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Trouble with low C# on my YAS 475

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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For some reason my lower C# is temperamental. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Lately it’s more the latter. I’d rather not take it in to be repaired if it’s a simple fix. Does anyone have any suggestions ? When I hit the note I either get a regular C or a B.
It’s a bit annoying and I’m not very good understanding the mechanics of my instrument.
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
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For some reason my lower C# is temperamental. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Lately it’s more the latter. I’d rather not take it in to be repaired if it’s a simple fix. Does anyone have any suggestions ? When I hit the note I either get a regular C or a B.
It’s a bit annoying and I’m not very good understanding the mechanics of my instrument.
Do you mean your YSS-475, the soprano? I have one and the C# key sticks all the time. Have you checked that?
 
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Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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822
Do you mean your YSS-475, the soprano? I have one and the C# key sticks all the time. Have you checked that?
Sorry. Yes that’s what I mean. It’s a soprano and this key seems to stick all the time. What is your solution or do you have one?
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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C# and G# are the two pads the are most prone to sticking. Always give them a flick before you start playing. JBT posted on a thread about how to treat it on a post the other day
 

Colin the Bear

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12,951
G# and C# are opened indirectly by springs.
On a modern sax with a tilting table a business card under C# after playing will hold both open and allow them to dry in the open position.
 

CliveMA

Member
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530
G# and C# are opened indirectly by springs.
On a modern sax with a tilting table a business card under C# after playing will hold both open and allow them to dry in the open position.
It is really good to make sure the pads dry after play but if there is something sticky (usually from sugary breath) on the pad/tonehole it needs to be cleaned as well (with, say wet cotton bud) or the sticky keys will continue despite drying.

My sop's C# key continued sticking for weeks despite drying after each play. It has now stopped after a thorough clean. I've continued drying as preventative maintenance. I plan to clean it only as often as needed. I think some recommend once per month.
 
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Nikki

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As described in video below works for me: cotton bud dipped in water (flatten one end with flat pliers to better use on Soprano's tiny keygaps), wipe around tone hole and around indent in pad where tonehole presses, wipe dry with BG Pad Dryer (Code A65S)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d1MbPbnZEo
That was a great video Clive. It appears that low C# is also a key that’s common for sticking. I’m going to follow some of their suggestions.
Thanks for adding that. It was really helpful.
 

CliveMA

Member
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530
That was a great video Clive. It appears that low C# is also a key that’s common for sticking. I’m going to follow some of their suggestions.
Thanks for adding that. It was really helpful.
Other videos recommend lighter fluid. I find that scary so I was relieved and surprised when the suggestion of a wet cotton bud worked for my sticky C#.
 
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Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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Other videos recommend lighter fluid. I find that scary so I was relieved and surprised when the suggestion of a wet cotton bud worked for my sticky C#.
No way I’m using lighter fluid. Just the smell alone would be nauseating enough, never mind the danger aspect. I liked their solutions. They were simple, doable and well explained. Yayyyy.
 

Stephen Howard

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1,854
Other videos recommend lighter fluid. I find that scary so I was relieved and surprised when the suggestion of a wet cotton bud worked for my sticky C#.
What's scary about it?
OK, it's flammable stuff - but it's not likely to burst into flames of its own accord. As with any such solvent, used with the proper care it'll be just fine.

Water can be used to clean pads - and a little drop of detergent in it will improve its performance - but some of the stuff that causes stickiness will simply shrug it off (oils and fats). I often use both - water to clean off the saliva/sugar residues followed by lighter fluid to deal with the fats and verdigris.
 

Greg Strange

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2,059
The low C# on my YSS-475 sticks as well. Over the years I have cleaned the pad with lighter fluid with the cotton bud (or Q-tip for you North American people) and the rim of the tone hole, isopropyl alcohol (a.k.a. rubbing alcohol, surgical spirit, IPA) with the cotton bud trick, the $5 dollar note pulled between the pad and the tone hole, a fine sandpaper or wet and dry paper pulled between the pad and the tone hole (sandpaper side on the tone hole). I think the problem is a lot of water tends to accumulate around the low C# tone hole and causes it to stick, I wonder if the tonehole placement should be different, maybe a design flaw. When mine sticks I usually hold the key open and blow any water off the pad, after I finish playing I put one of those Hodge Silk Soprano Sax Swabs through the horn about five times, put in one of those Rico Shove It furry things in the horn and leave it there and cigarette papers under the G#, low C# and low D# / Eb pads to soak up any excess water. I think to cure the problem a new low C# pad may have to be installed.

Greg S.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,854
It's unlikely on a Yamaha, but if there are any burrs on the tonehole rim it can exacerbate stickiness.
It may also be the case that the spring tension balance isn't optimal between the lever and the cup key.
 
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Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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822
I’ve also got this but it appears to be for the mouthpiece only. Does anyone else know if this would be appropriate for cleaning the pads?
1A308C00-C803-4A4E-A385-A10C82F74F32.jpeg
 
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