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Baritone Low A Setup / Adjustment

rhysonsax

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My baritone seems to have gone slightly out of adjustment. It's a Selmer Serie III and hasn't been dropped or knocked but does get played quite a bit. The pads all seem to be sealing well, so I think the issue may be to do with mechanical linkages. I have looked in @Stephen Howard saxophone Haynes manual and the advice about the low A seems generic, which I guess it has to be to apply to all the different makes and models.

The Low A key operated with the LH thumb should close any of the other bell keys (C#, B, Bb) that are not already being closed by their own LH pinky key. I just noticed today that the Low A no longer properly closes the C# if that is being held open and so the Low A won't sound. It used to do that and it is quite convenient one some runs to leave the C# depressed (and so open).

I think the baritone mechanism Low A probably varies from maker to maker and even model to model. On the Serie III there are various connections, some of which have adjusting screws and bumpers.

There is a lever arm connected to the low C# pad cup sitting near the low B pad cup and it has an adjustment screw/bumper that is operated by the low A mechanism. Can the form techs advise me whether that adjustment is likely to be what needs tweaking and how best to go about it ?

Rhys
 

jbtsax

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I have not had that specific model come across my bench, but I can address that adjustment as it is often done on other makes and models. The low B key closes the low C# key by means of an arm and an adjusting screw on modern saxes. I typically back the screw out a bit so it doesn't interfere with the closing of the low B. Then I press the LH touch to hold the low B closed and operate the C# touch to check the opening. Then I turn the adjusting screw a bit at a time repeating the procedure until the C# no longer opens. Then I go back and check the closing of the B.

Oftentimes a perfect adjustment isn't possible due to the mechanics of the design and the flex of the long brass rods the keys are attached to. The solid closing of the B pad takes precedence over the C# when a compromise needs to be made. Getting the thumb low A key to close the Bb, B, and A is a major accomplishment by itself. Adding an open C# and its spring to the "mix" makes it even more of a challenge.
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,268
I have not had that specific model come across my bench, but I can address that adjustment as it is often done on other makes and models. The low B key closes the low C# key by means of an arm and an adjusting screw on modern saxes. I typically back the screw out a bit so it doesn't interfere with the closing of the low B. Then I press the LH touch to hold the low B closed and operate the C# touch to check the opening. Then I turn the adjusting screw a bit at a time repeating the procedure until the C# no longer opens. Then I go back and check the closing of the B.

Oftentimes a perfect adjustment isn't possible due to the mechanics of the design and the flex of the long brass rods the keys are attached to. The solid closing of the B pad takes precedence over the C# when a compromise needs to be made. Getting the thumb low A key to close the Bb, B, and A is a major accomplishment by itself. Adding an open C# and its spring to the "mix" makes it even more of a challenge.
Thanks for that @jbtsax . I tried to do it today and thought that I had found the problem and sorted it out as the C# had been cracking open and I stopped that with by tweaking the adjustment screw beside the low B. But unfortunately the low A still won't sound with C# key pressed and I can't see any other unintended pad openings. I was doing the diagnosis and adjustment with the sax in vertical position, so that gravity is acting the same as when I play.

I will have another go tomorrow and then it will have to be off to a tech.

Rhys
 

jbtsax

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In my understanding that B - C# closing adjustment was intended to provide a smoother note change when rolling the little finger of the left hand from C# to B natural. It was never meant to allow a thumb low A while keeping the C# pressed I don't think. If yours had that capability before, it is something I have not seen before.
 
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rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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4,268
In my understanding that B - C# closing adjustment was intended to provide a smoother note change when rolling the little finger of the left hand from C# to B natural. It was never meant to allow a thumb low A while keeping the C# pressed I don't think. If yours had that capability before, it is something I have not seen before.
I texted my local tech and asked him whether I had misremembered that low A should still work with the C# key pressed. He says that I'm not making it up and the instrument just needs a regulation tweak.

Rhys
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I just checked on my Yanagisawa bari, and low A works with C# pressed down. I've never tried it for real, but I suppose it might be useful for an A-major arpeggio.
 

jbtsax

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I texted my local tech and asked him whether I had misremembered that low A should still work with the C# key pressed. He says that I'm not making it up and the instrument just needs a regulation tweak.

Rhys
I'll take your word for it. I am anxious to see the Selmer Serie III mechanism design that will do that. The best I have seen so far is the one on my YBS-52. The next time I get it out, I will see if the Yamaha mechanism can do that as well.
 
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