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Octave Key Mechanism Bent - BW AI Alto

photoman

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My BW AI Phospher Bronze alto fell off the stand yesterday. The post that works the octave key, and the two lower vertical posts connected to it are bent. It plays OK in the lower octave, but all upper octave notes sound "squeezed" or are non playable - the middle F (with octave key on) goes to the lower F, for example.

I have contacted a tech in County Cork, an English guy called Mick Cadec, about 2 1/2 drive from me, but 40 minutes from my partner, and I hope to get there over Christmas.

I just wondered if you have any thoughts on the amount of damage done, and how expensive and extensive a repair this could be? Two photos below showing the damage to the mechanism.

Thanks,

Stephen

bw1.jpg


bw2.jpg
 
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Colin the Bear

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Brass is very maleable. If it was mine I'd be having a go at beding it back and straightening things out. Some parts may need removing to facilitate this and there may be some lacquer damage. At worst, some pieces may need replacing.and regulating. From what I can see from the photos, no posts have moved and there's no damage to the body. Not a massive job for a tech. Lesson learned I hope.
 

photoman

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Brass is very maleable. If it was mine I'd be having a go at beding it back and straightening things out. Some parts may need removing to facilitate this and there may be some lacquer damage. At worst, some pieces may need replacing.and regulating. From what I can see from the photos, no posts have moved and there's no damage to the body. Not a massive job for a tech. Lesson learned I hope.

I'd say the main lesson is "get a sturdier stand", Colin. I won't try bending anything as I'm sure I'll make it a lot worse, and the thought of taking bits off is too daunting for me. I was feeling pround of being able to clean the pads and oil it recently!

Thanks for the re-assuring words. I've sent the tech the photos so he may also have some thoughts on it before I get it there.
 

Fraser Jarvis

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Yes definitely have a go at straightening it yourself, but I would suggest taking it apart first, should be an easy fix I would have thought. And like others have said, get a better stand!
 

photoman

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Yes definitely have a go at straightening it yourself, but I would suggest taking it apart first, should be an easy fix I would have thought. And like others have said, get a better stand!

I won't risk it Fraser - I'm not sure sure how to do it - and what to take apart. It was me that said get a better stand - although the current one was about £30 and seemed OK when I got it. Maybe I'll just always keep 10 feet away from it! :)
 

kevgermany

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Minor damage, as said before.

And for stands... Hercules. The cost of this repair will probably be more than the stand...
 

photoman

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Thanks for the replies guys - and a Hercules it will be.

Can i just confirm, is the damage you can see likely to be causing the playing problems I mentioned or could I have damaged some of the keys?
 
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Pete Thomas

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It could easily have damaged some of the keys, if it isn't noticeable its probably slight so a bit of judicious bending should do the trick.

However if the body has bent it's a different story, probably an insurance claim if you have insurance.

Let's hope it isn't.
 
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jbtsax

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Thanks for the replies guys - and a Hurcules it will be.

Can i just confirm, is the damage you can see likely to be causing the playing problems I mentioned or could I have damaged some of the keys?

The bent "rocker arm" is not allowing the body octave to open which is causing the playing problem you describe. The fact that the lower octave still plays ok is a good sign. From what is shown in the (excellent) photos, I would guess that it is a 5 -10 minute repair at the most. The only caveat is that if the lower arm has come unsoldered to the ball with a hole in it as a result of the blow it took, that could complicate things a bit cosmetically speaking.
 

photoman

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It could easily have damaged some of the keys, if it isn't noticeable its probably slight so a bit of judicious bending should do the trick. However if the body has bent it's a different story, probably an insurance claim if you have insurance. Let's hope it isn't.

Thanks Pete. I can't see any obvious bending of the body, and it took me a while to notice the rocker arm and the and bent vertical rods to be honest, so hopefully it's OK.

The bent "rocker arm" is not allowing the body octave to open which is causing the playing problem you describe.

Thanks John. When I play G, with the octave key, on a small key just to the right (as you look at the sax) of the two vertical rods will open. I'm not sure if it's closing fully though.

