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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My YAS-62 is developing this gurgle in the low B and sometimes the C. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. When I first got it back from the repairman is when I started to notice this, back in late February. Then it disappeared. Now it's definitely back again.

I'm trying to figure out whether there's a curve to this. What I mean is, when I got it back from the repairman, I hadn't played alto for a week or two, but I had been playing tons of bari, tenor, flute, and clarinet, so my chops and air were in good shape when I got the horn back. A few days later I developed the gurgle, and it disappeared a few days after that.

This time, I've been shedding hardcore (5 hours+) for about a week, on alto, flute, and clarinet, after a week or so of shedding maybe 1 hour a day during my vacation. The gurgle showed up two days ago (4th day of hardcore shedding) and is now starting to make its way out again.

It happens regardless of volume of air or dynamic used.

But the odd thing is, I never EVER had a problem like this before I sent my horn out to get repaired (it had been played for about a year at that point). The horn plays monstrously better now that it's had its "half-overhaul", but the gurgle issue still pops up every now and then, like every couple of weeks for a few minutes. Could it be that half the pads are brand new with flat brass resonators, and half are the original pads with domed plastic resonators? Just for reference, on the bottom end of the horn, these pads have plastic and are original: E, Eb, D and C

And these are new pads with the flat brass resos: F, B and Bb

Maybe this combination of alternating new and old pads could be throwing off my air at the soft volumes? Or could a slight leak be responsible? Remember, never had the problem at any dynamic before I sent the horn out, and I think my airstream is a lot better now than it was in January. Aside from the gurgle, the only other problem on the horn is that low B just doesn't seem to speak correctly to me, like it has a very slightly different quality than the other notes around it, but this also only happens once in a while... However, I don't think there's leaking since I checked it with a leak light with B and Bb fingered and there doesn't appear to be anything wrong.

Another interesting point about the history of this horn is that the neck is not original. This horn was a Yamaha 62II with a defective (too long) G1 neck. I talked to Mike Lutley with Yamaha and he sent me an M1 neck which I've been using since April 2004. Might a new, corrected G1 help my problems?

Thanks guys, for any ideas or experience you might share. I'm just getting a little worried about this, as it seems, the more I practice the horn, the worse the gurgle gets...

-Ian

Edit: I mixed up the new and old pads, oops
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I realize that I didn't really describe the sound of the gurgle. It's not really a rapid gurgle as one might experience on a horn that one is not used to. It is a quick blip in the sound, that may occur every few seconds, and usually disappears after the first or second one, but will sometimes continue. It seems to vary no matter how consistent I keep my air, embouchure, finger tension, etc.
 

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Razzy: Low end problems are often associated with leaks elsewhere on the horn - maybe even high-end leaks.

Just yesterday after struggling with a new tenor (I have not played tenor before but have 49 years of soprano and alto under my belt), I stopped playing and began looking closely at all of the mechanisms to ensure they were closing everything when they should.

I found that the R1/R2 forked Bb was not fully pressing on the bisBb lever. I used a screwdriver to turn in the cork tip that presses on the bis Bb. I also made sure that the cork tip wasn't in so far as to allow the G# to open.

Then, I ran a leak-light through the tenor and discovered that the hi-F pad was leaking. I put a piece of Scotch tape over the tone hole (I rarely play hi-F on any saxophone), and now the horn plays like I expected it and every other saxophone to play. No low-end gurgles. I will soon have the hi-F pad re-seated.

Your horn gurgles in the low end? You have a leak somewhere. DAVE
 

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What kind of mouthpiece(s) do you use with this horn. I tried a Rousseau SJ6 that an instructor recommended and the low end of my sax practically disappeared. I could tell that with enough work and time I could adjust. When I changed back to the Otto Link Tone Edge that I have been using for two years, the low end was back even at low volume.

Quick sidebar, the SJ6 had a nice edgy sound, slightly raspy. The Tone Edge was more mellow, a nice mixer piece that can get loud and distinctive fast.

Back to our story, the tech, who had just done a complete overhaul on my Couf Superba I alto said that with a big bore sax, you need a mouthpiece that works for it. I dunno, I'm just glad I have a mouthpiece that works so well.

[Edit, fixed a whitespace problem.]
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I play a Meyer 5M, current production.

I guess I'll stop into my tech and have it checked for leaks!

I actually just noticed something... the top key used in the LH2 C fingering is not closing entirely. I don't think this is responsible though, since actuating middle B closes the key entirely. Oddly enough it makes no difference in the resistance/timbre of either C, if I push that key down so that it closes entirely.

Dave, that bis problem is VERY common on tenors for some reason. I have to get it worked out on my YTS-62 also; for now I've been pretty much bis'ing everything to keep the key down. But on my alto that is nowhere in sight.
 

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Gandalfe: You probably already know my take on the "big bore" vs. 'small bore" . . . I think it is a myth. I read this all the time but I believe that only someone who worked for a manufacturer and had access to either the engineering drawings OR the development of a new model would be able to accurately discuss bore measurements.

I mean, who here has gone through a saxophone's tube with calipers and noted each mm, then compared it to another horn's tube? I've asked and asked on this board and no one has responded with anything definitive about bore measurements, their effect on tone, or mouthpieces (other than the old saws about some horn being a so-called big-bore horn). End of rant!!

If a mouthpiece plays on one horn, it should play on all horns. I'm not talking tonal enhancements for a particular horn's tonal characteristics; I'm merely saying that any horn in solid/tight condition should play top-to-bottom with a favorite mouthpiece.

