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Some time ago I took my Yamaha YAS 25 alto sax to a repair shop and was told it would cost over 400 pounds to repair, the guy in the shop told me I'd be better off buying a new sax, as I needed a sax for a gig that week I ended up buying one of those Chinese horns for 395 pounds.
Ive been playing the chinese horn for 6 months now and it sounds fine but some of the keys are already sticking and one of the pads has split already.

When I compare the build quality of this new horn to my old horn I have come to realise that my old horn is a far better instrument. Even though the guy in the shop told me my old horn was worthless in its current state.

However the only problem I have with my old horn is as follows :

when I press the octave key with all notes open c sharp, the octave on the neck lifts as it should do. If I then keeep the octave key depressed so Im still in the high register and play a to g, when im playing the g onwards down the sax the lever behind the second octave further down the sax lifts and at this point the second octave should open but it doesnt, if I ommit the a and go straight to the g the second octave opens fine and the octave on the neck closes as it should do.

In the first instance where the second octave doesnt open I get squeaking particularly on E and D, however if I push (give it a little help) the octave on the neck down so the octave on the neck closes and the second octave opens as it should do, then everything sounds fine.

I have taken the octave mechanism on the side of the sax apart and cleaned everything and reassembled it, but it still happens.

I now believe that the spring (the thin metal strip underneath the neck octave lever) on the neck mechanism does not have enough tension to force the mechanism to close the neck octave and hence open the second octave.

Sorry I don't know how well I have explained this but does this make sense to anyone ?

I am no expert so could be totally wrong, hence why I am posting on here.

If this is my problem does anyone know where I can get a replacement sring for the neck octave ?

In truth I do not believe my old sax needs major repair work as I can see myself that if I could solve this one small problem then my old sax would play perfectly.

Please help me becuase I want my old sax back.

Regards
Steve (in the UK)
 

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If I were you I would contact Stephen Howard.

Here's the link to his website, which in turn will give you contact details;

www.shwoodwind.co.uk/index.htm

He's a very good tech. a very nice guy and he doesn't rip people off.

Whilst I wouldn't want to make any promises on his behalf, my experience is that he has been happy to give straight forward advice regarding things that can be tried before you bring it in for repair. Likewise if he believes the sax can only be sorted by a professional he has said so.

I don't know where you are based, Steve's workshop is in Hampshire.
 

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juninho9999 said:
If this is my problem does anyone know where I can get a replacement sring for the neck octave ?

In truth I do not believe my old sax needs major repair work as I can see myself that if I could solve this one small problem then my old sax would play perfectly.

Please help me becuase I want my old sax back.

Regards
Steve (in the UK)
I think you are making sense.

If bending it a bit more snappy is not working for you , flat springs are included in the "music medic" repair kit..its a great thing for any aspiring DIYer to own anyway...you can do the odd simple pad, or a neck cork, or silence a clicky mechanism too.

I didnt bother with the $95 box kit as I had a few tools already, I just got the refill for about $45.
http://www.musicmedic.com/catalog/products/mm-200.html

£400+ for a repair strikes me as rather excessive...the tech must have either thought a full repad / overhaul was necessary, or else saw an opportunity to sell a 395 sax.

Another alternative to increasing the tension of the neck spring is to decrease the tension of the spring thats keeping the auxiliary octave vent closed...the danger of that is that it might not have enough guts to keep it shut when it should be then, so I wouldnt mess with it too much. Missing or compressed corks might be a problem too...did it get worse over time (spring tension or cork compression), or was it good one day, bad the next?(something fell off perhaps?)

If you cant figure out the repair yourself by all means take it to a different tech for a second opinion...this on its own sounds like a simple enough thing to fix...certainly not £400!
 

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As others have said, £400 seems somewhat excessive (I wonder if the shop guy was on commision:? ). That would be true many saxes, but for a Yamaha especially so, as they have a reputation for being solid and reliable. Canadiain's suggestion to bend the spring a bit more to increase the tension is a good one, and it might be worth your while to examine the octave mech closely, to try to establish what's supposed to happen when it operates, and what's stopping the second octave from lifting when it should. There's a variety of different systems depending on manufacturer, and I don't have a Yam to hand at present, but another possibility is that a small piece of cork has fallen off or become compressed. Good luck!
 

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IMO, with YAS-25, the problem is unlikely to be the spring, unless a misguided person has messed it up.

1. Consider the arm that operates the neck key. Unless I am mistaken, on a YAS-25 it is covered with a polythene (?) tube, and that is in turn is covered with some heat-shrink Teflon tube. The Teflon tube is there for its low friction qualities. During normal use, it tends to UN-shrink, and fall off. If it has fallen off, then there is more friction against the polythene tube, so that neck key force is not passed on well to the octave mechanism. An easy correction is to put the tiniest smear of grease - even 'nose grease' - on this tube.

2. Take the neck off, and and finger second octave G. Now with your right hand, check how freely that above-mentioned arm can b e moved. It should move really, really freely. If not, then there is something jamming in the octave mechanism. There can be many causes; you have to track down the cause. At least take it apart again, and check that all the tubes move freely on on the hinge rod, and that all the parts swing freely on the rod while off the instrument.

Good luck. The following may help.

http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=312749#post312749
 

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Unfortunately, you got played by the guy in the shop who moved a new junk horn at your expense (estimating the repair cost at just over the price of the new horn). Now that new horn certainly wouldn't be worth it to overhaul one day, but considering what new YAS 25's cost, having a reputable shop fix yours up makes sense. You just have to find a reputable shop.
 

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I would go consult with a trustworthy repairer. I don't think they would charge you for just looking at the instrument (maybe ask first). I'm not in UK, but I've heard good things about Howarth, Steve Howard (spoke with him a bit too), and I also got a lot of help from Griff above (username griff136) which was really nice and sounds like a good person to me.

I know prices in London can be very high but £400 just doesn't make sense for the saxophone you describe unless you secretly invented new ways to destroy a saxophone and used them on it. You say 6 months, do you have a warrenty for this new saxophone? As long as you don't need to pay might be worth asking?

Maybe by examining the mechanism you can learn more about it and be able to know if somone is making up stuff (hopefully with your next repairer you won't need to).
 

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£400 is a lot of money, I charge significantly less than that for a full repad including new corks/ linkage material and felt, and also include minor accessible dentwork.
Take your sax to a tech, the majority of us will not charge you for an honest up front appraisal.

Heck I would even show you the leaks using a light in the darkened practice room in our shop and explain exactly what was wrong, how it would be rectified and a fair quote of how much it was going to cost.

Most guys and girls I know in the repair business would do the same.
 

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When I compare the build quality of this new horn to my old horn I have come to realise that my old horn is a far better instrument. Even though the guy in the shop told me my old horn was worthless in its current state.
It's certainly possible. Restoring student horns needing extensive work can be a negative economy when the street value fixed is exceeded by the repair cost. In that sense, an unplayable horn needing $400 in repairs that will be sellable for only $400 after the fact is indeed worthless as a commodity. However, to use a car analogy (which I hate, as a rule): you'll probably find that you put more fuel and repair in your vehicle cost-wise than you make in payments over the life of the car, but that doesn't mean that the car just isn't worth fueling. It's really not about the car, it's about the utility you derive from having a vehicle that takes you places.
 
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