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Hello,

I purchased a new Yamaha alto sax back in about 2017, played it casually at home for about two years, and now haven't touched it in about 15 months due to various distractions. The sax has been in a case the whole time in my basement in a general open area. I have time now to get back to playing it a bit and I'm just curious if you would expect that I would need to get a tech to check it out just due to the long pause in playing? I did have the sax checked out in 2018 at the one year purchase date just for a general check-up. I've heard about issues like pads drying, etc. but I don't know if a one year hiatus is long enough to care about this sort of thing. Let me be clear that I'm no expert at the sax and while I could just try it, I want to get some initial feedback in order to understand what I should look/listen for when first trying it again. I'm not worried about tuning, just the physical condition of the instrument's sensitive parts. I'm a bit paranoid that my one year neglect has possibly reduced the quality of my rather expensive purchase, so just looking for some insight.

Thanks.
 

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Theres certainly nothing to be paranoid or worry about.

It's probably 100% ok, but if you have ANY problems playing it, it's a good idea to have it checked by by a tech or even better a teacher (teacher could have YOU, and mouthpiece, and reed situation checked too). A leaky cork or pad even if it's very minor and quick fix, can make playing harder and as a beginner it is very hard to know whether the problem is you or the sax. Or you might not even realize there's a problem but some minor technical issue may be holding you back. Being able to rule out any leaks is a step forward and makes for more enjoyable journey.
 

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having technicians to check your horn is complex these days and not always possible everywhere in the world but you can learn to do this yourself



some good points here too (even if the sax was new)

 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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From my experience, I'd say that there are few saxes that do not benefit from refined adjustment sometime in the first 18 months of life. Most actually need it when brand new!
Irrespective of whether played or stored.

The important thing is that you get a technician who has impressed a wide range of customers.
A technician who is that in little more than name could easily leave it in a worse state, perhaps playing better for a week/month or so but thoroughly unreliable longer term.
Do your local research, and get the sax checked.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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....while I could just try it, I want to get some initial feedback in order to understand what I should look/listen for when first trying it again.
What are our answers worth (we who do not own the sax) when it is you who can play it and ascertain whether it is playing OK or is playing with more difficulty than you recall ?

...because if you play it and it blows well, then I'd say there is no 'need' to take it to a tech.

If it seems to be playing funny to you, then take it in.

(You played casually for 2 years, you should be able to tell, even now after your hiatus, whether it is playing with difficulty).
 

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If the saxophone has been stored in its case in a dry area that does not get too hot or too cold it would be highly out of the ordinary for storing it that long to create problems or issues. It is when instruments are subjected to moist or wet conditions and temperature extremes that things start to go "sideways". I see a lot of instruments in my shop where the customer just wants it checked over, which I do free of charge before it is put into service again. It is not uncommon to find areas especially in the stack keys where a bit of "A & R" (adjustment and regulation) can help to insure the instrument plays its best with light finger pressure and is dependable for a longer period of time. In some cases I will do a few "over the counter" tweaks with no charge and send the customer on their way. The customer good will more than makes up for the loss of a few dollars for my time. If they protest and want to pay me something, my response is "That's ok, I''ll just charge you double the next time." :)
 
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