Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is my first post here on SOTW. I am relatively new to the saxophone, I play a King straight soprano. I am getting a vibrato type gurgling sound when I play in the lower registers particulary low D or C. I have taken the horn in to a reputable technician that my teacher also uses. He replaced some worn pads and reset the stack however I still get the same sound. He said that the older horns have this problem, mine is a 1926, he did not get the sound when he played it and it sounded beautiful but said that he naturally was adjusting for it, he did not charge me because the sound was still there for me. I use an Otto Link #5 metal mouthpiece and a Vandoren Java 2.5, the tech was using a selmer. Could the mouth piece be the problem or is it the horn or is it me and my lack of experience, embouchure etc.? He let me play another soprano that he had just finnished working on with my mouthpiece and it sounded beautiful from top to bottom with my otto link. Any help ot advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,285 Posts
Sopranosaxist: Welcome to SOTW. I once owned a King Saxello and played a friend's King straight sop. I had no problem with the horns, other than like every saxello I've played, the scale was awful.

I thought it was interesting that you were able to properly play another soprano, but had problems with the King. I can't help but think the tech missed something even though he was able to play it properly. While it could be you or the mouthpiece, I'm guessing there may still be something wrong with the horn. I've always had success in slowly evaluating each mechanism myself to see that everything was closing when it should (G#, low C#, the bisBb, upper and lower octave vents, etc., etc.).

I prefer mouthpieces more open than yours - I use a 7* metal Link on my Buescher TT and an 8* metal Link on my S992, I also like the Selmer Super Sessions and S-80's in their J-facings.

Maybe shoving the piece on further than where it is now will help your problem, as posted above. Many inexperienced players fail to do that - and end up with playing problems. My pieces are really far on the corks, both modern and vintage horns. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Tech/Forum Contributor 2007
Joined
·
983 Posts
it could be the key height of the low C key. if the bell keys are too close, this could make the low D very stuffy.

it is possible that the selmer mp the tech was using, was better suited to the key heights on the horn, (it would depend on the facing).

if you are adventurous, try taking off the low C key and play a D, (it will be howwibly out of tune) but see if the you still get the gurgle. if not, i would ask the tech to adjust the key heights on the bottom of the horn.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Tech/Forum Contributor 2007
Joined
·
983 Posts
actually i saw that it was D and low C, so it could be the keyheights. also how worn is your neck cork? if the neck cork is really worn this could be causing a small leak at the neck. I thought the worn neck cork theory was hogwash but was pretty shocked at the difference putting a new neck cork on my alto made for low note response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I'll check into the neckcork theory. Mine is pretty worn, the other horn I played had a new neck cork on it and the tech had his mouth piece alot further down on the cork than I , I'll check that out. We would think that the tech would easily pick out something like that for a possible problem. I guess I needed to come here first and then go to the tech with my new found wisdom. Thanks, I'll let you know how it works out when ever I can find time to get my horn over to the repair shop to replace the neck cork. I was thinking of getting a new soprano but I really think this horn has potential. I have heard a professional play it for me and it sounds beautiful, like right out of the Glen Miller era with a superb mellow tone. I'll keep the King Silver Soprano forever. If I can't solve the problem, I will have to look for a new, modern, correctly set up soprano. I just love the soprano sound.
 

·
Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
Joined
·
3,407 Posts
I'm along with mike s. If the neck cork is worn at the tip, it can induce warbling in the lower notes if there's an internal gap to the mouthpiece shank bore - particularly on the smaller horns like soprano.

What's tricky about diagnosing this is that you can have a mouthpiece that fits tightly on the neck, but still has this internal gap. Wrap some teflon tape on the tip of your neck cork and see if this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks ez sax, I'll give that a shot as well when I get home from work, I guess the teflon tape would be a quick fix until I can get the neck re-corked? Right?
 

·
Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
Joined
·
3,407 Posts
Yes, you can apply it and reapply teflon tape as necessary, but it's probably best to get the neck cork replaced. Just be sure that whoever does it leaves enough cork on the tip to give a good seal inside the mouthpiece.

This can be of particular nuisance if you like to switch between different mouthpieces a lot. On alto and tenor, I keep two necks with different cork thicknesses so I don't have to fuss with teflon tape.

At times, I've had to open the shank bore of the mouthpiece a touch so that it fits "head-to-toe" a little better - to match the taper of the cork.

You can email me off-line if you want to get into greater detail with this.
edzentera(at)gmail(dot)com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
I love the teflon tape. You can find it in the plumbing section at your hardware store. Not only can you diagnose neck cork problems with it, it is actually possible to use it as a permanent solution instead of cork and you don't have to grease it.

