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warbling in crane

frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
I noticed som warbling on my sax recently especially when hitting low notes up to mid C but only occasionally. I tried the crook from my other sax and that worked fine on my main sax so the fault is with the crane. I changed to cork today but the problem didn't go away. The only other shing i can think of is the octave key. Perhaps air is escaping from the pad. It looked too far pressed in so i wonder if the seal wasn't there. I lifted it out slightly and the problem seems to be alleviated but i suspect it might come back. Should i replace the pad or is there another solution?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I guess you mean the octave pad on the neck, not the body.

It's easy to check the seal - neck off the sax, cover one end of the neck with your hand, blow in the other end. No air should come out, even when you blow hard. Don't hold the key closed, the spring must do that.

With the neck on the sax, check the clearance between the octave pin and the ring on the neck, should be a small gap (about 1mm or less). If it's touching, the pad may not close properly.

Could also be a poor fit of the neck in the sax body - it's a tech's job to fix, needs special tools, but you can test be wrapping the neck body joint with masking tape so that the tape makes an airtight seal over the joint and slot for the screw that clamps the neck in.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,000
"Warbling" on the low notes is caused by the overtones that are stronger than the fundamental "fighting" for control of the standing wave. They are out of tune with one another and so the "warble" is the pitch going back and forth. I don't think a leak in the neck octave pad would cause this.

If it went away with a different neck, there is a good chance that the taper of that neck helps the overtones of those low notes to be better in tune. One thing I would suggest is to try your original neck again and find a low note that warbles consistently. Then put the mouthpiece about 5 mm further on to the neck and play the same note with a slightly looser embouchure (think opening the teeth).

There are lots of techs out there who think that leaks can cause the out-of-tune harmonics or "inharmonicity" as it is called that causes warbles. I'm not convinced that this is the case. Nevertheless it is a fun subject to research.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,063
It's a simple task to replace a suspect pad. It will elliminate it from the suspect list. Also check your mp position with a tuner. Lots of odd sounds happen when you try to push the reed out of its comfort zone
 

frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
I guess you mean the octave pad on the neck, not the body.

It's easy to check the seal - neck off the sax, cover one end of the neck with your hand, blow in the other end. No air should come out, even when you blow hard. Don't hold the key closed, the spring must do that.

With the neck on the sax, check the clearance between the octave pin and the ring on the neck, should be a small gap (about 1mm or less). If it's touching, the pad may not close properly.

Could also be a poor fit of the neck in the sax body - it's a tech's job to fix, needs special tools, but you can test be wrapping the neck body joint with masking tape so that the tape makes an airtight seal over the joint and slot for the screw that clamps the neck in.
Hello. The seal appears good. no air escapes. I did notice the pad looked a bit slanted I pulled it out slightly. The problem seems to have reduced a little but is still occcurs on occasion. The cranes bot fit looser than i'd like but the spare has no trouble playing in tune. I assume techies would sweat a wider neck in but i might ive the masking tape ago but saying that the other neck is equally as loose fitting but plays fine. pad seems suspect.
 

frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
"Warbling" on the low notes is caused by the overtones that are stronger than the fundamental "fighting" for control of the standing wave. They are out of tune with one another and so the "warble" is the pitch going back and forth. I don't think a leak in the neck octave pad would cause this.

If it went away with a different neck, there is a good chance that the taper of that neck helps the overtones of those low notes to be better in tune. One thing I would suggest is to try your original neck again and find a low note that warbles consistently. Then put the mouthpiece about 5 mm further on to the neck and play the same note with a slightly looser embouchure (think opening the teeth).

There are lots of techs out there who think that leaks can cause the out-of-tune harmonics or "inharmonicity" as it is called that causes warbles. I'm not convinced that this is the case. Nevertheless it is a fun subject to research.
Thanks for that. the sad thing is it doesn't always happen on specific notes. it did happen on mid c a lot for a while. I tried blowing it slowly and steadily and my tuner read fluctuations between slight sharpy of a and slighly flat of b. Not a great harmonic but noticable. i tried moving the mouth piece to tune but that didn't achive much. I've been playing since april last year. I got a nice smooth sound from it. I could even play low c with no problem. The problem started about two weeks ago.
 

frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
It's a simple task to replace a suspect pad. It will elliminate it from the suspect list. Also check your mp position with a tuner. Lots of odd sounds happen when you try to push the reed out of its comfort zone
Yes I regularly use a tuner. The pad might be the problem. I shall get a replacement. replacing the cork was easy enough. How hard can replacing the pad be? :)
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Most of the warbling issues I've come across are corrected by simply adjusting the tuning - someone has already mentioned a sort of fighting between the fundamental and one or more overtones; in fact, it might be that the overtone isn't matching an exact octave or octave+fifth etc. and so some interferences similar to beatings take place (proper beatings occur when the frequencies are very similar but not equal) or else the 2 frequencies are out of phase and in so doing these cancel each other periodically (hence the warbling).
Just try pulling/pushing the mouthpiece...best still, try other mouthpieces :thumb: if that doesn't improve things, then it's time to consider more complex issues or combination of them (e.g. leaking pads or else).
btw: I have a Crane tenor - it served me nicely for the occasional busking...reliable enough for the price - the only complaint? It's a bit heavy (can't have it all).
 
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