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Selmer MarkVII Tenor
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all : I am testing my recently acquired tenor Sax ( selmer Mark VII 1978 ), and using a tuner I found that when going chromatically when I play A2 it starts sharp and the next notes continues sharp... What could be the reason ?
I have tried moving the mouthpiece in the cork , and if I move too much backwards , I get those notes ( A2 to F3 ) in tune, but the rest are flat. Any idea ?
 

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Selmer MarkVII Tenor
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Discussion Starter #2
at first I found that the diameter of the cork is lower than the diameter of the mouthpiece ( Otto LinK STM NY 6* ), so I used some teflon thread tape.
 

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Mouthpiece mismatch and/or position of octave pip.

I have also fixed this by using a neck with smaller internal diameter in the case if not wanting to either change mouthpieces or move octave pip.

I think musicmedic site also has a fix for this
 

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Mouthpiec mismatch and/or position of octave pip.

I have also fixed this by using a neck with smaller internal diameter in the case if not wanting to either change mouthpieces or move octave pip.

I think musicmedic site also has a fix for this
+1
Most likely the neck.
 

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Before we go any further. and get into more suggestions that there is something intrinsically wrong with the horn/neck.....

..how many cents sharp are we talking about ?
 

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Frankly it sounds like you just need to get used to the horn. I doubt that a Mark 7 will have incompatibility issues with any MP other than the really really old ones with the ENORMOUS chambers.

How long have you been playing tenor, are you primarily an alto player, for example? If you are an experienced tenor player, what were you playing before? And as Jaye said, how much are we really talking about, anyway?
 

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Hi all : I am testing my recently acquired tenor Sax ( selmer Mark VII 1978 ), and using a tuner I found that when going chromatically when I play A2 it starts sharp and the next notes continues sharp... What could be the reason ?
I have tried moving the mouthpiece in the cork , and if I move too much backwards , I get those notes ( A2 to F3 ) in tune, but the rest are flat. Any idea ?
If you play a middle B that is in tune and then push the octave key without changing anything about your embouchure whatsoever (There should be no tightening at all but it's ok if the air gets faster, just don't tighten or bite even the slightest bit) is the top B still sharp? How sharp is it?

PS. I do this with students who insist they are not changing anything with embouchure at all and I do an experiment where I have them play B with their eyes close and push the octave key without them knowing or adjusting. I've been surpreised by how many times the top B is perfectly in tune. When they know they are going to play the top B however it is like 20 cents sharp!!

The other thing to try is a harder reed. A softer reed bends a lot easier so the slightest pressure makes it much sharper than if you were playing a harder reed..........
 

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That is a great idea for a blindfold test Nef. I think I will steal it from you.
 

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Selmer MarkVII Tenor
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Discussion Starter #9
dear friends :
it looks like it is a mix ....
a) I have not played that sax before, and I have been some time without practicing tenor ( two months ). I played some Soprano, but also I have been without playing since a month and a half. ( so, as Turf3 says " it sounds like you just need to get used to the horn "
b) the cork has an small diameter than the mouthpiece ( I adjusted with teflon tape )
c) I went today to a Luthier here in Bogotá ( Colombia ) and he found a damaged pad ( D3)... He said that is better to make a full maintenance to the sax and review if there are more pads broken...he re-corked the neck. Next wednesday it will be ready after the maintenance , with new pad and new cork.
He recommends to get from MusicMedic.com a set of pads and resonators in order to have the sax the more original as possible ( the sax had been changed some pads before and has different pads...
but, now, when checking the MusicMedic .com page , in the "PAD SET WIZARD", when I choose my Make and Model ( Selmer Mark VII ) it says "CHOOSE SAXOPHONE PAD STYLE ""
and it shows many different options (Tan/Soft Feel/Soft feel thick/RooPads/Saxgourmet/Chocolate/Extreme Roo Pads/Extreme Saxgourmet Pads/Extreme Chocolate Roopads....)
and, also, it shows 18 differents options in the RESONATORS ( CHOOSE RESONATOR STYLE )...
Which ones of the PADS and of the RESONATORS give the sax the most "original "sound , like when the sax was made in 1978 ?
I appreciate if you can assist me with this selection
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I made another test this morning and I found that I was bitting on the upper notes. I could play more in tune, trying to relax the embouchure.
I have been playing and practicing the sax since 2007 , after a trip to Beijing where i bought a chinese Tenor ( Oves). A year later I bought a chinese Soprano ( Gulf Instruments Mark ), and later a Yamaha Alto ( YAS-23 ). In October 2016 I bought a Yamaha YTS-275 and sold the Oves Tenor from China . In July 2018 I bought the Selmer Mark VII, and received it two weeks ago..
 

