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I have a Selmer Paris Series 3 that I got about a year and a half ago. Recently I've had trouble with my G and G# with octave key pressed not responding right. I'm not sure how to explain it but it's like the note bends and does a multiphonic of the low G and high G. My teacher played on my horn and had the same problem. He said he's not sure what causes it but he knew one other person that had the same problem, I don't know their instrument model or anything. Thanks for any help.
 

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The body tube octave vent on the III is too small. Its a 2.0 and it should, acoustically, it should be a 2.5. Any competent technician can drill it out for you with little trouble.

Steve P
 

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There are other threads on this topic, in the technical area.

Steve, did you get that from Selmer?

Is it specific for SIII altos - ALL of them?

And do you know what suffers if the hole is too large?
 

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Gordon,

Yes, I got that info from Selmer. Why they keep puting int 2mm pips when they know it is wrong is a mystery to me! This is specific to all III altos. The II alto does have a 2.5, but they went to a 2 on the III for some reason.

If the hole is too big, the intonation is a bit off on G/G# and it requires a different voicing. It feels very off when its too big. My good friend had a III, and we were playing one day, and she commented that she had it drilled, to a 3mm hole, and the G#/G were very sharp, and tough to voice down. We took it to the shop where I work, replaced the pip with an original 2mm stock one, and then tried it. Too small; it was dropping the octave and getting the 'multiphonic' mentioned. Drilled it to a 2.5, and now its perfect.

Steve P
 

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Steve P said:
Gordon,

Yes, I got that info from Selmer. Why they keep puting int 2mm pips when they know it is wrong is a mystery to me! This is specific to all III altos. The II alto does have a 2.5, but they went to a 2 on the III for some reason.
Steve,
I have been following this thread as well as many others like it. Most of the time, these threads talk about Selmer altos. I'm trying to find info on the pip size for tenors. Would you happen took have that info as well?
 

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In 2001, in this forum, "Robert" mentioned this problem.

Paul Coates wrote "Selmer is well aware of the problem." and suggested drilling it out to 2.3 mm.

This had been suggested to him by another Paul from Saxofoonwinkel in Holland, who had written to Paul that "the modification info was given to him by Selmer Paris.... the problem seems to be only some of the altos. "

I emailed Paul at Saxofoonwinkel to have this confirmed. The reply said,

"Dear Gordon, ..... Normally we just drill the second octave pipe up to 2.3 mm if there are complaints, that the second octave does not respond enough.... we drill the secound octave pipe bit by bit and try every time up to 2.3 ... Success!... I still wonder why the Selmer people do not change this. "

I also asked about a similar problem a customer was having with second octave A. The reply said,

"Reading your complaints about the fussy A... We also know this problem.
Maybe the octave pipe of the neck is the problem; many times there is a lacquer residue in it. My suggestion is to first clean and eventually drill the first octave pipe bit by bit upto 2.3.

So there we have it, from Selmer, twice.


I would check the sax first on major leaks before the A, because that can also cause the fussy sound, but you probably did already.
You can also try another neck first to figure out, wether it is the original neck or not.
greetings Hans Jan"
 

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Gordon,
Great info, sir.

I do however disagree on one thing. The fuzzy high A, IMO, is caused by by the steady, intense stream of air escaping the pip being blocked by the pad. When we play high A, the key on the neck is open. Generally, the space between the pad, and the open pp is small. If you were to take the neck key off, and then play A, you would be surprised at is clarity. My solution to this is the old hosery over the pip. This will diffuse the air, and relieve the fuzzyness.

Again, this is just my opinion on the fuzzy A mystery. I admittedly have not tried to drill the pip out.

Steve P
 

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Regarding the A:

The G & G# are at the top of the range of notes a vent covers.
A is at the bottom of the range of notes that a vent covers.

It does seem really odd to me that the same widening-the-vent fix should might with both these situations. It just does not seem to stand up to "intuitive" logic.
 

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I suspect that the problem is more that the player is relying too much on the octave vent to do the work.

As with flute, the player also needs to make the appropriate tiny changes in air pressure and embouchure for the second octave. The octave vent on sax is only a facilitator, not a complete second octave enabler.

A particular embouchure and air pressure may get the player by with other less fussy notes, but just not do the trick for those slightly more fussy notes, where the octave vent does a somewhat less adequate job.

Try practising playing in the second octave with no octave key pressed, to get more idea of the slight effort the player must make.
 

