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Discussion Starter #1
I know this topic has been discussed recently a lot. But my question is kind of different so I would really appreciate if someone can give me some suggestions.

Simply put, C1, D1 (and lower) sometimes speak out as C2, D2. This can be alleviated by using harder reed (Vandoren 2.5). But with my super session F, I can only blow Rico Royal 2 easily without much efforts, so the problem becomes more obvious with the soft reed.

My question is, I suspect the body octave hole/key( the small hole on the top portion of the horn, open when play C2 to G2) has manufacturing defect, as the octave hole is not located to the center of the pad. Since this hole is too small I cannot use my LED light to detect leak. And it can be the main reason for this problem. I attached two pics, one is the shot and the other is my drawing.

View attachment 29053 View attachment 29054

My horn is Antigua ss3286(586). I'd like to know whether the problem above is a common problem for taiwanese horn and can be forgiving or not. To me it is very hard to tell it leaks or not as it is very small. I do not know any good technicans nearby and recently I had a pretty bad and funny experience with a local so called"well known" technican and I do not want to go randomly to any technican.

At last, thanks everyone very much for taking a look.
 

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There could be many many other reasons for these issues, but as bruce said, it's extremely easy to temporarily fix a leaky octave pad.

I would have though a leaking octave pad would affect all the notes, not just C1 and D1, so I wouldn't immediately jump to that conclusion. Either get someone to gently push each key down while you hold the notes and see if anything makes a difference, or take the horn to a tech.

Octave keycups can be way off centre and still make a good seal.
 

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An often overlooked culprit is the pad on the neck. If the connection between the neck and the body is a little bit too tight, it results in the wrong octave more or less randomly.
 

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while holding down F (not high F) see if you can lift that octave pad slightly with the tip of your finger, if you can this is causing it and you need adjustment to keep it closed, this happened to me recently on my curvy BW
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for suggestion. I will try what Bruce said and to see what is going on. Now I almost develop a "fear" for these low notes. Everytime I play these notes I become nervous. And more nervous the more probability of jumping.

If anyone also happens to have Antigua sop, could you take a look of your body octave to see if it is also way off the pad?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
update.

I put a paper under octave keycup, no difference. So it should has nothing to do with the octave key leakage. Check other pads, no leakage. So I guess it is my own problem. So I will keep practicing long tone.
 

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Check both octave vents (upper and lower). Also, some of the other inter-connected linkages could be a culprit (G# rising slightly; bisBb not closing completely; side keys off center; a very small particle of some kind on the edge of a tonehole; your fingers inadvertently touching a key; etc.). Those things may not show up with a leak-light but still may be a problem. And, try several reed combinations, too. DAVE
 

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By the way, I have an Antigua 590LQ, essentially the same as the 586 with a hi-G key. The lower octave is centered on the lower octave vent. DAVE
 

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Paper under that pad will not really show too much. You need to have the two holes air tight. Also even though a pad may show no leakage, it may not be held closed due to an adjustment problem. Have you had someone else try it? If it is a two neck model, does it occur with both necks?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
By the way, I have an Antigua 590LQ, essentially the same as the 586 with a hi-G key. The lower octave is centered on the lower octave vent. DAVE
Thanks Dave for this information. I will check all the points you mentioned to see if I can get something. It seems like I had a bad luck for my antigua sop for this octave issue. I'd rather have some technicans to check it.

bruce bailey said:
Paper under that pad will not really show too much. You need to have the two holes air tight. Also even though a pad may show no leakage, it may not be held closed due to an adjustment problem. Have you had someone else try it? If it is a two neck model, does it occur with both necks?
Bruce, I will try again with some tapes to seal both octave cup. Yes it happens both neck and I am pretty sure upper octave is OK on both cases. I do not know anyone nearby playing soprano saxophone. I once went to a technican at a music shop at west palm beach and it was a very bad experience. Do you have some one to recommend?
 

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Put the piece of paper in water. Once it is soaked, then put a little piece under the pad. See how that works.
 

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Now I almost develop a "fear" for these low notes. Everytime I play these notes I become nervous. And more nervous the more probability of jumping.
It is possible that you would get that response even if the horn is working properly. A good exercise for the experienced player is to play the full range of the instrument without using the octave keys. The other side of that is recognizing that a less experienced player may inadvertently get the octave to sound without using the octave key.

Tension in your embouchure may be the culprit. This is another example of when it may be useful to get some instruction on the horn. Or at least get another player to test your horn.

G'luck.
 

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My soprano was doing the same thing. Someone said that the soprano has to be 100% air tight, with that in mind I got the leak light out. I've been used to playing the alto were to be honest you can play it with a fair few leaks.
So I've set about working on the G, C, B keys, all had what I thought were very minor leaks. Did the G & B key first and made a major diffrence, the C key with the pad with a hole in etc was the worse culprit and I'm still working on it. If I play low D with a lot of pressure on the top keys I get the note no problem release pressure very slightly on the top three and it jumps an octave, apply the pressure and it drops an octave.

I'm going to go through every pad and get them 100%. I thought it was the octave keys at first, as you said you can't do them with a leak light so I made the area in the neck and the lower octave pip air tight and applied some pressure no leaks at all and that's with the pad not being central. I think if you take a look at the pad and can see a good impression of the octave pip it should be okay.

I'd check with a leak light the top pads including palm keys etc for an 100% seal at low finger pressure as it seems to make a big difference. I messed around with reeds etc thinking it was them making the low notes play an octave higher when it was the pads all along. It played spot on when I got it new about a month ago and after taking the travel wedges out it's been gradually getting worse, all I can put it down to is the pads are springing back slowly causing leaks as I did put a leak light up it when I got it and it was a lot better.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I taped both octave (I believe this time is tight). Still same. But if I use harder reed the low register did speak out much easier. Anyway I am going to Saxtek to have a check next week. I will update after coming back from Saxtek.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Come back from technican. He said the horn is very tight; off center key cup is not a big problem. He also played my horn and he did not find anything wrong.

One more thing, when the technican played my horn in an open room, the sound was very ugly, totally different with that when I play in my bathroom or living room(maybe because of reverb). One thing for sure is that the technican is much better than me no doubt about it. I am very very surprised to hear the "true" tone of my sop sax.
 

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It has been my experience that the player is probably the worst judge of how his horn sounds. There is just something about being in front or alongside someone else's horn rather than being behind it (as the player is) that makes a huge difference. I sometimes have the same reaction as saxmsy when hearing a recording of my horns. It just makes me try harder.

Another thing - while fun and rewarding to play in a resonant room (like your kitchen or bathroom) there is a lot to be said about practicing in a dead room. Without all the "reverb", it makes you do a better job of developing a presence and good tone all on your own.

I'm thinking now that maybe your problem with register-control may be your lack of a developed soprano embouchure OR the particular mouthpiece/reed combo you are using. Like I said before, you may want to experiment with different reed brands and styles.

Lastly, you may think your tech is a better player but that doesn't mean he has better tone than you OR that he did justice to your horn's tone. Don't give up. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dave, Thank you very much for the encouragement. I feel that achieving a good tone may be the ultimate goal for most soprano sax players. It is also a great fun to work on tone. I will probably reduce the time playing in my bathroom.

Bruce, I am using 4C and SS F. I do not know what the technican used (4C I guess). Actually I intended to meet saxtek but he was not there that day. Another technican checked it. They are very helpful and they did not charge me for inspection.
 
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