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Accessories Swabs, padsavers, and cleaning your horn.

SEAsax

Member
Messages
63
Locality
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I can't seem to get a consensus amongst sax players in Saigon. Some use the padsavers, others swear them off, and swabs aren't to be found anywhere.

Some players tell me padsavers can screw up horn by getting material caught up in the valves.

Others tell me that they never clean their horn with swabs/pull throughs, and this sounds bad.

I was thinking at the least I need the swabs, if not the padsaver as well.

Will any brand of these items do?
 

Pete Thomas

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Commercial Supporter
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15,731
Locality
St. Mary's
I can't seem to get a consensus amongst sax players in Saigon. Some use the padsavers, others swear them off, and swabs aren't to be found anywhere.

Some players tell me padsavers can screw up horn by getting material caught up in the valves.

Others tell me that they never clean their horn with swabs/pull throughs, and this sounds bad.

I was thinking at the least I need the swabs, if not the padsaver as well.

Will any brand of these items do?


See:

Saxophone maintenance and cleaning

Steer clear of any padsaver that sheds lint.
 

jbtsax

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Café Supporter
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8,828
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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
I am a professional sax repair tech, and I have used the HW pad savers in my saxophones for years. All the other brands and "no names" have given pad savers a bad reputation. I use just a regular clarinet "hanky" swab to clean the neck. Any water that accumulates in the bow gets emptied out the bell.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,549
Locality
Sweden
I use both swabs and pad savers. The pad saver don't reach to the bow of your sax (unless you don't have a bell brush). The pad saver reach the chimney/tonehole but not the open pads. So I use pad swabs as well.
 

Colin the Bear

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15,183
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Burnley bb9 9dn
I use a pad saver to brush out the debris from time to time on alto tenor and sop and run a cotton rag through the neck occasionaly and clean out the mouthpiece with a toothbrush. I don't leave the padsaver in the instrument. I find it better to let it air dry on the stand. I've not run anything through the baritone in 30 years.
 

Jay

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,338
Locality
Northumberland
I made a swab a bit like this one http://www.manningmusic.net/p-98-ds-t-cannonball-dragn-swab-for-tenor.aspx by cutting up a microfibre camping towel, and tying the slices along a piece of strong thread. Put a wooden bead on each end to weight it, so I could drop it down the sax. Made a large one for the sax and a smaller one for the neck and mouthpiece. Just need some absorbent material that doesn't shed lint.
 
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SEAsax

Member
Messages
63
Locality
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
What about inserts for the neck and mouthpiece? Where does one cross the line into silliness?
 

kernewegor

Bon vivant, raconteur and twit
Messages
1,736
Locality
cocks hill perranporth KERNOW
I made a swab a bit like this one http://www.manningmusic.net/p-98-ds-t-cannonball-dragn-swab-for-tenor.aspx by cutting up a microfibre camping towel, and tying the slices along a piece of strong thread. Put a wooden bead on each end to weight it, so I could drop it down the sax. Made a large one for the sax and a smaller one for the neck and mouthpiece. Just need some absorbent material that doesn't shed lint.
I do something even simpler.

I use a pull-through for the body of my tenor made from a small flannel of the type used for mopping babies faces... and other bits. Washed first, though. I have plenty of spares - all left over from our son.

A length of waxed seaming twine left over from sewing sails years ago (plenty more left, too - but any light line would do) a wine cork cut in half and a drawing pin to fasten the thread to it, a swab hitch around a corner of the flannel and the pull-through is made.

The neck and mouthpiece I clean and dry using a Yamaha cloth which was floating around spare - my ex-wife teaches brass. I screw the cloth in the big end of the neck until I feel it rub against the octave tube. I then screw a thin handkerchief in from the mp end until it goes right through to the other end.

If practicing at home or where water is available I sluice off any reeds I have been using and sluice water through mp and neck separately before using the cloth and hankie.

Incidentally when practicing at home if you sluice your reeds off well and dry them with a cloth and then leave them on a shelf flat side up then your reeds will dry nicely and stay clean looking. It is putting them away in reed pouches - even if washed and dried with a cloth - which makes them go grey and grotty looking. The grey appearance is probably 'spalting' which occurs in felled timber which hasn't been seasoned properly.
 
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Ivan

Undecided
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Peeblesshire
Anyone use a pull-through swab for Baritone?

I made one that didn't work and was then advised not to bother 'cos it's too difficult
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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9,533
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KIC 8462852
Kernewegor,
When you wrote 'my ex-wife teaches brass', I would not have spilled my coffee if you had added 'instruments'.
 

kernewegor

Bon vivant, raconteur and twit
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1,736
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cocks hill perranporth KERNOW
Kernewegor,
When you wrote 'my ex-wife teaches brass', I would not have spilled my coffee if you had added 'instruments'.
Sorry.

Should have added 'monkeys'. She is an expert at brazing. Or is it at brazening it out?

I forget which.
 
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SEAsax

Member
Messages
63
Locality
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Went with the HW padsaver and necksaver (what the hell, it was $5) and a Hodge pull through swab. Thanks for the info, it made it very easy!

Now off to practice blues scales.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
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27,237
Locality
Cheshire UK
Went with the HW padsaver and necksaver (what the hell, it was $5) and a Hodge pull through swab. Thanks for the info, it made it very easy!

Now off to practice blues scales.


Have fun and make sure you remove all pad/necksavers first ;)

Jx
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

Well-Known Member
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Messages
1,248
Locality
Undy Monmouthshire U.K.
Anyone use a pull-through swab for Baritone?

I made one that didn't work and was then advised not to bother 'cos it's too difficult

I use a pull through regularly of my 12M at least weekly. It isn't too dificult once you get the hang of it. I would recoomend that this act of vertical dexterity is carried out over a nice soft bed after initial emptying out any liquid content just in case the unthinkable happens.
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
751
Locality
S. Wales, UK
I had a great pull through, it was a thin cloth with a line at each end with a small metal weight inside the tips. The weight eventually broke free at one end and I haven't seen the same thing since. All I can find on the web seem to have just the one weighted line, anyone seen one of these?
 

Zootsax

Member
Messages
40
Locality
NY, USA
I can't seem to get a consensus amongst sax players in Saigon. Some use the padsavers, others swear them off, and swabs aren't to be found anywhere.

Some players tell me padsavers can screw up horn by getting material caught up in the valves.

Others tell me that they never clean their horn with swabs/pull throughs, and this sounds bad.

I was thinking at the least I need the swabs, if not the padsaver as well.

Will any brand of these items do?

I used pad savers years ago, but for me they never did the job. I produce a lot of water, I suppose, because from day-to-day use the pad saver never quite dried and eventually started to smell. I switched to BG pull-through swabs and never looked back. They can't scratch the horn (not that pad savers presented an issue there), are washable, and are very absorbent. The microfiber is a nice touch, too.
 
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