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I'm going to take this to my tech, but just for my own knowledge what could this be?

Lower register (D and lower) is a little resistant so it's a leak, I get that.

Another symptom is, for example, while playing low D if I press the G# key the timbre of the note changes slightly. I know that there's a regulation screw whereby pressing the F key forces the G# tone hole to close. So while fingering that, I'm checking for movement when pressing G# and I see nothing. What else would cause this?
 

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At the top end of the right hand stack there are two little screws.

The bottom one sits on the little lever which closes the bis key.

The upper one is the one you need. It closes the g sharp pad. Sounds as if you need to lower it slightly.

So, take a screwdriver and lower that screw. Then test your D. Try it in both octaves.

Go very gradually. Less than a quarter turn each time. Be patient. Basically you are lowering that screw until your response problems go. but NOT too far.

If you tighten too much you will have different response problems.

Good luck
 

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Less that a 24th of a turn at a time. If that adjustment is the only problem, then only the low C#,B & Bb will be affected normally, without pushing the the G# touch piece down. Because you say the low D is having issues it could be many things, including the G#. The Side F# or low Eb/D# are other common leaks that would start showing up there. There are many other things as well that could be wrong, usually by the time a player starts having problems, there are many issues with the instrument, and it has finally just gotten so bad, that you can't subconsciously compensate for all of the issues that already exist. Hopefully it's as simple as simply turning a screw. Good luck.
 

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Getting rid of leaks in the G#/F# area (also involving Bb and F) is by far the most complicated part of sax adjusting.
It is almost never achieved solely by turning the adjusting screws.
There are almost always additional issues of pad alignment with tone holes.

For reliability it is also important that the silencers on the ends of the screws are of a relatively non-compressible material and preferably domed.
Between F and F#, and E and F# should be similarly firm material and not too thick!

Few manufacturers get this right.
 

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A lot of guys get a brace welded on to the f to help hold down the key above it. I have a Balanced Action tenor with no adjustment screws at the G#. I can’t imagine having an Asian sax without those.
High end flutes don’t have adjustment screws just good repairmen.
 

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A lot of guys get a brace welded on to the f to help hold down the key above it. I have a Balanced Action tenor with no adjustment screws at the G#. I can’t imagine having an Asian sax without those.
High end flutes don’t have adjustment screws just good repairmen.
I consider the brace between the F and F# to be a "crutch" to make up for poor key fitting, pad seating, and regulation. An exception might be if the keys are made from extremely soft brass, mechanically speaking a brace might be necessary to stabilize the regulation, but these cases would be rare.

I used to dislike the linkages without screws where you had to make the adjustment using cork. As I have become more skilled at adjusting those on vintage saxes, I have begun to like the precision that can be achieved by sanding with fine grit sandpaper and also the stability of the increased contact area that is sanded to match the contour of the keys surface. I have found that hammering the cork to its maximum compression before installation and sanding helps to mitigate the shortcomings of using cork at adjustment linkages. I suppose tech cork would also work, but I don't care for how it sands.
 

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A lot of guys get a brace welded on to the f to help hold down the key above it...
A lot of guys? Really? In 50 years working on over 120 "brands" I don't recall seeing that, except perhaps with a screw regulator on certain Yanagisawas
where I consider its legitimate purpose to be for damping, to stop the key bouncing when suddenly opened.


I consider the brace between the F and F# to be a "crutch" to make up for poor key fitting, pad seating, and regulation. ....
I totally agree.
 

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A lot of guys get a brace welded on to the f to help hold down the key above it. I have a Balanced Action tenor with no adjustment screws at the G#. I can’t imagine having an Asian sax without those.
High end flutes don’t have adjustment screws just good repairmen.
What is an adjustment screw? I can’t find any on my sax.... well except the ones on the ends of some of the key rods with lock nuts.. :)
 

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What is an adjustment screw? I can’t find any on my sax.... well except the ones on the ends of some of the key rods with lock nuts.. :)
Most modern saxes have 3. (Sometimes 2 or none.)
Quite a few old-model saxes don't have them.

Above the F key cup there is the F# key cup. Between the F# key cup and the G# key cup there is a lever that connects the F# key to both the G# key cup and the Bb key cup (that is above the A Key cup.)

