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Discussion Starter #1
I jsut got a used alto and it plays great until i get down to E. The Eb pad isn't seating level over the tone hole.. its cocked up on one side. How can I fix it where it will sit level?
 

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Has the pad cup been bent from it's original position (where the pad was once seating) making it leak, or has the pad never been seated correctly to begin with?

If the pad cup has been bent, then it should be relatively easy to bend it back, provided the pillars (usually the lowest) haven't been bent causing the pad not to close.

If the pad has been put in but not seated, take off the keyguard (if it is screwed on) and heat the pad cup carefully with a small gas (butane) torch to melt the shellac (or whatever glue has been used) holding the pad in the pad cup, and then while the glue is still pliable, shift the pad around in the pad cup with a pad iron or steel ruler until it seats all the way around the tonehole (check with a leak light or feeler gauge cut from the finest cigarette papers around the circumference for even drag when pulling the feeler gauge from between when the pad is closed onto the tonehole). Then replace the keyguard.

Though E should still work if the Eb pad isn't closing (as E issues from the E tonehole, covered by RH 3 fingerplate) - it's only notes from D down to low Bb that will be affected if the Eb pad is wonky.
 

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Tenortim, when a note does not work, it is usually because of a leak significantly higher up the instrument.

The Eb pad will have only a slight effect on E, even if you lift it right up.
 

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Here's basically what I would do:

1. Check inside the body for a bend. (fix if necessary)
2. Check the posts to see if they are bent away from the tone hole making the pad hit on the back. -repair.
3. Check inside the body to see if there are dents under the posts. -repair
4. Make sure the body to bow brace is still tight and aligned. -repair
5. Take out the pad.
6. Check the tone hole to see if it's level. -level
7. Check the pad cup to see if it's level. -level
8. Get the proper size (I would use RooPads but you know, that's just me.) pad and put it in the cup.
9. Replace the key and pad without shellac and access the situation.
10. Align the cup if needed or replace with the proper thickness pad.
11. Glue it in.

I'm sure I missed something.

There basically 4 variables that I can think of which you need to consider.
1. Pad level.
2. Tone hole level.
3. Key cup level.
4. Orientation -this is a big one.

It's important to at least address these things to have any hope of consistent results.



That said, you can choose to ignore all this and put a reed under the part that hits first and bend the pad cup down to stop the leak.
 

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Yes, there is more to dealing with the average seemingly-small sax problem than most people realise. Especially in an ideal world, and when time/skill/equipment are in abundance.

I agree with 1,2,3,4. However, of the tone hole looks reasonably level, and the pad looks to be reasonably flat and in good condition, then it is doubtful IMO that you need to do the rest in most cases. Just re-align the key cup so that the pad closes all around. Put a pad slick (or even some carboard) under the part of the key cup that closes first, and press down on the part that was closing last.

However I reiterate that this is not the cause of any problem with your E. If E and Eb are difficult, then there is a leak further up your sax.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I stuck a reed under the pad and lightly pushed around on the part that doesn't seal.... after about 4 very careful attempts I managed to get it almost completely sealed. I'll try a little more this afternoon.
I agree Gordon that there must be another leak farther up the register. I'll give it another inspection tonight and try to find that pesky leak. However I DO think that this leak has been effecting my bell notes, which were a devil to make speak....
 

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Great! You took the plunge. You are well on the way to being a technician. LOL!

Just find those other leaks with your light and deal with them too.
 
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