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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've got a cheap Chinese Helmke sax (doh!), and it's been fine for me as I'm just teaching myself, no big thing.

But one thing I've noticed is the octave key valve on the body, not the neck, seems slow to close (the valve that opens when playing notes G and lower with the octave key).

Any simple fixes for this?

Thanks.
 

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Hmmmm...OK, so typically there are two armatures which operate to close that octave key...the arm on the G key, which closes it when the G is not depressed....and then the armature on the octave thumb key...which closes it when the G is depressed but the octave key is not.

Did this seem to suddenly become an issue ? Or has ot been gradual ?

Can you post a photo of that area of the sax ? (octave key mechanisms can vary quite a bit in design, so the best advice can be given if we can see the mechanism).
 

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Finger G with the octave key and raise the G finger, then put it back. The body octave key should open and shut as fast as you can do that. The Chinese saxes frequently have minor issues that the more experienced players take care of or take them to a shop. If that key is dragging, you might use a drop of key oil at each point of movement in the octave mechanism and work it in to see if that helps.

Joke - don't try this at home: Guy takes his sax to the shop for a sticking key, and the repairman says 'That'll be $25.00.' The guy says okay, and the tech takes a hammer and taps the sax at one place, handing it back to him. The guy says '$25.00 for hitting the horn with a hammer?' The tech says, 'No, $25.00 for knowing where to hit and how hard.'
 

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A common issue found on sluggish octave mechanisms is a bent key or rod causing friction. A quick way to diagnose this is to remove the neck and finger G with the octave key pressed. With your free hand move the post that extends from the body to activate the ring on the neck up and down several times. It should "float" freely with no resistance whatsoever. If it does not, the best thing to do would be to take it to a tech to get it straightened out. Rarely does adding oil help when bent keys or rods are the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies! Here's a video...first playing a G with the octave key, and lifting off the G key...seems to work fine....then holding the G key with the octave key and lifting off the octave key....kinda slow. delayed. Thanks for any more thoughts.

Hmmm, tried inserting video, that didn't seem to work...tried just putting in the url and it turns it into this tiny video...hope you can see!

http://vimeo.com/376296280
 

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But have you done the diagnosis that Saxoclese suggested, with the neck off the sax.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To follow up, I put a drop of oil in the v-shaped "fork" and that solved it.

Thank you all for the replies.
 

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Oil seldom solves issues. Your oil has probably changed the situation from not working to barely working, and at any time it may revert.
 

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I’m with saxoclese on this one. Most likely there is some undue friction in the mechanism because of unaligned posts or ill fitted keywork. Adding some oil will alleviate the symptoms... but won’t take care of them in the long run. You should get the sax to a tech, who could give you more insight and give an estimate of how much you’d have to pay for an adjustment.
 
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