Saxophone Forum


by saxisuzq
(3 posts)
6 years ago

Kookaburra alto sax

I purchased a new kookaburra sax last Jan. The octave mechanism has never worked properly. I contacted the store where I got the sax, and they told me to take it to my local music store for repair, and they would reimburse me. I did that, but the sax has never responded properly. I will be playing, and the octave key does not open or close when it's supposed to. I can live with that, but while I'm playing a long note the key will open or close and change the pitch after a few seconds. I have contacted the store with no help at all. They tell me that all kookaburra's do that. I can't believe Selmer would sell a sax with that problem. Is there any way to correct this sugglish mechanism? I have tried key oil, non stick papers, and even bending the key, all to no avail.

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  1. by saxisuzq
    (3 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Kookaburra alto sax

    Just to let ev1 know, especially (saxman and cuber) I sent my sax back to the store where I got it and it responds much better now. 1 minor tweak, but I can live with that. I love my sax, and the way it sounds and plays. No complaints about it now. Even the brass players (who hate saxophones) in our orchestera don't complain about saxophones any more. Last Christmas I played Stille Nacht (Manheim Steamroller version) at our Christmas Eve service at church, and several members including men, had tears in their eyes; and not because it was terrible. I guess that answers the question about the emotion this sax can produce. I had a Mark VI when I was in college but sold it about 15 years ago because I never played it then. I was playing violin and viola in our orchestra. When I injured my shoulder and couldn't play violin anymore, I went back to my first love (the saxophone) This sax is much more responsive and the sound is even better than I remember about my Mark VI. I think it's the newer mouthpiece. I had problems at first until I found the right reed to go with the E mouthpiece. Thank you all for responding, and I'm so glad saxman told me what to do. I insisted that the company either fix my sax or send me a new one.

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  2. by saxman58
    (14 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Kookaburra alto sax

    "They tell me that all kookaburra's do that" That's the lamest excuse I've heard in a long time! If you're not happy with the way the horn plays, I would take it back and tell them they need to fix it or give you a new one. On the other hand, a good sax repair tech should easily be able to fix that, unless there is some serious structural problem with the horn, in which case refer to my first option. Good luck!

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  3. by kelsey
    (793 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Kookaburra alto sax

    I thought the Kookaburra saxes were just the Selmer reference horns with fancier engraving? The reference horns, so I hear, are great horns.....Kelsey
    Barry Kelsey

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  4. by kelsey
    (793 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Kookaburra alto sax

    I thought the Kookaburra saxes were just the Selmer reference horns with fancier engraving? The reference horns, so I hear, are great horns.....Kelsey
    Barry Kelsey

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    1. by cuber
      (653 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: Kookaburra alto sax

      they are, even though reference horns are just SA80 horns with modified keywork and a different bell. chances are not all kookaburras do that, and its just set up wrong. im guessing the store you bought it from doesnt specalized in saxes? id have the thing looked at by a professonal.

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      1. by MRFIXIT
        (19 posts)

        6 years ago

        Re: Kookaburra alto sax

        Cuber is being too kind to the stores. If the neck key is not open from A on up, and the body one is not open below A down to fourth line D, it is messed up. It sounds like a bent or sluggish mechanism, and, most likely, any competent repair person could easily fix this. That is unless the Kookaburra model is designed to get you laughed at since it will not play right. :)

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        1. by selmer 4evr
          (309 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Hey Cuber ,,I believe you are way wrong the Reference Alto ( which I do not like anyway ) is not a S80 NO!!! not a series I,,II,,,,,nor a ,,,,,III it is a copy of a Mk VI ,,,,,go to and read www.saxophones.co.uk/referencealto.htm Selmer went out of their way to satisfy the demands of the jazz artist ,,,the reference is not good for legit ...

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        2. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          It would be impossible for Cuber to be wrong. After all, he's in high school............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        3. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          LOL!!

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        4. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          thats what i read off a selmer dealers website. if you want to start arguing with selmer dealers (who are undoubtedly trying to make the horn sound more favorable) thats your decision. if reference models were made to satisfy the jazzer, then why do each time i hear one, there is ABSOUTLY NO DEPTH to the tone? every time i hear one, its as bright as can be. you might want that brightness, but for those of us who like to have emotions come through our playing, want to play something thats not at a neck-breaking tempo once in a while (every bright jazzer ive heard try to play a slow song sounds like shit when they play it. that includes the "greats"(you might think they are the bees knees, but listening to the same stuff every song get REALLY old)), and dont give a damn how technically good they are, but as long as the emotion comes through the sound, its all good. Ive heard some technically damn good players play reference models, but when the sound hits my ears, I AM NOT IMPRESSED. Yet I havent heard someone who has emotion in their playing play a reference. I wonder why. and yes kelsey, since im in high school, im a cocky arrogant idiot who doesnt know crap about anything, but opens their mouth and assumes everyone should take my word as law. Since youre older than me, your words are the unquestionable truth. there is no way that anything you utter could possibly be wrong. it would be like a good march without a stinger on the end. impossible. sidenote- sorry about the ranting im doing in this post, but i had to sit next to a reference player yesterday. dont get me wrong, the kid was techincally terrific, but his sound left something to be desired. Actually, he sounded the best out of any reference player that ive heard. Which is actually saying a lot, because ive also heard the kids private lessons teacher (who also playes a ref.) and the kid sounded better, im my opinion.

