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Noisy low C#

Philsaxophone

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Messages
41
Location
Weybridge, Surrey
HI Guys

I have noticed on my Super 80 Series II that when you press the low C# pinky lever the pad opens and sort of vibrates in and out a bit--I suppose "bounces" would be a better term

The thing is that on the small round metal plate that is attached to the C# arm there is no felt pad like there is on my old 66R so when it hits the screw adjuster on the low B cup arm it makes a noise--the adjuster screw on the B cup arm has what looks like a hard plastic piece sticking out--I'm sure there is a proper name for it---which pushes down on the small round plate on the C# arm

The sax plays properly and the adjustment on the B cup arm screw seems right as it hold the C# shut properly when you play low B--I assume therefore that nothing has fallen off

The same arrangement on the 66R also bounces a bit but because of the felt pad its silent

Any suggestions

Can I put a bit of felt on the small round plate and back off the screw on the B cup arm to compensate

Is this a common problem

Tx

Phil
 

jbtsax

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8,480
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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Yes putting a piece of felt on the arm that extends from the low C# would silence the mechanism, but adding a "spongy" material in any area that regulates keys will guarantee that it will go out of adjustment as the material compresses and expands.

You said the material in the adjusting screw looked like black plastic. I would suggest taking that screw out completely and examining it more closely. Manufacturers will often use a bit of solid rubber tubing inside the slot of the adjusting screw. Sometimes the rubber gets hard and brittle. A clever way to replace it is to buy a rubber "O" ring with the same diameter at a plumbing supply store, and use a sharp knife or razor blade to cut off the length you need. A bit of contact cement or even gap filling superglue will hold it in place. This may help to quiet the mechanism.

As far as the key bounce is concerned, that typically means that the spring that opens the C# key is too weak. This can be adjusted by unhooking the spring from its cradle and putting more curve in it. This can often be done with thefingers. If pliers must be used be careful not to put a "kink" in the spring---especially nearest the post. It will work its best and last longer if the bend is a smooth curve over the length of the spring.

As the C# spring is strengthened, it is important to not make it too stiff since it must be secondary to the force required to close the B natural. A good rule of thumb is to increase the spring tension of the low C# (and the G#) until the bounce when it opens just barely goes away and then stop.
 

Philsaxophone

Member
Messages
41
Location
Weybridge, Surrey
Hi jbtsax

I have taken a look at the plastic bit that protrudes fron the B adjuster and it is a hollow rubber / plastic tube

I then looked for the spring that controls the C# mecanism as it the strangest looking spring I have come across

Not a needle spring but flat and makes one side of a fork that goes over a roller

I have tried to take a pic and its attached--I think

Its held on to the other side of the fork by a tiny screw that I dont see how to get to and I cant really see how to increase the tension in the spring as its very awkward to get to

I have lifted the cup by hand and the spring seems very weak but I think it might be a bridge too far for me to mess about with

I think I will try to sort out the small round plate on the key--perhaps a bit of very thin cork might quieten it a bit

Tx

Phil



C# Key 001.jpg
 

jbtsax

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Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
I know exactly what mechanism that is now. That flat spring is quite inaccessible without removing both the C# key itself and the C# LH touchpiece. You may be able to quiet it a bit with a thin piece of cork, but I'm afraid the bounce will remain until the spring is adjusted.

Excess key travel may have something to do with it as well. Press the C# key and see how far it travels before it engages the G#. There should be just a tiny bit of "play" at that spot but no more. Next press the G# key and notice whether the lever that allows the G# pad to open travels higher than the barrel shaped part it presses down upon. If either of these distances are significant it means the G# touchpiece is traveling too far and by extension is allowing the C# touchpiece to travel too far as well. These adjustments can be tricky so just file the information away and point these things out to the tech when you take your sax in for its next service.
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,052
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
Great advice from jbtsax, one thing that may help reduce the noise is to make sure that the pivot screws on both parts of the C# mechanism are well lubricated. I would also make sure that the left hand pinky keys are all lubricated to including the rollers and the tilting spatula arm.

you could also check that the linkage material (usually cork on selmers) on the part of the key C# key arm with the flat spring has not been compressed.

check also that the "roller" ( as you described it) is tight
 

Philsaxophone

Member
Messages
41
Location
Weybridge, Surrey
Hi Guys

Thanks for all the information

I have taken a good look at this mechanism that controls the opening of the C# key

The small round plate on the C# cup hits the adjuster screw on the B cup before it hits the peice of cork on the arm with the flat spring attached--I assume that its this arm that should control the amount the C# cup opens rather than the B cup screw

I assume that if it hit the cork first then it wouldnt make a noise as it wouldnt hit the small round plate

To try to overcome that I screwed out the B cup adjuster but of course that means that when you press the B cup down it doesnt hold the C# cup down properly and in any event I cant do it enough

Next I screwed out the felt pad that adjusts the venting on the B cup but I cant take it our far enough to stop the C# from hitting the plate before it hits the piece of cork on the C# control arm

So it seems to me that if I stuck another piece of very thin cork on that arm--I have some--then it might fix that problem but I assume might give me a problem with the amount of venting on the C# cup

Does the 30% rule hold for that cup--ie venting should be 30% of the tone hole diameter

I have checked the linkage between the C# operating key and the G# operating key and there is only the tiniest amout of play before they contact and also the lever on the G# checked out correctly

The issue is that it seems a right fiddle to try to get a piece of cork on that C# control arm--I dont know how you pro's do it but I think it might be a thing I just bring up when I next get the sax serviced

It is pretty new so perhaps things like this happen in that first year that the thing beds in

Again thanks to everyone

Phil
 

jbtsax

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8,480
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
You might also try putting a small self adhesive felt disc where the foot of the G# lever hits the body. This will decrease the travel of the C# and may help cut the noise. Shown below is the type I like to use. The smaller discs work better at this location.

feltdiscs.jpg
 

Philsaxophone

Member
Messages
41
Location
Weybridge, Surrey
Hi jbtsax

Thanks for that

I get some simple repair stuff at Dawkes but havent seen felt peds etc

Can you tell me where you get them

Do they come as a mixed size sheet etc

Tx

Phil
 

jbtsax

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Messages
8,480
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
That is quite a common item in the US in hardware and variety stores. They are used under various objects such as lamps and vases to protect furniture. There are lots of different styles and colors as well as sizes.

I just came across this website looking for a brand name for the felts. Hope this helps.
 
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