Taming The Saxophone

YBS 61 Octave key issue

saxnz

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4
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New Zealand
Hi there, I recently acquired a YBS 61 and had it completely overhauled by a technician - however, the octave key still isn't right...the first few plays it wasn't always responsive (which I just put down to perhaps a bit of key sticking and the fact it had been sitting unplayed for years minus the overhaul) but then within a few days it got stuck completely every time. I should have contacted/sent it back to the repairer but I thought it would just be something simple I'd find when I had time to sit down and look over it properly - so I borrowed a friend's Yani bari and have just come back to looking at it properly - I can see what isn't working but I can't work out why it won't move unless I give it a wee manual prod. It's so different (in terms of the octave mechanism design) to the baritones I'm used to playing previously and any videos I've found online have been no help either as they haven't been the YBS 61 or similar. I know there is a lot of discussions online about people making alternations to allow the G and G# to speak more clearly - however, when the key fully opens on mine the second octave is fine and I'm happy with the sound etc - it's simply that I can't get it to open in the first place.

I took a few short clips from different angles to show what is happening. It would be wonderful if someone could check out the short video (Google Drive link below) and give me some suggestions as to what is going on/wrong/missing/need to do to repair it:

Many thanks,
Emma
 
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saxnz

New Member
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4
Location
New Zealand
Hi Colin, thanks for your reply. When playing G it gets stuck and doesn't switch - so the higher vent doesn't open. If you give it a helping hand (where it's failing to work) it will then open and the lower vent will close. If you then play A it will close again no issue - it returns (will switch back from A-G but will not switch from G to A without getting stuck). Have attached a picture as well (but it's still probably easier to see in the video link I included in my initial post). When playing A the lower vent open and the higher vent stays closed as it should but if I play G then the area I zoomed in on in the video and tried to circle in the picture doesn't seem to release/gets stuck and so the top vent does not open and the bottom vent stays open instead of shutting.
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Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
Yes. I watched the video but couldn't make head nor tail of it. Sounds like a lack of oil or somethings had a knock and bent and is binding or a spring has come displaced or broken or needs adjusting.
 
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saxnz

New Member
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4
Location
New Zealand
Okay thanks - it's definitely not switching properly from A to G (top vent stays closed and bottom stayed closed and won't switch) - had a good look over it for things like a spring popped out but didn't notice anything - will have another thorough check.
 

jbtsax

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There are 3 possible causes for the problem described: 1) a spring that is weak or out of balance with another spring 2) a bent hinge tube creating friction 3) a sticky pad or pads. I don't have time at the moment, but if a solution hasn't been found, a bit later today I can give a more detailed response.
 

jbtsax

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I thought I could go by my YBS-52 octave mechanism and talk you through a diagnosis and fix, but unfortunately the octave mechanism was redesigned when they went to the 62 and intermediate version 52. The only thing I can suggest would be to disassemble the parts circled in the photo, clean the steel rod(s) with a soft cloth or paper towel and the inside of the "hinge tube(s)" with a cotton pipe cleaner. Then run the rod(s) through the tubes to see if there is any friction. If there is, take it to a tech. If the rod moves freely through the tube, add a drop of key oil and reassemble.

The video clearly shows there is a sluggish movement in the mechanism which indicates friction from a bent key or lack of cleaning and lubrication. I just don't know that mechanism well enough to tell if spring tension is part of the problem or not. It is apparent why Yamaha redesigned the mechanism on later models to be more like the Selmer "teeter totter" mechanism.

@Stephen Howard or @griff136 may be able to provide additional help.
 
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saxnz

New Member
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4
Location
New Zealand
Hi everyone,

Many thanks for all your replies and helpful suggestions. I took it all apart as you suggested @jbtsax - cleaned the rods (which moved freely - no friction), added some key oil, and reassembled. It seems to have done the trick :)
YBS 61.mov

It's not getting stuck anymore - so perhaps it was simply lubrication and a good clean that was needed (though you'd think the tech would have done this? maybe not...).

I have one more query about the position of the octave key (in terms of its distance from the thumb rest). On every other sax I've tried or owned the octave key has not sat so far out (usually they have been reasonably flush with the thumb rest) - see pics below (and the end of the video above in this post). I've never seen another YBS 61 to compare if it's normal or not (so it may be fine) - just want to check if its right or if there is something else wrong.
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Stephen Howard

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1,456
I'm a bit concerned that the fix appeared to be merely stripping the mech down, cleaning and oiling - because this should have been done in the course of the overhaul...and probably was. This suggests that there's an intermittent fault in the mech somewhere which may be related to the position of the rod screw...which further suggests that the rod screw might be slightly bent.
It may never cause any problems again, or it may lock up again at a later date. Just keep your eye on it.

As for the touchpiece - no, it shouldn't be that high.
It looks to me as though it's already been bent down once before, which is a common fix when the mech's taken a bit of damage. In this instance I think it likely that the touchpiece got pulled up at some point in the past - and what that tends to do is bend the other end of the key (where it connects to the rest of the mech). This alters the geometry between the touchpiece and the connector and leaves the touchpiece hanging high.

The bodgy fix for this is to bend the touchpiece down again. This'll work, but it'll leave it canted at a bit of an angle to the thumb rest. Might be OK in terms of feel, might not.
The proper fix would be to remove the touchpiece key and twist the connection end appropriately (typically up). It's something that should have been done as part of the overhaul.
 
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