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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to purchase a replacement side C key for my YAS-21 alto sax, but the Yamaha parts website doen't sell manufacturer original parts for the YAS-21. They do, however, sell parts for the YAS-23 model. Does anybody know if the YAS-23 parts will be compatible with the YAS-21 horn? Thank you in advance!
 

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well, there will be differences (much of usability of spares depends on what you mean by “ key” ). There should be technicians with 21 bodies to cannibalize.

mpcbliss,

Another 21 vs. 23 difference is in the side Bb and C keys. The 21 has the Yamaha 61-style linkage at the base of these keys, where a little peg goes all the way through the bottom of the key lever. I have an older Vito that is essentially identical to a 21, and it has this linkage. On the Vito this linkage is a bit loose and noisy, but on my 61 it is very quiet. Perhaps the Vito has just seen more use.
 

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I need to purchase a replacement side C key for my YAS-21 alto sax, but the Yamaha parts website doen't sell manufacturer original parts for the YAS-21. They do, however, sell parts for the YAS-23 model. Does anybody know if the YAS-23 parts will be compatible with the YAS-21 horn? Thank you in advance!
Will NOT work. The side keys on a 23 have conventional fork connectors between the keycup and the key lever. The sides of a 21 have those plastic axle nibs which connect the keycup portion to the lever.

Also, if memory serves, grafting a 23 side key/mechanism to a 21 required moving either a post or a key saddle as well....

Post a photo of what your problem is. Is the lever or keycup simply gone/missing ? Or broken ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Will NOT work. The side keys on a 23 have conventional fork connectors between the keycup and the key lever. The sides of a 21 have those plastic axle nibs which connect the keycup portion to the lever.

Also, if memory serves, grafting a 23 side key/mechanism to a 21 required moving either a post or a key saddle as well....

Post a photo of what your problem is. Is the lever or keycup simply gone/missing ? Or broken ?
The plastic axle broke off from the key itself, so now the side key is completely free floating and detached from the lever. I accidentally broke the part while trying to keep the pad closed during a marching band performance, in retrospect a poor decision I must say.

Here are some pictures: the first is what the mechanism should look like, the second two are what happened after that black plastic part snapped off.

It seems like a pretty doable fix if I can get the right part considering the fact that nothing is majorly wrong mechanically. Merely seems to be a matter of unscrewing the current key and screwing in a new one. Any help is much appreciated!
 

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Early 70's Yamaha YTS-21 with a 10MFan Classic 7* 'piece and whatever reed is in the case
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I wonder if a good shop can make a metal replacement for that plastic piece. I see the same pieces on my YTS-21.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Here is the key next to the plastic nib that broke off. A Yamaha service tech said that the parts for YAS-21 aren't manufactured anymore. Fortunately, I have both of the broken pieces, and it seems that the only thing that is broken is the metal rod connecting the two pieces, not the pieces themselves.

In the interest of cost, time, and convenience I'm thinking that a solder job to reattach the broken metal rod in the picture could be much more practical, any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wonder if a good shop can make a metal replacement for that plastic piece. I see the same pieces on my YTS-21.
That's a great idea and is also what the repair tech from Yamaha suggested. I think that if it comes down to it I may have to go down that road. Thank you for the suggestion!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well, there will be differences (much of usability of spares depends on what you mean by “ key” ). There should be technicians with 21 bodies to cannibalize.
Got it, thank you so much. I'm in LA so there must be repair techs abound, I may reach out to some if I can't find a quicker fix. Thank you for the suggestion!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A good tech could drill into the key and solder in a new rod. Should be better than new.
Gotcha, I think I may have to end up having that done. All the shops I called said that they didn't have YAS-21s to salvage, but one said that they could put in a new hinge rod.
 

