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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #1
Had this come through the shop the other day. The owner said he had paid $1000 about two weeks earlier to get an overhaul with these foam pads installed. The horn was a newish SA80.

They were leaky and sticking pretty bad.

Anybody else ever seen this? I had heard of toptones pads that I thought might be neoprene or something like that, but I have never seen anything like this.

 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
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Matt, those look like toptone pads.

Great pads, by the way.
Work really great on horns where the tone holes are less than even.
 

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At the Saxofoonwinkel in Deventer, Holland. They have a website..ask for Paul.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Are toptone pads foam all the way through to the bottom?

On pads that were sprung shut, they had compressed so far in two weeks that the pad cups on the palm pads were almost touching the body of the sax, looking pretty much the same as if there wasn't a pad in there at all.

I have heard good things about toptone pads (although I've never seen them), and I trust Randall's opinion as to their quality- therefore, I find it hard to believe that these porous, sticky, leaky, soft pads are toptone pads. Or if they are, I would never use them!

The previous owner was pretty unhappy with how it felt, and traded it in for a new Selmer SA80III at the store where I work, taking a fairly big hit in the pocket in the process. I will be repadding this horn prior to sale since the pads are sticky and leaky- not to mention a sax with foam pads wouldn't exactly fly off the shelf in a store not geared towards total sax nerds like all of us- so I will push it up in schedule a bit and take a few pads out and report back what I find and take some more pictures. I took this picture while I was checking over the horn for my manager to make a decision as to trade-in value, and I couldn't exactly take the few hours I would have liked while the guy waited to see what his store credit was going to be.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #6
I had thought the toptones pads were mounted on some sort of spring gimbal mechanism... these pads were glued in.

Like I said though, I know all I know about toptones pads from a poster I saw once advertising them, so I could definitely be wrong.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #8
If these ARE toptones pads, I'm not sure any of the techs on this forum have used them before- try the search function.

Like I said though, I'm not convinced they are- this might just be something new and weird someone somewhere is experimenting with. I'll get back to this post with more info tomorrow night.
 

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They may not be Toptone Matt, but they look a lot like them.
Email Paul at the Saxofoonwinkel and he can probably email you info about them.
They used to have a cut away pic on their website of the Toptone pads, but I don't think they do now.
 

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I'm not familiar with Toptone pads and have never seen them, so I don't know if these are Toptones or not. On my clarinet I have some 'spongy' pads that look very similar to these. It looks like without the flash these would possibly be darker black. The pads on my clarinet are black and syntetic, made of some sponge-like material. They are definitely the quietest pads I've ever seen/heard (or actually, didn't hear!) but they are a little too soft and make the feel a little, well, spongy!

I think the Superpads (for clarinet) are also similar, spongy but with a resonator. Peter Eaton clarinets also have the possibility of their own pads which (I think) are the spongy ones but with resonators, or the spongy pads like mine. Peter Eaton makes only clarinets, and I don't think Superpads make pads for saxophones (except maybe sopranos) so they are probably something else that is very similar.
 

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these certainly look like top tone pads, the resonators should be self adhesive, the backs of the pads are usually red and the gimbal should be an integral part of the pad with the metal "spud" in the centre which the pad can swivel on. It is the base of "spud" that should be glued/ epoxied into the pad cup.

We have had a couple of new saxes (Trevor James signature series) that have had these pads fitted from new. They worked extremely well and felt very light under the fingers. Both sold quite quickly. I liked them enough to consider buying one of them.

A few years ago, I was sent a few (3) to sample but I wrote back and asked that to trial these pads it would have been better to have been asked for the sizes and then sent a whole set.
 

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they look like toptone pads.

If properly fitted (that is one of the toptone problems) they are great. Do e-mail the " Saxofoonwinkel " (means the Saxophone shop) in Deventer Holland, they are great people and the sole consistent specialists of the few remaining Toptone horns (and among the few who sell the pads and fit them to any saxophone you want). Playing their Grafton fitted with toptone pads was one of the most extraordinary experiences!
 

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Hurling Frootmig said:
Are they foam or neoprene?
Just what I was thinking. I thought toptone was neoprene and I just cannot imagine a foam pad lasting any decent duration without degrading :?
 

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they must be neoprene, nobody in his right mind would think of foam for somehing like that (or would they?), it wouldn't even seal...can't be
 

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They look pretty similar to Eddie Aston's 'Superpads' that Peter Eaton clarinets have installed.
 

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Neoprene comes in foam rubber form as well.. it very well could be neoprene.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #18
AT work now, limited internet access, but thought I'd relay what I found out before posting pics tonight. These are not toptones pads, they are foam (or a foamy neoprene) disks with a hole punched for a resonator and a cardboard shim used as a backing, and were installed using a cream shellac. I took a bunch of pictures of the pad in various states of autopsy and will post those later tonight.
 

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If I were the guy who spent $1000 on that crappy overhaul, I'd take it back to the tech who did it!
 
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