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Discussion Starter #1
My "new" 1950's The Martin Alto arrived this morning.

S/N 202004

How exciting! First impressions are great, ergonomics are a bit different, the left pinky cluster takes a bit of getting used to, but after a few minutes I was up to speed.

Soundwise, using a Semer C* was a bit dissapointing at first (I get a nice tone from my yamaha 62 with this) but i tried some more open pieces, and wow very nice....! The meyer 6m is good, along with a Jody Jazz HR 5m i am borrowing. My wife's old Vandoren A27 sounds very smooth on it as well.

Also I have noticed the middle G (with octave key depressed) flutters and splits after a few seconds unless I alter my embouchure a tiny bit, is this normal? happens with all mpcs, and not on my Yamaha horn. It can be overcome, but it is strange, like a harmonic going on..

Attached are some photographs:
 

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check for a small leak in your neck octave pip. maybe pad is slightly off center or cracked or maybe just not closing all the way.
 

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Congratulations. That is a beautiful sax. After you have become "acquainted" with your new alto, it would be great if you could post a comparison of the intonation tendencies of the Martin compared with your YAS 62 using the same setup. Hope you enjoy playing your vintage horn as much as I do mine!

One other thought on your octave pad not closing. Press the G key down to raise the lever that holds the small pad closed and press the thumb key. When the body octave is open, see if there is a lot on lateral motion of the key back and forth on the rod. A loose or sloppy octave key can move slightly and come down missing the pad indentation causing it to leak intermittently. If this is the case take it to your repair tech and have the key "swedged" to remove this motion and the body octave pad replaced to prevent this from being an ongoing problem. If sloppy keys are not the problem, you might try putting a bit more curve in the spring that operates the thumb octave lever to make it a bit stronger.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks jbtsax, actually the problem is back, and doesnt seem to be caused by the octave pad, or a least not that I can tell

If blow G for more than a second or so the note starts to split (and it only happens on G). I have tried depressing the octave pip, no difference, I have also tried pressing down on the G pad, makes no difference. Tried new reed, and different mpc's

What else could it be?
 

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crazydaisydoo said:
If blow G for more than a second or so the note starts to split (and it only happens on G). I have tried depressing the octave pip, no difference, I have also tried pressing down on the G pad, makes no difference. Tried new reed, and different mpc's. What else could it be?
Sorry I misinterpreted your previous post. I thought it was low G that was causing the problem. Make sure your octave mechanism is in adjustment by fingering low G and hitting the thumb octave key repeatedly. Watch the octave key on the neck. It should not bounce or move when you do this. Also check that there is about a 1/16" gap between the post that operates the neck octave and the curved "ring" from the neck octave key that it pushes to open that key. If these are in adjustment, there is possibly a leak somewhere perhaps in one of the palm keys. Take it to a repair shop and have it checked for leaks or do it yourself if you have a leak light. If no leaks whatsoever are found, you might post again in the maintenance and repair section of SOTW and maybe one of the vintage sax experts such as Curt Alterac will have a solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Bruce, I've just cleaned it out with a pipe cleaner, but looked OK. Too early in the day to blow here (7am) so I'll report back later.

Actually I am beginning to think it is an embouchure problem. Maybe my Yamaha is more forgiving. I tried again last night and I can certainly stop these two notes from splitting, I just have to change my mouth slightly, taking marginally less in and firming up the corners.

I have played a few other horns in shops and never noticed this before, but maybe it has been a steady decline in my technique to suit my horn.

I'll get my teacher to blow through the Martin next week as well.

I have noticed that The Martin is slightly brighter sounding than my Yamaha, which is a suprise, because I was expecting a darker more "vintage" sound. It has a nice fuzziness to it though that I love. They compliment each other well

(what is the point of having 2 horns the sound the same?)

Thanks again
 

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That's gorgeous! Well done Matthew, I hope you have hours of fun with it.
 

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Also check the body octave pad/key to make sure it is not bouncing and has enough tension on the spring to stay open firmly and open enough. I had a similar problem on an older Martin with the A after a made the octave pip a bit smaller. I still think the problem is the body octave.
 
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