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Did you wobble?

  • OMG!! It's loose! It's Loose!!!

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • Hmmm, well, yeah, maybe a little, perhaps.

    Votes: 4 25.0%
  • Hah! I'm tighter than old Scrooge himself

    Votes: 8 50.0%
  • I don't understand, and now I'm confused.

    Votes: 3 18.8%
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Distinguished SOTW Technician
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did you know it's International Wobble Your Bis Bb Key day today?

So, with this in mind - grab your horn and do the following:

Pinch the key barrel of the Bis Bb key twixt thumb and forefinger as close to the upper pillar as you can. Try to move the key barrel from side to side (i.e. across the horn), then back and forth (up and down the horn). Don't be coy, give it a firm wiggle...but don't try to wrench it off the horn...unless you want to, of course.

Repeat the test at the lower pillar...and then post your results.


Cheers,
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2014
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29,598 Posts
Did you know it's International Wobble Your Bis Bb Key day today?

So, with this in mind - grab your horn and do the following:

Pinch the key barrel of the Bis Bb key twixt thumb and forefinger as close to the upper pillar as you can. Try to move the key barrel from side to side (i.e. across the horn), then back and forth (up and down the horn). Don't be coy, give it a firm wiggle...but don't try to wrench it off the horn...unless you want to, of course.

Repeat the test at the lower pillar...and then post your results.

Cheers,
Gracious! Is it that time of year already?
 

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I feel bad - I missed IWYBBKD last year, and the year before.
Will do extra wobbling today to make up.
 

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Too late for me to play now. I do the A wobble w/ 1-2 LH and 1-2-3 on the right hand trilling almost daily, even today, but no Bb wobble.
 

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Not bad considering my Martin is 78 years old and was played a lot (considering the pearl wear).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't understand what you're asking for...
It's a simple test to see whether there's any wear in the keywork.
The action wears over time, and this translates to free play in the action...which in turn translates to very small leaks as it affects how well the pads are able to seat.
I get a lot of clients in complaining that their horns aren't blowing quite as well as they ought to, and it's often due to wear in the action...and yet very few of them are aware that it's quite easy to check how tight the action is.

Regards,
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Right, this is rather interesting because it raises two issues I've often thought about but never raised here for fear of displaying my extreme ignorance: 1. If this test does in fact reveal that a horn's action is "worn" is it possible to fully "tighten up" the horn again (to the extent of being "like new")? 2. If the horn's action is "tightened up" again will it go out of adjustment and appear worn again a lot quicker than a new horn would?

I will wiggle my rods later on to do the check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, it's possible to tighten it up like new.
As for whether it will wear any quicker before depends on how well it was tightened up. In some cases, with a really good job, the action might be tighter than it had ever been.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mine was checked and adjusted by the guy that wrote the Haynes sax repair book fairly recently. At least I think thats what he adjusted, maybe he just wanted to see my wiggle :whistle:
Oh la, Sire, la!
 

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I almost forgot..its today!....hmmm much the same as the last twenty years. Slight up and downage on the P.A. Martin. Barone not set up....great post man...a
 

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Forum Contributor 2009 & Mouthpiece Patch Mogul
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What if people with more than one horn get different results on each? Anyway, all three of mine are slack-free. My 4 year old alto because you adjusted it, my 18 month old BW tenor because it hardly got used before I got it and my 2 year old cheapo curvy sop for both those reasons.

My 875 was easier to get to than the others, there were things in the way that prevented access.
 

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I'm not sure I follow your reasoning for picking the Bis key Stephen. On most saxes the bis is on a separate rod than the upper stack and in many instances it is supported by pointed pivot screws on both ends. Key play or end play in the bis key in my experience is not nearly as critical as key play in other parts of the saxophone such as the upper and lower stacks---especially the F# and G# keys. The independent keys that can be troublesome when there is excessive key play are the palms and the side C and Bb. That said I agree that this is something that needs to be addressed on saxophones, especially when undergoing a repad/overhaul. Some of the more challenging key play to diagnose and correct is the movement of the rod itself in post holes that have worn too large.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You answered your own question in your last sentence.

As a quick and dirty impromptu test of the general state of the action, the Bis Bb key is easy to get at and cops a lot of use.
The Bis key can be as critical as any other key - a typical example would be using the forked Bb. With wear in the key the note would fail, or be less clear, and adjusting it to speak would mean extra bias on the Aux.F key...which then throws out the lower stack.
Aside from that, I chose it because it was what I happened to be wiggling yesterday.

Regards,
 
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