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Pad lift heights on Rondo Alto Sax

Dobson

New Member
Messages
15
Hi there, i am currently restoring an alto sax, im told it is a 1940s model. It had "Rondo" engraved on the front with other decorative engraving. Does anyone have a chart that gives the height a pad needs to lift to give the correct note IE:-

B = 3mm
A = 3mm
G = 4mm

etc etc.

If anyone knows anything of the vintage of this thing then i would like to hear of it. I have stripped it cleaned of the lacquer and given it a good polish with brasso. Sure there are a few dents and a hole was pulled out of shape a bit. A post was snapped of and i bust a spring (well you do when you stab yourself on the little buggers and pull your f finger (the note f not any other form of f, you effers might dream up :))) ) away quickly. well we had a grand ol mix of brasso , blood and Flanguage if you get my drift which sadly the wife did !)

All info welcome and thank you gents.

PS for anyone interested we have a little arts theatre where i live and i did my first performance last week. With backing track and sax yes i know im blowing my own sax but it brought the house down they loved it. I couldnt believe it at the time. It was very encouraging and will be playing again on sept 30. Cant wait. PS yes i crapped myself on stage but suppose thats normal on your first time.

Kind regards

Dobson
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,805
I'm not familiar with the saxbrand "Rondo". I don't know which factory that built your sax. But I think you should set the keyheights to factory specs. The regulation of the key heights and pad choices is important. Your sax should be set up as it was when it leaved the factory.

Today we want louder saxes and in our efforts we perhaps set the keys higher and we also choice pads with resonators/reflectors. That gives us a louder sax. But it can also give us distortion when it comes to pitch and tone. The raised keys can result in a more uncomfortable playing. The mouthpices is also important for your sax. It should be designed to work with your sax bore and taper.

But I have some rebuilt saxes from the 20's and 30's. They plays great with modern designed mouthpieces. These saxes are rebuilt by saxtechs that knows a lot about how to set up a sax.

Even if your sax is proberly regulated and outfitted the next question turns up: For who and what was it built? If the market was for homeuse, amatuer bands ... the need for critical spec, tolerances and quality control were not that important. And most secondline or stencilsaxes were meant to be saxes "for the people" for less money! Is it worth struggling with rebuilding a secondline/secondline sax or should I just get the pieces together and play and have fun?

Thomas
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
first of all....... gutsy move to do this without any experience on fine tool fitting.>:)
once you refit the sax together you will be able to adjust the pad heights/ clearances.
next....... if you can find the manufacturers settings you will only be in the ball park.
From there, the rest is an art that most techs will probably tell you takes ages to learn.
good luck !!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!! but if you find it alot harder than expected you may need to get a good tech to do the final tuning.
I dont suppose you measured the heights of the keys before you stripped it down????????????????????????????????????????????????
:shocked:
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
sorry I just wrongly assumed you were an amature at sax restoring that was naughty of me.
but good luck any way
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,805
Dobson,

If you like your sax and you also want to try to set the keyheights ,then I think you should give it a try. Do the regulation and assemble of the keys at the same time. Don't put all keys on the sax and then start to regulate.

Set the keys low and open them up if you find it necessary. It's easier to open up instead of closing a key. Sanding/cutting is easier to do. I think a sax pad opening height gauges is useful. In steps from 2mm to 13 mm.

Thomas
 
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