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Spring tension

Targa

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I caught the spring of the low Bb while cleaning, hooked it back and it seems to play alright but in considering if it is right the spring seems to be a bit weak although as I hadn't 'tested' it before it might be the same as it always has been.
This is probably best described as: if I hold the B pad down with key and tap and release the Bb pad with my finger while moving the sax from vertical, at first the Bb opens properly but by the time it gets to 45 deg it doesn't reach the bump stop and when it is horizontal it hardly lifts.
Is this right, reasonable or wrong?
 

jbtsax

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Great question Targa. There is really no right or wrong as long as the spring holds the key open in regular playing condition. It just depends on how much resistance you are comfortable with in the LH table. The B spring also helps to raise not only the B key but the Bb as well and it is not that common to have to go from low Bb to low B so the Bb spring can generally be the lighter of the two. A rule of thumb that I use is to adjust the spring to be just strong enough to prevent the key from "bouncing" at the top of its arc when it contacts the felt bumper. It should be remembered too that each of the low keys must also overcome the spring on the G# key which adds to the resistance the little finger must push against as well.
 

Targa

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Thanks for the reply, I should have said it was a tenor, this might make a difference.
I did think since posting that, as you say, the poor little finger being the weakest has to overcome the B and G# at the same time as Bb so it probably is best if that spring is no stronger than necessary.
 

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