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I would like for those who have played on gold pads on their sax at one time or another to provide some feedback in this thread. Please share what you like or don't like about them. Techs can share their experience installing them. Thanks.
 

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Not personal experience but that of my mentor before he passed away a few years ago. He was a master tech of 35+ years experience. He was a fan of the durability but a bit skeptical of the prep work required. He didn't like the fact that the tone holes had to be filed for the pads to work precisely. It also required significantly more set up work in his opinion which meant the customer had to pay for more time, but he usually just included it with the overhaul price


This is just from memory and I have no personal experience working with them, just thought it might be helpful.

- Saxaholic
 

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a few answers to this question.

Hopefully some of the people will see the alert and react i this thread too. ( there were few previous threads)

I've done a few horns with them. They all sounded very dark and even. They've been very low maintenance but a bear to install.
I have never had any problem with sticking with these pads. I have installed about a dozen sets of them and have them in all my own personal horns and never had a problem w/ sticking (even if I am playing the horn 8+ hours a day while drinking sweet coffee)....

As far as going out of adjustment is concerned, if these pads are installed properly, they won't ever go out of adjustment unless your horn is either made in Taiwan or seriously abused.

The key to installing these pads perfectly, to where they stay "set", is to allow the horn a break-in period after you get the overhaul perfect. I have met a lot of techs who swear that corks don't compress and that overhauls don't need to break in ..... with leather pads, they may be right, but these pads ideally need to break in. They are "ultra-firm" pads, but they also have what Jim calls "temporary pad impression memory" or something like that... Basically, they still have some give to them, and they remember where to allow for it like memory foam...

My procedure is to dry install the pads, level the keys, take the horn apart, add glue, level pads (in a pitch-black room w/ just the weight of the key sealing the pad on the tonehole), install corks and leathers, adjust spring tension, and play the **** out of the horn for 2 weeks to a month. After that, I'll run a light back through it to make sure everything is still sealing perfectly with minimum finger pressure (usually is, but it has been my experience that sometimes corks DO compress and minor adjustments may be necessary).

Please be careful commenting on products that you don't have any experience with. These pads are pure magic, if you ask me... On my primary alto (yani 991b) I've had them installed for over 5 years with NO PROBLEMS WHAT-SO-EVER, even carried around in a gig bag playing 4 nights a week... (no sticking, no leaking, to need for adjustment. I hardly even clean them, to be honest...)

The best thing about these pads, though, is the improvements in tone and response. They dramatically increase the horn's dynamic range (from ppppp to fffffff), and just over-all open up the horn. They really do turn the whole pad into an effective resonator. The last guy I put these pads in for said that after I was done, it felt like I had taken a sock out of the bell of his Mark VI tenor that he had never known was there....

Seriously, before you knock these pads, you should really try them out. I am trying my hardest to show them off and sell them to anyone to comes into our shop, but you really have to play a horn that has them installed to feel how great they are to blow on. Right now, I am trying to get the word out about them by including them FOR FREE with our Premium Overhaul ($500 for soprano/alto/tenor). If you get the horn back after having us (me) put them in and you don't like it, I'll glady take them all out and put in Roo pads FOR FREE. Honestly, I don't like Roo-Pads at all, but I know some people rave about them, so they must have something going for them....
By the way, I don't agree that these pads produce a "darker" sound unless there are leaks still in the horn after they're installed!

I wouldn't say they make the horn sound "brighter", either, though... More like "fuller, more malleable, bigger, more focused"


... and the saxophone pad is WAY DIFFERENT that the flute pad! It seems silly that someone would make an effort to steer someone away from the sax pads after having positive results with the flute pads and assuming the sax pads are identical without any actual experience with them. There are a lot more "give" in the sax pads as opposed to the flute ones, for sure. They are WAY BIGGER, so they have to have more of the ultra-suede 'felt-replacement' material to compensate.

Sorry for ranting, folks, but I saw this thread and had to pipe up and say something. I am working towards making the JS pad our shop's primary stock, and reading *ignorant negative judgements* about the RIDICULOUSLY HIGH QUALITY product I am putting so much money, time, and energy into installing/promoting/stocking just hit a weird chord in me a bit...
The gold pads did go through an evolution. The molly powder that is now impregnated in the skin keeps them from sticking. This happened about 4 or 5 years ago. The cushion is thicker and softer so its easier to install. And the gold plated pads are identical to the black gold pads except for the gold over the top - and that gives you a resonator all the way across the pad and better tone production than any other pad on the market. Test a horn with these pads when you get the chance.

