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Springs

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
the blue ones rust... but very slowly.

Theory is that blue ones are snappier/more responsive, and although I haven't swapped springs on one sax, the feel on the couple I've played with stainless springs does seem to be less lively/deader.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
the blue ones rust... but very slowly.

Theory is that blue ones are snappier/more responsive, and although I haven't swapped springs on one sax, the feel on the couple I've played with stainless springs does seem to be less lively/deader.
Kind of same feeling, not supported by any scientific evidence. I am curious to know about the different metal/treatment used.

I am not sure it is appropriate to mention springs with such a horrible weather.
 

baritonesax

Member
Messages
256
Kind of same feeling, not supported by any scientific evidence. I am curious to know about the different metal/treatment used.

I am not sure it is appropriate to mention springs with such a horrible weather.
Horrible weather? Not here - lovely and sunny here. Hang on...no it isn't.

Blue springs are considered an upgrade over stainless, though I note that Stephen Howard in his Haynes manual advises "...sticking with the same type of spring already fitted...as there are slight differences in the way each type...acts for a given diameter."
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,000
The blued steel springs are tapered at the end to a point, and the stainless steel springs are the same diameter throughout. I believe Stephen Howard is correct in that trading stainless springs for blued ones that fit the same holes in the posts results in a difference in the resistance of the springs. Another important factor to consider is that the channels in the spring posts where the spring contacts the key are often smaller when the sax was made for pointed needle springs, and this can affect changing to a different style of spring as well.

In the repair trade many techs acknowledge that the springs containing the best spring steel are available are from Kraus and they are the stainless steel variety. Just because many of the high end saxes come with blued steel needle springs does not necessarily mean they are the best springs available.
 

clarnibass

New Member
Messages
20
Good stainless steel springs are more resistant to rust than blue steel springs. Some blue steel springs are more resistant to rust than others. There are a lot of different stainless steel springs. IME the best ones are the ones from Kraus. These are pretty much interchangable with same diameter of blue steel springs. The worst are on some cheap sax models I've seen. Actually maybe those are just steel springs, it's not really possible to know. Yamaha stainless steel springs (e.g. on the 23 model) are sort of in the middle in quality IMO, pretty decent but not great. It's a bit of a pain to have to do it but it's possible to make a point on a stainless steel spring if necesary.

I was told by a steel expert that depending on the sepcific type of stainless steel spring, it can be easier to temper them more consistently in comparison with steel springs. A friend of mine recently bought about 50m length of spring steel in several diameters up to 1mm. Some of it wasn't springy at all, a problem with heat treatment. This is by an expert factory which makes only spring steel. So mistakes are possible (all the bad ones were exchanged).

So changing a stainless steel spring to a same diameter blue steel spring can be ok or can be a problem, depending mostly on the stainless steel spring. There are ways to change to a different diameter spring.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
I have seen technicians regularly making point to metal wire and tempering it in oil, to make springs. Didn't look like a transcendental procedure.
Does anyone know if there is a major difference in the alloy?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
If you read Boehm's book on fulte making, you'll see he advocates using english sewing needles, tempered to blue, as springs.

I don't understand why we have to have sharp points in springs. A nice rounded end is much friendlier.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
If you read Boehm's book on fulte making, you'll see he advocates using english sewing needles, tempered to blue, as springs.
He must have found out on some internet forum that English needles were much better than cheap French ones.

I don't understand why we have to have sharp points in springs. A nice rounded end is much friendlier.
Difficult to explain: when I don't like some springs, they usually end up not being pointed.
 

RMorgan

Member
Messages
110
Difficult to explain: when I don't like some springs, they usually end up not being pointed.
Well, maybe a pointy spring makes the spring´s resistance variable during the course of pressing/releasing a key.

Maybe a small contact area at the tip makes a spring feel less resistive as well...

Who knows...

Raf.
 
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