SYOS

G2 (second octave) is screaching - why ?

rhysonsax

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4,461
Very often when I play the second octave G on my new BW tenor, it either flutters when the note starts or it screaches up to a horrible high harmonic.

I thought it was possibly because the neck octave key was too close to the octave key pin and the upper pad was being held slightly open. But I have ensured there is a bit of clearance from the pin and the screaching problem is still happening.

This doesn't happen on any of my other saxes, so I'm pretty sure it's a mechanical issue, but not sure what.

Any ideas ?

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

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4,461
I've cleaned out the tube of the octave vent in the body, but it still screeches. The G and G# are the last notes before the octave mechanism switches over to the vent on the neck and so the ones with the vent furthest from the ideal position.

Just noticed that the tube sticking into the bore is much shorter than on my Selmer tenor and I think this may have something to do with the screeching. The longer tube probably makes the note more stable and the shorter tube on the BW may let it trip up to a high harmonic when I don't tongue the start of the note.

Rhys
 
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jbtsax

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I have found that on some tenors the G very easily "overblows" to the next harmonic which is a high D. This effect can be created by mechanical problem in which the neck octave pad opens slightly on the high G or can be created by the player himself.

You are correct that there should be a space between the loop from the neck key and the post extending up from the saxophone. However, it is best to do this additional test to make sure the octave mechanism is working correctly.

Checking for a mechanical cause
-Fingering G, press the thumb key hard several times watching the neck octave key.

-If the neck octave key bounces or moves at all, increase the gap between the loop and the post by placing your thumb between the loop and the neck tenon and carefully push down on the neck octave key.

-If the neck octave key opens slightly when you push the thumb key very hard, then a thicker or firmer cork at the area that stops the travel of the thumb key is usually required as well.

-If you go too far and the neck octave doesn't open on high A, place a tongue depressor between the neck pad and the octave pip and then carefully push the loop back toward the neck tenon.

-If the body and neck octave open and close opposite of one another quickly and smoothly when you finger high G to high A and back, then the octave mechanism is working properly.

Checking for a player related cause
-Check the pitch while playing the neck and mouthpiece apart from the sax. The pitch should be close to a Concert E. If the pitch is higher than this the input pitch into the sax is too high and can force unwanted overtones.

-Play a high G and move the back of the tongue up to the "EE" position and blow faster colder air trying to force the high D overtone deliberately.

-When you can produce the D overtone with regularity, practice coming in on high G itself with the tongue in more of an "AH" shape and a slower, warmer airstream.

-When you can control which note starts when you finger high G, then you've wrestled control of that note from the saxophone back to the player where it belongs.
 
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jacqui I

New Member
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11
I have this problem a the moment with my new tenor sax-i,m told its my technique and reed size is too low strength as i doesn't happen on all the high G notes if they are played i a run of notes, just when starting a new note on the high g -this is my first time on the tenor and I never had the same problem with my alto or soprano.Hope you get sorted!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I had it as well. Tuning accurately on G helped a lot. But a repad was what really sorted it - that and learning to bring the sides of my lips in.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
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1,030
I went through this a couple of years back. Can't remember why but it started after I had changed a mpc or something - anyway I just did long tones until it went back to normal and my technique kind of adjusted to it.

I've had similar problems with a squeaking reed - long tones do seem to sort out most things!

As you say the sax is new - it may just be a case of getting used to the slight difference? hope that helps a bit? :)
 

Stephen Howard

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2,022
Is it one of the Chinese models?
There were a few that were shipped with a slightly different crook that made the horn unstable. They caught the problem and sorted it, but one might have slipped through the net. If that's the case they'll send you a replacement.
If it's the Taiwanese model then it's very likely that you have a leak. One of the qualities of this model is its stability.

Regards,
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,461
Is it one of the Chinese models?
There were a few that were shipped with a slightly different crook that made the horn unstable. They caught the problem and sorted it, but one might have slipped through the net. If that's the case they'll send you a replacement.
If it's the Taiwanese model then it's very likely that you have a leak. One of the qualities of this model is its stability.

Regards,

Hi Steve,

It is definitely not a leak in the crook octave pad and the problem is very much worse when I play with a Forestone synthetic (bamboo fibres in resin) reed. I think that real cane helps to discourage the screeching tendencies, but they are still there.

I can't see anything on the horn that says where it is from. The serial number is 92xxx and I guess it might be a slightly older one that had been with the dealer for a while as I got an 'old' price.

I will try contacting Martin and Hat and see what they say. I might also try swapping crooks with
another tenor and see whether that helps.
Thanks

Rhys
 

Stephen Howard

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Messages
2,022
If it's one of the Chinese ones (i.e not an M2) you can check for the correct crook like this:

Stand the crook on a flat surface, tenon socket down, and measure the distance from the surface to the bottom of the crook cork. If it's less than 5cm it will mean you have one of the duff crooks.

