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2nd octave breaking to fundmental tone - Buescher 400 tenor

minnsax

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2
I have problem with my Buescher 400 (379xxx) tenor. Certain second octave tones like fourth space E and Eb want to break to the lower octave unless I back way off on the air or make some other major embouchure adjustments. Same behvior with all my mouthpieces. There doesn't appear to be any obstruction in the first octave vent. No problem once above top line F/F#. I also do not have this problem on my other tenor- Buescher aristocrat series III. Any thoughts on this before I take it into my tech? Thanks
 

jbtsax

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This is a very interesting question. What makes it fascinating is the fact that for almost all saxophones the fundamental of the lower notes on the instrument is weaker than the first 2 or 3 overtones. See UNSW Saxophone Spectrum. This causes the lower note to want to jump to the higher octave---not the other way around as was described. It may be an octave vent position problem, but the problem with this analysis is that the body octave vent is usually set at the ideal position for the note F. Your E is only a half step away from this "ideal" position so the octave vent "not working" for this note would be unusual.

Something you might try.

Play E2 and Eb2 as overtones voicing the notes in this octave without using the octave key. Do this at f and ff and see what happens. Then play them at the same volume starting without the octave key and adding it while holding the note.

Another part of the puzzle may be the input pitch into the saxophone. Play just the neck and mouthpiece as you normally play and see what pitch is produced. This also may provide a clue as to what is happening acoustically. If you have pushed a pipe cleaner through the body octave vent and it is clear, I would be very surprised if there is a mechanical reason the sax is acting in this manner.

If you discover you sax just plays all of its lowest notes this effortlessly---how much would you sell it to me for? ;}
 

minnsax

New Member
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2
The E and Eb sound, but there is also a strong difference tone that is in the sound and it gets stronger the more you blow. I cleaned the body vent tube- that helped a little. I also tried the 400 neck on my Aristocrat II- no problems. Also tried the series II neck on the 400 and got the same behavior. So I think we know that the neck is not the issue. I have several very good techs near me- they will come up with a solution.
 

jbtsax

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8,003
Thanks for the reply. Please keep us posted as to what, if anything, the tech finds that may be causing this phenomenon.
 

SaxyMalcolm

Member
Messages
77
It could be a problem with your octave mechanism or as jbtsax suggested you may need to voice the notes more. Try signing the E and Eb pitches and then play the notes on the sax without adjusting the shape of your throat. If this helps then lots of harmonics practice is the way to go, also mpc practice/flexibility by blowing different pitches on the mpc alone will help.
 
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