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        5. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          sooo,.....Cuber ..first, I'm not a Selmer dealer, or any other kind of dealer..I've been playing a YTS61 for some thirty five years now..I practice everyday..long tones..ever tried 'em? I had the pleasure of playing on a brand new reference 36 a few years ago, and I gotta tell ya, it was possibly the finest tenor I've ever run air through..grate big fat HUGE sound, plenty of muscle, and worked just fine, thank you..sorry, but your assessment just doesn't hold water..keep an ear tuned to your elders, ya might learn something..,or not.

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        6. by selmer 4evr
          (309 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          I guess Kelsey is right,,,, can't tell a high school-er squat !!! You,,,create a separate bill of materials ,,reorganize a whole assembly line ,,spend engineering dollars ,,,,carry twice or three time the inventory ,,, cause dealers a whole lot of distribution woes ,,, sell less of each SKU ,,,, all for a key set change ,,, let Cuber run your business and you are sure to go bankrupt. NO CUBER !!!! the reference is not a Serie II or III even though they all have a conical bore and a crook that inserts into the body!!

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        7. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          chalzon- i never said you were. I read that from a selmer dealer, and i believe it. so sue me. yes, ive played long tones, dont quite know where that came from. Im just telling you my impressions from what i hear. again, so sue me. I do listen to my elders. I just question them from time to time with my own thought. you hear that? kids still think. what a surprise. (not most of us, though...) selmer- just because i dont agree with kelsey, high schoolers dont give a damn about their elders? So because i dont nessicarily want the same thing as you, im a complete idiot? im familiar with the saxophone. i know its got a neck. Hey, guess what? yesterday, i figured out there are these wooden things called "reeds" i even figured where they go!!!!!!!! --------------------------------------------- if i remember right, the dealer said the body was the same, possiblely the neck. they reworked the keywork, and slapped a different bell on there. i never claimed the entire thing was the same. so when do i stop being classified as a ignorant kid? when i get out of college? when im thirty? when im 50? do you honestly think age matters much when music is the issue? sure its helpful, but im fairly sure i can name someone who is younger than you who is a hell of a lot better than you. by what youve implied, thats impossible. well, open your ears and judge by what you hear and not by what you see. if i were going to start making saxes, id get frickin rich beforehand, buy conn patents, and basically start making repoductions of the good m series.

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        8. by saxisuzq
          (3 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Golly Gee -- I never expected such a knock down drag out fight over a simple question I took Saxman's advice and called the company and finally got ahold of someone in the complaint dept that did something about my sax. They even paid the shipping to send my sax back for repair. When you live 100 miles from any where, you can't go to a music store and try all the dif saxes. I purchased my sax from a company that a lot of area schools do business with and had a reliable reputation. I could have purchased the same sax on ebay or online cheaper, Scroll up to see my response after I started this discussion if you want to know my reaction to the way this sax plays and the emotion it can produce.

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        9. by selmer 4evr
          (309 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Cuber did you at least read the write up of the link I sent ??? An independent test tells how it all came about and you still hold on to a non supported opinion ,,never mind if you like it or not ( I do not like them either ) the fact is the,,,, reference is a Mk VI copy ,,, it even suffers from the same malaise 1- a very weak and thin high end ,,,, 2- an uneven scale 3- timbre issues as you go up the scale 4- only appeals to jazz players will never make a good legit horn no you do not need to be 50 to be smart ... you just need to be wise enough to see that at times you need to accept to change your mind ,,,when truth is staring you in the face

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        10. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          yes, i read it. thought i answered it, then went off on a tangent. so you think the dealer pulled random crap out of their ass? they must have had some motivation to do it. think about it. refs were designed for jazz, yet the dealers say its a modified series II or III (cant remember which) which are concidered legit. makes you wonder. the ref 36s are supposed to be replicas of SBAs. which brings me to my next point i just said refs and series II/III were made with the same body. never said it didnt preform like a VI if you dont need to be 50 to be smart, why are my opinions being concidered rubbish only because im in high school? I do change my mind when i see my original opinion was wrong, but when i dont see a problem with it, i rarely change my opinion

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        11. by selmer 4evr
          (309 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          i am glad you change your mind at times ,,,this is one time that you should ,,, Dealers are sometimes not very up to date and speak through their hats ,,they have little time for research ,,,most sax players are more passionate about instruments than dealers and except for repair issues usually players know more ,,, anyway your choice believe a dealer or what the sax experts say either way ,,, if anyone claims that any part of the sax is different then one must conclude that the rest of the sax must be made as a perfect fit to the taper of that part ,,so inevitably it needs to be different ,,,its all in the taper

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        12. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          cube, baby..chill..it's not you opinions that we find problematical..it's your attitude..chill, pal take a deep breath..it's all okay..your'e going to be alright..after all, it's just a saxophone..we might want to give a bit of thought as to how we approach our brothers...anger and insults wiil not serve you..nor will whining, cursing or sputtering..I'm sure you are an altogether intelligent young man..with lots of talent...might want to check out how you speak and ask yourself if you really want to sound like that..p.s...played on another '36 yesterday..nice horn.