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Are you a clarinettist by any chance?
A clarinetist going to sax can easily play those notes way, way sharp. It's to do with breath pressure and lower lip pressure, sax needing a lot less.
 

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Pads and resonators are far down the list of what has the greatest effect on how a saxophone sounds. At the top is the player's skill and concept of sound, followed by the design of the mouthpiece, followed by the reed brand and strength, followed by how loudly it is being played, followed by the key heights, followed by the acoustics in the room, followed by the type of ligature (jury is still out on that one), followed by the size of the resonators (not the material), etc.
 

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Personally I would go for ordinary tan pads with either the brown plastic slightly domed boosters or the plain flat metal ones, because these are the most commonly available in the USA (where I am). Although I am deeply skeptical that mixing pad/booster types has any effect at all, at least if I use an extremely common version, I can avoid mixing designs, just in case it does have some effect (which I doubt).

I am not sure whether a Mark 7 originally had the brown plastic or the slightly domed metal boosters from the factory originally.
 

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dear friends :
it looks like it is a mix ....
a) I have not played that sax before, and I have been some time without practicing tenor ( two months ). I played some Soprano, but also I have been without playing since a month and a half. ( so, as Turf3 says " it sounds like you just need to get used to the horn "
b) the cork has an small diameter than the mouthpiece ( I adjusted with teflon tape )
c) I went today to a Luthier here in Bogotá ( Colombia ) and he found a damaged pad ( D3)... He said that is better to make a full maintenance to the sax and review if there are more pads broken...he re-corked the neck. Next wednesday it will be ready after the maintenance , with new pad and new cork.
He recommends to get from MusicMedic.com a set of pads and resonators in order to have the sax the more original as possible ( the sax had been changed some pads before and has different pads...
but, now, when checking the MusicMedic .com page , in the "PAD SET WIZARD", when I choose my Make and Model ( Selmer Mark VII ) it says "CHOOSE SAXOPHONE PAD STYLE ""
and it shows many different options (Tan/Soft Feel/Soft feel thick/RooPads/Saxgourmet/Chocolate/Extreme Roo Pads/Extreme Saxgourmet Pads/Extreme Chocolate Roopads....)
and, also, it shows 18 differents options in the RESONATORS ( CHOOSE RESONATOR STYLE )...
Which ones of the PADS and of the RESONATORS give the sax the most "original "sound , like when the sax was made in 1978 ?
I appreciate if you can assist me with this selection
I made another test this morning and I found that I was bitting on the upper notes. I could play more in tune, trying to relax the embouchure.
I have been playing and practicing the sax since 2007 , after a trip to Beijing where i bought a chinese Tenor ( Oves). A year later I bought a chinese Soprano ( Gulf Instruments Mark ), and later a Yamaha Alto ( YAS-23 ). In October 2016 I bought a Yamaha YTS-275 and sold the Oves Tenor from China . In July 2018 I bought the Selmer Mark VII, and received it two weeks ago..
Very informative posts, Humbardi.

Unless I missed it, however - you still did not note how many cents sharp the notes are/were.

BUT, clearly if the horn has leaks, combined with a habit of a biting/tight embouchure....this could be the cause.

Regarding the Pads question...first off...your tech is a professional, yes ?

Why then are YOU ordering pads for the horn ? Let the tech do it, because inevitably using some online 'system' to order a 'pad set' for your horn is gonna result in a few pads not actually being the right size upon arrival. A tech doing a repad should remove all existing pads, then measure the keycups with a set of calipers. Then pick the pads for the horn based upon those measurements. This is the typical sequence.

(Also if you are Colombia and you are gonna actually order pads from MusicMedic...your sax will NOT be ready next week, yes ? :bluewink:)

I am assuming the tech has a supplier of saxophone pads, and probably has pads and resonators in stock, in his shop ? I am assuming the tech's supplier has a variety of pad types available (i.e. ones usually used on student horns vs. higher-quality ones used for a professional job).

Just have the tech use a good quality pad he is used to working with.

There are many discussions regarding pads and resonators and whether different ones actually alter the tone. I have my own opinions. If you WANT to be historical about it, have your tech use pads outfitted with resonators which would have matched what Selmer originally put on that model of horn.