As far as expense - you save money once they're in because they stay in, they don't warp, rot, shrink or tear like leather pads do. They just do what they are supposed to do - seal over the toneholes and work perfectly - long after leather pads get hard and nasty.

BTW the Gold sax pad web page has changed address to:
http://jsengineering.net/goldsaxpads.asp

Or just go to:
jsengineering.net

see Gold sax pad installation demo at:
http://youtu.be/axg5Ui1Dpgo

Jim S
Just got my Mk6 tenor back from my tech the other day with these remarkable pads freshly installed. I am knocked out with the improved sound and response that these metal foil pads have given me . I went for silver finish foil, to match my silver-plate Mk6, and standard riveted slightly domed resonators. volume and projection have increased by about 20% without having to sacrifice warmth and fullness of timbre by reaching for a high baffle mouthpiece.

I figure that the metal foil turns the whole 'internal' face of the pad into a resonator, therefore the specification of reso type is not so crucial. Those partial componnets of the timbre which are normally muted by the sound-absorbent quality of the leather are now all there in the sound. Some players, Bob Ackerman comes to mind, favour a leather pad without any resonator to produce that authentic 'vintage' dark sound. It's different strokes for different folks, and chacun a son gout .

The horn never played great around low B and Bb from the day I bought it new 30 plus years ago (I think this is common with Mk6s to a degree). Now I can subtone (never a strength with me, I'm afraid), and play with more ease in this register than ever before. The filing of the tone hole rims with Jim Schmidt's excellent diamond abrasive tool has required a precision set-up of the pads in their cups, and I now have a completely leak-free instrument for what may be the first time - what a thought! :?

Jim has performed millions of closing tests on these pads without showing significant wear. They are water and rot-proof and, theoretically I can expect to get many years of service without a repad. The action is slick, clean and natural without any noise or clatter and feels very precise, without that little compression that comes with a conventional pad.

Response is extraordinary from ppp to fff throughout the instrument's range, with a crisp and punchy sound. I can strongly recommend these innovative pads to anyone wishing to maximize the potential of their instrument.

All Jim needs is the diameter measurements of your keys and he will make to order.

I must say that these pads are still playing great without any noticeable signs of wear, or leaks - no 'settling-in period' that I remember with leather pads, no signs of chemical interaction with the brass from the tone-hole rims.

You tend to realise that, in the past, you have unconsciously appled too much pressure with your fingers to make sure that leather pads sealed on the tone-hole rim. This causes tension and prevents a relaxed, efficient and precise finger action. Jim Schmidt pads seal through precise alignment with the tone hole rim, which should be perfectly level if you use his tone hole tool.

Bad habits are hard to unlearn and I am still learning to relax my hands more. I shall strangle no more chickens!!! :dazed:

I'll try to respond to some of the questions I've read in these posts. First - I'ts still nice to have a reso. They are not absolutely necessary with a metalized pad but they make for a tidier assembly. The tone is not brighter or darken but actually brighter AND darker. Warm low end tone is not being absorbed either and that adds up to a lot of fat tone. Another issue is pad leakage. Leather pads leak right through the porous skin - they leak about 5 times as much as metalized pads and this effects the sound. The cushion is also important. Sceintific acoustic tests made by John Coltman reveal that natural felts are guilty of robbing tone compared to some synthetic felts. Natural felt also warps all over the place. I don't use natural felt for those reasons. There have been no reported reactions between the metal foil pads and the toneholes and I have not seen this happen after 5 years of extensive testing and many thousands of pads (flute and sax) being used in the field. Thanks to those who have installed them and who have had success with them. I listen to feedback and I am always looking for ways to improve the pad/sax/musical relationship between my products and those who use them.

Jim Schmidt
I've tried several Schmidt overhauls: They are ALL absolutely WONDERFUL! I've tried a sopranino, Mark VI alto, Super action 80 II alto and an old Buescher tru-tone with these pads. Unbelievable. They are expensive but if your horn is your baby...why not treat it to a little TLC and get the pads? Plus, Jim Schmidt is doing some GREAT work for saxophone repair and he is absolutely professional.

