Tutorials

service required?

ukwoody

Member
Messages
81
Location
Milford Haven, Pembrokshire, Wales
Hi all,

just purely wondering. I bought my JK alto sax from new about 6 years ago. I played it (learning) for about 3 or 4 months, then moved house. It has sat in its case for approx 5 years mainly in a corner of the lounge.

I've just started learning again, One or two pads make a "sticking" type noise, and feel "sticky" (not the top 3 buttons) also the octave key (which it seems have to press quite hard, is that normal?).

Should the sax be absolutely fine, or do you think after that amount of time in a dryish room it would benefit from being looked at by a "technician"? Unfortunetly, being far from anywhere, I cannot even ask an experienced player to have a play and give me an opinion. Could the pads have dried out?Rods become misaligned? vents not at correct apparature?

any advice warmly received.

Incidently is it costly to have them looked at?

regards
woody
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
628
Location
Enfield, North London
The instrument will be as good as it ever was.
It just needs a good service.
The oil in the mechanism has become gummy. The pads will benefit from cleaning to remove any stickiness. If it hasn't been played much the springs will be ok.

If finding a repairer locally is a real problem it is something that you can do, if you're prepared to research the subject on the net and are reasonably confident about your practical skills.

But it's entirely up to you.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
There's a thread in this forum on oiling the keys. Really easy to do, just make sure you get the right oil as some are going to damage the sax. Steven Howards instructions (linked in the thread) are just what you need. I used car gear oil GL4 spec. Worked perfectly.

See:

Key Oil

All I'd add is that you need to start at one end and work along and round the sax, otherwise it's easy to miss something. It's amazing how many little places need a touch of oil.

On the octave key, take a close look at the mechanism as you press and release it. It operates two different keys, depending on which note you're playing at the time, so try it with an A and again with a D (for instance). Is it stiff for both ranges? Make sure you oil both parts of this.

On the sticking pads, it's a common problem, and although I haven't had it myself, there's a lot of stuff on the web about fixing it. Mostly repetitious. Pulling a banknote through between the pad and sound hokle seems to be popular. You can also buy special papers to do the same thing.
 
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Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,627
Location
Rugby UK
On the sticking pads, it's a common problem, and although I haven't had it myself, there's a lot of stuff on the web about fixing it. Mostly repetitious. Pulling a banknote through between the pad and sound hole seems to be popular. You can also buy special papers to do the same thing.
Kev is spot on with this, the most popular bank note is the Dollar bill (apparently) as it has a rough texture, Also try soaking the note (you can use strips of A4 cut to the correct width) in lighter fluid. (Zippo petrol (other brands are available))
Slip the note under the pad that you wish to clean and then apply direct pressure to the pad with your finger (as opposed to using the key work) and pull the note out using a sawing motion. Repeat this procedure several times for each pad.
 
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