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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone-
I've been playing for 3 years now...a little inconsistently though.

This is my setup:

-Alto Yamaha YAS23 (in okay condition)
-Vandoren A27 mouthpeice
-Vandoren 3 reed (regular one)
-Homemade neck strap with a peice of rope:mrgreen:

Does anyone know of a good way to make a homemade strap.

As a posted in my introductory post I am on a sailboat with my family so buying equipment is complicated...

One of these weeks, I'm going to change some (or all) of my pads with the kits I bought from MusicMedic.com.

So, what do you think of this setup?

Also, to not start another thread, I feel like I can't play softly and that I'm biting. :cry:
I think that maybe my reed is too hard. But it is the size that my teacher suggested before we left. And I used to use the JAZZ Vandorens and those are harder than the regulars right?

Also, I have a lot of leaks: all of my low notes...about low C and down are really hard to get out and I can see that there is a small leak.
Then, my F# is really stuffy so I think (from what I've read) that that is a leak as well...

So, what do you think?
What do you recommend?
Any advice (even misc.) will be gratefully accepted.


Thanks,
Theophile
Brazil...for now
 

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I think it is impossible for even YOU to judge your setup if your horn is leaky. It is almost impossible to play softly if your horn is leaky.....

I also think that it isn't particularly wise to do your first repad ever on your only saxophone. And, if you were to try....I think it certainly isn't wise to use Music Medic Precision pads (which are the pads they supply) because they are not user-friendly for a novice installer at all. They require an experienced hand.

I think you should wait...and whenever you hit dry land for a good stretch, find a tech.... and take it to them and have them do the repair work (it probably will NOT need a complete repad).

Then when you get it back....play it with your setup and see how it goes. If it still isn't right with you, then start experimenting with different reed strengths.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think it is impossible for even YOU to judge your setup if your horn is leaky. It is almost impossible to play softly if your horn is leaky.....

I also think that it isn't particularly wise to do your first repad ever on your only saxophone. And, if you were to try....I think it certainly isn't wise to use Music Medic Precision pads (which are the pads they supply) because they are not user-friendly for a novice installer at all. They require an experienced hand.

I think you should wait...and whenever you hit dry land for a good stretch, find a tech.... and take it to them and have them do the repair work (it probably will NOT need a complete repad).

Then when you get it back....play it with your setup and see how it goes. If it still isn't right with you, then start experimenting with different reed strengths.
Thanks for the quick response Jaye.
I'll take all that into reconsideration.

I think that maybe the leaks would come from a deformation in the metal part of the horn instead of from a dried up or badly aligned pad.
With the rental I used to have, the sax would get binged up (from going back and forth to school and to lessons, etc) and often they wouldn't change the pad but would bang away at the metal part.
Please excuse my lack of vocabulary...

I also wanted to know if there were any particularities with my sax I should know about.
Some well known (except to me) issues or things to look into.

Thanks again and all and any advice is very much appreciated!!
Theophile
 

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Would that rope be hemp? Ropes on board a boat I think would be of the best quality. :lick:
 

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Yas 23's are considered very respectably built saxes. They are consistent and tend not to have 'built-in' problems.

What (I think) you mean is they bent the key cups in order to get the pads to seal. That is pretty typical and not hard to rectify, but it may well still need some pads changed. When a tech changes the pads, they make sure the toneholes are level and they level the keycups also.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yas 23's are considered very respectably built saxes. They are consistent and tend not to have 'built-in' problems.

What (I think) you mean is they bent the key cups in order to get the pads to seal. That is pretty typical and not hard to rectify, but it may well still need some pads changed. When a tech changes the pads, they make sure the toneholes are level and they level the keycups also.
I think what I meant was the "toneholes" as you said Jaye. Thanks.

Now I'm wondering if I should continue practicing or not with a horn that isn't in the best condition. What would you recommend?

And yes DXCamp, I stole the rope from our reserves...when we sink I'll know why!!:tsk:
 

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I have a friend that made a neck strap from parachute line. This after breaking several straps from the stock material (he doesn't like "web straps"), and standard nylon line.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The "strap" I made is crap.
It was just so I could play the horn because the strap I bought broke in about 2 weeks!!