On some saxes this lever simply has cork or another soft material under it. Adjustment of the linkages can be challenging, because it needs to be pretty darn accurate, but can only be done by bending metal or adjusting "cork" thickness.

Happily, most saxes now have corked adjustment screws installed on this arm, making accurate linkage adjustments dozens of times easier. (Add more to the expected servicing costs of any sax that does not have them! And more to a sax like yours that has those annoying lock nuts!... screw thread locking fluid as superseded the concept)

A third, similar adjusting screw can be installed in the linkage between the Low B key cup and the Low C# key cup. This is a dodgy linkage at the best of times and is nowhere near so critical, but the screw's presence still makes adjustment many times easier.
 

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There are a couple other issues with the common design. For one thing, the arm that reaches over and closes the bis Bb pad and the G# pad is usually just attached to the key cup, which is thin metal and flexible. Plus, the action of that arm on its two keys puts a twisting moment on the key it's attached to. Let the mechanism get a bit sloppy with wear, and getting it all adjusted becomes a set of compromises.

To make matters worse, many manufacturers have an adjusting screw mating with a surface that's not flat and perpendicular to the axis of the adjusting screw. So, the cork (or whatever softer material) develops a groove or angle, and then when you turn the screw the groove isn't lined up any more, and this also means you've got point contact of the soft material on the arm below, leading to rapid changes in the adjustment as the material compresses. Proper design of this area will prevent this problem, but I've seen quite a few that aren't properly designed. Personally (I do not repair for a living, only my own and friends' instruments) I would rather have well-designed adjusting screws.

As to flutes, a few manufacturers have gotten past the "high end flutes don't have adjusting screws" myth (Miyazawa is one; I can't say enough good about their flutes). If you think there's a lot of myth, hidebound tradition, pseudoscientific BS, anti-scientific BS, and crass commercial exploitation of those things in the sax world, the flute world is many times worse. (They charge double for essentially the same instrument when the mechanism is converted from nickel alloy (a superior material) to sterling silver (an inferior material).)
 

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A third, similar adjusting screw can be installed in the linkage between the Low B key cup and the Low C# key cup. This is a dodgy linkage at the best of times and is nowhere near so critical, but the screw's presence still makes adjustment many times easier.
I've never really understood this one - I can see its theoretical benefit, but I'm not convinced it provides any actual value. Maybe players of instruments with the abominable tilting low Bb have trouble keeping their fingers off the C# key when playing low B or Bb. I don't know. All the Conn/Martin/King/Buescher style horns I've played don't have this extra hold-down arm and I've never wanted it. I think it's originally a Selmer feature so it would fit with their pattern of designing to a theory of operation. Once you've decided to implement the tilting low Bb, you find out it's hard to play it without bearing down on the C# at the same time, so rather than go back to what you had before, you add a Band-Aid.
 

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Its a real help, not theoretical at all. It is unrealistic to expect to never touch the C# key while using the 'table' keys. Plus, this also holds down the C# to keep it from blowing open. The lower 'normally closed' keys vibrate stronger with the lower frequencies and are usually more likely to leak only when playing, especially with player who generate a strong column of air in the horn, and it won't show up with a leak light.
You could look at the helper lever as a 'band-aid' for a faulty system but I see it as an elegant solution (lightweight and efficient) that helps the less accurate player (like most of us) get through the night.
This adjustment on a Selmer-type is pretty easy but will take a few tries to balance out all its effects plus make sure it allows the C# to open enough to make its voicing comparable to the C and B. In fact this is just part of the articulated G# system which along with the bridge between the stacks really represents the heart of setting up or just correcting a sax. Its a very interesting area and very much fun to get right for us amateurs. You pros, well, you have to get it right and you can't take all day like I do. :)
 

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... It is unrealistic to expect to never touch the C# key while using the 'table' keys....
Fair comment.

... Plus, this also holds down the C# to keep it from blowing open...
Here I disagree.
There is a lot of flex in the area. This means that if you set it up so that there is any firmness in the way C# is closed by the B key, then the firm closure of B and Bb is compromised.

Another possible reason for it is to provide damping, to reduce the way C# key can bounce up and down when opened, kmore on some instruments than others.
 
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