Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi:

I am about to get my old Gretsch Commander redone. I have heard about "snap-in" pads and "flat resonators." Seems like there is a choice as to the pads which can be put in there.

I'd like the horn to sound like a sax and not a piece of buzzy, flashy, too-bright electronic equipment. Which pads would you use?

Thanks,

Steve
Maine
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
29,138 Posts
Hi:

I am about to get my old Gretsch Commander redone. I have heard about "snap-in" pads and "flat resonators." Seems like there is a choice as to the pads which can be put in there.

I'd like the horn to sound like a sax and not a piece of buzzy, flashy, too-bright electronic equipment. Which pads would you use?
I would leave it up to the repairer to get the pads, whatever he/she thinks are best and good for the horn. I prefer normal plastic domed resonators, you can get different ones that may be very slightly brighter, however there isn't a resonator that will make a saxophone sound like a piece of buzzy, flashy, too-bright electronic equipment

If the horn has it's original pads at the moment, then you might want something as close as possible to that - however they are only likely to be flat or domed, and there is going to be very little difference in sound. You'll get more difference from the type of reed and mouthpiece.

http://www.musicmedic.com/catalog/categories/cat_6.html

Note the Maestro Star crinkly ones, the increased surface area would be what makes them slightly brighter.

EDIT: snap-ins only apply to horns with keycups that have the "spuds" to take them, e.g. Bueschers. I don't the Gretsch Commander, but if it has snap-ins (which is very possible as it could be a Buescher stencil) , then I would replace them with snap-ins, purely to retain it's originality as otherwise the tech would need to remove the spuds to fit standard pads..

The fact that they snap in does not affect the sound.

ANOTHER EDIT: Some techs apparently prefer to removed the spuds and use normal pads because it is sometimes easier than making sure all the keycups are level. This is because with pads floating in shellac you can work around a problem with wonky keycups by floating the pad and offsetting it to make up for the fact that otherwise it would not seal properly. I think it's much better to first level the keycups, in which case the snap in pads would be a good seal - provided they are of the correct thickness.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician.
Joined
·
1,804 Posts
...snap-ins only apply to horns with keycups that have the "spuds" to take them, e.g. Bueschers. I don't the Gretsch Commander, but if it has snap-ins (which is very possible as it could be a Buescher stencil) , then I would replace them with snap-ins, purely to retain it's originality as otherwise the tech would need to remove the spuds to fit standard pads...
I've successfully used non-snap-in pads by using thick sax pads with just a center hole and enlarging those holes with a set of punches. Once you get down to around an inch diameter or so you won't even need to enlarge the hole. Some tech prefer the feel of thinner pads, in which case you'd just bend the key cups to accommodate. I generally keep them aligned for the thicker pads myself. I like how Bueschers feel with the original key cup/pad geometry.

Some techs apparently prefer to removed the spuds and use normal pads because it is sometimes easier than making sure all the keycups are level. This is because with pads floating in shellac you can work around a problem with wonky keycups by floating the pad and offsetting it to make up for the fact that otherwise it would not seal properly. I think it's much better to first level the keycups, in which case the snap in pads would be a good seal - provided they are of the correct thickness.
I agree. It takes less effort to achieve a better result when you have level key cups and tone holes, as opposed to dealing with partial shims, excessive floating, excessive clamping, etc. Every time I change a pad the key cup and tone hole are leveled. Again, it makes the seating of the pad so much easier...

I don't like to remove spuds. Even if the snaps are missing, there are ways of installing conventional resonators over the spuds. Just takes a little bit of planning and effort.

Finally, when installing pads on Bueschers with the snap-in system, I back them with shellac just like a conventional snapless pad.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,610 Posts
Yes, I agree that if you have a decent tech doing the work, just let them pick the pads and resonators. The last tech I had do a repad also preferred the domed plastic resonators. Your tech may give you a choice of pads/resonators, and if so, you can ask him or her what the difference is and which one he/she recommends. Snap-ins only are used on certain horns that are designed for them.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,563 Posts
Ideally the same pad thickness as original would be used. There's a pad available in various thicknesses with a slightly-domed rivet-less metallic resonator. I recently had a few pads replaced on my 'The Martin' bari and he used those. The diameter of the resonators was just about the same as the original flat, riveted boosters and the pad thickness was fairly close to original. The thickness is important because the geometry of the sax is designed around the pad cups coming down parallel to the tone hole rims with a certain pad thickness. Key opening height also figures into it. With a thicker pad, not only does the pad have to be installed at an angle to the cup, it also takes up some of the air space above the tone hole when the key is raised. Sometimes they have to force the thick pads to work by bending keys/filing on key feet because they can't remove but so much cork. The tech will have to work with what you bring him if the sax has been mangled like that in the past. A good tech will check the sax out before removing anything - he's looking to see if the cups close parallel to the holes with the pads already in it. If its good, he'll use that same thickness. If the cups close at an angle, he can use a thickness that will correct it.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top