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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of getting my alto overhauled and my tech is telling me the supply of blue steel springs lately has been bad, and that they break whereas older ones are better. The stainless he gets are not breaking but, my horn has blue steeled, you don't want to mix springs do you? And is an all stainless steel springs on a Super Action 80II going to make it a mediocre action 80?
 

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Are you being sarcastic? I can't tell.
I don't think you'll notice any difference in the response between the blued or stainless springs.
My tenor has a mix and all of the keys open and close pretty much the same!
 

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It isn't so much what the springs are made of, but how they are tensioned, and retain their "spring". I have a had a few saxes with mixed springs, and the only noticable ones, were when the wrong tension of spring was used to replace the broken/weak spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Are you being sarcastic? I can't tell.
I don't think you'll notice any difference in the response between the blued or stainless springs.
My tenor has a mix and all of the keys open and close pretty much the same!
I threw in some humor, but the question isn't sarcastic, I had read some people saying stainless is more sluggish than blue steel. I'm aware that people say all kinds of things that are incorrect, which is why I'm asking y'all here. So, either spring is fine, it's all in the tension?
 

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As "abadcliche" pointed out, high quality is the kicker. There are crappy blue steel springs, and there are crappy Stainless springs. The good techs know where and how to get the quality stuff, and also have spare parts saxes to rob old springs off of.
 

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I'd like to weigh in on this one. As a sax repair guy for 30 years, i must say there is a considerable difference in the feel
between blued steel and stainless. That being said ,the biggest fault i generally see with blued steel is their misuse.
Let me explain, blued steel springs should have a point on the end. That point is what "rides" in the cradle.
I've seen far to many saxes {including new ones } that have the fat part laying on the cradle with the point not being used
except to get poked with. Anyway, my "point" is that on certain saxes especially Selmer the spring cradle was designed for
a spring with a point. That being said some stainless also come with points...USE THE POINTS! It really does make a feel
difference...maybe i'm supersensitive being a flutist as well.
 

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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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Some of the ones I have been getting have been brittle - so I recently bought a set of music medic springs and have a VI alto that I am going to use them in. First look they look promising.

In short I think the springs I was using before, you had to dig through several in the same size to find a "non brittle" one. But I always found ones that were fine in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How many years should springs last before they need replacement? This horn is 20 years old and the action is slightly more resistant than an akai EWI, if you know what I mean (touch sensitive buttons... lol).
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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I got some blued springs a few years ago to try them out (been using Kraus stainless) and they were awful, particularly the flat springs. So at least one vendor at one time did have what I would consider an unusable batch.
 

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There are hundreds --if not thousands---of pre-war saxes out there with original springs and they are GOOD-the springs that is.
 

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All three of my 1920s saxes still have their original springs, as do my 1960s and my 1970s saxes.
 

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The quality of blue springs depends on how they are made. Steel has many uses and steel products are made to meet certian conditions and react a certian way. It depends on who makes them . Take your chances and if you find a good source stay with them.
 

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I'd like to weigh in on this one. As a sax repair guy for 30 years, i must say there is a considerable difference in the feel
between blued steel and stainless. ....
I hope you are not lumping all non-pointed stainless steel springs in together. There is no comparison between the high quality material from Kraus and the relative rubbish that is mostly elsewhere.

I agree only in part about what you say about springs needing points. Other than the material itself, the surface friction coefficient, stiffness (i.e. both thickness and thickness-to-length ratio), what is significant IMO is not the taper itself, but the fact that the tip is allowed to roll in the cradle rather than rub. This is entirely possible to set up with non-tapered springs.

AFAIK, blued needle springs are traditionally tapered not because that is superior, but because a suitable range of diameters was available from factories that made needles.

Note that for professional flutes, where the players demand very light springing and very little resistance in the action, you will not find a flute with pointed needle springs, even if you pay $40,000 for the flute. (And the springs are typically quite thick!)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Is it within standard professional practice to mix blue steel and stainless? If using good quality springs, it shouldn't matter if the are mixed?
 

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I had concern about flat steel springs that came on the left hand palms keys of my TK Melody alto and I brought it to the attention of my tech.

He took them off and annealed them with heat and they actually feel better.

B
 

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Is it within standard professional practice to mix blue steel and stainless? If using good quality springs, it shouldn't matter if the are mixed?
If they are the good quality stainless, eg from Kraus, then it is entirely cosmetic, unless the springs jam in the cradles.

Bad cosmetics is generally not good professional practice. Hence the surrvival in the trade of blued springs that rust.
 
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