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Seeker Of A Clever Title.
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I have a four-year old yas-275, and the pads look pretty bad. Pretty much all of them have dark circles, and my high f pad is even torn a little bit. The sax still plays (It plays great), but the pads seem to be dying. My parents don't wanna repad the sax, since it costs a lot of money (their philosophy: if it isn't broken, why fix it?). Does my sax need a repad? How many years would a normal sax's pads last before needing a repad?
 

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I think I remember reading once that under normal use (I have no idea how that is defined), that a set of pads should last 7 or 8 years. Of course, I'm sure it all depends on how much you play and how well you take care of your horn. Both of my Yamahas are about 4 years old and neither one is close to needing a repad, but then again I play about 10 hours a week between the two horns. Maybe they just need to be cleaned, or maybe you've developed some leaks. The torn pad should be replaced. Perhaps someone else with more experience can chime in.
 

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My Selmer USA's pads lasted quite a while before any of them needed to be replaced. I have not had the instrument repadded yet. I've owned this instrument since new, I purchased it in 1993. I play every week, not every day, often for 3 or 4 hours at a stretch.

Most often the tech will replace only the pads that are bad and then regulate the action when you take it in for a "tune-up". Many of the pads will discolor with regular use and aging, it doesn't mean they are shot.

Pads that are torn, or hard, or split, or have grunge growing on them need to be replaced.

If you have a repair tech nearby, take it in for a look and get a professional opinion. Keep in mind that not all techs are equal, find out from a fellow saxophonist, or a teacher who they recommend or who they have do repair on their own horns.

Four years sounds a bit early for a full repad, but you should take it in once a year at least for a tune-up.

dv
 

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Seeker Of A Clever Title.
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I dont have any leaks (except for on my low b but I've never seen it on any music so that should be fine), and the torn f pad stil seals, so it seems more convenient to get them all repadded at once. Should I get that pad fixed now?
 

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High F is an easy pad to replace, just get it done and have it adjusted. Shouldn't cost that much if you can find somebody who isn't up to their eyeballs in school work right now.
 

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Well, I kinda dont have time to get it repadded now since I'm going to band camp in 2 days and I still have to practice my audition piece (andante and allegro :D ). Unless there's a tech out there that can get it done and back to me within two hours, I think Ill have to wait 2 weeks. It should be fine if it hasn't leaked up until now right?
 

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zxcvbnm said:
I dont have any leaks (except for on my low b but I've never seen it on any music so that should be fine), and the torn f pad stil seals, so it seems more convenient to get them all repadded at once. Should I get that pad fixed now?
Actually you definitely have at least one leak if the the low B is not playing, and yes you need all the notes on the horn!

It takes a tech just a few minutes to replace a pad in the upper part of the horn. Odds are you need 2 or 3 pads replaced in the upper stack, including the torn one. It shouldn't take long at all assuming you can find a tech who can fit it in before you go to band camp. If they have time to do it, you can probably take it in and get it back within the hour.

It is not at all uncommon to need one of those smaller pads replaced after 3 or 4 years of playing. You probably don't need a full repad.
 

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well it's not really a leak but the low b pad is a a slight angle so I need to push hard to close it. But so far, I haven't seen any music where I have to play low b (yet).
 

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Plus all the techs at nearby music stores always have a lot of stuff to do so it usually takes a few days to get the sax back.
 

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This is when having a trustworthy and busy technician is good to know for the proper answer. Take your sax to him and ask him (or her).
 

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zxcvbnm said:
well it's not really a leak but the low b pad is a a slight angle so I need to push hard to close it.
umm... what exactly do you think a leak is?

Also, just because you can play a note doesn't mean there are no leaks. If you haven't done a test with a leak light, the fact is, you just don't know.
 

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And the fact is, no one here can evaluate the condition of your horn. Bottom line, if you've been playing it for 4 years, one pad is torn, one is not sealing (the B pad), and you haven't had any work done on the horn in that amount of time, you'd be wise to take it to a tech and have it "tuned-up." At the very least, you'll probably get a couple pads replaced.

It ain't exactly broke, but it probably ain't up to snuff either. Finally, you will, some day, want to play that low B. I can guarantee you that.
 

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If it is a vintage horn then straight away. Moderns horns often need to be tweaked before they play, particularly brand news horns that have just been unpacked.

In short, get any horn that is new to you looked first before you start playing on it.
 

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I agree with what Bootman said, but since this horn has been played for 4 years. It obviously needs to be checked. You are also going to a music camp, where no doubt you will be playing music. If I were you I would want to know the full range of my horn worked, not just part of it, but hey its not me playing the horn its you.

Take it into a bathroom, close the door. Drop a light down the body of the horn, and press down all the keys. If you see light you have a leak.
 

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You might have to replace selective pads that catch a lot of moisture, e.g. the G#. Besides replacing it and the high F and the octave key on the neck, you shouldn't need a complete pad job for 7 to 10 or so years. And, the low B and Bb might not have to be replaced for 15 or 20 years. It's not cut and dried, of course, it depends on the aforementioned variables and how much pressure you put on them playing.
 

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I play my horn a lot. My alto during the summer gets anywhere from 5-8 hours a day of playing and durring the school year it gets anywhere from 7-9. Even though I swab my horn a lot to try and keep it dry inside, I play a lot. I would assume that even though I take very good care of my horns, since I play more than a lot of people, my horn needs to go in to get tweaked more often and will need a repad in less time. I think a lot of factors contribute to it.
 
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