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Discussion Starter #1
On my Keilwerth stencil tenor, the octave pad takes a while to fully close if I'm coming down from A2 or higher to D2 - G2, making these notes stuffy and difficult to play. This seems due to some resistance in the lower octave pad mechanism. The upper octave arm is also slightly off-center and rubbing the post to the side, but I don't think this is the primary problem. Two questions:
  • Can I fix this myself?
  • If I shouldn't attempt a DIY fix, what exact fixes should I expect from a competent tech?

Here are the details:
Going down from say A2 to G2, the upper octave pad remains slightly open. However if I push as indicated, the pad does close properly. (If I'm playing, the pad also closes on its own after a second -- I guess the vibration or air pressure somewhere helps it to close.)

There is some play in the part indicated by a rectangle, but also a slight resistance against moving back, which I think may be the main cause of the octave mechanism taking a while to close. It also means that the lower octave key doesn't open very far -- I guess this doesn't help the stuffiness either.

The octave arm does rub against the side post a little -- perhaps this means the spring can't work so well, but I'm not sure that this is the primary problem.


One more detail -- if the top octave mechanism is closed and I then finger D2 - G2 and press the octave key all the way in, the octave mechanism also opens a tiny bit. Not nearly as much as when coming down from A2 and above though.

Thanks in advance for any tips. If I were in the US / UK I'd just take the sax straight to a good tech, but they're a bit thin on the ground here and I'd rather do it myself if possible, and if not, at least know a specific fix that I should ask a tech to perform.
 

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Adjusting the ring on the neck to put more distance between it and the post that extends from the body of the sax is easy. Simply place the thumb between the ring and the body of the neck and with the other hand press down slightly on the neck octave key. Usually there should be about 1/16" between the post and the ring.

The test is to finger G and then hit the thumb octave lever hard several times and watch the neck octave pad. If it bounces or lifts when you do this you need more distance between the ring and the post. If you go too far and it doesn't lift at all when you finger A with the octave key, place a popsicle stick between the neck octave pad and the pip and bend the ring back toward the body.

Now the important part of the answer is that the friction you describe needs to be addressed by a professional tech. In order for the octave mechanism to work properly and consistently, all parts must be "free floating" with no hesitation or binding whatever. By the way, great post with great pictures. If all questions were as clear as yours there would be a lot more correct answers on SOTW in a shorter amount of time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot, jbtsax. I just tried putting more distance between the post and the ring as you described, and the upper octave pad appears to be closing all the way now. It's a bit late here to play test it now but I'll try tomorrow.

Regarding the resistance I mentioned, on further examination it's not so much a feeling of binding as just that the mechanism has to move a rather long way. The octave arm spring seems a bit weak for that task. I wonder if it would help to replace it. The spring on my soprano certainly seems stronger.
 
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