They only reason I've yet to get my horn fitted with the pads is I don't have the money! Expect to pay about 600-1000$ for an overahaul with these pads.

Cheers,

Oh...by the way, those Roo pads leak MORE than an normal kid leather pad...that is why some people report "a little resistance" that wasn't there before they got the overhaul. They are wonderfully quiet, don't stick and probably last a long time but if you're worried about leaks, roo pads aren't for you.

Nitro
 

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Some leather (no gold on them) pads are very porous. (Some kangaroo pads are a while lot more porous and still people rave about them.)
Some leather (no gold on them) pads are barely porous at all. It depends on how the leather was processed &/or treated.
I think a fair test would try a variety of different qualities/types of leather pad.
Gold is not the only way to make a leather pad leakproof.
 

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If you look at the video Jim made a reasonably representative test with a Magahelic pump.
 

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I looked at that, and it inspired what I wrote. Did I miss comments on the particular pads being used and the quality of their leather.
I have some music Center pads - traditional type, not gold plated - and can detect no porosity of the leather.
I have come across others which are extremely porous.
 

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Right at the end of the video he takes his conclusions (after he has shown the machine results)


I think he measures a Pisoni third and it measures a 4 with 250gr and 3 with 400gr ( at around 15”)

JS measured 2 at 250gr and 1,5 400gr.

So, at least as far as porosity can be measured with this method, he proves his case even against the Pisoni (which is the best of the tested pads).

He says the JS metal pads are airtight (his words) while leather pads aren't
 

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There are Pisoni pads and Pisoni pads and Pisoni pads, all made by Music Center.
"Pisoni" is a relatively generic label for a variety of Music Center's pads.
A big buyer can make all sorts of specification requests and Music Center will oblige, and these "different" pads may still all have Pisoni written on the back.
Unless I am mistaken this is a paraphrase of what Ed Kraus, a big buyer of Music Centerpads, has said.
 

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Yes, but he has show how, his metal foil pads are superior ( in terms of suction test) to at least 4 other types and brands of leather, has he tested all? I don’t know, but you can certainly replicate his test with any pad of your choice.

I am also reasonably sure that if you ask he will make a test for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When I started this thread, my interest was more toward how the gold pads feel in the keys compared to leather pads and how they affect the timbre of the sound as well as feedback from techs who have installed them. I do have an active interest in acoustics and as some may know I have conducted my own tests to compare the "porosity" of different brands and types of pads. Unfortunately Pauline Eveno became busy with SYOS and could no longer participate in my pad porosity study before any definitive results were achieved with regard to the "acoustic absorption coefficient" of the different pads tested. If there is interest in the topic I could reopen the original thread about my pad study or a new thread could be started under the heading of acoustics.
 

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apparently the only people who have used them here are the people that I quoted above (from older threads), none of them have YET participated to this thread.

I don’t think that opening a new thread will change the fact that these are very rare among the members here.

Similarly, the sound accounts would be anecdotical and offer absolutely nthing in the sense of sound comparison.

Some people above say
I've done a few horns with them. They all sounded very dark and even. .
or the complete opposite

By the way, I don't agree that these pads produce a "darker" sound unless there are leaks still in the horn after they're installed!
 

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This thread got contentious very quickly!

I got my bari overhauled with the Schmidt pads about a year ago. For me this was because I avoid leather when I can for personal reasons, so I was not hoping for or expecting a significant change in sound. And I have not noticed a major change in tone before and after the overhaul--I still sound like me!

The keywork feels snappier and lighter. I can't pinpoint how much of that is due to the harder pads and how much is due to other work that the technician did (I think he replaced many/all of the springs), but I'm very happy with it.

My usual technician here in Austin was lukewarm on the idea of the Schmidt pads, so I asked for recommendations for shops in the central texas area, and after calling around, a different shop suggested that Tony Barrette at TB Winds in Denton might be the guy to talk to. I talked to him on the phone and, while he had not used the Schimdt pads before, he was interested in trying, so I made an appointment to drop of the horn and made the drive up.

