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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello SOTW!
I'm brand new here and just picked up a vintage alto saxophone from Goodwill that will would like to dabble with until I eventually have much more time. I learned clarinet in high school, so I'm familiar with a reed and mouthpiece. I put the sax together and can get a sound, but I think there's something in the body that shouldn't be there. I can't get the swab through and I can't see light passing through the keys beyond that point. I can get some sound, but only a couple different notes that change with keys closer to the mouth piece.

Is this a foreign object or a part of the saxophone that might be out of line? If it's something that doesn't belong, I'll use something to push it down toward the wider end. I don't want to spend a huge amount of money on this to take it in for an overhaul - I just wanted something inexpensive to learn how to play a little and if I stick with it, I will look at a nice tenor saxophone. This is not a good start! Thanks for any advice for this newbie!

106565
 

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T880, YTS-82Z; B991; 'Crat 1 alto
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Now we are all curious to see whether the mouthpiece is some valuable vintage piece worth more than the horn. Mystery body tube candy . . . .
 

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To be clear, to get that mouthpiece out, it needs to be pushed out from the top down toward the bottom (as you're looking at it in your picture). It will only get stuck worse if you try to turn it upside down and get it out from the top. I would just stick a broom handle in from the top and give it a tap, being careful not to hit that octave pip (tube) that you see coming in from the side.
 

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saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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A drum stick would be a good pusher. Also chop stick or flute swab. Don’t try to bang it out.
 

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Scroll shank Selmer Soloist. I’ll bet a large glass of water that’s what it is. I’d imagine those scroll shanks get stuck easily.

If it’s totally jammed stuck, are we talking freezer time?
 

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To be clear, to get that mouthpiece out, it needs to be pushed out from the top down toward the bottom (as you're looking at it in your picture). It will only get stuck worse if you try to turn it upside down and get it out from the top. I would just stick a broom handle in from the top and give it a tap, being careful not to hit that octave pip (tube) that you see coming in from the side.

A drum stick would be a good pusher. Also chop stick or flute swab. Don’t try to bang it out.
You are correct! I will edit out my previous suggestion.
 

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Agree with everybody else. I've found a ligature, and a mouthpiece cap, stuck in the body of a used saxophone. It will probably come out with a light tap using a chopstick or similar inserted from the neck end. If it doesn't come out right away, you can try poking in through the tone hole near the obstructing object to wiggle it side to side and loosen it up.

The stuffy sound / refusal to play is due to the obstruction; when you get it out the sax should play normally (aside from the leaky pads that a used sax often has). I had that experience with the stuck mouthpiece cap. You'd think I would learn to look into a horn before trying to play it.
 

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It does look like a mouthpiece (or possibly a mouthpiece cap or end plug). Sometimes these items will find their way into the body if they are loose in the case. As was suggested, push it down (towards the bottom of the sax and then allow it to exit from the bell. A drum stick will work good for this, but a broom stick will be too big. Or use a wooden dowel rod. Be gentle, so as not to damage horn or mouthpiece (if that is ineed what is stuck in there).

As an aside, you might just have a nice find in there...you never know. I once had an unplayable horn laying around for a year or so before I noticed that there was a mouthpiece stuck in the body tube. When I popped it out, it turned out to be a rare Simpson mpc worth $500. Now every time I get a horn that is one of the first things I look at. I've found many more mpcs stuck where they shouldn't be since then, but unfortunately no more valuable ones.
 

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One more suggestion, lay the horn down on its side when you do this so the tip of the mouthpiece doesn't get damaged when it lands after breaking loose. Once it's free, slowly and gently rotate the horn to slide the mouthpiece out the bell and catch it so it doesn't hit the floor. Would be a shame to ruin the mouthpiece in the process.

I've been in this situation a couple of times. I used to have a very small sax stand that was stored in the bell. More than once I haven't discovered that I forgot to remove it until I tried to play a low Bb. Quite embarrassing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks so much, everyone! I really didn't even expect a response today.

It is a mouthpiece, I used a drumstick to push it down toward the bell, as suggested. It was a little wedged but then came out pretty easily with a couple firm, but careful, bangs on the end of the stick. Here it is! It's pretty solid, but I wouldn't expect it's a huge bonus find since there's a crack in what I think might be wood.

I'm happy to say I could get the swab all the way through and to make a few more notes. Now, I need to learn to play - some of the sounds I'm getting are the familiar screeches I made when learning the clarinet too many years ago. :)

106569
 

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too bad its not a better mpc. i once bought a very nice the martin and found an awesume early babbit meyer alto mpc inside
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
too bad its not a better mpc. i once bought a very nice the martin and found an awesume early babbit meyer alto mpc inside
Not my day to win that lottery. Oh, well. I'm just happy that it seems to work now and I can begin to work on the basics. There's other stuff in the case that I'm not sure what it is. I'll post a picture another time to see what people can tell me. I tried a Google search, but it's hard to find info about something if you don't know the right name for it!
 

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What is that imprinted on the shank?

if it turns out to be something special it seems possible to me that the crack(s) could be mended, but others would know more about that than I do…
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I found similar online
What is that imprinted on the shank?

if it turns out to be something special it seems possible to me that the crack(s) could be mended, but others would know more about that than I do…
I think the crack is just on the outside finish, but the metal on the inside looks sound. It might still be usable.

I found similar online. It's a Frank Holton & Co. Bakelite/Metal Alto Sax Mouthpiece - the saxophone is Frank Holton. The only inscription I can see is PAT APPLIED FOR.
 
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