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Speeding up key response

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,070
Location
Berkshire, UK
When fingering various notes I find that the keys on my Martin are not as "responsive" in comparison to my soprano which is a fairly cheap Fortissimo. To counter that problem would it be best to change springs or are there other possible remedies, fixes, suggestions?
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,050
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
When fingering various notes I find that the keys on my Martin are not as "responsive" in comparison to my soprano which is a fairly cheap Fortissimo. To counter that problem would it be best to change springs or are there other possible remedies, fixes, suggestions?


Are the springs on your martin to snappy or too sluggish? either way they can be adjusted as opposed to changing them.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,070
Location
Berkshire, UK
Thanks Griff. It is great to have members like you to help me! They appear to be a little sluggish....just the E key when having to use a little fast fingering. The Martin was recently re-padded and it is the only thing I have noticed - practice half an hour most days. Just noticed when switching to a sop for the first time and doing the same practice routine. Is it something I could do myself or get a techie?
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,050
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
You're welcome. You could have a go yourself, lift the spring out of it's cradle and strengthen the spring by pushing it away from the tone hole or pulling it towards -ideally you want to "stroke" the spring along its length as you push/pull it to tension it. Fo
Try to avoid putting a kink in the spring.

For the E key you will need to pull it towards/over the E tone hole.

Beware springs are easily broken, can often come free from their posts, and bite when you dont treat them nicely.

If you pop it along to your local tech he/she can have it done in a jiffy I'd do it in return for a decaf latte - skinny of course!
 
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ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,070
Location
Berkshire, UK
If I lived anywhere near you I would be there in the morning. Unfortunately I am based near Windsor so I shall nip into Dawkes. I owe you a skinny latte though and many thanks again.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,363
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Another thing that you can look for is friction as the key turns on the rod. This is easily done by unhooking the spring and raising the key and letting it drop. You can also with the spring unattached, begin to unscrew the rod and watch for the key to try to move upward. If you find friction, it is important to know that adding oil is not the solution. Straightening the key and/or rod, or shortening the hinge tube is what's required. The oil's main purpose is to keep the moisture out so the steel rod won't rust.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,915
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Just north of Munich
Another thing that you can look for is friction as the key turns on the rod. This is easily done by unhooking the spring and raising the key and letting it drop. You can also with the spring unattached, begin to unscrew the rod and watch for the key to try to move upward. If you find friction, it is important to know that adding oil is not the solution. Straightening the key and/or rod, or shortening the hinge tube is what's required. The oil's main purpose is to keep the moisture out so the steel rod won't rust.

Good point, but the oil/grease can be the problem as well. Too old/thick and it can cause sluggishness. So does rust.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,363
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Good point, but the oil/grease can be the problem as well. Too old/thick and it can cause sluggishness. So does rust.
That's true in some instances. In this particular case with just the E key of the lower stack being sluggish that possibility would not apply.

There is another more subtle cause of friction that can take place with the last key on the "run" that occurs only when the rod is tightened as far as it will go. If the threaded post is turned or bent slightly tightening the rod to the max will cause the rod to bend slightly in that area. To diagnose this problem and see how the post needs to be turned or adjusted to fix the problem a rod slightly shorter than the distance between the threaded post and the post before it is tightened into the threaded post. The orientation of the end of the rod to the hole in the next to last post tells how the threaded rod must be adjusted to fix the problem.

That said, it reminded me that of late I have been using the same technique to check the alignment of posts containing pivot screws. It works because most pivot rods and pivot screws have the same thread size. If one has the right size die and some drill rod stock it is easy to make a threaded rod the size needed if the sax did not come with one.
 

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