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an old pro player friend of mine told me once many years ago,that saxophones that haven't been played for many years need "waking up" to get the full sound happening.
he said it was to do with the brass at a molecular level,for the molecules to get in the right position or sum-such?
sounds like it could be true.
i know i have played old horns like this and after a little while they starts singing fuller.
 

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I think your old friend may have been pulling your leg. I doubt that brass molecules get out of alignment. However, a horn that has gone unused for many years might well need a seeing-to by an honest tech. Pads can dry out, cork can deteriorate, springs can rust, dust can gunk up pivot points, etcetera.
 

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Entertaining answers so far!
Forgetabout the brass at the molecular level!
Think dried out pads - it all gets down to sealing the tone holes and leaks.
Just oil the rods and springs, and play the sax every day for a couple of weeks - it will sound better every day.

There might be some shortcuts - you could get all the pads wet with a damp cloth, or, put the sax in the bathroom and turn on the shower, full hot, to get the room very hot and damp, and then leave the sax in there overnight. Should play better in the morning!
 

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a little knowledge is dangerous ( Alexander Pope)...... but total ignorance is even worse (milandro)!


we have gone here many times before, this is even wronger a postulation that it is the one on cryogenics “ re” alining molecules .

We even had someone proposing to have a current going through a saxophone to do this. ( The most ridiculous proposition was a Taiwanese company with a device to play music into the metal of the saxophone to “ teach” the molecules to play well, they even said that if you play through your sax classical music you will make it fit to play classical music and Jazz for jazz..... whiuch makes me think that you should never buy a saxophone played by a student because that had been trained to play..........badly)..


WOW- Did I start something! All metals are slightly magnetic, including an alloy such as brass. The crystal (hence atomic) structure slowly aligns itself as it exists until it is melted or perhaps subjected to a strong electrical field. I know it sounds like alchemy, but I spent considerable time with these very elderly and educated metallurgists, who studied in the 1920s-30s. One of them even worked on the Manhattan Project (and created an atomic saxophone!!! ;-) Maybe old horns sound differently because of this process, or a difference in thickness, or a difference in older brass formulae, or these old guys and I are crazy and the difference in all in our heads, but I feel there is a difference between a Suckahatchi and a Balanced Action that amounts to more than craftsmanship. My final thought on this subject: Respect your elders and believe anything they say!

this is the informed answer to an ill informed postulation

Maybe I should be more succinct - "No".

"Crazy"? Perhaps not. "Ill-informed"? Perhaps so.

Your statements are wrong on so many levels. There is a difference between metallurgists of olden days and materials scientists of today - a big difference. I don't tell a metallurgist how to do their business nor do I place great weight on their "ideas" of what goes on in materials science.

Brass is not slightly magnetic. Whether it is or not has nothing to do with the influence of electron-enhanced migration.

If you are perpetrating a joke, good for you. If you are serious about this concept, please let it go.
“.....If you are perpetrating a joke, good for you. If you are serious about this concept, please let it go....”

I couldn’t agree more!
 

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As someone said before it just needs oil and maybe it has some dried pads that's why doesn't work 100% of its potential.
 

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Maybe you get used to the nuances of the horn and are able to produce a better tone?
 

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maybe old saxophones with misaligned molecules play better, like old violins

:whistle:


 

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Be careful never to let students play your main horn. They are likely to throw off the intonation by misaligned molecules created from bad vibrations:)
 

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Be careful never to let students play your main horn. They are likely to throw off the intonation by misaligned molecules created from bad vibrations:)
Better play the Beach Boy's "Good Vibrations" over and over until the molecules are properly oriented!
 

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One of the more experienced local horn techs has expressed to me that pads lose their optimal seat in a matter of months if they are left unplayed.

Yet another reason to have fewer horns, and to spend more time playing them each - versus a bunch o' horns that get played in an infrequent rotation.
 

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and yet I have bought many horns that weren’t played but great players and had been left unplayed for years and played very well (or as well as I can play them which is... not very well!)




The only thing that playing after a long time an unplayed saxophone is that after a few minutes the pads get wet or capture some of the moisture in your breath and the horn appears to close better. Some argue that it is a temporary thing.

In some cases I have been also wetting the pads with some wet watercolor paper being held between chimney and pad, closing it a couple of times. This, in my opinion, rehydrates the pad and softens it.

Maybe a temporary thing but it definitely seems to help.
 

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and yet I have bought many horns that weren’t played but great players and had been left unplayed for years and played very well (or as well as I can play them which is... not very well!)




The only thing that playing after a long time an unplayed saxophone is that after a few minutes the pads get wet or capture some of the moisture in your breath and the horn appears to close better. Some argue that it is a temporary thing.

In some cases I have been also wetting the pads with some wet watercolor paper being held between chimney and pad, closing it a couple of times. This, in my opinion, rehydrates the pad and softens it.

Maybe a temporary thing but it definitely seems to help.
This may be true with older style pads that do not have a waterproofing treatment from the factory like almost all modern pads do. If moisture cannot either get in or out of the pad leather: 1) they don't dry out, 2) they can't be rehydrated, even if you want to. :)

One of the more experienced local horn techs has expressed to me that pads lose their optimal seat in a matter of months if they are left unplayed.

Yet another reason to have fewer horns, and to spend more time playing them each - versus a bunch o' horns that get played in an infrequent rotation.
An argument could be made that if the pads are perfectly leveled to the tonehole before a "seat" or impression is made in them that those pads even after some relaxation has occurred will still perform flawlessly. One of the attributes I like about using pads that are firmer is that they take a very shallow seat which will change less over time. I think there is a common misconception that it is the "seat" or impression in the surface of the pad that makes it airtight. My experience is that airtightness occurs when the pad perfectly touches down on the tonehole at the same time 360°.
 
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