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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bonsoir,

have any of you used the musimedic sax repair kit to perform repairs / modifications to their saxophone?

I'd be curious to know how much can be done to a saxophone with such kits... I mean, is it aimed at average sax players or wannabe technicians willing to make some small adjustments / repairs or would there be enough stuff into the kit to overhaul a sax?

I need to change the pads, cork, bumpers on my The Martin tenor. It needs some solder work as well as it's a sax with soldered tone holes and there are a few cracks here and there. The action / key heights will probably need adjusting as well. It's my main horn now and it's more and more hard to play but, let's face it, I won't have the money to bring it to a technician this year...

SO, I need to repair this horn by myself. Would the musimedic kit be my best chance to have what I need for such delicate task?


Thanks in advance,
Victor.
 

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Pig,

Soldering tone holes isn't something I'd want to tackle on my Martin.I've watched it done and whilst it looks easy enough, like many things, the pros make the extremely difficult look easy.

That said, soldering is no different to any other hand craft, in that the knowledge and tools are readily available and practice makes perfect. Get an old junker with soldered tone holes and practice taking the old ones off, cleaning, adjusting, soldering back on, etc. When you're doing it properly and getting the right result, then you might have a go at your main horn.

The MusicMedic kits are something every player ought to have. Curt and Rich will be only too happy to help you. The kits are good, the instructions and online help are great and the service and delivery are good too. For a complete overhaul, you may need some tools not supplied in the kit, but ask the guys at MusicMedic to advise you on. You won't regret it!
 

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I just bought a kit from Curt, and should have it today or tomorrow. He is an excellent businessman, and and even better tech! Everything you get in the kit is top quality, and worth every penny! It really is something that everyone should have.

Steve P
 

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It's a good kit to get going with simple repairs. It doesn't have everything you'll need to do a major overhaul. I have one and I've used it often. It keeps me away from my tech when I just need a quick fix in a hurry.
 

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if your martin needs tonehole work. figure out how to get the money and bring it to a tech. if the tonehole is leaking, changing the pad will not do very much.

also resoldering martin toneholes is not something to start soldering with, as you will need to be careful with the heat to not desolder the adjacent tonehole.
 

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To save a few bucks I just bought just the refill kit, I have a box,pliers, sharp knives and a small burner and all that already, didnt see the need for more of the same.

Its a great kit for simple repairs, doing neck corks and a few pads and the like. There isnt enough stuff to do a full overhaul, but if you arent experienced I dont know that a full overhaul is the best way to start.

Ive enjoyed replacing a few corks and pads, quieting down some mechanisms and the like. A full overhaul is a lot of work I suspect. But its good not to have to pay to replace neck corks and the like any more.
 

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It's a great place to start. Even if you don't do much repairing it doesn't hurt to have around a leak light, spring hook, pad prick etc. I will say the torch doesn't really work for long. But still a good deal and best of all is you get free email support for tech type questions.
 

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With the music medic kit: Pads, Corks, Bumpers, Springs=Yes
Soldering and Leveling tone holes=Don't try it.

I'd try and get an estimate for just the tone holes, and then do the other work yourself. In fact, I'd still have the tech list out what he thinks needs to be done to the horn as far as pads, felts, etc. Makes it easier for you to go in there and do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far, I've put some soft sticky rubber thing to fill the cracks in the soldered tone holes and I've noticed a dramatic improvement in playability. Of course it can only be a temporary repair.

I'm experienced in DIYing delicate stuff as I've built ribbon microphones in the past so I guess taking the sax apart and back, replacing pads, springs, corks and bumpers will not be a problem with some thinking and some time.

I agree that soldering work and leveling tone holes could be out of my reach. I guess setting up key height for intonation and action could get really tricky as well. That's one thing that I feel will get on my nerve... I'm sure there are also a lot of small but essential points good techs include in their repair routine I will very likely miss while setting up my Martin.

On the other hand I just want to improve the sax's playability until I manage to gather enough dough for an overhaul and even if I won't do as good a job as an experienced tech would, the shape my Martin is in at the moment can't get worse - if you could play the damn thing you'd understand!!

I guess this kit could give the horn a fresh start then, even if it won't get me a dream playing sax. Just a brand new set of pads with plastic resos would be a relief compared to the rivet-style worn out ones.

Some of you have pointed out that the musicmedic kit wouldn't be enough for a full overhaul. What would be missing exactly?

Thanks,
Victor.
 

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The Martin also has beveled tone holes, so think twice before filing and deforming the bevel.
 

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magical pig said:
Some of you have pointed out that the musicmedic kit wouldn't be enough for a full overhaul. What would be missing exactly?
Enough pads!!!
 

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Also consider that you need to choose pad sizes very carefully for each instrument. It would be silly to order a set of pads designed for your specific instrument; it's far better to pick through many many different pads of the same size until you find some that are oversized correctly, but not too much, to fit each key precisely. This is one of the major time-saving benefits of being a tech, or seeing a tech.

