Saxophone Forum


by old music teacher
(3 posts)
7 years ago

Jean Baptist Alto Won't Play 3 lowest Notes

Hello, I am now retired as a school music teacher and out of necessity I have aquired quite a bit of repair, repad and rebuilding experience so, I "think" I know the typical things to check. I have a private student who was given a brand new Jean Baptist Alto which played just fine for a while. After about a year or so it developed a gargling sound on Low C-B-Bb and now almost will not play these notes. It was sent in for repairs and came back just as bad, I checked with a leak light and found no leaks, I can feel the keys of the affected notes and the lower segment of the horn oscilate with the gargling sound. I thought maybe it had food particles or fuzzy stuff in a whisper tube, but they are clean, all Springs are OK and pads are well seated. In dry weather it is really bad and when it rains for a few days, the problem almost goes away. So I thought, it must be the lower bow leaking, right? At tonight's lesson I tried wrapping electrical tape on the lower bow joints for a quick test and it made no difference at all; the weather here in Phoenix is dry again so it is really bad once more. I have disassembled a lot of cheaper horns over the years, but have never torn down a J.B. this far... Yet. So, I am pretty sure they seal these joints with a cheap glue, on others I have torn down it looks like titebond or Elmer's, and the screws on the clamps are tight. I thought it might have a leak down there but, without finding an obvious leak first, I am rediscent to heat up the glue and tear it apart just yet. The low C# plays fine and everything from there up is OK, it used to play well for a cheap horn, but now, from the C down, not so much. Sure could use some Help!

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  1. by saxgourmet
    (127 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: Jean Baptist Alto Won't Play 3 lowest Notes

    rotate the neck in the receiver using a very light pressure......is the resistance different at any point? If so, the neck is leaking at the tenon. Have you checked the horn with a magnahelic machine?
     

    STEVE GOODSON
    New Orleans
    www.nationofmusic.com

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    1. by old music teacher
      (3 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: Jean Baptist Alto Won't Play 3 lowest Notes

      I will follow through with the student this weekend and pass along your ideas about the tenon and a possible leak up there. I don't have access to a Magnahelic Machine. My suggestion to this family for over a year now has been to take it to the professionals at the big music store across town, as of today, they still have not followed my lead to get this horn back in playable shape. Thanks for the input!

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      1. by old music teacher
        (3 posts)

        7 years ago

        Re: Jean Baptist Alto Won't Play 3 lowest Notes

        Good morning and Thank You;

            You were spot on about the tennon leaking, the clamp had streatched and, after installing a small washer and checking to make sure the tenon clamp was working, the lower register is working again. We will follow through with a couple of related issues shortly and again, thank you for your help!

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