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1937 Selmer BA alto, split personality?

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Location
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
I had my alto overhauled, including silver plate (which I didn't want). The difference in sound between the lower & upper octaves makes it impossible to play (it sounds like two different instruments).
Any suggestions gratefully recieved.

Johnboy.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Who's idea was it to silver plate it John? If it was the repairer/restorer's idea then you should be able to get them to strip it back to bare brass? (I'm not sure I actually know what I'm talking about) What condition was it in before it got overhauled? Surely the tech who did this work must be under some obligation to return your instrument to you in better condition than it was before it left your care?
I suppose the last question is did you pay for the work or is there an outstanding bill which would give you a little leverage?
I hope others on here give you a little more advice than I've been able to.
Best of luck, Taz
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,494
Location
Surrey, UK
Are you saying it is noticeably different than before the overhaul, and is that with the same mouthpiece, reed etc ?

I've never come across a sax that plays with a really significant tonal difference in octaves (having had about 10 altos and played others), so this is a mystery to me.

How was the silverplate done ?

Can you describe the difference in sound between the octaves (e.g. one brighter or muffled or louder or out of tune) ?

Rhys
 
OP
J

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Location
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Hi to Taz; rhysonsax;
This is a long, sad story,the sax was a Gordon Beeson recon. I will probably respond to you both privately, as I don't have much time at the moment. The upper octave is incredibly bright and the lower one sounds like a gazoo!. I no longer have the original mouthpiece, but have tried several and it is still unplayable. I can't mention the name of the restorer, but can say that they had it for 2 years, and I assume that because I am in Spain, repeated phone calls were fobbed off. The original quote was £500, it finished up at £800.
Thanks for responding,
johnboy.
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,726
Location
Norfolk, UK
Hi to Taz; rhysonsax;
This is a long, sad story,the sax was a Gordon Beeson recon. I will probably respond to you both privately, as I don't have much time at the moment. The upper octave is incredibly bright and the lower one sounds like a gazoo!. I no longer have the original mouthpiece, but have tried several and it is still unplayable. I can't mention the name of the restorer, but can say that they had it for 2 years, and I assume that because I am in Spain, repeated phone calls were fobbed off. The original quote was £500, it finished up at £800.
Thanks for responding,
johnboy.
I got a gun you can use if you want mate ... but clean it well after you done him >:)

Did the bugger have a black mask?

Sounds like he got you real good - Sorry to hear that mate ... :shocked:

That does make me mad ...
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,039
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
Johnboy,
without having a look at the sax its difficult to diagnose the problem but if the upper register is bright but sounds ok and the lower register is sounding like a kazoo, it could be that you have a problem with your octave mechanism not closing fully, the body octave pad should be kept closed by the G key, and there should be a gap between the crook key arm loop and the arm that sticks up form the top of the sax when the crook is removed. if there is no gap here then your crook octave pad is likely to be leaking. If you find a leak PM me with your telphone number and I'll talk you through how ot rectify it.
 
OP
J

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Location
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Hi Griff, Thanks for taking an interest,

Just checked it and there is about 0.030" clearance, so that seems ok.
The top sounds like an ocarina & the bottom like (as you rightly pointed out) a kazoo. The sax blows down to Bb effortlessly.

johnboy.
 
OP
J

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Location
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Hi all,
I've just had a cleaver idea (you'll all be terribly impressed with this!). Why don't I get the other local sax player (plays alto), to put his mouthpiece on my sax and see how it goes. I've never met the guy, but I've only heard good reports.

I've just had a horrible thought, I could end up with a lot of egg on my face.

johnboy.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,380
Location
The Blue Ridge Mountains
Hi all,
I've just had a cleaver idea (you'll all be terribly impressed with this!). Why don't I get the other local sax player (plays alto), to put his mouthpiece on my sax and see how it goes. I've never met the guy, but I've only heard good reports.
Always a good idea to get a second opinion.

I would also suggest it's OK to mention the name of the technician. We need to be warned.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,992
Location
Just north of Munich
Agree on the second opinion, but beware. Some guys can blow anything.... A mate was selling his old Chu, cos it leaked badly and he could hardly play it. Someone came round, blew it fantastically and walked away very happy.... So if the expert says there's a problem, all well and good, but if the expert finds nothing, could still be the sax....

Consider taking up Griff's offer above, he has a great reputation here.
 
OP
J

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Location
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Once again, Hi y'all.
If I can find this other guy here and get him to try it out I will. I have had the "heads up" on Griff from others and when I come over to England next year I will bring it for him to check out! He is within easy reach of where we stay, so i'll contact him well in advance to sort something out. I cant bring it back on Wednesday (we have to much luggage) and I'm a frail old pensionista you understand!
All I can say to all you very helpful guys is a big thank you !!!!!

johnboy.
 
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J

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Location
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Problem solved! I removed the neck octave key, looked down the pip, and there it was - a lump of silver plate!!
After careful removal (using the tip of a needle file), the sax plays just fine.
The thing that puzzles me, is that with a partly blocked neck pip, the efect that I was getting would have been the other way round i.e. muzzy top, clear bottom. Anyone any ideas?

johnboy.
 
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