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        13. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Sorry Cuber. I was just kidding around. I think you know a lot about saxophone............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        14. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Sorry Cuber. I was just kidding around. I think you know a lot about saxophone............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        15. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          (chuckles) dont need to stroke my ego, my "great" talent is very questionable selmer- your the sax expert? just kidding chalzon- im popping seditives as i type

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        16. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          cool,baby..p.s...i think they're way over priced..

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        17. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          that makes 2 of us

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        18. by selmer 4evr
          (309 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Cuber I do not know if you are aware of this or not ...but when Adolph set out to make the saxophone,,,his premis was ,,,that the sound and timbre of an instrument is not dependent on its ---materials used -- but rather in the bore and taper of the instrument ,,,,translated ,,,a conical bore instrument with a single reed will always sound in the same way. Proof is that even a Grafton ---made of plastic--- still sounds sax-ish whereas a trumpet made of yellow brass sounds like a trumpet .... IN OTHER WORDS ----THE BORE AND TAPER PRODUCE THE DISTINCTIVE SOUND ----NOT THE MATERIAL ,,,,even a 99% Sterling Alto will sound no different than the same instrument in brass,,or even copper ,, ,,,mind you I did say the same instrument,,,which means the exact taper and bore ,,,,, that is what we are doing when we prefer one horn to another,,,or one neck to another ,,,we are discussing and arguing ,,,tapers and bores change in taper=change in sound ,,,,,and of course with a taper change inevitably comes a tone hole positioning change,,,,as the scale needs to be in tune

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        19. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Selmer 4evr, if you are right about what Adolph set out to do, right about his premis, all the rest of the jive, cogratulations! My Mark Vls give me the sound I want and I don't need some jive engineer explaining why. Cuber is much cooler than you.........Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        20. by kelsey
          (793 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Selmer 4evr, if you are right about what Adolph set out to do, right about his premis, all the rest of the jive, cogratulations! My Mark Vls give me the sound I want and I don't need some jive engineer explaining why. Cuber is much cooler than you.........Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        21. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          selmer- i know that the material really doesnt matter, and the bore of the horn will effect things alot more (which isnt saying much, concidering the materials dont do jack squat) what i dont understand is where that came from. dont quite understand the connection between what i was saying and the bore of the horn. kelsey- thanks

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        22. by selmer 4evr
          (309 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Cuber ,, Simple ,,,,your statement said that the Reference is only a SA80 with a different bell ( and key-work ),,, If they sound different ( and they do ) and this cannot be produced by a different material therefore it must be a bell of different taper as a consequence ,,the different bell would require a different body ,,to match the taper ,,this would in turn demand a different neck ... so that the horn will play in tune and homogenous in timbre throughout its full range i.e. they must be different instruments (and they are) I still do not like them ever try to measure a Selmer vs a Buffet ( just look at the lengths )

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        23. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          I've heard this before, and I can't argue it..but,different horns sound different..and I've played identical model horns and they sounded different..also got ahold of a new selmer tenor not long ago..think it had a flaw in the bore ..the upper register suddenly very thin and airy..no leaks in the horn..never come across anything quite like this..they don"t make 'em like they used to..still think they're over priced.

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        24. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          selmer- wait, were arguing over a horn neither of us really like? ...sigh...

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        25. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          we're not argueing..we're discussing...right? and by the way, what does this all have to do with repair..wjhile we're here, Cube, ya really oughta check out Kenny werner's book Effortless Mastery..it's really very cool..it'd changed the way I practice and I think you might dig it..you seem like a preyyt open minded fellow, and definitly into the horn and the music..this is some cool stuff..I use it everyday, and try to teach it to my students..just a thought, but, really..ya might find it interesting .all my best..

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        26. by selmer 4evr
          (309 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          Chalazon The difference you hear is in the bore and or taper ,,,especially in the neck where variances are multiplied porportionally,,,not material ,,,, However it could be true that manufacturers might take more care when making a sterling sax as opposed to a brass,,,who knows !!!! many tests have been conducted on this especially on flutes where dimensions are way more critical because of the small bore,,,,with the conclusion that ,,,even between platinum and other less noble metals the material has little to do with final results,,, Is it not strange,,,,that most believe the more expensive materials to be the holy grail of sound ,,,, nobody would ever think it reasonable that tin might be better acoustically than platinum or 24K gold ,,,,,, Sacrilege !!!!!!!!

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        27. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          chalzon- ill be sure to check the book out, thanks for the suggestion selmer- ?

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        28. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Kookaburra alto sax

          cool, I'm sure you'll dig it. let me know ..Selmer I hear what you're saying, but I also hear the horns..some of them are just more magical than others...keep the faith

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