Common clarinet repair mistakes: Article No. 1
One of the most common mistakes made by many repairmen is they use a pad that is too large for the 1st finger left hand key under the throat A key. This is the tone hole that allows the open G to speak and if the pad is too large the throat G will be stuffy. This pad should be just big enough to cover the tone hole and not hang over the pad cup.
This is likely the only key you would like the pad and pad cup to be the same size.
The J. L Smith Valentino Master Series Pad – Tan/Cork – .110” pad is great for this key. It is smooth and there is not fish skin to start to make the note stuffy.
It is great to have the D’Addario-Rico Products in stock. I am matching the pricing for all the catalog companies and have all the Rico traditional reeds in stock. I will be getting the Plasticover, Rico Royal, Mitchel Lurie etc, next month.
Please check this site for availability.
Also have the Rico H-Ligatures & Srtaps
We now have a great C Clarinet in Hard Rubber in stock. These C clarinets play great, have great intonation and response.
I have had them played by several Los Angeles studio clarinetist and they all had only great things to say about the clarinet.
This instrument is great for Dixieland & Klezmer clarinetist. It is a lot of fun.
All ReedGeek® Tools are in stock….
ReedGeek® Reed Tools: Well I have been working on a couple reed with my new ReedGeek G4 tool… what I like is that I can take off from the heart and back of the reed leaving the tip thick. I like that because it makes the higher notes easier to play. The problem is I keep taking a little off and it make the reed play better…. I am sure there needs to be a time to stop..
I have just started WoodwindTalk.com a blog for Woodwind players to ask and answer questions about woodwinds of course. www.woodwindtalk.com be among the first to ask a question.
All I ask is that you use your real name (Not Saxman46 etc,) and when you answer a question you do not say you are the only one that can do the job or answer the question.
I will have a section where woodwind repairman can list their names, address and phone numbers. By having their name on the site I do not recommend them because there will be many I do not know.
My neck is loose does that effect the way my sax plays?
Of course it will… the neck fit is one of the most important things that needs to be correct for the saxophone to play at it’s best. Too loose, too tight, out of round, all these things can prevent the saxophone from playing the way it should.
To fit the neck correctly takes time and is a job you should leave with the repairman so it can be done correctly. Metal has a memory and the neck can need to be fitted several times before it holds the fit. This is a job you will need to trust your repairman to do right. Each repairman has their concepts on how the neck should fit so you are at their mercy…
Question: Why does the D key on my Selmer tenor bounce so much?
There can be a couple of reasons.
1. There must be cork on the key itself and felt on the body of the saxophone to help prevent the bounce. If the cork hits directly on the body then it will tend to bounce and be noisy.
2. Many of the Selmer Tenor saxophones, depending on the vintage, have a very short spring on the D key in the lower stack. Bad design! With this design it is hard to balance the spring tension in the lower stack. A longer spring can be put on the key but it is a lot of work and will coat some money. The spring would need to be lowered on the post to avoid the foot bar and a spring hook would need to be added further up the key.
What is key bounce? Key bounce refers to when you release a key (mostly keys that stay open) and let it return to its original position then it does not stop firmly but will make a little bounce before stopping. This is common in the lower stack keys, Low C# key and can happen on any key of the saxophone.
Tea Kettle register tube.
The Tea Kettle register key design as it is known was very brilliant. It raised the entire register tube to the outside of the saxophone neck allowing more air to go through the register pip (Register Tube). It also had a split register hold at the top of the pip splitting the air as it passed through and helped clear up many of the strange notes of the saxophone. On the tenor it really helped the A above the staff a generally weak note. You can do the same by putting a very small, thin piece of brass in the center of the register hole. I have seen this on both Selmer altos & tenors… Great design!
Paris Master Model Hard Rubber Custom A Clarinet
We just received the new Paris Master Model Clarinet on the key of A. This is a custom clarinet that I hand-select wood barrels and bells to match the clarinet. These PMMCL-HRA201 Hard rubber A clarinets come in a double Pochette case. The price for the quality of the instrument is very reasonable… Try it to believe it!
Selmer Mark VI Vintage Saxophones
I am working on a beautiful loop side key Selmer Mark VI tenor and it needs about half the pads changed. As I start I see that 3 or 4 pads have been changed a long time ago and the repairman took out the original Dome Metal Selmer Boosters and used the Hollywood Tone Booster instead. Now the sax has a few Hollywood and some Selmer Metal.
Replacing those 3 or 4 original boosters is costly and they are hard to find. Having been in the repair business for close to a 100 years it feels like I had a few of the original Selmer Boosters in my shop. (don’t call they were the last I had)
It is up to you when you take a great vintage saxophone to a repairman to let them know you want the original boosters replaced in the pads. They simply un-screw and screw into the new pad. Believe it or not it would have been faster for the repairman to re-use the original boosters that to put in the Hollywood Boosters.
Having the same booster helps balance the tone color of the sax, helps the response to be the same throughout the instruments and just looks right……
Keep the original Metal Dome Boosters as long as you can…