Sax on the Web Forum banner

Working On My Soprano

740 Views 1 Reply 1 Participant Last post by  1saxman
I've had this Eastern Music gold-plated tipped-bell soprano for about a year but haven't done much with it. One of my bands was doing some material I was playing soprano on but that group became the band for a '50s show so there was no place for soprano sax. Same with my other groups - no place for the soprano, so I put it away without ever really getting it ready to take out (I gave away my previous one from 1998). I did find a mouthpiece for it - turned out that a Chinese metal #12 actually was what it wanted. Their '12' is about an '8'.
Anyway, it didn't play very well so I started the long process of finding out what it needed to play. I could never do this for a living - it takes me a long time to find anything that is not obvious and I do it mostly by playing the horn in a practice mode and with a tuner. I could never do this as a business; I would be the vet who comes to your house and lives with the dog for a month to find out everything about him while treating the whole time.
I found some glaring things at first, like the low B would close fine but playing Bb, the B wouldn't completely close. Bb was also quite sharp, which was disconcerting since I didn't want to buy a bell stretcher for this $400 horn.:) As you know, the problem was simply an adjustment in the table keys. I have actually forgotten some of the other stuff I found - there many little 'ankle-biters', like adding cork under the palm keys feet to correct opening heights.
I got the horn out again yesterday just for grins and it was playing okay, but the G# seemed to be sticking - well, that's typical so I made a mental note to clean the pad someday - but the thing kept sticking, so I was forced to look at it. Turns out the G# cup was rubbing on the G cup. I do not know how this happened because I did play the horn on one gig and I have several hours on it at home and I never noticed this before. Whatever, I wedged the keys just enough to get clearance and it didn't even cause a leak. About the same time I noticed the octave push rod had zero clearance from the octave rocker so I took care of that.
Now, playing the horn again was an eye opener - I finally have the soprano I hoped-for - the intonation is workable, no squawks in the low register and really full and powerful bell notes.

See less See more
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
And, that $30 Chinese mouthpiece plays nicely and with its rollover baffle gives depth/core and just enough sizzle. The '3 necks' turned out to be not very important - I'm only using the 'very-curved' one.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.