Side Bb whistle

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Some of you will know that I've had persistent issues with sticking G# on my Hanson LX tenor which has been a little more than the usual sticky G#. The issue was that even when freed off, it would stick again a few moments later, or release slowly with a definite 'duh-duh' and the G would sound first... It went to my usual tech, who was short of time (day before hols) and she took the G# apart and cleaned it etc.

Didn't last very long, problem returned (that was late July).

It was so bad in my lesson a few weeks ago that I gave it to my sax teacher to take to her tech (who is a lot nearer). He sorted out the G# and reported that sax didn't need a general service, but he had adjusted the RH lower stack.

The G# thus far is behaving well and no issues with it at all. But I seem to have a new issue which I have never had before. I tend to play Bb as L12 R side key. If I do, I now get a high pitched whistle most of the time and no Bb at all. I get it with and without the octave key. If I approach the Bb chromatically, it tends to behave itself (not always).

A possible relevant piece of information: I am left-handed.

So, is this user error? Have I been compensating in some way and now it is re-set I'm somehow out of alignment and doing something wrong? Or is it a technical issue?
 

Stephen Howard

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Tricky...

The two most likely causes are that something has happened to the alignment of the side trill keys and they're somehow fouling on each other, so that in pressing the side Bb, the side C is being allowed to sneak open - or that there's a small leak from the A key upwards that may have always been there but has now got slightly larger and is becoming critical.

A good place to start is to check the regulation between the A key and the Bis Bb. Press the A key down gently, then tap the Bis Bb pearl...and see if the Bb key cup moves down. For a more thorough test, check the seal of the Bb under the same conditions with a feeler or a leak light.
 

jbtsax

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I love mysteries like this one where one gets to use what Poirot calls the "little grey cells". A few questions. Does your tenor have a high F# key? You called the sound a "whistle". Is that different than a squeek that the reed makes sometimes? If so how is it different? Can you duplicate the "whistle" by opening the side Bb while playing other LH notes such as C#, C, B natural? Do you get the "whistle" playing Bb with the 1 -1 fingering? Is your mouthpiece firmly on the cork or is it a bit wobbly?
 
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tenorviol

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Hi @jbtsax OK I can answer some straightaway...

Mouthpiece fit is firm
I don't get the whistle with alternative Bb fingering such as 1-1
It's not a reed squeak it's a high pitched continuous whistle - sounds like multiple harmonics
I've not tried playing say C# etc - I'll have a go and report back...
 

Alice

Psychedelic
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Have you checked the bell for a canary? :p

It does sound interesting, the way you describe it as multiple harmonics.
 
OP
tenorviol

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Location
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OK - it took me ages to get round to taking sax to a tech....

Basically, the whistle was an F - when it happened which wasn't all the time. The cause was a leak. There were various issues Bottom Eb pad needed re-seating, some regulation issues and the minor leaks etc.
 
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