He told me when I picked up the horn a few weeks later that he was raising his standard for the condition of horn that he would install the Schmidt pads in in the future, since it took more work than he expected to get everything straightened out and sealing well, so it sounds like they are more work to install than regular pads on a horn that's taken some hits, as many baris have. But I'm very happy/thankful that I was able to get him to install them on my horn first, since he did a great job! Definitely would recommend him to anyone in the Dallas/Denton area.
 

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The issue of exactly how and to what extent small leaks or pad porosity affects an instrument's performance is an interesting one, especially when Benade, initially at least, claimed that we preferred the sound of certain woodwinds with some leaks.
Leaks that affect a pneumatic seal with constant air pressure may well indeed behave differently for rapidly oscillating air in a musical instrument.
That said, the smallest of leaks or porosity seem to affect the response of a flute.

Terms like "darker" or "brighter" sound, and a plethora of others, mean nothing to me. Indeed it seems they can mean opposite things to different people.

Just out of interest and keeping up to date, do these gold plated pads (flute and sax) have a wool felt or a microfibre felt?
 

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I put the gold foil pads on my horn about 14-15 years ago. Mine were before Jim started embedding the black anti-stick powder into the foil. My pads have issues with sticking but otherwise play great. I'd love to have the newer pads and hopefully they don't stick like mine do. In a very old thread, another sax tech responded that he could play 8 hours a day while drinking sweetened coffee and not have the pads stick (but he sells them so I'd like to hear from an ordinary user).

Here is what I can say about foil pads from my experience:
You have to have the tone holes PERFECT
Once you get the pads installed and set perfectly (including a break in period and re-adjust for perfect), the pads don't move or change at all. If nothing bends then the pads will remain perfectly seating or as close to perfectly seating as you originally got them. Mine are still playing wonderfully after 15 years without needing any additional adjustment (they still stick though).

If anything bends even the tiniest bit, the pad will leak and no amount of squeezing harder will make the pad seal the way you can compensate by squeezing harder with a leather pad.

I have two identical horns - one with the foil pads and one with the leather pads. I love the positive feel of the foil pads closing with a snap. If I were going to a gig (an actual real world music situation where stuff gets bounced around) I take the horn with the leather pads because I know I will be able to play even if it gets bumped. If I'm recording a track, I play the horn with the foil pads. The action feels snappier with the foil pads and I play better.

I bought a Hiscox case (after the first time my horn arrived at the show with slightly bent post and was unplayable) so that really helps keep the sax from getting any bumps. The pads and labor are expensive at first but if you get 15 years (I expect I'll get another 15 still) without needing replacement or major adjustments and no mold or rot - that's something to think about.

In an old thread, Jim said in addition to the anti-stick the newer pads have more cushion to them than the ones I have. I got them very early on before he made a lot of improvement so take my comments with that in mind.
 

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In fairness to Jim you refer to a 13 year old post, he may have changed a few things


I haven't been here in the forum for years and just popped in when a google search brought up a very old post of mine about the JS gold foil pads. That old post is in the archives now but it is very misleading as I must have been quoting someone's message saying they never had anyone complain of sticking pads -.

So the best thing to do to correct it is to go in the archive, quote yourself and say what you wrote here, by writing your story here and not there you haven’t corrected that post.

Alternatively you could also alsk one of the moderators or administrators to delete that post


But I see you wrote that they stick

I have a tenor with the gold pads (prior to the ones he sells now with the black powder added) - mine stick like you wouldn't believe. I have to constantly clean them with Q-tips and dust them with magic dust.

The gold pads give a nice, positive feel when you snap them closed - that is nice. I can't say that I hear any change in tone. Even when comparing to my backup which is the identical model - they sounded the same when both had leather pads and to my ear they still sound the same now that one has gold pads.

If you get the adjustment and tone holes leveled absolutely perfect, the gold pads seal fine. But anything short of perfect and it's nearly unplayable (regardless of how hard you press the keys) -- where the leather padded horn can be pretty far out of adjustment and still subtone low Bb easily with a little extra key pressure. I keep it in a hiscox case and so far it has stayed in adjustment.

are you maybe referring to this post?