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thanks for that. Im already aware of all these things and actually double on flute so i know what you mean. The problem is reduced when i take less mouthpiece in but it sacrifices the tone i get. Also the fact that i've never had this problem on any other sax i've played lead me to the conclusion that this may be mechanical... However i'm always willing to be proven wrong
 

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I am thinking of having the second octave pip on my series III alto drilled out. Sometimes, not often, mine gets clogged with condensation, and I have to blow some air through the pip to clear it out. That solves the problem.

Still, I feel like the G and G# are actually a bit low in pitch compared to other altos, and it sounds like drilling out the pip would solve the problem. There are no repair techs where I am, so I was thinking of taking off the keys and having a machinist drill it out. Does anyone think this would be a pretty simple procedure?
 

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Series iii tenor questions

thanks for that. Im already aware of all these things and actually double on flute so i know what you mean. The problem is reduced when i take less mouthpiece in but it sacrifices the tone i get. Also the fact that i've never had this problem on any other sax i've played lead me to the conclusion that this may be mechanical... However i'm always willing to be proven wrong
Hello Tom and All Series III Tenor Operators.....

I just acquired a new Series III Tenor. I am in the process of sorting things out. Has there been any further progress on the noted issues with the Octave key referenced above?

My horn came with a slightly bent rotating tube oprated by the Octave key. Also, the octave key is positioned at a level slightly lower than the left thumb rest. This seems incorrect. I have a Series II Alto which has the octave key a bit higher than the left thumb rest. The lower position makes it unreliable to activate or sustain on passages to the upper register over the break.

Also, the OEM Selmer C* MP is not gonna work on this horn, unlike the Series II alto which plays great with the C*. No resistance and fragile response on the left hand pinkey notes. Also, rather buzzy with a 2 1/2 Vandoren. Any recommendations for MP would be interesting. I play big band swing and solo blues to make the neighbors dog howl and run in circles.'

Other than the octave key issue, the key work and intonation seem good.

Thanks,
The Bopper (Big)
Atlanta
 

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I am thinking of having the second octave pip on my series III alto drilled out. Sometimes, not often, mine gets clogged with condensation, and I have to blow some air through the pip to clear it out. That solves the problem.

Still, I feel like the G and G# are actually a bit low in pitch compared to other altos, and it sounds like drilling out the pip would solve the problem. There are no repair techs where I am, so I was thinking of taking off the keys and having a machinist drill it out. Does anyone think this would be a pretty simple procedure?
In itself, yes, a simple operation. But be aware that this hole is a compromise diameter and location for many notes, 7 in the second octave and more in altissimo. It is not that likely that Selmer has got their compromise wrong, but they have done so in the past.

You may get unacceptable side effects by drilling it larger. Be prepared to have to put that metal back again. That probably means buying a replacement pip, ready. Also be aware that if you get it wrong, there may be added complications if Selmer has welded or silver-soldered that pip in, as they are want to do. That would mean it had to be drilled/ground/milled out if you wanted to install a replacement.
 

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what i don't get is why my yamaha has absolutely no problems with octave vents despite this compromise but my selmer does. it's a right pain
 

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Acoustic design is a complicated set of compromises. The compromise settled on by Yamaha may have other consequences in tone &/or response &/or pitch somewhere in the range, ease of slurs, or evenness of tone/pitch/volume through a scale.

It is also possible that Yamaha just did it better, with their presumably sophisticated computer modelling of their acoustic design.

Selmer tends to try silly things and learn by a very slow process of trial and error. That is, except for the Mark VI, when they clearly had access to some very clued up acoustic and mechanical design engineers.

It's a bit like the days when European cars were hallowed, but dripped oil. Japanese vehicles didn't. The Japanese dealt with things, sensibly.
 

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yeah, makes sense really. i'm waiting for the days when one can buy a horn and know it'll work. could be waiting a while....

in the mean time i just wanna get my series III sorted
 

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Yanagisawa is pretty much that. Yamaha pro models likewise.

But other than that, I think you will see that eventually come from China, when importers pay the bit extra to get better that they often do. After all, it seems that many (most?) importers of Chinese product focus on the cheapest rather than quality. That is where they make their quick buck to an undiscerning, gullible-by-appearance-and-price, mass market.

I wonder if a hefty global "resources" tax would improve the situation. After all, a crappy instrument, long term is far heavier on global resources than a well made one.

And that may someday come from China too. I wonder if this is a beginning... http://www.upi.com/Business_News/En...minerals-prices-skyrocket/UPI-76601308849756/ (I import and sell rare earth magnets as a sideline.)

China is possibly already doing more than any other country re managing resources, in their policy of limiting consumers - the one child family. :)
 

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yeah, yamaha and yani are excellent in that regard. i just wonder why selmer and keilwerth (both of which i find to be much more interesting horns) are so far behind....
 
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