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Octave Pip Placement / Alteration Help

1882 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  clarnibass
I have an issue with G# just above the Staff on Tenor. When I jump to it from anything in the Palm keys it cracks the harmonic.

I am certain that it has to do with the fact that it is the 1st note to be played using the Body's octave Pip - and thus being the one furthest from a perfect acoustic placement of that peticular pip.

Now, I can solve the issue by voicing it differently, however I was wondering if anybody had a mechanical solution to this issue.

The obvious one is to move the pip -and... um..... I dont see that happening anytime soon.

Who has other ideas or proven solutions?

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What do you mean when you say "it cracks the harmonic"? Do you get the D# above the high G# or does the G# sound the octave below as a multiphonic? Also does this happen at all dynamic levels or just when playing very loudly? Thanks.

I would like to know the make and vintage of the sax so that if one ever comes across my bench, I can watch for that problem, and try the solution you found.

My limited understanding of acoustics has me believe that the internal "geometry" of the saxophone determines the strengths and weakness of the harmonics of each note produced. Whenever a higher harmonic becomes stronger than the next lower one, conditions like you describe or warbling can occur.

When the body octave key works properly, opening the vent disrupts the low G# soundwave causing it to weaken so that the stronger first harmonic high G# can take over. In your case, it sounds as if the fundamental low G# is disrupted in such a way as to cause the second harmonic D# to be equal to or slightly stronger that the first harmonic. This causes the high D# to want to sound unless the player "coaxes" the G# out by adjusting the voicing. Perhaps Toby can shed more light on the subject or tell me that I'm wrong.:)

Gordon (NZ) said:
I thought the pantyhose trick was supposed to have the same effect as the wedge.

What seems odd to me is that both tricks seem to have been used to 'solve' some rather different problems. Dare I say it... it makes me give a little time to wondering about the placebo effect.
I have had first hand experience with a Mark VI Tenor that had a very airy sounding high A that was fixed using the "panty hose trick" and the effect was dramatic. Myself and others played the sax repeatedly with and without the pip opening covered, and the note was much more clear when the pantyhose slightly restricted the air coming out of the vent.

A Yamaha YBS 61 that I repaired for a customer had a very unstable high G that was helped considerably by inserting a small teflon tube into the body octave vent thereby reducing its diameter.

I have heard of clarinet repair specialists who use the "wedge" or "splitter" in the register key vent to eliminate the "grunting" on notes in the high register. A variation of this to install a cork pad with either a needle spring or a piece of round tooth pick in the center that goes into the vent tube. I have also played a Buffet clarinet with and without this (toothpick) installed, and the difference was quite real.

I have not heard of the pantyhose and "wedge" solving the same problem in any of my "travels". Making changes inside the instrument bore, vents, and toneholes to alter the soundwave should not be confused with the more questionable practice of adding weights to the outside or freezing the brass to "improve the body's ability to resonate". :D :D :D

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