PPT mouthpieces

How to leave tonehole mark on a new pad?


Well-Known Member

I've changed the neck octave pad of my tenor sax by a new Pisoni pad, to help quietening the octave mechanism action. It works pretty well, is much more silent than the stiff stock chinese pad, and has no leaks.

For leaving the mark on the leather, I used some tape around neck/lever to compress the pad on the neck tonehole for one hour. This hasn't done the usual more deep mark neck pads usually have. It's more a superficial mark, so I suppose I haven't done it well.

I've bought Stephen Howard book, surprisingly, I haven't found anything on pads marks making.

How to do them properly on neck pads, but also on every other pads (main stack, etc)?

Last edited:
Because of the larger rounded shape of the neck octave vent (pip) it will not make the typical pad seat ring that one finds on other pads. There may be a slight impression or indentation where the pad rests on the pip, but that is all one sees. If the pad is seated properly it will look level to the pip in each direction. A test to check if the pad is sealing is to cover the large end of the neck with your hand and blow into the small end.
Thanks for answer. There is slight impression as you said. I made the test with my hand there is no air leak. The pad itself is nicely leveled in each direction. So I suppose it's ok : )

How to make marks on regular main stack pads?
There is a lot of debate about that, even among techs. I prefer to level and seat the pad with just the slightest amount of pressure. Once the pad eclipses the light perfectly 360° I then use moderate pressure in the middle of the keycup for a count of 32 and release. If I see a very light and even impression on the pad I am done. On spring closed keys I don't make any seat, leaving that for the spring tension over time. Other techs have methods that work for them, this is mine.
There isn't anything on making pad marks in the book because you shouldn't make a pad mark.
In fact you will - but it forms as a natural process of seating the pad. Provided you take the necessary care to ensure the pad is perfectly flat and forms an even seal all the way round, it'll eventually form its own 'crease'.
If you force a crease into a pad you can bet good money that in a couple of days' time, the pad will have sprung back and will now be leaking.

If you do manage to form a deep crease that sustains, you might find that the pad will tend to become sticky over time.

Similar threads

Top Bottom