I really should make a real one...has anyone ever seen a thread on that subject?
Shall I make one?
 

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I have a couple spares. Have a mailing address? PM Me if interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks NissanVintageSax...but I have to kindly decline your offer because I actually have no mailing address.
I live on a sailboat with my family: that's why buying a strap, finding a tech, etc...will be so complicated!

Thanks again though!

Theophile
 

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Do you have access to a strong needle and thread? I haven't lived on a sailboat, but I have done week-long excursions on them (w/no land for a couple days). Dad always had a heavy needle and appropriate thread, for making sail, rope, line, and sail cover emergency repairs.

Have any duffle bags aboard?

Here's where I'm going:

The webbing of the duffle bag straps (or a military sea bag) is tough stuff. There may even be buckles on it (to make the strap adjustable). Every good sailor keeps a few caribeners around too (keeps you attached to the boat in rough weather, and you always have more than you need!)

Look around the boat, ask your parents, and look around at ports. You have on-line access obviously, so look things up too, for pictures and ideas.
 

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Do you have access to a strong needle and thread? I haven't lived on a sailboat, but I have done week-long excursions on them (w/no land for a couple days). Dad always had a heavy needle and appropriate thread, for making sail, rope, line, and sail cover emergency repairs.

Have any duffle bags aboard?

Here's where I'm going:

The webbing of the duffle bag straps (or a military sea bag) is tough stuff. There may even be buckles on it (to make the strap adjustable). Every good sailor keeps a few caribeners around too (keeps you attached to the boat in rough weather, and you always have more than you need!)

Look around the boat, ask your parents, and look around at ports. You have on-line access obviously, so look things up too, for pictures and ideas.
I was thinking along the same lines. (no pun intended?)

I have been looking around but not very actively.

The only missing peice to the puzzle is the padding because you cant just make a junction from the webbing (wether it be the duffel type or real webbing) into for example foam. The thread with just tear through it!

SO here's my plan:

I'll use my ex-strap to get all the measurements.
I would like it the be adjustable on both sides going down, so it stays centered.
Then use the buckles from my ex-strap (which was made of webbing) to create the adjustable mechanism.
Then, I'll find a way to attach a shackle and voila!

I'll think about the padding issue in my sleep tonight...I'll see what comes up.

If I am able to do this tomorrow, I'll post a picture.

Thanks for the tips and for the motivation because if someone (other than myself) weren't interested, I probaby would have stayed with my rope! :bluewink:

Theophile
Boat blog: theophile-firstmate.blogspot.com (in french and english)
 

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Awesome. Look forward to the adventures :) .

PS.
Re-building a student model isn't a huge endeavor. Key heights are the hardest to get back in line, but there are people that can help you with that, if you are good at reading instructions (plus, many techs post pics too, so that helps).

I re-built my first 2 student saxes at 16 and 17 with no instruction!, (1960s Bundy/Buescher Alto/Tenor) then sold them after the re-builds. Key heights weren't perfect, but they pllayed better after the re-build, than before, so I think I did pretty darn good :) .
 

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Now I'm wondering if I should continue practicing or not with a horn that isn't in the best condition. What would you recommend?
Yes, that's always a good question. In the best of ll worlds, the answer is simple: get the horn fixed ASAP. But given your circumstances, if the horn still speaks up and down OK, although you cannot play it softly....I see no reason to avoid playing it. If you had performances coming up it would be an entirely different matter.

I would still suggest that the next time you all venture into a municipality of significant size, you try to find a tech and at least see if they can tweak the cups/pads to get them to seal better....sorta what Bill Bua calls a 'M*A*S*H-unit' repair. Asking the tech if he can tweak it best he or she can, while you wait.

This, at least until you can find the time and $ to have a tech do a more thorough job.
 

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PS.
Re-building a student model isn't a huge endeavor. Key heights are the hardest to get back in line, but there are people that can help you with that, if you are good at reading instructions (plus, many techs post pics too, so that helps).
I re-built my first 2 student saxes at 16 and 17 with no instruction!, (1960s Bundy/Buescher Alto/Tenor) then sold them after the re-builds. Key heights weren't perfect, but they pllayed better after the re-build, than before, so I think I did pretty darn good :) .
While I am usually one to implore people to give this a try.....if you look at the context which Theo is in right now, and what he has described.....this is not a good plan.

