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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

A friend came with a Selmer Mark VI tenor. It is serial number M1109XX (I think early 60s). It also has Elkhart on it which I think means it was assembled in USA.

The main problem was with the second octave A. When played by air control alone (i.e. without the octave key) it sounds very good and when adding the octave key it suddenly becomes much more stuffy and resistance (plus less volume). This problem is also slightly on the Bb and even less on the B. I think it disapears completely from C and up.

It is not the octave pad not opening enough because I opened it compeltely and opened & closed the hole with my finger while he was playing the A. Very obvious stuffiness even to the listener when opening the octave hole.

My theory is the octave vent is too small for the A and that this is the compromise they chose to do on this saxophone. Before I am making any changes and experiments with this hole I would like to know if it is a known problem with some Mark VI saxes (tenors) and if there is a known solution.

Thanks & best wishes!

Nitai
 

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I am very sure its not a problem that occurs with all Mark VIs.
 

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maybe I am saying something stupid but is the neck original or a replacement?
 

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Nitai. Regarding problems with G and A.... In the old SOTW forum, in 2001, there was discussion - mainly Paul Coates - about octave vents needing to be drilled out to up to 2.3 mm to deal with these problems in SOME Selmer SIII altos. The problem was acknowledged by Selmer to Saxophonwinkel in Holland. I am not sure whether it was the hole size in the metal that was the problem, or that it had been partly filled with lacquer.

I saved a bit of the correspondence, and some of my own which I have sent to you. I have no idea whether or not this is pertinent for Mark VI, nor whether it is pertinent fro a tenor.

But first, try a different neck, to ensure that it is original, and make absolutely sure no leaks are involved.

I am not game to do this drilling without the customer taking full responsibility for the consequences. For a SIII the vents are WELDED in. Getting original replacements could be a nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Twombles, that is why I said "with SOME Mark VI saxes".

Bar-Ron, yes, it happens at every height.

Milandro, it is not a stupid question, but I'm sure the neck is original (all owners from when this sax was new are local people that we know).

Gordon, thanks I'll read what you sent. The G isn't a problem at all, just the A and (much less) the Bb and B. We might be able to find another Mark VI owner to try a different neck. Maybe it is worth it to try necks from new Selmers too (easy to find players with SIII saxes as most play them). I fixed all the leaks (it had a couple), but luckily (or not?!) it's very easy to know the octave vent is the problem since the problem happens only when it's open, and disapears completely when it is closed. It's almost as if the octave vent is acting as a leak!

Thanks again,

Nitai
 

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have you checked around the neck tenon itself to look for leaks.do the suction test on the neck to see if there is a small leak. a double vent on the neck (ie: when octave key is pressed) could cause this.
 

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to add to that make sure the body octave pad is closing completely.
 

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in a related suggestion some have rifled or threaded the neck octave pip and body pip to create turbulence that improves the middle D and A greatly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK I spoke with him again. First he is going to see if he can try different necks. Also I'm going to try the pantyhose. If none of that works we'll consider enlarging the octave hole (I'm not that affraid of it since I've already made a lot of experiments like this).

Thanks everyone!
 

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griff136 said:
Nitai -

Have you checked the pip is completely clean inside?
It sounds by the "panty-hose fix" idea that a dirty pip would be better than a clean one. There is no way I would let anyone drill on my MarkVI to fix this problem.
 

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My personal view is that problems with A and G have a lot to do with not having the necessary level of breath pressure for these notes. The range of pressure that works may be slightly different than for neighbouring notes.

Sax players are not so used to this notion, but flute players have to master it it until it becomes automatic, seeing third octave E (without split E mechanism), F# and G# need significantly more "support" than surrounding notes.
 

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If you know all of the previous owners, then I'd try to find out whether this is something that has *always* been the case with this particular sax, or whether it is something emergent. That might help figure out a solution as well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
whaler said:
It sounds by the "panty-hose fix" idea that a dirty pip would be better than a clean one. There is no way I would let anyone drill on my MarkVI to fix this problem.
No, a dirty vent is not like the pantyhose because the pantyhose is only at the end and doesn't make the entire vent smaller, and about drilling, if your Mark VI doesn't have a problem of course you wouldn't want to drill it, but if it does have a problem that drilling the vent would solve...? I drilled the vent on my own bass clarinet, and then I removed the vent and drilled a much bigger hole in the neck itself. This solved a problem I had.

Gordon (NZ) said:
My personal view is that problems with A and G have a lot to do with not having the necessary level of breath pressure for these notes. The range of pressure that works may be slightly different than for neighbouring notes.
Gordon, all I can say is that I know on this particular saxophone the vent is causing the problem. I'm able to recognize when the vent is the problem.

SactoPete said:
If you know all of the previous owners, then I'd try to find out whether this is something that has *always* been the case with this particular sax, or whether it is something emergent.
We might try, but knowing them it is probably less than zero chance that they'll remember ;) :D
 

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In spite of the slight obstruction provided by the threads, the laws of fluid flow, to me, suggest that turning the orifice into many smaller orifices may reduce turbulence, and hence actually allow the air to vibrate in and out of that vent more easily with the pantyhose there. Which is the opposite effect from filling the vent with gunge.

It is all to do with "Reynolds number" and how that is affected by having many small diameter orifices rather than one large one.

Think of those rocket engines, where the duct is divided into many smaller tubes.

Think of the kitchen faucet with the mesh in the nozzle, reducing turbulence, and making the fluid flow more easily???

But as with most things, the analysis for the sax vent would not be simple, with many other effects taking place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbulent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_number

Perhaps there is somebody here with more knowledge of fluid flow analysis than I do, who could comment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK we finally got the chance to try the pentyhose that jbtsax suggested. It did help some! Still there is a problem but much smaller. We might consider enlarging the vent, but not sure yet. He might try to get a different sax anyway since he tried others nad decided there is a better sax for him.

Thanks again!
 
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