Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
39,230 Posts

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Kraus sells a far higher grade (alloy) of stainless steel springs than what are generally used by manufacturers and supplied by suppliers. (Yet they cost little more)
However they sell only to pro technicians. I expect most good technicians may stock them and possibly sell them to you.

In face of the existence of these superior springs, I see no need for rust-prone steel springs to ever be used again by any manufacturer, other than ignorant sax-buyer perception.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician, Forum Contributor 2
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
You can get quality stainless steel springs from J.L. Smith. I can't compare them to Kraus's stainless springs, but I've been stocking and using J.L Smith's for a few years and I like them. They are nothing like the junk found on some cheap instruments.

http://www.jlsmithco.com/STAINLESS-ROUND-SPRINGS
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
IMO, compared with Kraus's, Ferrees are a substandard alloy (&/or heat treatment), that seems to have a high internal friction, and a spring coefficient that poorly matches that of steel. Also, the surface is not polished. They are the same low quality stainless steel springs used on student instruments. Smiths may be like Kraus's. He is obviously proud enough of the alloy to state what it is.

Also, the flats on Ferrees springs are triangles, and unless altered, are likely to allow the spring to fall out. (The angle is just too steep, when the ideal is for at least part of the flat to have parallel sides.)

All in my opinion and experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,914 Posts
Just a question from a complete idiot - do any of you experienced techs replace the blued steel springs with stainless, on saxophones? I always thought that a) you couldn't mix them (due to different behavior of the spring and different requirements of spring hole size) and b) that stainless springs were inferior to blued steel.

Sounds like from the above that at least some stainless steel springs are high quality, so I guess b) is not true...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician, Forum Contributor 2
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
A few ways that stainless springs differ from blued steel springs:
  1. Stainless springs do not come with tapered points. In some cases, you have to open up the spring cradles on the keys to accommodate the non-tapered end, or you have to grind points on the springs.
  2. You may have to use a larger stainless spring to get the same "sproing" (sorry for getting so technical) as a blue steel spring. That means you will probably need to use a broach to open up the spring hole in the post for the larger diameter stainless spring and possibly also open up the spring cradle.
  3. Stainless springs, at least the ones I've bought in the past, are considerably less expensive than blue steel springs.
  4. Stainless springs can be easier and quicker to install if you are replacing an existing stainless spring since they come pre-flattened on one end. You just trim the other end to the correct length before or after you install it. You have to cut blue steel springs to length and then flatten the end.

You can mix them on a given horn, but I generally won't do that to a customer's horn. I have done it on my own. Some might say that the action feels uneven with mixed spring types, but I have a hard time believing that. At least, I am not sensitive enough to detect a difference. I've also replaced the blue steel springs with stainless on a couple of my vintage horns, but I spent a lot of time doing it, grinding points on the stainless springs and polishing them so that they were bright and shiny.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Just a question from a complete idiot - do any of you experienced techs replace the blued steel springs with stainless, on saxophones? I always thought that a) you couldn't mix them (due to different behavior of the spring and different requirements of spring hole size) and b) that stainless springs were inferior to blued steel.

Sounds like from the above that at least some stainless steel springs are high quality, so I guess b) is not true...
Also, re "2" above:

The stainless ones form Kraus have almost identical spring characteristics to blued steel springs, so they are interchangeable. Holes do not need to be drilled larger. And they do not break! And they never rust!

In general, if a larger diameter spring is used, then there is significant risk of introducing a sluggish, resistant "feel", because with extra diameter, it is very easy to get the spring too stiff, such that there is too much increase in force that it exerts during its travel. That = "sluggish" feel.

And once a hole is drilled larger, it is quite a task to make it smaller again.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician.
Joined
·
3,224 Posts
IMO, compared with Kraus's, Ferrees are a substandard alloy (&/or heat treatment), that seems to have a high internal friction, and a spring coefficient that poorly matches that of steel. Also, the surface is not polished. They are the same low quality stainless steel springs used on student instruments. Smiths may be like Kraus's. He is obviously proud enough of the alloy to state what it is.
The type is steel used by Feree's matches the type used on 'student' instruments such as the Yamaha and early Yanagisawas. If you put something different in it feels different. Putting different types of steel springs in from what was used often requires a different diamter hole. This is the problem with Bauhaus springs. They switch from thicker steel to thinner blued steel without changing the hole diameter - so they can work their way out with use.

Ferree's steel wire springs are ideal for this application.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top