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Hi Guys,

i have a question. I am owning a Amati super de luxe from 1965 with silver/ gold wash in the bell.
When i look into my horn from the top ( nek removed ) to the bottom i see a small tube coming from the outside of the horn going into the horn. It is sticking INSIDe the horn and i believe functioning as the lower octav mechanism.
I was wondering why it's sticking so far into the horn? Is there a specific reason for it? Would the response of the horn get better if you make that little tube smaller? I would say that it is giving extra resistance while playing which might be aCan voided?

My alto ( selmer ) has the same. Can someone give advice?

many thanks!

Jeroen
l
 

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Same with my YTS61. Mine was loosened occasionally by the swab, and I had a hard time to find that leak....
I am no expert, but I suppose, it is to make a zero wave node (thus producing an octave) right there in the middle of the bore.
 

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Yes, don't touch it........... it is supposed to be there and to be that long (only in very rare cases these things are modified by technicians )
Just to reiterate:

Yes, don't touch it........... it is supposed to be there

:)
 

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Yes, don't touch it........... it is supposed to be there. There's one the same in the neck too.
 

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The lower 8ve vent tube is also the length it is to reduce the likelyhood of water blocking it - if it was flush with the inside of the bore, condensation can run into it. A lot of older saxes have very short lower 8ve vent tubes, but most saxes have ones of a considerable length for both preventing water getting in and blocking it and also of a specific length which is detrimental in how the upper register responds.

If you use a padsaver or are considering getting one (and they're not necessarily the work of the devil regardless of what some people may think), make sure you use an HW Padsaver as they have synthetic fibres that will compress right down to the core wire and go past the lower 8ve vent tube with no trouble - other makes of padsavers that are too dense (such as the Helin or Opti-Care ones) can put undue stress on the 8ve vent tube and break the solder joint when they're pushed in or pulled out (and you shouldn't be ramming in or whipping out padsavers or any other kinds of bore cleaners fast anyway) and ones with cotton threads will shed fibres that build up in the lower 8ve vent tube and cause problems with the response of the upper register.
 

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No, I wasn't using the wrong swab, but thank you for jumping to conclusions. It was a small one made for soprano saxophones and had passed through the horn on several prior occasions. It became stuck on that little vent tube and had to be forced out, breaking the solder and creating a leak. A tech fixed it good as new. And the reason I was swabbing the horn was for the very reason described above by Chris. Water was clogging the vent (this was a modern horn) and cutting out the upper octave. I'd never been a swabber before but this vent-clogging caused me to break my own rule AND the vent. I learned my lesson. DAVE
 

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I've just noticed that the body octave tube on my Bauhaus-Walstein tenor is much shorter than on my Selmer. The G and G# notes often screech up to a high harmonic on the BW if I don't tongue the note and I wonder whether the short tube means the note is less stable than on the Selmer ?

Rhys
 

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We will have to disagree on the efficacy of swabbing a saxophone - or not. The only time I swabbed a saxophone was the time I described. This topic has been gone over thoroughly and like so many things saxophone, there is disagreement. I find little value to swabbing a saxophone - and that goes for over 55 years now. I do swab my wood clarinets but for good reason (removing the moisture).

The problem, Milandro, is which one will snag and which one won't? If you'd asked me BEFORE my swab was stuck, I'd have replied it didn't snag. But now I would be reluctant to run ANY swab through that saxophone - the only way to determine if a certain swab will become stuck is to use it - something I am not willing to do anymore. DAVE
 

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in my experience the ones without anything to help expand the cloth (like the first picture) don't get caught anywhere unless you have a bur on the tube (if that is the case difficult though that might be a tech could remove that), the other ones only cause problems if one get an improper size. In other words if you are trying to pass too much cloth in the narrow passage you might damage it, if the cloth s not being forcefully extracted (as in the first type) you won't have any problem , of course you shouldn't use a model meant for tenor on a alto............. that is surely going to cause the type of problems that you have experienced.
 

