Saxophone Forum


by saxjunkie89
(393 posts)
17 years ago

Martin Sax

I just got a new, well, old Martin Alto today (Serial # 104650). I love it, except for two MAJOR problems. Typically on a sax, when you press the octave key and the G key at the same time, the sax's octave key on the neck should go down, and the alternate one come up. The neck one is not going down. On old saxes there's that key inbetween the F natural and E keys. This key, when pressed w/ the G# key, should go up, which it does, and should put the G# down when it is pressed, which it does. Only, I'm used to the F, E, and D keys to putting the G# key down when they're pressed along with it. This key needs to be pressed when you don't want G# to facilitate, which is an inconvenience ANY SUGGESTIONS?

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  1. by Sax Mom
    (964 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: Martin Sax

    For the octave key problem, I'm guessing you're missing a screw or a spring some place. My octave mechanism on my old (Conn) alto is very complex, but if you trace it well, you should be able to find what's missing. For your other problem, you seem to use the term "key" to mean either "button" or "tone hole cap" without distinguishing. I will use the term "key" to mean what covers the tone hole, and "button" to mean that which the finger presses. I'm guessing you were trying to say that the g# key does not go down when you press any of the buttons on the right hand (which happen to be on the keys). My first question. Does the key just above the F key go down with those three buttons? It should go down with each of them. If it doesn't, your problem is deeper than the g# key. More likely, your horn is missing a bar that should extend from the key above the F button/key to depress the G# key any time that key closes. Check to see if there used to be a bar there. If not, you may just have to lift your fingers off the G# buttons if you don't want g# to facilitate! That's probably why the extra G# key was developed in the first place, to make the key easier to maneuver with fingers One or Two, rather than the left-hand pinky. I don't know enough about the Martin to know if that's endemic to the horn.

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    1. by kennyj
      (24 posts)

      17 years ago

      Re: Martin Sax

      The typical problem on vintage Martins on the alternate G# key, is that the spring has been installed on the wrong side of the key, keeping it open, instead of closed. On your octave problem, maybe you can link a post to a photo of your octave mechanism.... you may be missing a piece of your horn... ii-V-I kenny j
      kennyj

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      1. by saxjunkie89
        (393 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: Martin Sax

        actually i had just fixed the octave key with a little piece of thick construction paper, like the stuff on the back of spiral-bound notebooks, and a wee piece of electrical tape. However, the F# key, the one above the F natural, has a little thing extending out over the G#... key. BUT since this is a 1936 sax, the cork on the thing attached to the F is run down, making it not effective. I was thinking about putting another construction paper/electrical tape fix on that. Thanks saxjunkie

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        1. by saxjunkie89
          (393 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: Martin Sax

          oh, and what is the function of the tiny key, yes, key on the back of the horn, next to the D#/ Eb key on vintage horns. Like the one here : www.saxpics.com/the_gallery/martin/handcraft/alto/brass/49xxx_wws/mar496a.jpg on the bottom of the sax

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        2. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: Martin Sax

          It's really hard to see what you're talking about with that picture. Can you get some close-ups of the bottom, both sides?

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      2. by Sax Mom
        (964 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: Martin Sax

        Maybe you should try to glue a piece of cork in there rather than construction paper and tape. The construction paper will eventually compress, ceasing to give you the depth you need, and the electrical tape may slip.

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      3. by saxjunkie89
        (393 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: Martin Sax

        on the linked pic.: the key next to the D# key, what is it?

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      4. by chiamac
        (586 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: Martin Sax

        Jim may be able to answer this a little better. But, I was told those G# key things screw up the sound a little. Which is why most of them aren't connected today on vintage horns. also... how often would a person use this?

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      5. by kennyj
        (24 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: Martin Sax

        It is the articulated E-flat key. These have usually by this time in history been de-activated by repairmen, by removing the link for it. E-flat was able to be played with the index and ring fingers of the right hand. It was usually out of tune..... so ..... ii-V-I kenny j
        kennyj

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      6. by chiamac
        (586 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: Martin Sax

        haha my bad. My tenor has that G# trill key thing, and I got them confused.

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