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Beginner Lubricating the horn

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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My Saxophones get lubricated once a year, whether they need it or not.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,348
My Saxophones get lubricated once a year, whether they need it or not.
THAT sounds more like it.
Once a month ? Wha ????? :oops:
Nobody does that, nor should they (nor should they ever have to).

Quite honestly, let's assume you are a caring owner and once a year you bring your horn in for a servicing (which you should...maybe twice a year if you play a whole lot). The lubing (and cleaning) would be done by the tech then...and you certainly should not have to lube it every few weeks or even every few months.

Just play the thing, and if for some reason keys seem to be getting sluggish, don't DIY anything, just take it to a tech (unless you wanna heavily get into home repair yourself, which requires both research and the purchasing of correct tools).
 
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Targa

Among the pigeons
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Quite honestly, let's assume you are a caring owner and once a year you bring your horn in for a servicing (which you should...maybe twice a year if you play a whole lot). The lubing (and cleaning) would be done by the tech then...and you certainly should not have to lube it every few weeks or even every few months.
I've had my sax over ten years and it's never been near a tech.
I always take good care of my 'toys'.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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My take is that both are right but talking about slightly different situations.

It's like comparing a car driving less than 10k miles a year with one going over 30k miles. The first only requires maki g sure there is oil in the engine, while the second needs a proper oil change, or in other words a full service.

If you play several hours a day, then you may need a full service every year, but if like me you only play a few hours a week, you don't.

What Matt does, I'd do on a horn I purchased and don't know the history. Then I will not be bothered for a few years. Just monitor the response of the horn and do next to nothing unless it feels wrong or it's been a very long time since I took care of it.
 

thomsax

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I was not oiling my YTS between the annual service, I played several hours every day, One day the action of F keys became slow and later it was stuck. How should we listen to? Is there really a problem with oiling the YTS as the manufactor recommend? Or drying the pads after you've played? Who decide what's right or wrong?
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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8,766
I was not oiling my YTS between the annual service, I played several hours every day, One day the action of F keys became slow and later it was stuck. How should we listen to? Is there really a problem with oiling the YTS as the manufactor recommend? Or drying the pads after you've played? Who decide what's right or wrong?
Who decides - you do, it's your sax.
When I was able to do it I would look after my cars, not take them for a service, do what needed doing when it did or preferably before it did. Anything I couldn't do then they went to a garage.
A sax is somewhat simpler than a car.
 

Stephen Howard

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1,757
And...here is the differing opinion (and I feel well-founded):
As much respect as I have for Matt (and it's a lot), I'm afraid the main thrust of his video is based on a fallacy - and his statement that oiling an assembled horn will lead to more damage than not oiling it at all is dreadfully, dreadfully wrong.
I also feel it's a huge mistake to use that fallacy to dissuade players from oiling the action given that it's always been an uphill battle to instil in them the importance of basic maintenance.

In fairness though his video was made before certain pertinent facts about lubrication for horns came to light.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,757
My take is that both are right but talking about slightly different situations.

It's like comparing a car driving less than 10k miles a year with one going over 30k miles. The first only requires maki g sure there is oil in the engine, while the second needs a proper oil change, or in other words a full service.

If you play several hours a day, then you may need a full service every year, but if like me you only play a few hours a week, you don't.

What Matt does, I'd do on a horn I purchased and don't know the history. Then I will not be bothered for a few years. Just monitor the response of the horn and do next to nothing unless it feels wrong or it's been a very long time since I took care of it.
It's about practicalities.
The strip, clean and lube service is the gold standard - and yeah, it should be done annually.
But I don't do it to my own horns because it's a lot of faff and the benefits are, frankly, marginal.
Trouble is, if you make it into a big thing then people will tend to put it off (not enough time, not enough money, too much hassle etc.).
It's far better to present such people with a 'good enough' option that's quick, cheap and easy - and one that will make a very real difference.
And horns are horns...they ain't cars or watches or spaceships.