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What is the point of swabbing a saxophone in the first place? I've never found it to be necessary - in 55+ years of playing the things. And FWIW, the swab I used was designed for a soprano and used in a soprano. You are trying to convince me that if I'd only used the right swab, everything would be fine. But I can't be convinced . . . the only reason I did it was because of the problem I described and that turned into a bigger disaster than if my upper-octave pip plugged with moisture. For sure, I'm not sticking anything more down the horn just to see if it MIGHT fit (which the one I used DID fit several times before it tore off the inside vent). This is crazy. DAVE
 

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The whole point of swabbing after playing is to remove excess water in the bore which will collect in toneholes when you put the sax away and eventually harden or rot the palm key pads or low Eb pad as these are closed.

If you don't wipe the bore of your sax dry after playing, then you're in the same league as brass players - especially trumpet players! So let that be a something to consider.

The one type of swab I wholly advocate is the HW Padsaver as that wicks the water away from the inside of the bore and pads and is dead easy to use (tip out the excess water from the bell, run the padsaver into the bore, remove it, wipe it under your arm and then replace it and put the sax in its case with the padsaver left in the bore until next time you're playing) and poses no risk of damage to the lower 8ve vent tube. I've used them for well over 20 years on my Yamahas and haven't had any trouble (and Yamaha lower 8ve vent tubes do protrude a fair way into the bore). If they were harmful then I wouldn't be using them. The ones that do cause harm are ones that are too thick as they don't compress and will rip out the lower 8ve vent tube if forced in or out.
 

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If moisture is collecting in the tone holes, a swab would pass right by and leave the moisture there . . . the swab's material can't get up into the tone holes. The pad-savers and shove-its in my opinion are equally ineffective but some may leave little pieces behind to create leaks.

Like I said before, there is disagreement about this, so all of you who like to swab your saxophones, please continue - be my guest. Just don't try to convince me to do it. DAVE
 

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Like I said before, there is disagreement about this, so all of you who like to swab your saxophones, please continue - be my guest.
Thank you... I will.... In all honesty though, when I was playing back in the late 60's through the 70's I never swabbed my Super 20. I did rinse out my mouthpiece though. On another note, the lower octave pip on my T100 protrudes 3 times as far inside the body as the one on the Super 20.
 

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well,any tech or saxophone collector will confirm that there are plenty of saxophones out there with more or less pronounced signs of a film of organic and metal matter and calcium deposits (the same you see in the mouthpieces) in some horns that are not swabbed.

The merits of the padsaver are different that the ones of a swab. I use the padsaver more than I use a swab but I use a swab regularly and I also wash them because they not only absorb moisture but also remove dirt which, obviously, let alone would accumulate.

I also use necksavers and do so also in a bariton, you put something in there to clean the curl of a baritone that has never been cleaned you'll see what dirt is.


Anyway to each, as usual, his own.
 

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If moisture is collecting in the tone holes, a swab would pass right by and leave the moisture there . . . the swab's material can't get up into the tone holes. The pad-savers and shove-its in my opinion are equally ineffective but some may leave little pieces behind to create leaks.

Like I said before, there is disagreement about this, so all of you who like to swab your saxophones, please continue - be my guest. Just don't try to convince me to do it. DAVE
Swabs and shove-its have slightly different mechanical actions in use.
Because a swab is usually a single piece of material it gets compressed by the bore as it's pulled through - so as it passes each tonehole it tends to do so at a diameter that matches the bore...so there's little or no incursion into the tone hole. Any cleaning action it may have at this point is largely down to 'wicking'.

The shove-it is made from many individual strands, which have a tendency to spring upright when uncompressed...so as they pass a tone hole they will pop up and poke into the tone hole. This gives them both a wicking action and a scouring action.
The benefit of leaving them in the bore comes from their being able to wick any remaining droplets that otherwise might have run into a tone hole while the horn is in its case.

Horns that aren't swabbed in any fashion tend to suffer from a build-up of gunge over time, particularly around the palm key area - and also tend to exhibit a film of gunge in all the tone holes down the main body.
Horns cleaned with shove-its fare rather better - with rather less fouling of the bore and tone holes.
Concerns about fibres shedding can be eliminated by using a good-quality shove-it such as those made by HW (the PadSaver).

Neither method does much to protect or dry the pads (aside from the shove-it's ability to prevent stray drips from running into tone holes during storage).

I would recommend the use of some sort of swabbing regime if only to help prevent the bore becoming fouled - which leads to a loss of brightness in the tone.

Regards,
 
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