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In the interest of cost, time, and convenience I'm thinking that a solder job to reattach the broken metal rod in the picture could be much more practical, any thoughts?
A good tech could drill into the key and solder in a new rod. Should be better than new.
Exactly. They can even just use a piece of steel drill rod - which many techs usually have on hand for making pivot rods. Or they could use brass rod, too.
Pretty quick job, maybe an hour's worth of work. Very good that the plastic nib is still intact and undamaged.
 

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That's a great idea and is also what the repair tech from Yamaha suggested. I think that if it comes down to it I may have to go down that road. Thank you for the suggestion!

When my YTS-21 goes in I will inquire about this myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quick update! I was able to contact a local music store in the LA area who is able to order a completely new side-C key for me from Allied Music, a technician supplier that only sells to businesses and not consumer direct. It seems that Allied Music is one of the only places that still makes/has the part in stock for the YAS-21 model, so I got pretty lucky that the music store was willing to order the part on my behalf. It runs at about $12, which is pretty good considering how rare the part is.

I'll post a picture of the fixed key after I get it done, should be around 1-2 weeks from now. Looking forward to getting the horn back in shape! Thank you all so much for your help!
 

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Quick update! I was able to contact a local music store in the LA area who is able to order a completely new side-C key for me from Allied Music, a technician supplier that only sells to businesses and not consumer direct. It seems that Allied Music is one of the only places that still makes/has the part in stock for the YAS-21 model, so I got pretty lucky that the music store was willing to order the part on my behalf. It runs at about $12, which is pretty good considering how rare the part is.

I'll post a picture of the fixed key after I get it done, should be around 1-2 weeks from now. Looking forward to getting the horn back in shape! Thank you all so much for your help!
That's very cool! As discussed here, and in other threads, many of the parts on the 21 and 23 are not interchangeable. Further, Yamaha is also pretty good for making running changes. Meaning that parts from an early 21, or Vito stencil of a 21, may not fit a later 21.

Techs will often manufacture new parts for discontinued models, or will find a supplier that manufactures new parts. This process usually isn't cheap, so it's good to know that Allied can do this at price that's only about double that of a pivot screw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Project Complete!

After a few weeks, I was able to finally get my alto back in working shape! The replacement side C key that I ordered through Allied Music ended up being too long, so I had to sand it down with a belt sander to the correct length and diameter to fit into the black plastic nib. I got the length of the newly modified key exactly correct, but I ended up making the diameter of the "pin" that inserts into the plastic piece too small, so there was way too much play between the key and the interior of the plastic piece.

Luckily, I was able to find help 3D printing a new plastic nib that was custom fit to the diameter of the new key "pin" so that everything fit like a glove (ah, the perks of attending a major university). The plastic from the 3D print seems to be holding up pretty well, however time will tell and, at the very least, I can always make a new piece.

From there it was just a matter of learning how to install pads. I floated it in with some clear synthetic shellac from MusicMedic and am pretty happy with the results. There is a very minor leak toward the bottom of the pad that comes and goes away depending on how the key comes back down after opening, but as far as I can tell it doesn't affect my intonation, tone, or the amount of air I have to use. I opted to leave it as it was instead of tinkering with it and since, for a first-time pad installer, I think I did a pretty good and clean job.

Below are some pictures of the 3D-printed plastic nib, the filed down replacement key that I ordered from Allied, and pictures of the horn all put back together. Let me know if you have any questions and I'd be happy to try to help! Thank you so much to everyone for the advice and encouragement, it really helped and I'm absolutely ecstatic to have a non-duct-taped sax again!

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Looks pretty good. The one thing I'd do is to polish that prong sticking out from the key. That rough finish will wear out the ID of the plastic part. Just use progressively finer grits of sandpaper and finish off with some Brasso or similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks pretty good. The one thing I'd do is to polish that prong sticking out from the key. That rough finish will wear out the ID of the plastic part. Just use progressively finer grits of sandpaper and finish off with some Brasso or similar.
Great idea, now that I look at the new plastic piece, a divot is already being made. Luckily for me, I have the means to print a new one, which I will probably do after sanding it down
 
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