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Okay, now I might have a problem.

What

Member
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314
I had posted before about the octave key on my tenor and I found the valve that operates when you are playing G, but now I might have a real problem. I noticed that this valve hardly moves. I am assuming that the arm that holds it in place when you press the octave key are supposed to meet again once the key for G is pressed and the lover octave opens, but they do not. The slightest touch on the outer part of the valve gets it to move in to what appears to be the proper position, but it feels very loose, however if the octave key is not pressed and G is fingered the arm hold firm and I would have to give it a firmer tug then I am willing in order for it to move. I've examined the entire mechanism and everything else appears to be firm, the octave key moves just fine for all the keys that don't require the used of that third key on the left hand. So I am a bit at a loss over what might be causing the trouble.

I would love some advice on what might be the problem and if it is something I can fix on my own. I have a third party through my trumpet player friend who is excellent repair guy, but I am a bit short after the purchase of the sax, a few better accessories, and the books, so I can't afford a repair fee for about a month. If you need more information please ask. Thank you.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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12,125
This is an essential question, unless you have an "SML GM" (I don't think so). Experimenting with rubber bands may help, but Kev's point may be the actual answer.
 

jbtsax

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I'm not sure I understand your question but here are some procedures to check the adjustment of your sax's octave mechanism.

Check to see that there is at least a 1/16" gap between the neck octave key ring and the post extending from the body. If there is not a gap, place your thumb between the ring and the body of the neck and then gently push down on the octave key. Should you go too far, place a pad slick or tongue depressor under the pad and carefully push back on the ring until the desired gap is achieved.

Press the thumb octave lever hard with the 3rd finger of the left hand down and see if the neck octave key opens. As in the previous case, make sure there is a gap between the ring and the post. On some saxes with a “spongy” cork stopping the thumb octave lever a wider gap may be necessary.

To test the octave key adjustment---finger G and forcefully hit the thumb octave key several times watching the neck octave pad. It should not move if in good adjustment. Then finger from G to A while pressing the thumb octave. The neck and body octave keys should alternate opening and closing completely.

To check for friction or sluggish movement in the octave mechanism take the neck off and finger G with the octave key. Then with your free hand "waggle" the post that extends from the body up and down. It should move smoothly and effortlessly. If there is resistance, it generally indicates a bent tube and/or rod in the system.

There are other more advanced issues that your tech can fix such as "lost motion" that would take too long to explain, but checking the above adjustments will help you know the octave mechanism is functioning properly.
 

What

Member
Messages
314
Thanks for all the replies. I did not have the neck on while I noticing this, I will try with the neck on when I get home. Thanks again I will post more later.
 

What

Member
Messages
314
Well, I do feel silly. It was the neck, it makes sense now that I think of it, the pressure from the top octave closing gives that little nudge to open the lower one. Sorry for being such a noob. The sax was very cheap (well comparatively), and I am very inexperienced. I am a bit overly worried I guess, I keep expecting something to happen where I will be up a creek. Thanks for all the help, and Jbt you understood what I was talking about just fine.
 

What

Member
Messages
314
We all do it. Don't beat yourself up. Upward and onward.
Thanks. I would probably feel a bit more confident if my horn felt a little less like a low end one. It's not a bad horn, but I can tell its a you get what you pay for situation. Over the next year, I will be saving up for a more professional horn, and hopefully will be playing like I should have one.
 

BigMartin

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3,904
Thanks. I would probably feel a bit more confident if my horn felt a little less like a low end one. It's not a bad horn, but I can tell its a you get what you pay for situation. Over the next year, I will be saving up for a more professional horn, and hopefully will be playing like I should have one.
If you ever get the chance, have a good player try out your horn (in my experience most musicians are quite happy to do this sort of thing, if only for a few seconds). This has two benefits:

1) You'll find out if there are any little problems, like leaks on the low notes.
2) If the horn is OK, you'll hear how good it can sound, and won't be spending your practice time wishing you had a better instrument.
 

What

Member
Messages
314
If you ever get the chance, have a good player try out your horn (in my experience most musicians are quite happy to do this sort of thing, if only for a few seconds). This has two benefits:

1) You'll find out if there are any little problems, like leaks on the low notes.
2) If the horn is OK, you'll hear how good it can sound, and won't be spending your practice time wishing you had a better instrument.
The person I know from work who plays trumpet has his instrument serviced at a place that also works on saxes. Once he gets me an estimate on the price for a good once over I plan to let them take a look. It will mean a week without my sax, but it will probably be worth it. Though even if its not the best sax week with no playing or practice sounds hard. Even with all the mistakes, working on my fingering, and slow beginner exercises I love every second I am learning.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,091
A cheap horn, like I have always played, can sound great with practice and the right mouthpiece and reed. They are alledgedly less reliable and so you get good at tweaking.

An expensive horn won't make you play or sound any better untill you learn how to sound and play better.

No such thing as a low end horn. It's just where you're at for the moment. It will come.

You've taken on the most uplifting, frustrating, enjoyable, fussy, demanding and best sounding instrument there is.

You'll never be able to play as good as you want to. Every time you master something you'll find more to master.

Enjoy it and don't sweat it. Let it come to you. It's an endless quest so... no rush
 
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