New Member
My sax occasionally leaks around the Bb/A key section and leaks alot when it starts. The actual A pad is a darker colour than the others, a dark reddy brown colour? Any ideas what it is? Someone told me to try lighter fluid on it, which I have but it still happens and also used paper to dry it up.
Any help would be great


Hello Natalie; just a few quick questions.

Do you mean the sound falters when you are playing around the A/Bb area?
Do the relevant pads appear to close over the tone holes cleanly?

What is the instrument, and how old is it?
Have you had it long, and if so has the problem only recently occurred?
Is the problem the same in both octaves?

Does any part of the mechanism seem to be coming loose?

I'm curious that you say it 'occasionally leaks' and 'leaks a lot when it does'.

Really, lighter fuel will only remove greasy/stickyness from the pad. It evaporates very quickly and wouldn't help a leaking pad to seal.

I'm intrigued.

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Hi Natalie. Perhaps the A pad is newer than the others and that's why it's a different colour. Or, it could be the one that gets wetter than the rest. On my saxes it's the palm keys that get soaked and I just leave them to dry.

Pads can be dried up with kitchen paper like Bounty, and I've heard of guys spraying a little WD40 on their pull through to try and disperse the water that way.



It could well have been a pad added at a different time.
Surely the pads above the A would be wetter/darker?

When you've finished playing, use the pull-through several times, slowly.
If possible, leave the case open to allow the instrument to dry naturally.

Do not introduce anything like WD40 into your saxophone, it does not belong there.
The 'water' does not need to be dispersed. It needs to be removed.

Anyway, none of this seems to address the problem of Natalies leaking saxophone!

I eagerly await some answers from Natalie that might help to diagnose the problem.


New Member
Hi Natalie,
Check that the Bb pad fully closes when the A key is depressed.
If it doesn't check the small cork under the A key arm that presses down on the Bb pad.
Hope this helps,


Well-Known Member
Hi Natalie,

when plating an A the A pad and the Bb pad close together and should close with equal pressure as Rodzart has mentioned however usually there is felt on the linkage (usually under the pearl touchpiece) between the two keys.

You mention that the leak is intermittent - perhaps it leaks when you do fast or quiet passages.

One way to check if this linkage is the cause is to play an A but use your fingers like this:

first finger B. second finger press down the Bis Key(Bb), third finger press down the A if this plays every time then your leak is on the linkage.

You should also check that the pivot screws - on the ends of those two keys are fully home and that there is no play(movement) between the posts as any unwanted movement here means you will not get the same seal on those pads every time.

You also mention that it leaks mostly at the start of playing -It may be that one of the pads further up the instrument is leaking and dry but once the moisture of your breath is put down the instumnet whilst playing, the pad is then taking on moisture and then sealing. It probable culprit is one of your palm keys, but it could be one of a number of pads.

As regards to your pad being darker /discoloured - it could be that the pad is really old - and more importantly the felt below the leather is failing - if you can afford it get the sax checked over and have the repairer replace that pad if needed.

good luck and let us know how you get on


New Member
Hello! Wow, thanks for all your replies to try and help me cure my leaky sax!!!
To answer your questions futher-
the sound doesnt falter at all and the pads close fully so the sound is normal, it just leaks alot whilst playing.
The sax is a Alto Yamaha Custom 875 EX and is about 2.5 years old.
The problem seemed to happen about 3 months ago, but Ive been putting off doing it as it only happens about 4/5 times a month and I play it everyday
I cannot see any loose mechanism at all. It doesnt make a difference on which octave as the sound is not effected its just leaking all over my hand and makes it tricky to play. The thing that puzzles me is the different colour pad, i cant say that Ive ever noticed it being different before the problem started happening.
It could do with a service about now, but I wondered if anyone could shed any light on this problem before I get it looked at and they charge me the earth! :)

old git

Tremendous Bore
If my experience with instrument technicians, woodwinds, Griff and frets, Feline and Andy, they are scrupulous in their dealings. I've seen and heard them fiddling about for quite long periods and saying "No charge." at the end. Most of us bung them at a rate of around £25-£30 per hour, which convinces me that they do it more for love than money.

post script:-Do you remember the old Benny Hill calypso with "All my life, I've wanted to dress nattily. Natalie lives in the flat upstairs."? Yes, sure sign of a misspent youth.


its just leaking all over my hand and makes it tricky to play.

I think this part of Natile's post indicates the problem and has nothing to do with leaking pads causing a sound problem.

This looks to me like like condesation is leaking from the A key, something I get quite a lot on my tenor.

I think the only solution is the same as that suggested for the oft asked question 'I get a lot of 'water' in my mouthpiece'..or something similar.


If you do not have a leak light and likely you do not.....get a rope light. They are flexible and will help identify where you are leaking. Even if you ultimately have a repair person fix the problem you will before you go where the problem is. Make sure to move a rope light up and down after inserting..... also check combinations of keys. For instance....Bb key closes at same time as the lower stack F E D.

Problem As can also be caused by octave mechanism issues.

Hope you can solve your issue.

Best Wishes,

Staff online

Top Bottom