But IMHO, either metal or plastic domes resos on a good-quality, good brand pad will be fine. I would challenge anyone to actually recognize a sonic difference, listening to a horn outfitted with one type of resonator vs. the other when all else is equal (same model horn - or literally the same horn, in the exact same excellent playing condition, etc...).

IOW - NO, using a standard metal or plastic domed resonator (the two most popular and available types) will NOT negatively impact the sound or performance of your horn.

Re the pad - IMHO, I do not usually lean toward roo pads myself, mostly due to particular qualities of how they feel under the fingers as time goes by; and dare I say it here: I tend to dissuade my customers from using 'em - although others like them (many, many, many threads on THAT subject, too).
 

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This forum is far, far too focussed on the things that do not matter.

Pad type and resonator is close to irrelevant relative to the importance of the quality of the pads, and how they are installed and adjusted, i.e. the skill of the tech and just how familiar a tech is with the behavioural idiosyncrasies of any particular pad. And it seems rather odd to me that a tech is recommending a pad that he does not have in stock, let alone getting you to buy them independently. This sounds decidely dodgy!

BTW, a "luthier" is a a maker or repairer of stringed instruments such as violins or guitars, not wind instruments.
 

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Luthier can also mean someone who repairs musical instruments.
 

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Selmer MarkVII Tenor
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Discussion Starter #17
How many cents ? A4 :+40 B4: +25 C5: +25 D5: +40 E5: +40 F5:+ +45
The “ luthier” that is working in my sax is a technician specialized in wind instruments.
He has pads and resonators in stock , but I wanted to search which ones were the most “ original “ ones to put on the Selmer Mark VII. He said that he can find the pads , but if I have a shipping way that make the costs lower , I could buy by myself. After asking some forum members, and consulting with Jeff from MusicMedic I bought Tan Soft feel Pads and domed plastic resonators..
The technician is going to change te damaged Pad ,and give me the sax , next Tuesday ... and when I receive the sets of pads and resonators he will be doing a full cleaning and maintenance of the sax ,repair small dents, change pads and resonators, adjust and level the opening of the keys, ( the cork was changed to fit my Otto Link )...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We use the term “ luthier” as a generic word to identify a technician that repair musical instruments. In this case we name them “ luthier of saxes”...!!! This technician adjusted my Geimenhardt flute and I was satisfied with his work ...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Jeff , from Music Medic, sent me a mail , answering my questions about the pads and resonators and its opinion is same as expressed by Saxoclese and JayeLID about the low influence on the quality of the sound from the pads and resonators. It is more important their quality and good installation.
Here is his answer :

Hello Humberto,

Probably the most original pad would be the SoftFeel pad with the Plastic Domed resonator. The type of pad you choose probably has more to do with how the horn feels and performs, and not so much to do with changing the sound. The resonator you choose can have some effect on the sound-

For resonators- the more of the pad the resonator covers, the 'brighter' the sound. A resonator functions both when the key is closed and when it is open. When closed, it becomes part of the bore of the saxophone- if it is large, reflective, and protrudes into the tone hole (like airtight maestros do)- it reflects back into the bore. If the reso is small or just a rivet- the some frequencies can be absorbed into the soft pad material. This was a common set up on many early saxophones.

When the key is open, the size and shape of the resonator decides how the sound is reflected out of the open tone holes and how open the keys must be for optimal venting. Key opening is important to consider for a resonator with a little more depth like the Airtight Maestros.

In order of 'mellow and soft' to 'brighter and loud' our resonators in stock sizes would list like this:
Just rivet, Flat metal reso, Plastic domes, Gold/Nickel Metal domes, Classic Maestros, Airtight Maestros. The Flat metal resos and Classic Brass Maestros have the unique advantage of being solid material with no plating, so you can cut them in a lathe to be any size you want.

Let me know if you have any other questions- I would be happy to answer them.

Kind Regards,
-Jeff.
 

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How many cents ? A4 :+40 B4: +25 C5: +25 D5: +40 E5: +40 F5:+ +45
The “ luthier” that is working in my sax is a technician specialized in wind instruments.
Yipes....those are significant.
Just wanted to make sure you weren't obsessing on a situation where the sharpness was like 10-15 cents. I have had a couple customers in my time actually return vintage saxes because some of the notes were 5-10 cents off. No joking.

(BTW....just for anyone's info....MusicMedic "SoftFeel" pads are straight-up medium hardness pads, they are by no means 'soft feeling' really. I like these pads,
use them often. There are other brands of pads which perform similarly to these...)
 
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