Saxophone Forum

by Bari cool
(2 posts)
11 years ago

Buzzy A on Martin Handcraft

Hello everyone, my apologies if this topic has already been covered. I have seen from time to time remarks about the "buzzy A" on vintage saxes. However, my 1920's Martin alto suffers from a particularly bad case. Yet the horn has such an amazing sound otherwise that I would rather try anything to fix it than get a different horn! Please let me know if there are any known fixes or at least ways to get some improvement.. this is a stellar horn in every other way! Thank you!

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  1. by
    (5 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Buzzy A on Martin Handcraft

    I assume you're concerned about the upper register "A". This note, as well as the upper register F# and D, can be effected by a poorly fit neck. The art of properly fitting a neck is more than I can go into in such a short post, but there are two basic things to check: 1) RECEIVER: There's a seam on the receiver where the screw pulls together to tighten the neck. Often that will pull "inwards" so there's a very shiny spot directly under the screw area...that's where the neck is touching. There are several ways to "push" that high point back out. Any competent repairman will have a set of dent balls that can be used to do it by mounting the ball on a rod in a vice, then rubbing the "high spot" over the dent ball (use a ball about 3/4" in diameter). A "burnishing tool" (a piece of highly polished steel) can be used to do it by hand, but it's much harder to apply the required amount of pressure. 2). NECK: Look at the tenon on the neck. Any "high points" will be highly polished compared to the surrounding patina. Using a #6 Jewelers File (super super fine!), lightly run the file around the tenon to remove that high point. Ferree's makes a "sax tenor tool" for this purpose, but only a shop that does a lot of sax work will have one of those. #6 files are a little hard to come by, and you DON'T want to use the more common #2 file...a #4 can be used, but apply very very little pressure. If a #4 or #6 file is not available, you can use 600 grit sand paper, but it's not as satisfactory since the file has a perfectly flat plane that will result in an even finish. I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me for more information:,

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