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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Kohlert 709 soprano sax, one piece, that I just bought used. It plays well until you try to play F and down. I get severe fluttering,motorboating. No matter what I try embouchure wise doesn't help. I'm using a Rico Mettalite M5 with Vandoren #2 reeds. Any help would be appreciated!
Gary
 

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Make sure the mouthpiece angle is correct. Its a sax, not a clarinet. If the other suggestions don't solve the problem, it may be a matter of becoming acclimated to the soprano.
 

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I put a leak light in it and didn't see any leaks.
That doesn't mean there aren't any. Do you have a teacher who could test it? If not take it to a good tech who will be able to find any leaks if there are any, they usually have a selection of mouthpieces and should be able to solve the problem, whether it's the horn, mouthpiece or operator.
 

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Thanks Pete,but I don't have a teacher. I've played alto, and just recently picked up this soprano. I've never played one before.
That could be most of the problem right there.

On a straight soprano, you either need to bend your neck down (ouch), or hold the soprano straight out (also no fun). This is why I like curved neck straight sopranos, and curved sopranos much better (curvys rock!). They get you in the proper position without acrobatics!

Too soft of a reed can cause the low end to motorboat as well. A microleak (not always detected by a leak light) can exasberate the problem too.

Mouthpiece choice can do it often as well. I'm not a big fan of Rico mouthpieces on Soprano, because for me, I can never get a good tone from them, and the large beak causes too many problems for me.
 

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So don't bend your neck. Tilt your head half-way down, and elevate the sax half way up, and there is found a reasonably comfortable position. :)

Essentially, the mouthpiece should be at the same angle to your face as would be that of an alto or tenor.

But I suspect there is a leak problem as well. BTW Does the neck cork fit and seal well at the reed end of that cork?
 

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But I suspect there is a leak problem as well. BTW Does the neck cork fit and seal well at the reed end of that cork?
This is a good possible diagnosis, it's typical of a major leak that won't show with a leak light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It feels like a good fit. I have to use a little pressure to push mouthpiece on the neck. I tried a no name mouthpiece that came with the horn, and the problem didn't seem as bad as with the Mettalite. I also called a couple music stores around here to have a tech look at it,but they are all busy until October at least with school just starting.
 

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Some sops are very fussy about the mouthpiece position on the neck.,
 

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Thanks lots! I played around with mouthpiece placement on the neck,and it did make a difference!
That's great, but what it means is obviously it will tune differently, so if it was in tune before (with the mouthpiece in its previous position) you will need to rethink your embouchure. For this, mouthpiece exercises will be very useful, especially on soprano where they make a lot of difference:

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-mouthpiece-exercises.html
 

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I would still suspect a leak.

Ive found motorboating to be prevelant with leaks around Eb and C#, even with a leak.. relocating the mouthpiece can make the motorboating dis-appear, so to me thats indicative of the fact that the leak can be bypassed by finding the mpc sweet spot. So if you get the chance have a tech glance over it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would still suspect a leak.

Ive found motorboating to be prevelant with leaks around Eb and C#, even with a leak.. relocating the mouthpiece can make the motorboating dis-appear, so to me thats indicative of the fact that the leak can be bypassed by finding the mpc sweet spot. So if you get the chance have a tech glance over it for you.
Ok thanks, I will get it to a tech as soon as the school instrument rush is over.
 

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.. relocating the mouthpiece can make the motorboating dis-appear, so to me thats indicative of the fact that the leak can be bypassed by finding the mpc sweet spot.
Very good point, and if that is true you should ignore what I said about adjusting your embouchure to tune to the new mouthpiece position
 

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Gary: All good suggestions. I urge you to take a little time and look closely at all the interconnected mechanisms as you finger different notes. A leak caused by a malfunction may not be detected by a leak-light. And, a malfunction in an unlikely spot may cause low-end motorboating because the further down the horn you play, the more effect you'll feel.

Areas to look at would be how the upper and lower octave vents open and close. Is there ANY movement when you press the octave button at A2 or below A2? Does the upper octave vent close completely? How does the bisBb work when you play the forked Bb fingerings? Does the bisB vent open slightly? How does the G# pad look when you operate the G# touch (or the other left-pinky table touches)? A clse exam of your horn may reveal problems. DAVE
 
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