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Accessories Dribble Deflector

nigeld

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In the bad old days, I used to have a dribble problem with my tenor saxophone - water from my breath would condense in the upper part of the saxophone and then run down and out of the top two front tone-holes, causing unsightly marks on my unlaquered sax and giving me a wet hand.

So I decided to try to get rid of the problem by persuading the dribble to take a new route which avoids the tone holes. I stuck a couple of strips of insulating tape inside the body of the sax positioned diagonally just above the two top tone-holes. The idea is that the water will run along the edge of the tape and then down to the left of the tone-holes.

It works almost all of the time, though occasionally it doesn't. When it doesn't, if find that inserting a mop and rotating it counter-clockwise helps.

If anyone is bothered that it may affect the tone, I can also say that I can't hear any difference, and that my bassoon has much larger devices set into the bore for this reason.

Here's a picture - you can see the top piece of tape. There is another, longer, one above the next tone hole.

Dribble Deflector.JPG
 

Pete Thomas

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I'v heard of people using a smear of vaseline to channel condensation away from the tone holes.
 

Tenor Viol

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When playing seated, I have a small hand towel on my lap for dealing with it....
 

nigeld

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I'v heard of people using a smear of vaseline to channel condensation away from the tone holes.

I thought of that, but the advantage of the tape is that it survives swabbing with a mop.
 

6441

 
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Next step is to patent the idea and incorporate a permanent version in the Café Saxophone Saxophone.
 

nigeld

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Next step is to patent the idea and incorporate a permanent version in the Café Saxophone Saxophone.


A better economic model might be for a repairer to develop a version that needs replacing once a year. >:)
 

6441

 
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Seriously, though, why wouldn't some kind of simple system be added to existing sax design, right in the metal?
 

Vetinari

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If possible, new designs move thetone holes round the body to a non dripable position.
 

6441

 
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Surely there must be simple ways to make physical changes, that with research, would NOT affect the tone, but you know how much resistance there would be in the market.
 

Vetinari

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Adding a small 'eyebrow' above the t.h. ,similar to adding tape as suggested above may work, the only problem is that it needs to be designed such that it does not hinder swabbing the sax to clean and dry it.
 

nigeld

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The body octave key has an extension into the body, presumably to stop it getting blocked with spit.
Compared with that, the effect of a small lip above a tone hole should be negligible, both with regards to sound and swabbing out.

On old bassoons, dribble was a problem, but my modern bassoon has extensions into the bore for the vulnerable holes. This is regarded as a selling point, not a problem, because it saves having to blow into the tone holes during a performance in order to reduce the risk of gurgling. (It's embarrassing to have a gurgly bassoon.)
 

rhysonsax

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The body octave key has an extension into the body, presumably to stop it getting blocked with spit.

The position of the octave vent is a compromise as it has to cover multiple pitches, each with its own frequency and so wavelength. I think the octave vent tube is more about stability (i.e. holding the tone to the correct pitch) rather than keeping out moisture, although that may be relevant.

N.B. While basoonists may spit in their instruments, us sax players just breathe out moist air that may condense out.

Rhys
 

nigeld

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I can't make out any tape

A pale short and curly, maybe, but no tape

The tape is above the fourth (actually the fifth, but you can't see one of them) tone-hole down. This is the small top tone-hole at the front of the saxophone. I'm not sure what it is called, The others above it are the palm keys and E.

There is another, longer, piece of tape above the next tone hole down.
 
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