Technical BW alto sax. Noisy lower stack keys

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
428
Location
New Mexico, US
#22
Although my experience is nowhere near yours, I don't get the gluing of Teflon on the body. Teflon is good for friction but is kind of hard and will not have much effect on the noise, will it?

I may be offering a simplistic solution with my small felt patches on the body, but it's been good so far after a couple of years at least. :confused2:
Your solution isn't bad, the problem is as the key feet have felt already, you would have felt to felt. IMHO that'd be a bit soupy feeling on the key rebound. If the feet had corks, I would agree with your suggestion.

Sheet teflon actually can reduce the noise a bit. No, not all by itself, but in conjunction with other regulating materials. While it may not be considered a quieting material, it does in fact mute 'clink' or impact sounds sometimes, again when used in combo. Consider that tissue paper did, so teflon would. Although not as much as .4mm sheet cork. The idea being simply that the compressed felt feet hit something other than the metal of the body.

As JBT says...the combo of cork to felt is a good combo for sound deadening. Typically, as he says, the cork is on the foot, the felt on the tube. But I'd imagine it'd work just as well vice-versa.

FWIW I find it a bit odd that even old, compressed or hard felt would actually be causing a clanky sound....but given the OP confirms that a piece of material beneath the felt in fact does improve the situation, it's a simple course to take....
 
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JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
428
Location
New Mexico, US
#23
The common nomenclature in the repair trade is "hing tubes" and "hinge rods" or sometimes "steels". "Key barrels" is a term I have not heard before.
That's interesting - In your neck of the woods perhaps...every tech I have ever associated with (that'd be around 16 up and down the west coast and a few here in the desert) knows exactly what the term means and commonly uses it. Matter o' fact, I must'a learned it from someone.....
 

Terrytoolpath

Member
Subscriber
Messages
58
Location
Rugby
#24
You might have been better buying the one from Curly for the extra thirty after all.
They are a good reputable dealer and if it did have any problems they might have offered a refund of the cost of getting it sorted.
Even ebay offers the buyer a return policy should you fail to mention any problems
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,316
#25
It's a common problem on these horns.
The adjustable key feet each have a disc of white 'felt' on them. Now, I say 'felt' because it it only looks like felt - in fact it's some sort of synthetic material that seems to glaze over and go hard after a few years.
A quick fix is to scrape the underside of the felt with a sharp blade, thus breaking up the glaze and exposing fresh fibres. It's a short-term fix though, because the problem will re-occur in time.

Best bet is to whip the discs off and replace them with proper felt - or indeed any suitable material (I prefer baize or any woven wool fabric).
Unlike regulation corks, setting key height buffers is a relatively straightforward job when the horn is kitted out with adjusters - but you'd be well-advised to check that the adjusters move before attempting to replace the felts.
Chinese manufacturers like to coat the threads of the adjusters with the same sort of strange glue that they use to fit the corks and felts to the keys - and while it's pretty useless at holding corks in place, it'll jam up an adjuster with ease.
Heat is the key - play a very fine flame from a small gas gun over the adjuster (taking care not to damage the regulation cork on the top of the key foot) and this should free up the adjuster.

Before fitting new felts, clean the face of the adjuster with cigarette lighter fluid. If there's any Chinese glue left on it, it may cause the new glue to fail.
Once the felts are fitted you'll need to 'pre-compress' them. Natural fibres tend to compress, and this can be a nuisance if you've just spent a couple of hours setting up an action. All you need do is iron the felts. Heat up a smooth spatula (the tip of a knife blade) and press it against the felt. Just like ironing clothes, the spatula needs to be hot...but not too hot.
You can save a bit of time by ironing the felt before you cut it and fit it.

You will probably need to apply some new threadlock to the adjusters. Loctite 222 is perfect for the job, but isn't readily available. Loctite 243 is sold in most hardware shops and will do just fine, and is more resistant to oil - but you will only need a 'dot' of it (don't flood the thread).
If you're new to the game I'd recommend setting up the key heights without any threadlock first - just so you get some idea of how things need to be set. Once you've got the idea you can treat each adjuster in turn before following up with any final tweaks.
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
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4,188
Location
Near Lutterworth, Leics.
#26
To the "haters", I advised the OP pre-purchase, as did others here, that the horn would likely need a set up and he might be better off buying from Curly for more money. See his other thread.
He chose my horn knowing this as it looked in better condition and was cheaper. Curly's horn, being older, may have presented the same issue yet played fine for them before shipping, as this one did for me. As for warranty, if the OP would like to ship it back to me I'll carry out a fix but this will perhaps suit only me, not him. That's the whole point of a set up by his local tech, to set it up to his liking.
Otherwise, the OP has told me he's happy with the sound and asked advice about the key noise. I suggested posting here so he gets a variety of fixes from well regarded techs, as indeed he has.
In realty I suspect he will enjoy a DIY fiddle to try to fix the noise himself, as I would. It can be very satisfying.
Now, who'd like to criticise me some more?
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
428
Location
New Mexico, US
#34
:rolleyes:
Doesn't make my reply or experiences any less relevant....as I said, everyone I have associated with uses and understands the term 'key barrel".

Beyond this, I will refrain from taking anymore of your bait here...for the sake of the rest of the thread participants likely being quite tired of our digressive tit for tats.....

(other than stating the obvious: professionals achieve good results via different ways/methods/means...including semantics/terminology).
 
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Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,316
#35
The common nomenclature in the repair trade is "hing tubes" and "hinge rods" or sometimes "steels". "Key barrels" is a term I have not heard before.
There are over 300 mentions of the term 'key barrel' on my site, along with 200 mentions of 'rod screw'.
These are common terms over here.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,316
#36
@Stephen Howard - is there any "rule" or formula for final key heights for the lower stack? Or is it a case of blow it and see as you're adjusting their height?
There's no hard and fast formula - though the one that's typically quoted runs along the lines of setting the height at 1/3rd of the diameter of the tonehole. It's a very vague ballpark kinda figure.
The 'blow and see' method is good, if somewhat time-consuming.
But by far the best method is...just knowing what's right. :)
 

jbtsax

old and opinionated
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6,595
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
#37
:rolleyes:
Doesn't make my reply or experiences any less relevant....as I said, everyone I have associated with uses and understands the term 'key barrel".

Beyond this, I will refrain from taking anymore of your bait here...for the sake of the rest of the thread participants likely being quite tired of our digressive tit for tats.....

(other than stating the obvious: professionals achieve good results via different ways/methods/means...including semantics/terminology).
I posted that link to show that the use of the term "hinge tube" is not limited to "my neck of the woods". That's all. :)
 
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