As to the general warbling problem, I certainly agree that it could be keyheights as well but remember that a more experienced player with more exposure to different mouthpieces/reeds/setups is going to have an easier time adapting to a slightly "off" sax. Your tech may just be a more adaptable soprano player.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,072 Posts
I have had this problem on many early saxes. I think it is just the basic design of the older horns where a cetain type of mouthpiece is needed for some players. On a Conn soprano I had, it would gurggle on the low C and down on a Selmer or similar mouthpiece and once I went to a Link 5* HR (an old slant model), problem solved. I think you might want to try a Rascher or Caravan to see if that helps. I bet the problem will go away with a vintage original mouthpiece but the sound will be rather "old".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
My first hunch is that your mouthpiece is too far out, as previously stated by several posts. Sopranos generally don't show much cork, compared with larger saxes. Your tech's Selmer has a smaller chamber than a link and should be more finicky. Either way a bigger chamber would probably help the situation and improve the scale. Ralph Morgan has made his large chamber classical pieces with more open facings (6) that may work well. -Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
These are all great suggestions, I tried the teflon and it seemed to work for a bit but then the warbling came back but not as strong. Keep in mind that my horn is a one piece straight sax with the cork on the end for the mouthpeice, I did notice last night that when I took off the mouthpiece that there was moisture on the cork and teflon, is this normal? Should moisture be getting on the cork?
 

·
Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
Joined
·
3,407 Posts
I generally don't end up with a super wet cork when I'm done playing, but some may get on there - not very far down the tip of the neck, though. Some may drip or get transferred to it when you pull off the mouthpiece. Maybe try a heavier layer of tape. As your neck cork is compressed and/or damaged, it's probably best you have a tech replace it anyhow. Just make sure they leave it as heavy as possible on the tip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I am thinking of getting a Ralph Morgan vintage style mouthpiece with a bigger chamber along with getting the re-corking of course, maybe get an improved sound all the way around, I do like the vintage sound and seeing as how I have'nt really found my sound yet, maybe I should experiment. I currently have a hard plastic yamaha and a very nice otto #5. Maybe I should just buy a new/modern horn, I've been looking for an excuse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I get that sound on my alto when I switch to my classical mouthpice. I have to work around it and open up a little. I would try a more open mouthpiece maybe a 6 or 7. If no luck at least you know that another soprano is an option and you can sound good on other horns. It just may be that a new horn might be what you want. If you want that mellow older kind of sound, try the Rampone Cazzani Saxello.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2010
Joined
·
574 Posts
Forked Eb?

If replacing the cork and checking the C key height doesn't help, how about checking the forked Eb key? I'm not sure if the Kings have them, but my Buescher TT has it on the back of the horn just under the thumb rest. It opens when you play E, but is supposed to close when you play D. It has to be regulated perfectly or else it'll leak, causing your tone to break on your switch from E to D. Also, if you lift your middle finger (the one that closes the E key), even slightly, this will open that key, causing you problems. Many people don't use the forked Eb fingering, so they just reverse the spring to keep it permanently closed. If you have this key, try reversing the spring and see if that helps any.

fm
sopranosaxist said:
I am thinking of getting a Ralph Morgan vintage style mouthpiece with a bigger chamber along with getting the re-corking of course, maybe get an improved sound all the way around, I do like the vintage sound and seeing as how I have'nt really found my sound yet, maybe I should experiment. I currently have a hard plastic yamaha and a very nice otto #5. Maybe I should just buy a new/modern horn, I've been looking for an excuse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
I had that problem with my yani s901 when I still had it. After numerous trips to two different techs, I still had that problem. I then went to my local store and played it alongside a YSS 475 with different mouthpieces and reeds. I gurgled on the S901, but the YSS played with no problems. It bummed me out, and I had to sell the horn. I played another S901 at kessler, and that one played with no problems.
Try it out for a little longer with different setup and see what happens. Maybe you are not compatible with that particular horn.
BTW, I now have a modern horn and an antique, so I don't think the era of the horn matters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I don't know if this applies to a soprano, but this can happen on my Yani 901 alto. I love soft reeds on an open tip mouthpiece. If I "work" on a reed a little too much and get it too soft, I will get kind of a warbeling??? tone on C1and below. You might try a little harder reed and see if this makes a difference. Just a thought. TxTate
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Breath support my dear fellow, breath support. Some horns need more than others. Work those long tones baby!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top