appreciate any help as a gig is next week. Thanks
 

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Sounds like a leak to me, but surely a tech could have it fixed by next week, couldnt they?
 

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leak yes,.... look in the left hand stack, as a tech once told me when I had a similar issue "that's where leaks live." ;-)
 

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Your horn has a leak! Take it to a good tech and get it fixed. It will likely take about 5 minutes to fix, unless it needs some new pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for replies. Well if it`s a leak I can`t find it ,I have been over every pad with a light and they all look good.
 

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That reminds me...

A long time ago I was instrument handler for a school band. A very green tenor player came to me with his instrument, complaining that the lower tones were impossible to play correctly. I could not find anything, but he was obviously correct so I sent it to a technician. I got it back a couple of days later - "could not find any fault, but adjusted it". The next day the tenor player was back - the trouble had returned after about 10 minutes of practice. Sent it back to the technician, got it back the next day. He had tried it, found no fault until he had tried a chromatic scale - then the fault appeared. It turned out that the spring on one of the pads on the back of the sax (the side Bb if I remember correctly) had jumped off. The pad was slightly sticky and as long as it was not touched, it would seal OK. But as soon as the lever was touched, the pad would open and stay slightly open until it was shut by an exterior force - usually when the player took hold of the sax to put in in the case.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Thanks for replies. Well if it`s a leak I can`t find it ,I have been over every pad with a light and they all look good.
In which case you need a tech to find the leak. Leak lights don't show all leaks. try a cigarette paper - it can often be a better indicator but even so, get it to a professional.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And you are right. All you leaking pad suggestors. I took it to a tech. and he found a tiny leak in the pad down from the thumb hook. Rt little finger,D#. Thing is my light testing did`nt show it but the removed resonator had a 2mm edge break.
Anyway the Lower D is perfect and also the C works fine now also everytime.
Ta all.
 

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For future reference, Pete's suggestion is the best way to find a leak. Take a cigarette paper and cut in half diagonally. Lift a pad and put the pointed end of the half cigarette paper under the pad and let the pad go back. If there's a leak you'll feel no friction as you withdraw the paper, or on a bad leak you'll be able to move the paper in and out freely under the pad. If the pad is good you'll have to drag the paper out under friction which sometimes tears the paper. I do this procedure when I give my sax a bit of annual TLC and it only takes a couple of minutes to do all the pads.

I can also highly recommend Stephen Howard's Saxophone Manual.......

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Haynes/Haynes_sax_manual.htm

It's not a substitute for taking your horn to a tech when it needs it, but it's a very useful and informative book which I wouldn't be without.
 

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Hi. I like to maintain my tenor myself. I got the Haynes manual on repairing/adjusting The Saxophone and found it very helpful. But it's necessary to be handy and posess some skill at manipulating several things at the same time. For example to hold a pad clear of its cup using a needle while applying heat to melt the resin/glue in the cup and not to pull too hard on the pad and not apply too much heat. But everyone who plays a tenor can use several fingers on both hands at the same time so I reckon that everyone could make a good job of adjusting the seating of the pads if they really wanted to. Oiling the rotary tubes is no problem, neither is adjusting their bearing clearances difficult. As has already been said, testing for pad sealing involves nothing more technical then using a cigarette paper as a feeler gauge. Some pieces need to be slightly bent to correct existing damage and the book also tells you what not to do, eg don;t try to bend any of the cast pieces as casting break before they bend. I didn't find the description of how various operating rods and levers are supposed to operate and their clearances/overlaps to be particularly well done though.
The lowest resonant frequency of a tenor sax is 116Hz which is A flat concert 2. The lowest note we ever play is A flat concert 3. Why is this?
Any comments, please?
 

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The lowest resonant frequency of a tenor sax is 116Hz which is A flat concert 2. The lowest note we ever play is A flat concert 3. Why is this?
Any comments, please?
I think you answered your own question in the first sentence in the quote above.

Regarding working on your own horn, in a perfect world that would be the way to go. And certainly it would be useful to at least be able to do some minor repairs. In my own case, I'd rather have my tech do it all, since I'd rather spend the time practicing/playing the horn than learning how to work on it. I can screw a loose screw back in or 're-hook' a spring or something really simple like that. But for the rest of it, I'll let my tech who has a few decades of daily experience fixing horns, do the job.
 

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I can screw a loose screw back in or 're-hook' a spring or something really simple like that.
I abreviated your quote, But this is something everyone forgets.
I had a similar issue, and right before my band teacher was going to send it in to the shop, She found a loose screw, screwed it in, and saved about 4 weeks of waiting, a huge bill, and a ton of frustration.
So look for loose screws.
:)
 
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