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Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Discussion Starter #1
My SBA neck has been getting looser and looser. Do you guys thing expanding it so it will fit and be tight will have any noticeable difference on the tone? I assume the metal is getting worn down on the outside over time. Any suggestions?


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If you get it expanded, It could have a dramatic effect. If there is a slight leak it will seal it properly. I recently redid a 10m, and I noticed I had trouble with the lowest notes. I then wrapped the neck tenon with teflon and found it was leaking. I expanded the neck slowly until it was a snug fit, and voila, the low end problems were gone. So I would definitely get the neck resized.
 

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If you get it expanded, It could have a dramatic effect. If there is a slight leak it will seal it properly. I recently redid a 10m, and I noticed I had trouble with the lowest notes. I then wrapped the neck tenon with teflon and found it was leaking. I expanded the neck slowly until it was a snug fit, and voila, the low end problems were gone. So I would definitely get the neck resized.
I agree, try wrapping the tenon with the tape or you can even use some cork grease on the tenon to test for leaks. Could make a HUGE difference...
 

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I would recommend not getting the neck expanded. Rather, especially on an SBA, I would tape the body of the neck up and spray a few coats of clear lacquer on the outside of the tenon. Add a layer at a time until the neck is more secure. Or I would send it to a tech who knows what they are doing, perhaps the neck socket can be closed a bit without messing up the intonation, it's a tough call with a sax like that.
 

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Neff,
It simply wont titen? On my 65' VI tenor I took the tightening screw out cleanrd it deep it in vaseline and screwed it back in and it tightened right up. worth a shot.
 

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As a temporary fix you can use fingernail polish on the tenon. Wait until it is dry before you put it in though. In a bind I have used super glue.

But I would get it expanded and go very slow. Find someone wha has the topline ones. Not the can opener style.
 

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I'd have the tenon sleeve expanded.
It's not wear - it's more likely to be either expansion of the socket or contraction of the tenon.

If you took a perfectly fitting crook joint and waggled the tenon sleeve around in the socket, it would soon become loose...and no wear would have taken place.

Adding bits of tape or lacquer isn't going to solve anything in the long run - and absolutely nothing beats a good, solid, well fitted metal-to-metal joint.
It will improve the response of the horn no end, and better still it will prevent the crook from rocking in the joint - which will otherwise simply add to the problem.

It's a standard job on any sax - from a cheapo horn to a prized vintage beauty.

Regards,
 

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I agree with Swampcabbage. But to expand the neck should only take 15 minutes, and keep in mind you are talking a change on the order of thousandths, which is definitely within the specs of such a horn as a lot of those vintage horns have different neck tenon sizes. I actually bet when we play a sax we flex the body on the order of thousandths. I don't see that we wouldn't considering the shape of the body tube and the lever action of many keys. The only concern I would consider is make sure the neck tenon is thick enough to be expanded without fear of damaging it. A tech would be able to advise you on that. Tenon expansion should not have an acoustic consequence other than possibly making the horn play better, but tone should not be adversely affected just due to the scope of the alteration. I wonder with respect to Swampcabbage, if a certain tenon expander has an affect on the work as I have a can opener style and it has never failed me. I don't know if the type of expander will have any effect as long as the person doing the work knows how to use the tool. I definitely wouldnt keep playing it with a loose neck, because its possible that it could enhance any damage happening to the tenon.
 

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Neff,
It simply wont titen? On my 65' VI tenor I took the tightening screw out cleanrd it deep it in vaseline and screwed it back in and it tightened right up. worth a shot.
A cautionary note here:
The locking screw is really meant to be just that. A crook should fit in the joint nice and snug with no ability to rock. All the screw should do is juuuust nip the top of the tenon up to keep the crook from swivelling. You ought to have a good seal even with the screw undone.
If you have to rely on the screw to do any more than that then it's highly likely that you're stretching the socket. It's a short-term fix that could lead to some nasty problems later on - such as splits developing around the slit.
I've seen plenty of crook sockets that have been cracked in this way.

Regards,
 

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A cautionary note here:
The locking screw is really meant to be just that. A crook should fit in the joint nice and snug with no ability to rock. All the screw should do is juuuust nip the top of the tenon up to keep the crook from swivelling. You ought to have a good seal even with the screw undone.
If you have to rely on the screw to do any more than that then it's highly likely that you're stretching the socket. It's a short-term fix that could lead to some nasty problems later on - such as splits developing around the slit.
I've seen plenty of crook sockets that have been cracked in this way.

Regards,
That's a good point. Its interesting that at the local shop in my home town they did not have a neck expander, and he suggested cutting the receiver to allow it to pinch tighter....That's when I said give me my horn back.
 

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As a temporary fix you can use fingernail polish on the tenon. Wait until it is dry before you put it in though. In a bind I have used super glue.

But I would get it expanded and go very slow. Find someone wha has the topline ones. Not the can opener style.
Emelio suggests the fingernail polish thing. Good solution and easy to remove (nail polish remover)if you don't like it or it works unsatisfactorilly.
 

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I would recommend not getting the neck expanded. Rather, especially on an SBA, I would tape the body of the neck up and spray a few coats of clear lacquer on the outside of the tenon. Add a layer at a time until the neck is more secure. Or I would send it to a tech who knows what they are doing, perhaps the neck socket can be closed a bit without messing up the intonation, it's a tough call with a sax like that.
Frank Tiberi told me he gets his neck tenon silver or gold plated to make it fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I went to my tech today and he fixed up my whole horn while I sat and asked him questions for 3 hours. I learn so much from that guy. He said my neck was leaking. He put a rubber plug in the top of the body of the sax and then put the nexk on and did a type of suction test. He expanded the neck and fit it perfectly with the body. Great fit now and when I tighten the screw it doesn't move at all. The cooloest thing is the sax plays so much better. I couldn't believe it. The response was so much faster and immediate. He did say that some guys are worried about expanding the neck because of tone or intonation but he's been doing for years and never noticed a difference. Thanks guys.
 

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I would second the advice to just take a loose fitting neck to a tech to expand the male tenon to fit properly. Putting anything on the tenon is simply going to require the person doing the fitting to take more time to properly clean it before expanding. The female neck tenon receiver on the body is never "shrunk" to solve a loose neck problem. Occasionally a badly damaged receiver will be replaced. There is no process that I know of to "shrink" this part for a better fit.

I agree with Stephen Howard that a neck must fit with an airtight seal without tightening the neck screw. I have found many cases where the neck feels very tight and still leaks like a sieve due to the fact that the neck tenon is more oval shaped than round. In other cases there is a leak due to the fact that the player has overtightened the neck screw so many times that a "bubble" is created in the receiver just below the slot beneath the tightening screw. In these cases I tap on a curved piece of delrin over the bubble area with a tight fitting pin plug in the receiver to reshape the inside.

In the shop I worked in neck fitting was around $15 in most cases. Temporary, or bandaid fixes seldom work for long, and as I said previously often make more work for the tech doing the repair hence they can then increase the time and expense involved.
 
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