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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I got a new Reference tenor shipped to me.
Looks good and sounds good (so far) but from what I can tell the lower key/pad when you play middle C is not closing all the way. Hence I can't play the horn too well.

When playing a middle c (or A or G) I can feel the key vibrate with my right hand. If I press it down the horn plays well.

There is one tech in town who does band instruments for the school (He replaced a cork on my Mark VI alto once). My regular tech is 2.5hrs away.

My question is: Is this hard to fix? Should I take it to the local guy or drive 2.5 hours to a well known tech who I regularly use?

Thank you in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks.

is this the type of problem that could keep coming back - or once its fixed - will the fix last?

i ask, because I also have the option of sending the horn back for a replacement.

the thing is from what i can tell even at this point is the horn has an amazing "ring" to it.

also- any idea how this would cost to fix?

Thanks again.
 

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thanks.

is this the type of problem that could keep coming back - or once its fixed - will the fix last?

i ask, because I also have the option of sending the horn back for a replacement.

the thing is from what i can tell even at this point is the horn has an amazing "ring" to it.

also- any idea how this would cost to fix?

Thanks again.
If you have one that “rings” for you, don’t risk sending it back and hoping for another that plays as well.

The adjustment should be fairly easy, and won’t require doing it again - at least any more than other adjustments that depend on soft materials will compress with time.

Enjoy the horn!
 

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To fix this several of the keys would need to be removed and the tension regulated.

No, it's not something you should try and fix by yourself.
I disagree, it sounds like one key foot needs a thicker piece of cork. I would generally cut the piece of cork, coat it with contact cement, impale it on the end of an Xacto knife, fish it in there, and attach it. Then use a little strip of sandpaper to reduce it to the right thickness. About a ten minute job start to finish, does not require keys to be removed or "tension regulated" whatever that is.

For that matter, many instruments have an adjusting screw at this location and you would just need to give it a twist. I have no idea whether this particular one has adjusting screws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi thnaks for the info. Its a reference 36 tenor, new. Again its the lower key/pad that is not closing all the way when you play middle C. That seems to be the culprit. I need to decide if I should drive 2.5 hours to my regular tech or see a local guy with more limited experience.
 

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If Selmer setup the horn it needs help from day 1

If you send it back and get another it will likely leak somewhere else and maybe more.

Shipping a horn in with a perfect setup will likely arrive at its destination no longer perfect.

UPS men dont handle saxophones like you.

Id take the horn in to a good tech and have it looked through properly.

...or you can potentially drive 20 minutes 20 times driving you crazy.

You invested a lot of dough in a sax, invest the time to get the best you can from it.
 

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If Selmer setup the horn it needs help from day 1

If you send it back and get another it will likely leak somewhere else and maybe more.

Shipping a horn in with a perfect setup will likely arrive at its destination no longer perfect.

UPS men dont handle saxophones like you.

Id take the horn in to a good tech and have it looked through properly.

...or you can potentially drive 20 minutes 20 times driving you crazy.

You invested a lot of dough in a sax, invest the time to get the best you can from it.
Amen to all the above. Have your local tech run a leak light down the horn with YOU holding the keys shut in normal playing position - or the lightest possible touch. If they press the keys harder than you, they may not detect the leaks that will make you crazy.

Check also for any lateral play in the keys. If the tube is considerably too short between posts, the pad can move sideways relative to the tone hole and leak. Neck tenon fit is another area that is worth attention. Selmer may have done a better job on the day that your horn was assembled, but there are many out there that are lacking a good setup as they came out of the factory.

I was lucky with my Ref 36, but it was better still after a full disassembly and setup. Spring tension is usually higher then it needs to be, but should not be set the same as you might have liked on a Mk VI (if it was set really light).
 

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Some standard terminology first to aid in communication. On the upper stack: the small keycup above the B is the C keycup, the first finger key is the B touchpiece which sits atop the B keycup, the next smaller keycup below the B is the bis keycup with the touch attached off to the side, the next lower keycup is the A--however the key touch that closes the A is above the bis keycup and closes both the bis and the A simultaneously. This A keytouch typically has a felt or cork on its underside to act as a "buffer" when it contacts the bis keycup.

With that out of the way. If, by the "lower keypad" when you play C that does not close is the "bis keypad" it could mean that the buffer material has come off underneath the A touch, or that the material has compressed. On the other hand if the "lower keypad" that doesn't close when you play C is the 'A keycup" it means that the bis is closing prematurely and not allowing the key arm to travel far enough to close the A pad along with the bis.

There is another regulation involved which is the closing of the small C keycup above the B when the bis and A are closed, but that discussion can come after identifying which of the two scenarios describe above apply to this situation.

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I disagree, it sounds like one key foot needs a thicker piece of cork. I would generally cut the piece of cork, coat it with contact cement, impale it on the end of an Xacto knife, fish it in there, and attach it. Then use a little strip of sandpaper to reduce it to the right thickness. About a ten minute job start to finish, does not require keys to be removed or "tension regulated" whatever that is.
That is the first thing to try, and you should be able to tell if that is the issue, then add bits of pa[er or card manually to see if it improves, if it does do the proper fix with some cork and contact adhesive.

If it isn't anything as simple as that , either contact the dealer to see if they want it back or would pay for a local tech repair under the warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all drove 6 hours round trip to the expert. He fixed it in 10 minutes then played like Michael Brecker on it. He played a MVI right after and they sounded extremely similar. Now for a mouthpiece!
 

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Thanks all drove 6 hours round trip to the expert. He fixed it in 10 minutes then played like Michael Brecker on it. He played a MVI right after and they sounded extremely similar. Now for a mouthpiece!
That is good news, everything working good again.
Now for the big question,.......what was the fix????? :)
 

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Thanks all drove 6 hours round trip to the expert. He fixed it in 10 minutes then played like Michael Brecker on it. He played a MVI right after and they sounded extremely similar. Now for a mouthpiece!
Excellent news - hopefully, he ran a leak light down the horn so your horn is in peak playing condition, and you won’t need another 6 hour road trip any time soon.

Mouthpieces: The Ref 36 is very friendly for a range of mouthpieces. On mine, I was using a Lawton 8*B for R&B, Barone Hollywood and Barone Jazz for big band, and Morgan 6C for classical quartet.
 

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Thanks all drove 6 hours round trip to the expert. He fixed it in 10 minutes then played like Michael Brecker on it.
Well done. You did it right, imo.

One lesson to take from this is the fact that getting a brand new horn doesn't mean the horn will be properly set up or leak-free. It should be, but often won't. So always a good idea to get any horn you buy checked out if you have any suspicion it's not playing perfectly.
 
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