As I said, if it was a project horn, and not your only horn....that changes things. But it could be a matter of your only horn being out of commission, and if you don't get the hang of it...then you end up bringing it to a tech anyway, and now they will be charging MORE than what they would if the horn just came to them from the start.

So, I am all for folks learning their own repairs and adjustments. It is fun and after a few it can be very rewarding.

Just, on your first and second and third experiences, use a project or second horn...not you main axe.....
 

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While I am usually one to implore people to give this a try.....if you look at the context which Theo is in right now, and what he has described.....this is not a good plan.

As I said, if it was a project horn, and not your only horn....that changes things. But it could be a matter of your only horn being out of commission, and if you don't get the hang of it...then you end up bringing it to a tech anyway, and now they will be charging MORE than what they would if the horn just came to them from the start.

So, I am all for folks learning their own repairs and adjustments. It is fun and after a few it can be very rewarding.

Just, on your first and second and third experiences, use a project or second horn...not you main axe.....
This is true. But what is more important to the OP? We don't know 100% for sure. I was throwing that out there :) . For me, it was more important to learn the mechanics of he sax, for future development (I do all the field repairs free of charge for not only myself but other sax/Flute/Clarinet players in the bands I'm in as well). I still want to attend formal schooling on the subject, as modifications, dent removal, and soldering is past my current skill level, and I thought, since the kid is a sailor, field repairs should be something he needs to learn anyway. Why not start on a YAS-23? Even if it is his only sax.

But, if those pads he has are as advanced an installation as you suggest (I have no experience installing those), then yes, it would be wise to let a pro do it (in which, ask to watch, and explain your living/lifestyle situation. Most will understand!).

PS
The pads I installed were cheap "pillowy" pads, so seating was quite easy and forgiving. High quality pads, takes a high quality installation, assuring level tone holes, so this is best kept for the expierenced repair tech.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, that's always a good question. In the best of ll worlds, the answer is simple: get the horn fixed ASAP. But given your circumstances, if the horn still speaks up and down OK, although you cannot play it softly....I see no reason to avoid playing it. If you had performances coming up it would be an entirely different matter.

I would still suggest that the next time you all venture into a municipality of significant size, you try to find a tech and at least see if they can tweak the cups/pads to get them to seal better....sorta what Bill Bua calls a 'M*A*S*H-unit' repair. Asking the tech if he can tweak it best he or she can, while you wait.

This, at least until you can find the time and $ to have a tech do a more thorough job.
It's only very annoying on the F# and the low notes (past low C).
I'll see what I can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is true. But what is more important to the OP? We don't know 100% for sure. I was throwing that out there :) . For me, it was more important to learn the mechanics of he sax, for future development (I do all the field repairs free of charge for not only myself but other sax/Flute/Clarinet players in the bands I'm in as well). I still want to attend formal schooling on the subject, as modifications, dent removal, and soldering is past my current skill level, and I thought, since the kid is a sailor, field repairs should be something he needs to learn anyway. Why not start on a YAS-23? Even if it is his only sax.

But, if those pads he has are as advanced an installation as you suggest (I have no experience installing those), then yes, it would be wise to let a pro do it (in which, ask to watch, and explain your living/lifestyle situation. Most will understand!).

PS
The pads I installed were cheap "pillowy" pads, so seating was quite easy and forgiving. High quality pads, takes a high quality installation, assuring level tone holes, so this is best kept for the expierenced repair tech.

I've looked at the tech directories that SOTW has but there is no South America thread...does anyone know if there is another thread that may have escaped my searches. Or if there is another site with a directory.
In South America, we wont be going anywhere but Brazil, French Guyana, and Columbia.
But those last two are months away.
And the language is no problem (or not as much as before).

My father has already completely taken it apart and banged away at the tonholes for the low notes and has fixed them pretty well. But this was a year and a half ago, when I got it.
I played it before and after and it sounded way better but definitely not perfect (if that exists!!).


And thanks a million for all the advice and concern Jaye and Nissan.
Theophile
 
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