I also think that a solid player with a comfortable mouthpiece can blow through minor adjustment problems, hence a failure to recognize problems that come up with a less-experienced player playing the same horn.

Razzy: I think that bis-problem can crop up on any saxophone, just not tenors. I've found it on sops and altos, too. DAVE
 

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Not being the engineer type, I don't even own a pair of calipers. So I don't think I'll address the big bore thang.

I thought the same (that leaks are what causes the low end problem) until this experience with a horn that had just gone through a complete overhaul. There are no leaks in this baby and it is sweet from top to bottom of the registers.

Given time I have no doubt that I could make the Rousseau mouthpiece work. In fact, I forgot I was using the new mouthpiece in my excitement to try out the overhauled sax. As I worked to make the bottom note sound as I expected, my wife Suzy reminded me I was playing a new piece. Once I swapped back to my regular piece, no problems at all.

But then, to be clear, I'm not a pro player. And many of our readers are at different levels of playing skill. The problem as described could be and probably is related to a leak of some sort. But if Razzy had just switched mouthpieces to try a new one then he might have some the problems described.
 

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Well, that sort of corroborates my opinion that a good playing mouthpiece can make a tight horn play. I'll grant that if a new mouthpiece (maybe it would be better to say "untested" mouthpiece) makes for playing problems, it might not be the horn.

But when you pick up a new horn or one that has been significantly changed since you played it last (meaning "overhauled"), slap on your favorite good-playing set-up, and immediately experience low-end problems, there is a HUGE percentage of a chance that there is a leak. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yea Dave, I've been playing this mouthpiece non-stop, an average of 3 hours playing a day on just THIS mouthpiece on alto, so I'm thinking there is likely a leak.
 

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Razzy, it's not unusual for a horn to develp a leak, or other problem, shortly after an overhaul. New felt can depress, pads maybe don't seat quite right, or whatever. I'd take it back to the tech and have it looked over. I had a major leak develop on my tenor after a partial overhaul and I took it back in. It was fixed in about 2 minutes and has been playing perfectly ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Aye, he does have a 6 month free adjustment policy just for those circumstances, and I did take it in once a few days after I got it back. I think I started practicing it a LOT right after I got it back, and this caused one of the newer pads to shift a bit. Likewise, he fixed it in a few minutes while I was there discussing the issue with him. Guess it's time for another trip!
 

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I've found that I must tighten my neck screw with some "authority" or I get the low C, B, and Bb gurgle.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After a certain amount of tightening, the neck tension does not change. It is generally firm but can still move. I've played some horns where the neck is incredibly tight; my Yamaha does not seem capable of this. I suppose I could have it set up as such just to ensure that this is not the problem.
 

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Dave Dolson said:
Just yesterday after struggling with a new tenor (I have not played tenor before but have 49 years of soprano and alto under my belt), I stopped playing and began looking closely at all of the mechanisms to ensure they were closing everything when they should.

I found that the R1/R2 forked Bb was not fully pressing on the bisBb lever. I used a screwdriver to turn in the cork tip that presses on the bis Bb. I also made sure that the cork tip wasn't in so far as to allow the G# to open.

Then, I ran a leak-light through the tenor and discovered that the hi-F pad was leaking. I put a piece of Scotch tape over the tone hole (I rarely play hi-F on any saxophone), and now the horn plays like I expected it and every other saxophone to play. No low-end gurgles. I will soon have the hi-F pad re-seated.

Your horn gurgles in the low end? You have a leak somewhere. DAVE

Dave
You are probably referring to your new Kessler Custom tenor (I read your post in another thread). I understood you were very satisfied but from the description here it doesn't really sound that great.
Perhaps they just lack adjustment (although Kessler is supposed to check each one of them before they are shipped)?
I am sort of interested in the Kessler cutom line for my backup sax but I am waiting to read more user reviews about them. My first choice remains the P.Mauriat but it costs twice as much...
 

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I find that the G# area is a good place to look. Being that it is starting a low C, take a look at the low C# pad on the bow.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I checked those all out via visual exam and cigarette paper test, nothing yet. I think it's most probably in the right hand stack area. These pads take a little extra push than the left hand stack, and I don't think this is normal. When I'm playing I feel like I have to think about this or else it stays a little too open and the notes won't speak.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I had my tech look over the horn today and he did indeed find some problematic sealing in the right hand stack! He did some adjustments and the problem seems to have disappeared, but I'll keep you posted.

Tim, I've pretty much ruled out any player problems at this point, as this only occurs on my particular alto. I spend about a half hour per day (usually longer... the perfectionist in me) working on long tones, overtones, fundamentals, interval study, articulation exercises etc etc at various dynamics on just sax, then 20 minutes on clarinet, 20 minutes on flute... have been doing so for a number of years... you get the idea. I'm pretty sensitive to a horn that doesn't respond correctly and that was definitely the case here. This only happened on this particular horn, but I'll let you know if anything changes!
 

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Rispoli: Even with the high-end leak, I am still satisfied with the Kessler Custom tenor. First of all, this is my first tenor so I have no experience with them and almost nothing with which to compare it. It is not unusual to receive a new horn y mail-order/Internet and find a problem or two. That doesn't bother me. The fix is easy and when I have the time, I will attend to it.

Mabye the really expensive tenors are better, bbut I'm having fun with this inexpensive yet good player. $895 and a free return-policy is hard to beat. I'd only consider a return if the horn was awful and I couldn't grow into it. This one is a keeper. DAVE
 

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Thanks Dave.
I might buy it too, still undecided. Kessler trial policy is a very smart move!
 
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