The only caveat is that if the lower arm has come unsoldered to the ball with a hole in it as a result of the blow it took, that could complicate things a bit cosmetically speaking.

To me it looks loose. But if it's only a cosmetic issue I'll live with it. Thanks for the compliment on the photos - very rushed job (less than 10 mins) - but it's my living so I was hoping for "viewable" at least :)
 

Clivey

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Your first excellent Photo also shows a subtle but definite bend in the rod between the Pillar on the receiver (Top One) and the lower one which basically holds the Octave Mechanism. It`s not good.( Your Sax is Broken) If it were me I`d renew the rod but if you want to do it yourself Matt Stohrer has put up an excellent video which shoes you how to repair the rod
 
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photoman

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County Limerick Ireland
Your first excellent Photo also shows a subtle but definite bend in the rod between the Pillar on the receiver (Top One) and the lower one which basically holds the Octave Mechanism. It`s not good.( Your Sax is Broken) If it were me I`d renew the rod but if you want to do it yourself Matt Stohrer has put up an excellent video which shoes you how to repair the rod

Thanks for the video. But I'm in the hands of the tech at the moment and I'll wait and see what he says, but I'll go for the best option for long term use. Ideally replacing the rod if needed and assuming he can get the parts.

Stephen
 

griff136

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I live in Exmouth Devon.
+1 on what John (JBT sax said)
And may I add that there may also be some slight binding to the associated keywork - either hinge tubing bent or a bent rod screw (axle) or both. Assuming the rocker arm has not come unsoldered from the ball and there is no other damage the job should take no more than 30 mins and cost no more than £20 in my workshop.
 

photoman

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County Limerick Ireland
+1 on what John (JBT sax said)
And may I add that there may also be some slight binding to the associated keywork - either hinge tubing bent or a bent rod screw (axle) or both. Assuming the rocker arm has not come unsoldered from the ball and there is no other damage the job should take no more than 30 mins and cost no more than £20 in my workshop.

Thanks for that - it certainly matches with most of the posts so far and also with what the tech I will be showing it it to (Mick Cadec) said after I sent him the photos:

Hi Stephen, I can see the damage. Bent rocker arm. If? that is all there is, not too bad. I will look further on Tuesday. Mick.

I'll report back after Christmas.
 

jbtsax

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Clivey must have better eyes than I do. I could not detect a bend in the hinge tube area even when photo shopping a straight edge against it in a downloaded copy of the photo. Just for future reference, a bent tube or rod in this mechanism is easy to diagnose---simply give the rod a turn with your screwdriver. If any of the keys move it means something is bent which causes binding.
 

Clivey

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Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
Clivey must have better eyes than I do. I could not detect a bend in the hinge tube area even when photo shopping a straight edge against it in a downloaded copy of the photo. Just for future reference, a bent tube or rod in this mechanism is easy to diagnose---simply give the rod a turn with your screwdriver. If any of the keys move it means something is bent which causes binding.


Yerp. Good eyes and a straight edge on the screen but also I had the same thing a couple of months ago and knew to look for it LOL.
 

photoman

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County Limerick Ireland
I picked up my repaired alto today. The rocker arm has been straightened, along with the top arm that works the octave key. He also lessened the tension on the low C and Eb keys - which I was finding a strain on my pinkie muscles - and added some cork to 2 keys. It's really sounding great now, generally, too.

bw3.jpg

I left my BW tenor for a check over (I had bought it pre-owned via The Yard Sale a couple of months ago). It was pointed out to me that one or two keys needed regulating and the G# is (still) sticking. So it will be away for a week or so, for a check up. I had been having some squeak issues and I'm relived to hear that it may well be the sax (and not me), after all!

I have to say that although the tech is 2 hours drive from me (but only half an hour from my partner's other house) he is a real find.

For those of you in (or visiting) the Republic of Ireland with your Sax, you may like to to have his name and contact info. Mick Cadec, West Cork. Website here.
 
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