If this is the post, just add to that post under that comment this is the link

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?11087-Jim-Schmidt-s-Metal-Foil-Pads&p=434027#post434027


I'm just now testing a set of Jim's pads and tonehole files. I thought I'd share some of my initial impressions.

First of all, Jim seems like a great guy. Easy to talk to and not a hint of arrogance -- I like that.

The tonehole files are spectacular -- don't know how I've lived without them.

I'm using my personal YTS-62 as the test subject - it is one of the really early YTS-62 (4 digit serial, purple Yamaha logo) and has never had the toneholes leveled since it was made. It has seen a lot of travel in its original coffin case (which is pretty battered by now) and has had minor adjustments and straightening performed on the road to fix leaks caused by being bounced around in the luggage bin on airflights. So, I am finding that the toneholes are not at all level. It would be interesting to test a freshly built instrument, I doubt the toneholes would be perfect even then. These files are great!

It is taking me some practice to learn to use the tonehole files correctly. Jim has tips on his webpage and sent sheets along with the files with the suggestions. If you use too much pressure (especially on larger toneholes) you can end up with a rocker rather than a flat tonehole - the brass toneholes can flex when you push down too hard - the short sides (where the edge of the tonehole is closest to the body) have more flex than the longer sides so they can flex away from the file - you have to learn to use a light pressure to just catch the high spots.

For experimenting purposes and to get used to these new pads and techniques, I just replaced a few pads on the horn. I knew how the horn was sealing and playing before, so I wanted to verify that the new pads were sealing at least as well as the old leather ones. I replaced the G# pad first. And at first I wasn't impressed with the sealing - I was pretty skeptical about how these smooth,firm pads could ever seal as well, metal to metal, as a soft pad. I listened to the sound made when popping the keys down - the new pad didn't sound the same as the old leather pads. The leather pads had more of that "pulling a cork out of a bottle" or "popping your cheek" sort of "doit" sound and the metalic pads not nearly as much. With just a few of the new pads installed, I played the horn on a few shows and it played fine - didn't feel at all like it was leaking - but I still wondered if metal pads could possibly seal as well as leather.

OK ... two days later I practiced more with the tonehole files and realized I had not gotten the toneholes truely flat. This time I got it really level and then I cut circles of wet/dry sandpaper and used with the smooth side of the file to smooth out the file marks -- finished up with scotchbrite to deburr. And this time I got a very good seal and a good sounding pop when I closed the pad. It still sounds very different from the leather pad pop (I think leather has a pitch change as it pops - because of the seating groove) but it is now a solid tone - more defined - and I'm confident that it actually is sealing very well.

I still haven't done the whole horn -- I want to leave it with just a few metalic pads in various spots up and down the stack so I can compare how they behave next to a leather pad. I keep learning a little more about the technique needed for these pads, I suspect it'll take a few rebuilds to get it down -- I've done plenty of overhauls but this is a different technique for me -- and I'm starting to really love the pads not being soft and cushy. You get a very positive seating with no wiggle room -- when you want to articulate a closing (F closing the G# and Bb for example) there is none of that compensating and guessing for give in the pad. You just adjust it perfectly and both keys have a very specific point where they are closed.

I'll report more after a few weeks and after I've done the whole horn. But for now I can tell I'm really going to like the positive feel.

These pads probably won't be as forgiving as leather pads in the event of having the horn knocked about during travel -- I've been on tour out in the middle of nowhere and had to rely on wetting the leather pads and clamping before a performance - that will never work with these pads. These need a perfectly flat tonehole and a perfect alignment.
 

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My purpose in posting in this thread was to respond to the OP's request for users of gold foil pads to respond with what they like and don't like about them.

I was searching to find other users of the gold foil pads (someone who doesn't sell them) that I could hear their experiences with them and whether or not they stick.

When I did a google search for "gold foil sax pads reviews" the top of that search was this:
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/archive/index.php/t-105181.html

And I don't see any way to edit or add posts on that page.
View attachment 267096
 

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You are posting in a completely different place so what you are trying to do to help is not helping and has no bearing on the archive I'm talking about.

The archive page I'm talking about (did you follow the link I posted) is not a page you can post on - if it were, I would have posted there already.
 

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I was trying to help.......anyway you can ask a moderator. I’ve edited back the post
 
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