The Martin could be in worse shape than we realize, but that doesn't make it any better a candidate to get started on with repair work. The fact is that you have a very very fine instrument on your hands that is just in disrepair. You wouldn't have a novice automechanic work on an old, beat-up Mustang, would you...

If you need to DIY you should probably do some general bandaid work on your tenor, just getting everything kind-of working so that it's playable, then go at it with some beater horn until you're skilled enough to do a sensitive setup and repad on your martin...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Razzy :

What could possibly go wrong if I only repad my The Martin? You make it sound like the instrument needs a special kind of attention as to not ruin it...

I don't really understand why a The Martin Tenor pads set would not be just fine with my... The Martin Tenor. Aren't those pads supposed to be sized just the way you need them to? Am I (already) missing something? Would it mean the sizes of equivalent keys vary from one The Martin Tenor to another?

Victor.
 

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The pad sets don't always seem to work perfectly. In some cases, companies would experiment with different key sizes even on the same model of the same vintage, so no pad set can be "perfect." So yes, sizes may very slightly from one The Martin to another. If your main goal is to save money on this endeavor, then I'd recommend taking the brief time it would take to measure each pad and order very specifically. Would a "The Martin" pad set work for most of your pads, yes. But, if you have to order even a few others, especially of the big sizes, you've wasted money.

I think that you should do it as long as you feel comfortable taking your time and being methodical in your approach. It's a great learning experience, and anything you screw up can be fixed by a repair tech. Replacing pads rarely does permanent damage to a horn. Then, once you've replaced the pads, consider sending it to a repair tech who can make the necessary small adjustments.

Also take note that with the repair kit you'll get a leak light. This light can help you identify which pads are leaking and may need to be replaced. If the pads are sealing, you might be better off just leaving them as they are and only replacing some of the pads. I'm not a repair tech, and I'm sure there are some negatives to this approach, but for a novice, it might be a good idea.
 

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magical pig said:
Would it mean the sizes of equivalent keys vary from one The Martin Tenor to another?

Victor.
Thats it in a nutshell.
 

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MusicMedic said:
Thanks everyone for all the positive comments on the MusicMedic.com repair kits!
Off subject a bit, but I sure love your "thumb-hook" too. I've got one on all 3 of my main players.

NewLifeSax
 

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MusicMedic said:
Thanks everyone for all the positive comments on the MusicMedic.com repair kits!
They are really great kits. When I was in the market for one, I searched for alternatives and I couldn't find another that measured up to the MusicMedic repair kit. Nice assortment of tools and supplies, great instructions, and excellent support. What more could you ask for?


When you order one, it's a good idea to check to make sure you have everything. Mine was missing a couple items and I sent an email to MusicMedic and they sent me them right away, no questions asked.
 

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Update....

Returned from holidays and back to the mayhem of teaching. Decided to take the musicmedic repair kit along with me, because ya' never know.

1st lesson...Alto Sax. Horn was serviced in the holidays. Great young player suddenly having all sorts of dramas with notes cracking etc... Gimme your horn....played it and obviously leaking in the bottom stack. Ran the leak light through the horn and sure enough, the bottom stack pads were all leaking anywhere from 1mm to more. Just plain bad adjustment by the tech. Bootman helped fix that one and problem solved.

Next student.....Clarinet. Clarinet won't work. Gimme a look....springs unseated here, there and everywhere. Fixed that one. (the musicmedic springhook is a work of art). Problem solved. Happy student.

Added to all the Clarinets I recorked, oiled and adjusted, that's a whole bunch of kids that are now happy, with instruments that play, and the parents aren't seriously out of pocket.

Anyone who teaches kids (those destroyers of all things mechanical :) ) could do worse than pick up a musicmedic repair kit. Best money i've ever spent.
 

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magical pig said:
What could possibly go wrong if I only repad my The Martin? You make it sound like the instrument needs a special kind of attention as to not ruin it...
Famous last words!

There is indeed a lot that can go wrong if you are not experienced. I would recommend buying the Reg Thorpe book here: http://www.napbirt.org/cart/proddetail.asp?prod=OS-1019
and reading the general sections and the sax section a few times through first. Then, I would also recommend changing a pad at a time for a few times first. Say start with some palm key pads, one at a time. Then once you've done that a few times and are comfortable with it, try the G pad. Then try the F pad. Then try the F#/bar pad. Then try a bell key pad. Replace the octave pads and re-regulate the mechanism. Then go and do the same thing with key corks. Try to understand the linkages and how things interact before doing the whole thing all at once.

Lots of little things like bent keys, bent rods, play in the keys etc. can make your first repad a real hassle. Especially the bent keys and rods- there are many times when a saxophone is working as-is, but as soon as a rod is removed and put back in, something that was always present but just barely working fine will stop working. Take it stepwise, and if you have questions, ask! "A stitch in time saves nine" applies to saxophones as well- undoing damage is much more difficult than doing it right in the first place, and value can not be put back into a saxophone that has had lacquer burned off or a tonehole filed down too far, or a key broken. It IS difficult work to do well, or nobody would make a living doing it.

You've got a lot to lose by using a "The Martin" tenor as your testbed. Be careful.
 
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