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Intermittent stuffy top A

Di in France

Senior Member
Messages
619
I've started getting an intermittent stuffy note on the top A on my yani alto. It happens more after I've been playing a while. I don't think it's me. :shocked: The octave key seems to be opening properly. Does anyone know if this is a common problem or not. It's a while (6 years) since it's had a service, it's not easy to find a good tech out here in the sticks in france.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,087
G to A is where the mechanism shifts from body octave to neck octave.

Have a look to see if anything is sticking or loose and clean both holes and pads to make sure of a good seal.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,010
It's the "intermittent" part that makes this an interesting puzzle. Also the fact that it happens after you have played a while. ????

The next time it happens on high A, take the mouthpiece off the neck and the neck off the saxophone. Cover the big end of the neck with the palm of your hand and blow forcefully into the small end while holding the neck octave pad open. This will clear any moisture that may have collected in the octave pip. This is more likely to occur if you lay the sax on its side after playing a while. See if the note A is more clear after doing this test.

Another cause of a stuffy A can be the G keycup over the tonehole which vents the A being too low. This can easily be detected by looking down the row of open keycups on the upper stack. They should all be in a relatively straight line---each opening a bit higher than the one before it. This cause of stuffiness however, would be consistent---not intermittent.
 

Di in France

Senior Member
Messages
619
Before I played today, I cleaned the two pips (neck and body) with a paper clip just to make sure that the holes were clear, and both pads. I didn't get any stuffiness, so perhaps the neck pad was dirty and wasn't sealing or perhaps just coincidence. Thanks jbtsax, if it happens again I'll give your suggestion a try.
 
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