I dunno where Yamaha got the idea from that you need to oil the action on such a regular basis though - it's complete nonsense and will make a mess of the horn.
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

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When I first started playing I regularly “serviced and checked my horn”, which included oiling the keywork, leaklight checks etc. I haven’t done this for years now only sorting out when I detect a problem. My oil which was recommended was a specific gearbox oil, if I remember correctly, and is ageing to a nice honey yellow colour! I’m not sorry to say that playing has become a priority and ashamed that maintenance has become supervised neglect.
To be honest I’ve had less problems as a result. Moral - if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
 

jbtsax

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I recommend to my customers that they get a Clean Oil Adjust (C.O.A.) service about once a year.
The charge is about $150. The "oiling" part is the least important part of the service. The important part is that with all the keys removed, the body of the saxophone can be given a thorough cleaning inside and out. When each individual key is checked and adjusted individually as it is re-installed it makes it easier to do a more accurate "play condition". The "lube and oil" is just something that it is more convenient to do when the keys are off. It is generally not necessary to install new oil and grease yearly, but it isn't a bad idea either.

The main advice I have for players who oil their own keys using a needle tip oiler (I use the ones from Music Medic) is to have a Q-tip/cotton bud handy to absorb excess oil that will inevitably run down the post/pillar and get on the body of the instrument and collect dust and fluff.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,348
As much respect as I have for Matt (and it's a lot), I'm afraid the main thrust of his video is based on a fallacy - and his statement that oiling an assembled horn will lead to more damage than not oiling it at all is dreadfully, dreadfully wrong.
I also feel it's a huge mistake to use that fallacy to dissuade players from oiling the action given that it's always been an uphill battle to instil in them the importance of basic maintenance.

In fairness though his video was made before certain pertinent facts about lubrication for horns came to light.
With utmost respect to your expertise, I still firmly believe that lubricating via simply putting some oil on the seams of the key barrels isn't really going to actually do much of a job of lubricating, because really there is no way for oil to wick into and along the rods, away from those seams.
This isn't so much a matter of 'new information has come to light', IMHO...because honestly, the design of a sax (and its proper maintenance) hasn't changed much in the past 100 years.

Also, the notion that the post-to-barrel seams do collect dirt...that's indisputable. So even if one wipes clean those seams externally, there is still grime in there.

To your points as to whether it would it actually cause lapping effect ? Perhaps not.
Would it 'damage' the horn ? Arguably not.

But would it partially be lubricating grime ? Yes, it would.
Would it really properly or even substantially lubricate the pivot rod ?
I believe that claim is specious.

To me...this is one of those things where a sax owner wants to feel like they can 'help out' their horn with some DIY, and think they are doing something beneficial and feel like they are properly 'maintaining' their instrument.
But saxes do not need seam-spot lubrications. Simply having the tech wipe off and re-lube the keys and rods during a regular servicing (something which a tech should do as a matter of course, anyway) is all which is required, IMHO.

It's about practicalities.
The strip, clean and lube service is the gold standard
Interesting. All of the techs who's work I am familiar with firsthand, and that'd be a good 15 or so, when doing work which requires disassembly of keys, will always wipe down the rods and run a cleaner thru the barrels then re-lube before re-assembling. It is hardly a Cadillac service upgrade to do that. For me, and them apparently, it is a simple matter of - given the horn (or stack, or key cluster) is apart and parts so accessible at that point, it is a bit silly NOT to take an extra minute or so to do this. Why rely on the lube job which may have been done prior when you know your own standard and everything is apart ? ...the way I view it.
 
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Stephen Howard

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1,757
With utmost respect to your expertise, I still firmly believe that lubricating via simply putting some oil on the seams of the key barrels isn't really going to actually do much of a job of lubricating, because really there is no way for oil to wick into and along the rods, away from those seams.
This isn't a matter of 'new information has come to light, IMHO...because honestly, the design of a sax (and its proper maintenance) hasn't changed much in the past 100 years.

Also, the notion that the post-to-barrel seams do collect dirt...that's sort of indisputable. So even if one wipes clean those seams externally, there is still grime in there.

Would it actually cause lapping effect ? Perhaps not. But would it partially be lubricating grime ? Yes, it would.
Would it really properly or even substantially lubricate the pivot rod ? I believe that claim is specious.
Only one way to find out - set up an experiment and see what happens.
Which is exactly what I did - and found that all that 'wicking' malarkey is a complete load of old guff, and that oil moves around by virtue of a peristaltic pumping action (which, rather annoyingly, pumps oil away from the point where it's most needed every time a key is pressed).
Funny thing is, the claggier and more viscous the oil is...the more likely it is to resist being pumped away from the pressure points.

Not that I've been keeping it a secret or anything....it's been up on my site for the past eight years.
 
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