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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi!
I just received the Super Action 80 tenor discussed here. It even came with 3 (quite dirty) mouthpieces (original Selmer S80 C*, Vandoren T27, Meyer 6M).

However, the octave key mechanism appears to be bent:
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It doesn't looks that way in the seller pictures, the octave key looks closed yet it can't close on mine (It does close fully when the neck is not on the horn):
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For now I kind of fixed it by removing the little plastic sleeve:
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Can I unbent it or will I break it trying and I should wait? There is no repair shop in my city and we're in lockdown.

Apart from that and some dents, the main issue is the dirtiness of the sax.
Some of the pads are fine, but others have a kind of white powder over them. What can I use to clean them ?
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It plays rather easily, except for the lowest and highest (palm keys) notes. I guess there are some leaks, but I shall adress them when the octave key is fixed.
Should the dents be a concern, or are they mostly a cosmetic issue?
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Thanks!
 

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I guess you didn't collect the horn directly from the seller? So, the damage to the octave key probably occurred when the horn was in transit (I guess the end plug was missing). If you don't know how to fix it, wait the end of our lockdown to have it repaired --especially if you can play it now, just keep the plastic sleeve...
The white powder may be anti-sticking powder. To clean the pads, you can use lighter fluid (and papier buvard, I don't know the english term).
Dents this low shouldn't have a big effect. You certainly can wait the end of the lockdown to have them fixed.
The palm keys shouldn't be affected by leaks (or, more precisely, leaks which would be noticed when you play the palm keys would make the whole horn unplayable).
For the low notes, yes, there are probably leaks --for €1400, what did you expect?
 

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Simple fix. If you have some quarter inch sockets, put about a 7MM one on the handle/extension, slide it over the lever and pull it sideways to align.
 

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That octave rod - that's what happens when you don't use an end plug when you ship a sax. Considering what you paid, I'd say you didn't do too bad. It would cost about $50 to get all that fixed here. As for 'dirty', I've been using 'Lemon Pledge' furniture polish for a long time and its great. Over there, you probably have something similar that sprays out a white waxy film that easily wipes off. It will contain water, liquified paraffin and silicone as it's main ingredients. If the outside is dirty the inside probably is worse. You could just let the shop take the keys off and clean the horn, fix the dents and put it back together. Probably $250 or so for that, then you can do the wax. If you use stuffers in the neck, body and bell/bow, you can keep it clean once you get it clean.
 

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Really, sorry to hear his. Disappointing. I have had transit damage a few times over the years having saxes shipped to me. The socket area seem particularly vulnerable and I know other people who have received horns with damage in this area.
 

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The “crazing” of the lacquer on the neck looks like it’s been pulled down. That might be part of why it’s not lining up right also.
I think I’d do do some rigging to just get it to play for now and get it to a repairman As soon as you can.
I bought a Mark VII alto a couple of months ago and got it playable but I’m getting it back from my repairman tomorrow after getting the neck repaired from a pulldown and having some pads reseated.
I can do some minor repairs but dent work and bent necks should be done by a pro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank you all for your reply.

I indeed didn't collect the horn and believe it happened during shipping. There was an end plug but maybe it was too small to protect the lever.
Simple fix. If you have some quarter inch sockets, put about a 7MM one on the handle/extension, slide it over the lever and pull it sideways to align.
Thanks, but I'm not sure what to do with the socket?

I tried to bend the lever back, but when I pull (1), it also bends towards 2 and 3, and I have nothing to hold it.
102706


I also identified some other issues.

1) The neck moves a little even with the screw fully tightened.

2) The G# key is not properly closed by the little screw over it, and I cannot turn the screw. Can I use some WD40 or could it damage the horn or the varnish?
I also thought about gluing a small piece of paper to the cork for now.
(I guess I also have the lose the bad habit of leaving my pinky pressed when playing a f# or an e after a g#)
102707


3) The G key doesn't always open fully, especially in the second octave. I think the spring is too old, tired, and maybe a little bent. Is there an easy fix?
102709
 

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If the mouthpieces are dirty with white calcification clean them with an old toothbrush and vinegar. It will come right out. Use cold water only. When done if you want to make them look pretty wipr them down with mineral oil and dry them after about ten minutes. Olive oil works too. Dont use other oils as they will go rancid. Mineral is best and you will have a lifetime supply. You can get it at the pharmacy...but olive oil is fine and you probably have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
If the mouthpieces are dirty with white calcification clean them with an old toothbrush and vinegar. It will come right out. Use cold water only. When done if you want to make them look pretty wipr them down with mineral oil and dry them after about ten minutes. Olive oil works too. Dont use other oils as they will go rancid. Mineral is best and you will have a lifetime supply. You can get it at the pharmacy...but olive oil is fine and you probably have it.
Thanks, I do have some parrafin oil, I will do that. The mouthpieces are indeed dirty with calcification, but also what I suspect is old lipstick and old mouthpiece cushions falling apart. Vinegar should clean up all that well.
 

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This is typical when buying sight unseen. Unless you really know what you are doing then you actually do need a competent technician and if it is not possible to visit one it will need to be sent. You should get back to the seller with a list of what is wrong and a tech estimate to put into the condition as described. You may be able to get a rough estimate based on the photos although once in the hands of a tech they could find other issues.

However to be fair if there are other issues that the tech finds which you didn't notice, you can't really expect the seller to have known.

