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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a 63 mark 6 alto, my B and bis key were sticking....I cleaned the pad and the cup, and within a few minutes it would start sticking again.....had the horn worked on to fix the issue, they replaced the pads and cleaned the cups....now it plays great for about 20 minutes, then they start sticking again....before I take it back in, any ideas on what could be going on? have a lot of solo gigs coming up in the next couple of months, so I'd like to get this figured out....everything else on the horn works great....
 

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I have the same issue on my MkVI tenor at times. One thing that helps is to bend the spring a little so it has more force to keep the key open.

On one of my older 6's, the B and bis started touching each other, also resulting in it getting stuck. I had to file down the top of the bis so there was a gap again.

Hope that helps.
 

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New pads on clean toneholes that begin sticking again generally indicates that there are burrs around the circumference of the tonehole that were not addressed the last time the toneholes were leveled. That or you are blowing some really sticky junk in your horn for the first 20 minutes. :)

I don't recommend bending springs on sticky keys to make them stronger because that is just treating the symptom and not addressing the cause of the sticking in the first place. Besides, good regulation requires a careful balance between the Bis and G# springs and the spring tension of the keys in the lower stack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mdavej, thanks for the suggestion, I'm not very good with repairing stuff, I'd likely break the spring.... :). saxoclese, I'm pretty careful about brushing teeth before I play, so it's likely not that....burrs on the tonehole....ok, back to the tech....
 

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It sounds like one of the following:

1. Muck on the tone hole edge. (Some pads are made form substandared leather which seem,s to retain some corrosive material from the tanning process. This keeps corroding the tone hole edge, making sticky green verdigris.)
2. An issue with the spring being a bit weak.
3. The face of the tone hole is too wide and therefore has too much surface area, most often because it is burred to a "T" shape.
3. Some friction in the key's movement that should not be there, eg bent pivot tube or mis-aligned posts.
4. Most likely: A substandard pad that is inherently sticky. This occurs when the pad maker useds a leather waterproofing/airproofing treatment that is inherently sticky. If this is the case a valid but possibly temporary band-aid is to use "Yamaha Powder Papers". You can make your own, but not so good, by rubbing talcum powder (without cornflower!!!) or Teflon powder into note paper and shaking off all the residue. Best solution, install a high quality pad of a respected brand, eg Music Center, who knows how to do waterproofing without making them sticky. (What exactly is your tech using?)

It could be a mixture of several of the above.
 

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Awright, pardners....I'm'a gonna vote 3), bein' a gamblin' sorta man.

You cleaned the old pad and hole surface, yes ? and it came back.

Then you had the pads replaced, and I would imagine when your tech did that he also checked/attended to the tonehole surface......and it came back.

So, you had two different pads, and the tonehole surface attended to twice...and the problem is still there.

And happening on 2 different keys in the same stack.

So, it's either 3)...which the tech may have overlooked....or possibly 2), which the tech may have overlooked...
 
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