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Discussion Starter #1
One of the back keys (right below the left thumb position) of my Yamaha YAS-23 is leaking a bit, making it difficult to emit low notes. I put the light inside the sax and i can see the key leaking on its underside.
Do you recommend me to replace the pad or try to bend it a little?
You can see the key i am talking about in the picture below:
View attachment 221146
Thanks!
 

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That is the side C key.

I do not know if you do home repairs yourself, so it is a bt hard to answer your question.

If you do not, and you need the horn to play now....and you do not often use the side C key and are OK with using the standard C fingering....you can cut a piece of cork wedge and wedge it beneath the key arm of that key, where it meets the fork, and keep wedging until the leak vanishes - to keep it shut for now. Then get it to a tech for a quick repair. As I said, then you will not be able to use the side C fingering.

If you are mechanically inclined, you can try two other things.

1) if you have a small torch of some sort, either a propane or butane torch, you can apply light pressure to the back of the keycup with a metal utensil (even a spoon or knife), and heat the back of the keycup with the torch. If there is sufficient shellac/glue in the keycup, this might 're-float' the pad enough to get it to seal, or at least make the leak significantly smaller. You could even conceivably use a cigarette lighter and turn the sax upside down. Hold the flame tip to the keycup for several seconds..maybe 8 to 10 seconds, to get the glue/shellac to melt. Remove the flame, wait maybe 10 seconds, then cool the keycup by squirting it with water or using a wet cloth on it.

2) you can take a knife (or popsicle stick), open the key, put the knife beneath the top 1/4 or 1/5 of the pad, close the key, then with medium force push down on the bottom of the keycup (where the key spine meets the cup) and see if slightly bending the key will make the leak vanish. You will then need to check that you haven't opened a leak in the top, where the knife was. Medium force = on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being light force just applied with your thumb like ringing a doorbell...10 being as hard as you can and with all your weight...use a 5 or so.

If you do home-fixes, then you may already have the proper tools, but if not, what I mentioned are common household items which will do.

It is not necessarily the PAD which has failed....it could be the horn took a knock at that location and that made the key leak. But it is also possible it needs a new pad....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Usually i do some fixes but i'm always a little afraid of doing something "irreversible".
I will try the (1) and if it not works, i'll try the second one.
Thanks!
 

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If by "underside" you mean the lower part of the key cup that is closest to the arm, you may be able to bring the back of the key cup down using a method I often find effective. That is to take a 1/2" diameter oak dowel about 3" long and press it firmly against the junction of the key cup and the arm. Then I give it a sharp tap with a plastic or rawhide mallet, check with a leak light, and repeat just one more time if one tap didn't work. If it has not brought the back of the key down in 2 taps, I move on to an other method. The tricky part of heating a key cup to "refloat" a pad is that you are at the mercy of the type and amount of glue used when the key was installed. Yamaha's are usually pretty good, but not always. Sometimes a pad will have been installed by another tech that replaces the original pad adding another variable.

The times that I end up heating a key cup and "re-floating" a pad, I have good success using Curt Altarac's "tappy tap" method. This is where you tap a key closed repeatedly while the glue is still hot allowing the pad to find its own seat naturally. I do this a lot when installing new pads and it is embarrassing sometimes how easy it is (if you have done all of the necessary prep work first).
 

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I have this precise problem on my "new" Academy (JK Tone King III stencil) alto, and will try at least one of these fixes. But while I'm fairly handy, and realize it's the standard fix, the idea of putting an open flame to my horn still gives me pause. . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I took off the pads with an alcohol lamp, then cleaned up the glue in the hole, and glued it again with shellac. After installed again in the sax, i warmed it again with the alcohol lamp and pressed to the keys with normal force letting them to reseat by hand and all of it's good now.

Thanks all for the help!
 

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I took off the pads with an alcohol lamp, then cleaned up the glue in the hole, and glued it again with shellac. After installed again in the sax, i warmed it again with the alcohol lamp and pressed to the keys with normal force letting them to reseat by hand and all of it's good now.

Thanks all for the help!
Good job. Just a suggestion. It is helpful to mark the orientation of a pad before removing it---especially if it has developed a "seat". I like to draw a line on the leather using a pencil that can later be erased that points to the arm of the key. Rarely is the tonehole perfectly centered to the pad, so when it is turned slightly the "seat" or impression in the pad no longer matches the tonehole. This can make it harder to get it to seal.
 

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Good job. Just a suggestion. It is helpful to mark the orientation of a pad before removing it---especially if it has developed a "seat". I like to draw a line on the leather using a pencil that can later be erased that points to the arm of the key. Rarely is the tonehole perfectly centered to the pad, so when it is turned slightly the "seat" or impression in the pad no longer matches the tonehole. This can make it harder to get it to seal.
Yes, that's a very good suggestion!
Thanks!
 
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