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Swab gets stuck on this when cleaning - help?

Frnic

Member
Messages
33
Location
Florida
Uh, maybe a stupid question, but is that post supposed to be there in the throat? My swab gets caught on it every time I try to clean. This is my new YTS-62iii.

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jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,277
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
It is the "octave vent tube" and all saxes have them in various lengths. Sax swabs that have a brush in the center are notorious for getting stuck there. If you use a swab that is all cloth, the key is to not let it get bunched up when you pull it through. I use and recommend the HW Padsavers which don't present a problem.
 
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nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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5,009
Location
Bristol, UK
Yes, it is supposed to be there.
Its ostensible purpose is to keep spit out of the octave hole, but its true purpose is to get your swab caught up.
This is proof that saxophone manufacturers do have a sense of humour.
My solution is to use a padsaver-type swab.
 
OP
Frnic

Frnic

Member
Messages
33
Location
Florida
It is the "octave vent tube" and all saxes have them in various lengths. Sax swabs that have a brush in the center are notorious for getting stuck there. If you use a swab that is all cloth, the key is to not let it get bunched up when you pull it through. I use and recommend the HW Padsavers which don't present a problem.

View attachment 13667
Thank you
 
OP
Frnic

Frnic

Member
Messages
33
Location
Florida
Yes, it is supposed to be there.
Its ostensible purpose is to keep spit out of the octave hole, but its true purpose is to get your swab caught up.
This is proof that saxophone manufacturers do have a sense of humour.
My solution is to use a padsaver-type swab.
Thank You
 

Hipparion

Member
Messages
94
Location
Trieste
A little anecdote:
Once upon a time... I had a pull through which got stuck in various ways inside my alto sax, which induced all sorts of cursing and a lot of perspiration. So, when I went to my tech for a completely unrelated issue (I swear !), I asked him about the usefulness of the very same thing you're asking about, and if it could be sawed off...
...
Maybe by some sort of coincidence I just turned purple with yellow dots for a few seconds or something, but I clearly felt - at the way he looked at me for a moment - that I had said something wrong. After a few explanations we laughed it off.

Long story short: the mechanically inconvenient vent tube stays.
The pull through met a very different fate though...
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,020
Location
New Mexico, US
Its ostensible purpose is to keep spit out of the octave hole, but its true purpose is to get your swab caught up.
Actually, yet another purpose is to make techs have a b#tch of a time getting their dent rod past it.
I asked him about the usefulness of the very same thing you're asking about, and if it could be sawed off...
Maybe by some sort of coincidence I just turned purple with yellow dots for a few seconds or something, but I clearly felt - at the way he looked at me for a moment - that I had said something wrong. After a few explanations we laughed it off.
In truth....dunno what your tech replied exactly...but I do this pretty often. Never has resulted in any ill effect whatsoever.

Sometimes I'll unsolder the pip and take it out in order to have unfettered access for my dent rods. When done, I solder it back in - sometimes I'll cut off between 1/4 and 1/2 its length before re-attaching. No big deal. I ain't sayin' cut it for no good reason, just sayin'...'tis no big deal.

( A. with due respect to potential responders regarding "but there are studies which show the length of the pip tube is directly related to
the -------------------------- (fill in your own VERY important sax performance quality here) !!!!!!"....

......you need not waste that ink on me, because absolutely nothing in my experience of doing this probably 300+ times has ever supported such a claim; and yes, I have comparison tested intonationally and blowing response wise as well.

B. with due respect to potential responders who are gonna say "but there are dent rods with slots cut into 'em for this !",
I reply: "yup...but sometimes those slots don't get you past the pip with enough clearance for small maneuvering of the rod as necessary." )
 
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jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,277
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
@JayeNM I am not disputing your findings or experience and am impressed that you have altered body octave vents over 300 times in your repair history. However I think it is important to add Curt Altarac's findings in his "multi pip experiment" on saxophone necks to "balance" the information given to the members of this forum. The chart below shows pitch measurements of notes that use the neck octave vent and Curt's comments in italics below. One might suspect that both the body octave and neck octave vents respond in a similar fashion to alterations, but I can't state that as a fact. To confuse the issue ever further Benade published a paper in which he postulated that the saxophone octave vent would actually work better if it were similar to that of an oboe and no longer than the thickness of the body itsef.

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"The first chart shows three short pips and their intonation. The second chart shows three longer pips of a similar diameter. Note that the pitch of these tones in general gets flatter as the length of the pip increases."
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,020
Location
New Mexico, US
Thanks and I have seen this before, and it is interesting indeed, and by all means should be part of the conversation.

What I am offering is only that I have found no discernible change in.....well.....anything...by taking off 1/4-1/2 the length of a pip. If the horn was intoning well/acceptably before the slice, it still intoned well/acceptably after. I have never (intentionally) messed with a pip length for the sake of 'bettering' a horn's intonation somewhere. My goal was solely to get that bothersome piece a bit more out of the way for sake of servicing.
I think sometimes people get the impression that certain specs are there for a very good reason - that every spec on a horn is dialed in to every other spec and tipping the boat by altering one will tip something else.....and indeed this can be true, sometimes or perhaps even most of the time.

But sometimes the reason for the spec has little to do with the actual, real-time, discernible performance of the instrument, and more to do with something else (industry standard, fabrication process or the like, for example). I think this subject is one of those cases....
 
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MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,477
Location
The Malverns, Worcs
Going back to the original problem - laying the cloth out carefully inside the bell before pulling the cord GENTLY out through the neck socket, I have NEVER had a cloth catch on that internal pip tube.
 

Terrytoolpath

Member
Messages
126
Location
Rugby
I use the standard loo brush type, it has a propensity to get caught on the vent tube now and then but it’s easily sorted by pushing it back in then out whilst turning it at the same time.
 
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Frnic

Frnic

Member
Messages
33
Location
Florida
Going back to the original problem - laying the cloth out carefully inside the bell before pulling the cord GENTLY out through the neck socket, I have NEVER had a cloth catch on that internal pip tube.

I am finding that laying the horn on it's left side and pulling slowly tends to avoid the problem. Thanks.
 
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