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Discussion Starter #1
I have an old Conn 16M that I had into the local shop. They replaced a bunch of old rotten pads including the octave pad on the neck. Since then, I have been having issues going over the break and also a bit as the secondary octave key kicks in and this one closes. When I watched it as I was playing, it seems like it is kind of slow seating back down and as well, the pad doesn't seem to seat down over the hole as snugly as the old one. Last night I tried putting an elastic right near the pivot to give it a bit more spring back down and it seemed to help. I think I need to replace the flat spring that presses the octave key down with something a bit stronger. I guess I could take it back to the shop, but being fiercely independent, would like to find somewhere to get springs to replace this on my own. Any thoughts?
 

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You might be able to get away with removing the neck key and very carefully bending the spring with your fingers to give it more curve. If it breaks, it means that it was failing anyway. Music Medic now sells individual flat springs. You need to use a caliper to measure the thickness and length of the spring in millimeters. You might also check to see if the key is rubbing the side of its "saddle" causing friction. This can make it feel sluggish as well.
 

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Before doing that I'd take off the key and make sure the pivot screw/tube are clean and well lubricated. Old oil that's gotten gummy could do this too. Also check the place on the neck where the end of the spring sits. If it's all chewed up or covered with gummy schmutz, that could be the source of your problem. You might need to use a small fine file to smooth that area.
 

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It could also be excessive friction between the octave key and the arm that operates it. Rub the side of your nose for some grease, and apply that to the surfaces.
Be aware that octave mechanisms are quite complicated, eg one spring having to overpower another.
When they are altered it needs to be done with considerable understanding of how the particular mechanism works. (It appears your technician may not have fully understood.)
There should be no detectable friction anywhere in the many contact points, including pivots.
 

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It could also be excessively tightened rod so that the posts are bent slightly inbound and cause the sleeve to rub against the posts. Before you touch anything else, try with your finger to make sure that the arm moves freely by lifting up the cup and then releasing it / pushing it down. If there is any resistance, check all the posts above, loosen the rod a little bit and see if that changes anything and clean the rod and sleeve using a pipe dill and WD-40 or similar. Be careful when looking at the spring, the little screws like to jump off into never-never land and the thread in the arm can very easily be stripped if you overtighten the screw.

Like saxoclese said, MusicMedic sells the springs, but the most important parameter is the thickness. Length can be adjusted as long as you recreate the little hook at the end by carefully bending it at the correct spot and then cutting off any excessive length.
 

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I'm a bit confused. There are typically no "pivot screws" involved anywhere in an octave mechanism or a neck octave key. Perhaps we are using different nomenclature for things. The picture below represents what are called "pivot screws" where I am from. The threaded steel rods that go inside hinge tubes (key barrels in the UK) are generally called "hinge rods", but some of the older techs refer to them as "steels".


View attachment 249084
 

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I'm a bit confused. There are typically no "pivot screws" involved anywhere in an octave mechanism or a neck octave key. Perhaps we are using different nomenclature for things. The picture below represents what are called "pivot screws" where I am from. The threaded steel rods that go inside hinge tubes (key barrels in the UK) are generally called "hinge rods", but some of the older techs refer to them as "steels".


View attachment 249084
You are correct, my bad to use the wrong terminology!
 

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The threaded steel rods that go inside hinge tubes (key barrels in the UK) are generally called "hinge rods", but some of the older techs refer to them as "steels".
Hopefully not being overly pedantic... the common term is "rod screw". If it has a thread on it it's a type of screw. If it is the key part itself it is a "hinge".
So "pivot screws" and "rod screws" are the two types of screws for hinges, the small ones at both ends and the long ones through the key respectively.
"Hinge tube" and "hinge rod" are hollow and solid respectively.
 

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Actually I think I was the one who wrote "pivot screw" and yes, I meant "Rod". It was late at night. I still think that confirming it's not all gummed up and it's free moving is to be done before fiddling around with the flat spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update on my issue this morning. I was able to take out the "rod screw" ;-) and found that it was a bit sticky. I cleaned it and used it to clean the inside of the octave assembly with a bit of key oil. I wiped off the spot where the spring meets the neck - though it appeared clean. I bent the spring a bit to make it a bit more aggressive and put it back together. I also lubed the pivot points on the octave key rod on the main body. It worked MUCH better!

I may have to take apart and clean the octave key rod assembly at some point, but for now she's working better.
 

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Hopefully not being overly pedantic... the common term is "rod screw". If it has a thread on it it's a type of screw. If it is the key part itself it is a "hinge".
So "pivot screws" and "rod screws" are the two types of screws for hinges, the small ones at both ends and the long ones through the key respectively.
"Hinge tube" and "hinge rod" are hollow and solid respectively.
Interesting. In the U.S. it appears that both terms are used. Hinge Screw Rod. . . . . . . . Hinge Rod
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am all for clarity and dis-ambiguation, if there is a way to pick the best word, we should try to do that but sometimes, it does get late or the post is made while multitasking other chores. :)
You guys are like dogs with a squirrel :) Back here guys. Octave key. :)
 

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Don't forget to clean the barrel! ...
I don't like the term "barrel".
That that is because here we don't have a gun culture, but do have a beer culture.
So "barrel" refers to something with a bulge around it's waist. That is not the case for these hinge thingies. Haha
 

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but for now she's working better.
Maybe I missed that it was mentioned, but since they replaced the octave key pad, maybe they used a thinner pad so the bottom side of the octave key is touching the lever on the body. Check that there's a tiny gap between them when the neck is assembled in the orientation that you have it when you play. The gap might be too small to easily see, so check that the lever is moving a fraction before the key, when you press the octave lever.

hinge thingies.
That's the really professional term :)

Interesting. In the U.S. it appears that both terms are used.
Sure they do... but one makes more sense than the other :)
 
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