Regards,
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,461
If it's one of the Chinese ones (i.e not an M2) you can check for the correct crook like this:

Stand the crook on a flat surface, tenon socket down, and measure the distance from the surface to the bottom of the crook cork. If it's less than 5cm it will mean you have one of the duff crooks.

Regards,

Hi Steve,

It is the M2S (silver) model - I thought that I had said that earlier in the thread but see that I didn't. It's actually the tenor you saw when I came down with that funny flute headjoint.

The measurement is about 6.2cm, so it sounds like it isn't one of the problem crooks.

The bore diameter at the neck seems to be quite large, so other tenor crooks that I have tried slop around loosely.

The other thing I have noticed about the design is that the little tube on the body octave vent is very short compared to all my other tenor saxes. I wondered whether that might contribute to a lack of note stability on the G and G#. The measurements are:
  • Selmer MkVI 7mm
  • Selmer Mk7 7.5mm
  • Maxtone (Taiwanese) 5.5mm
  • BW M2s 3.5mm

Regards

Rhys
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,022
In that case the crook won't be an issue.

Did I play that horn when you came over? If so the problem will lie in your embouchure (sorry!), unless something's gone out of whack.
The length of the body octave tube won't be significant.

Regards,
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,461
In that case the crook won't be an issue.

Did I play that horn when you came over? If so the problem will lie in your embouchure (sorry!), unless something's gone out of whack.
The length of the body octave tube won't be significant.

Regards,

I can't remember whether you played it, but you did ease the neck tenon a fraction with some fine grit paper as it was a bit sticky in the body.

Funny thing is that this screeching happens on this M2S tenor but doesn't happen on any of my other tenors (see list in previous post) using the same mouthpiece, reed, player (and presumably embouchure).

My guess is that there could be contributions from:
  • Mouthpiece (e.g. high baffle more prone to screech)
  • Reed (e.g. cane is better damped than my Forestone synthetic, soft reeds possibly more prone to screech)
  • Embouchure and player's technique in general (yup - prepared to accept that)
  • Horn set-up (e.g. leaks, octave mechanism linkage)
  • Horn basic design (e.g. compromises in locating the octave vents and size of these vents)

The reed that I am experiencing this the most is that Forestone synthetic. It has a nice basic sound, but is probably on the soft side for me (it's a 3.0 but plays more like a cane 2 or 2.5) and I am sure has different vibration characteristics to cane. It would be a shame if I have to stop using this, but maybe it's back to cane and also back in the practice room.

Rhys
 

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
861
This happens to me on my Cannonball and also happened on my Sukkuso. Spoke to my teacher about it last night and she said it was probably me. Gave me some exercises she said should help and also said I should buy 'Taming the saxophone' by a certain Pete Thomas - so I have!!!
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,022
Rhys dropped by with the tenor this morning and I had a look at it.
Couldn't find anything wrong with it.
I could also get the G to break up, but I had to work at it. Even so, I felt that it was just too 'there' to be written off as "It's just the horn", so I've recommended he try a few other crooks with it - which he tells me WoodwindandBrass are happy for him to do.

I suspect this is the cause of the problem because the horn plays whisper quiet (and I really do mean whisper) to the low Bb.
If another crook doesn't work I'll look into swapping out some of the reflectors around the G, which may (or may not) be a contributory factor.

Regards,
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
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4,461
Thanks again Steve. I'll write that testimonial for your website some time.

And I hope you have fun with the panel beating job on my new/old bari !

I'll report back once I have been to WW&B, but that may not be until after Christmas.

Rhys

PS Interesting that Nick reports a similar issue with his Cannonball - that is also the sax that someone on SOTW was mentioning in respect of the same problem.
 

jbtsax

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I worked on a Cannonball tenor one time that when the upper octave G was played very loudly, the low G also sounded producing a multiphonic effect. The advice I got from Tevis at Cannonball was to open just the bottom of the body octave pip a little with a small rat tail file. It proved to be a good solution.

Stephen, can you describe what you mean by the G "breaking up"?
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,461
Stephen, can you describe what you mean by the G "breaking up"?

What it does for me is either:
  • 'Burble' on the start of the note and then settle down (i.e. a bit unstable)
  • Screeches up to high D (the first harmonic above G2) and usually stays sounding that higher pitch (i.e. stable on the wrong pitch)

So the G2 sometimes (not always) doesn't start cleanly and sometimes sounds the harmonic above. If the note starts OK then it continues correctly.

The problem is particularly noticeable with high baffle mouthpieces, with synthetic reeds and possibly at quieter volume. If the player tenses up that also seems to make it more likely to happen.

Rhys (aka Stephen)
 

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