But the first thing should be to contact the seller and point out what is wrong compared with how the instrument was described. For shipping damage they should have insurance cover. Try to reach an amicable settlement, and if not then if you used Paypal you can raise a dispute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
This is typical when buying sight unseen. Unless you really know what you are doing then you actually do need a competent technician and if it is not possible to visit one it will need to be sent. You should get back to the seller with a list of what is wrong and a tech estimate to put into the condition as described. You may be able to get a rough estimate based on the photos although once in the hands of a tech they could find other issues.

However to be fair if there are other issues that the tech finds which you didn't notice, you can't really expect the seller to have known.

But the first thing should be to contact the seller and point out what is wrong compared with how the instrument was described. For shipping damage they should have insurance cover. Try to reach an amicable settlement, and if not then if you used Paypal you can raise a dispute.
The horn is mostly what I expected it to be, I knew there was going to be some work and some expenses when I bought it. I actually thought the pads, corks and felts would be in worse shape.
I would have preferred to try it myself but it was just too far. However, I knew the seller, and he has already offered me to pay for the repair of the octave key mechanism.

Now, I want to see if I can learn to do some of the sax maintenance myself, and the rest will wait for the end of the lockdown.
 

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If you can play with this bent octave pin, leave it alone until you can travel to a tech.
For the neck, if you can find teflon tape (used by the plumbers) it is a good (and reversible) solution until you can have it properly repaired.
For the G# regulation screw you can use WD40 to try to unlock it. Alternatively, glueing a piece of paper will work (a piece of the sticky part of a post-it works well if you want a reversible solution).
For the G key, verify that the key works without friction; you can re-tension the spring if it is really the source of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
If you can play with this bent octave pin, leave it alone until you can travel to a tech.
For the neck, if you can find teflon tape (used by the plumbers) it is a good (and reversible) solution until you can have it properly repaired.
For the G# regulation screw you can use WD40 to try to unlock it. Alternatively, glueing a piece of paper will work (a piece of the sticky part of a post-it works well if you want a reversible solution).
For the G key, verify that the key works without friction; you can re-tension the spring if it is really the source of the problem.
Thanks!
I couldn't make the screw turn even with wd40, so I cut some pieces of post-it and it's doing well :)

For the G key, I found some friction here :
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If I push the "rod" away from the side of the "cradle" it opens just fine. (Sorry about proper terminology!)
Can I do something about it?
 

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Thanks!
I couldn't make the screw turn even with wd40, so I cut some pieces of post-it and it's doing well :)

For the G key, I found some friction here :
View attachment 102728

If I push the "rod" away from the side of the "cradle" it opens just fine. (Sorry about proper terminology!)
Can I do something about it?
For the moment, hopefully oiling this "cradle" will be enough...
 

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The white stuff Might be baby powder.
 

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Can I unbent it or will I break it trying and I should wait? There is no repair shop in my city and we're in lockdown.
You could. To bend it back would likely take just a few seconds. The chance of it breaking when done by someone experienced is about 0.01%. When done by someone inexperienced it's about 0.01% to 50%, depending on the person.

If I push the "rod" away from the side of the "cradle" it opens just fine. (Sorry about proper terminology!)
Can I do something about it?
The key hinge rod and/or that guide (what you called the cradle) might be bent. Actually even if they are both not bent, the spring often pushes the key towards one side. so even if the key rod is straight, it might get slightly bent with the spring attached, and the cradle might be best not aligned without the spring tension. Though usually this is not enough to actually caused a friction problem that affects the G key opening, so maybe it's more bent than that.

You can try to see if you think it is bent and then try to bend it back to where it should be, if you want to try that. If there is some material glued inside the guide, you can remove it and it could help by giving the hinge rod more room. It could make it more noisy, but not necessarily (it doesn't look like there is material there in the photo but it's too blurry to be sure).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you. There is no material inside. I will try to put some oil and see if it's bent (but I don't think so).
I was also thinking about putting thin teflon in here if I can find some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)

I'm not sure which way should I bend the g spring, if I try to do it myself ?
I have a spring hook.

The g key open up fully in the low octave, but in the second octave It only half opens, and so does the octave key. The body octave key doesn't closes fully, so the A sounds weak (unless I lift the G key of finger a B or above)
I have to finger a B to have it open up fully.

Oiling the guide helps a little. The guide isn't bent. Maybe the hinge rod is a little, but I don't know how to bend it back without disassembling it or break it. (I know that if I try to disassemble the horn I won't be able to assemble it back).
 

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You have to bend it such that it exerts more force on its cradle -so, referring to your picture, to the right and to the back. When you will free the spring, it will already curve in this direction and you will have to increase this curvature.

Also: try to oil the two extremities of the G key (where they pivot on the point screws).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Also: try to oil the two extremities of the G key (where they pivot on the point screws).
Thanks a lot, that solved it!

I also got some leaks, just made a leak lamp.
Big ones on the low B and B flat, I think the bell got hit too much. Will try to bend the keys a little.
Some small leaks on the low C, F#, G# and even a little amount on the G and on the high C if I don't press it hard enough. The pads are in good shape but dirty, I will see what can I do about the leaks after I clean up the pads (will buy some lighter fluid on Tuesday).

The only damaged pad is the neck octave key one, the center is torn, but it doesn't leak (yet).
Maybe I'm gonna try to find a serie III neck.
 
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