Saxophone Forum


by Janabyrdd
(8 posts)
10 years ago

Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

Hiya everybody. I purchased a MVI Tenor in 1995. I got it for a great price, and it's a sweet horn. BUT (and that's a big but...) the B/biz key was wonky. In the respect that the horn had been repaired improperly once. The pad cup had been structurally damaged, (melted a little by poor soldering) and the biz key was rather precarious. It finally broke right off. I attempted to replace the pad cup/biz assembly, but MVI tenor parts are in extremely short supply where I live. I also wanted to keep the horn as original as possible. My question: Has anyone else had a similar problem , and if so , what did you do to correct it? I was considering having my sax repairman remove that one pad cup, and bringing it to a jeweler who is skilled in brasswork, to have them repair the cup, and recast the small brass piece which holds the biz pearl on. Then they could just resolder the pearl onto the pad cup, using brass solder. Anyone else have any suggestions, or a reason that the above plan wouldn't work?

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

    Your plan sounds like a good one, except that you should have a music instrument specialist do all the soldering. You want to be sure that it lines up properly when it goes back on the horn, and I don't think most jewelers would be qualified to tweak things in properly. Nor would you want to have a jeweler solder the key independent of the horn and then have yourself bend it all around to get it lined up once it's back on the horn - you might break the soldering job under that kind of stress. It's Mark VI. Don't do things on the cheap - take it to a tech. You'd be suprised - it shouldn't cost more than about $25-$40 for that kind of repair. It's not that big a deal for someone with the equipment.

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    1. by Janabyrdd
      (8 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MVI Tenor...

      Thanks, man, for the good suggestion. I think what I may have to do, is take the biz key from a MVI that my tech is working on now to someone who can cut the piece from a small sheet of brass, and shape it so that Dr Sax can integrate it onto the pad cup. He doesn't cut brass himself (that's sort of a hassle) but there are artisans here who do. Then all he'll have to do is solder the pearl back on. He has no problem lending me the other guy's key, so I can get a make on the shape of the piece I need.

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  2. by Janabyrdd
    (8 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MVI Tenor...

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    1. by chiamac
      (586 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MVI Tenor...

      ok... what actually broke? the little bezel (the little cup) that holds the pearl or the pad bezel? the little pearl bezels can be picked up easliy in sterling silver (or brass but I can't think of a place off hand to get them) If it's the pad bezel that could be a little harder to replace... but yeah, if it's that little pearl cup thing let me know. I'll point you to a website that has those bezels and maybe it would work for you. I'm pretty sure they would be less than $20, or else talk to a jewler about that. but then again I'm not too sure about what broke on your horn.

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      1. by Janabyrdd
        (8 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MVI Tenor...

        Hi chiamac, How'z it goin, man? Thanks for your response. It's the small brass piece which connects the pearl bezel to the pad cup bezel. That's completely gone. The pearl and it's bezel are intact, the pad cup is relatively intact, but where the little brass connector piece would fit on the side of that cup, there's a wide U shaped space missing from the pad bezel. The pad is seated properly, the horn plays well, but no biz key! I just need that little flat brass connector piece, which connects the pearl bezel to the pad cup. It's about the size and shape of the tip of my little finger.

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        1. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MVI Tenor...

          ohhhh that would be really easy to make, I can think of 3 ways right now. make a lost wax thing, that way it could be done really nice and look good... cut it from some sheet brass, which wouldn't look as good. or do something wtih round stock. just depending on how much you want to put into it and how well you want it to look.

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        2. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          Ok this is just driving me nuts... IT'S CALLED THE BIS KEY!!!!!!!!!!!

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        3. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          Anyone know why it's called the "bis" key? I don't. Probably one of the most important keys on the horn to understand when/how to play.

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        4. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          [Anyone know why it's called the "bis" key? I don't. Probably one of the most important keys on the horn to understand when/how to play.] hahahaha oh did I catch heat for this... I alwase use that for Bb, partly because it's easy, and partly because I'm lazy. If I'm climbing up the scale from a A, I'll just move my finger over to cover the bis key, easier then to move to a B then that STUPID (IMHO) side A Bb fingering. But that's not what I catch heat for... If I'm going down the scale (from a B to Bb) I'll use the other one with the bottom pointer finger. I know it dosn't sound great, but again going from a B to Bb is a lot easier and requires less fingermoving than that STUPID side A Bb fingering thing. Actually, I totally forgot about the A to Bb until a few weeks ago... it's just easier with the bis key.

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        5. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          If you do it right, you CAN get away with that. But I've seen players who do that, and when they hit the Bis key, their hand flies up, so they can't play fast lines, since their hand is way off the keys. If you're going to continue doing that, I suggest that you practice B to Bb to A and back, moving your hand as little as possible.

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        6. by Janabyrdd
          (8 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          Hey golferguy! Always knew how to use it, but never knew how to spell it! Everybody I know pronounces it with the 'z' sound. I'll have to tell them that there's a correct spelling :)

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        7. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          1-bis 1-4 1-5 1-6 1-2-side Yup - 5 different ways to play Bb, and every one is useful at some point. I know someone who only knew how to play "side A" Bb, and they've been playing for a few decades. It's no wonder he sits out so much! And don't forget that any table key will open G#. Actually had to jump from low C# to G# recently. Only one way to do it in a 144 bpm sixteenth run... The whole series was C#-G#-C#-C-B-Bb. (Play low C# key to open G#)

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        8. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          "And don't forget that any table key will open G#. Actually had to jump from low C# to G# recently. Only one way to do it in a 144 bpm sixteenth run... The whole series was C#-G#-C#-C-B-Bb. (Play low C# key to open G#)" HAHA now someone tells me that! about 10 years after I could have used that trick!

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        9. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          Yeah - took me 20+ years to find out, myself. Actually, the way I found out about it was refurbishing horns. Paying close attention when tweaking the action, I was like "WHOA - that's something you can't find in a book..." Turned out to be of practical use after all. One of the things I really like about the Rubank Method books is the ornamental instruction. It takes a while to develop the feel for a proper trill fingering when you've been doing it wrong FOREVER, but it's worth the effort when things come out more cleanly and your horn isn't going "clackety-clack".

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        10. by jazzsaxman1988
          (2 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          I picked that up playing "Caravan". There's a G#- C# switch that I didn't like doing, so I played around until I found it.

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        11. by Janabyrdd
          (8 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Broken Biz key on a Selmer MIV Tenor...

          Problem solved. I took it to Joe Sax. Beautiful work, full overhaul, the horn sounds and feels amazing. And now I have a fully functioning BIS key. :)

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