Saxophone Forum


by johnsonfromwisconsin
(767 posts)
10 years ago

Newest POS project......how fun!

Well, it's been months since doing my first repad on a junked-out YAS-23. nephew has that horn now, and though it still probably needs a little work, he's not complaining now, so. I needed something else to do. I picked up a 'Rene Duval' alto in a pawn shop, despite it not having the original neck. Why? nothing better do to I guess (which is a lie), and I just felt a bit desperate after missing out on a good deal on a Bundy II alto that needed a repad. Basically, I probably dropped to much money on a horn that might not even play in tune, or make even a decent sound. Oh well. The horn is obviously old and made in Italy. It's serial number is in the 3500 range and it's pinky table styling looks remeniscent of something you'd see in the 40s or 30s. The neck is odd: It fits the tenon precisely, but has the octave arm mounted over it's axel in a manner I've never seen before. The neck does have a serial number of 14, which is also etched on the nickle-plated octave arm in roman numberals. Disassembling the horn was easy as there was no stuck pivot screws or mechanisms. It looks like someone at some point attempted a repad with single-rivet pads, but apparently they gave up as the pads were not anywhere near properly aligned and didn't show much use. The needlesprings fall out all over the place, how annoying! I'm guessing that this was someone elses project before mine, or that these are the original springs that are just haphazardly installed. The G# mechanism is odd and I'm surprised it works. It is balanced on a long arm who's flat spring is near the fulcrum and balanced against another needle spring that keeps the pad closed (the flat spring mearly pressures the lever) it's a wierd thing, and i'm almost unhappy with myself for buying it, but oh well. Any ideas who actually manufactured this things? I do plan on posting pictures of the neck to find out what it might actually belong to.

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Newest POS project......how fun!

    Can't help you out on identifying the horn, but can sympathize with your findings of cobbled repairs. One of the tenors I just finished recently had a nail with a touch of epoxy securing it through the post in lieu of the rod screw. The hinge rod was sticking out about an inch on the other side, though. Turns out that when I took the nail out, the rod screw went all the way down and fit perfectly. All I can figure is they didn't have a screwdriver with a small enough head to get fully into place. Another horn I worked on recently had about a half dozen pieces of round adhesive backed cork like someone was thinking about making their own pads. They were cut with scissors and I cracked up when I found them in the case.

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    1. by saxismyaxe
      (574 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Newest POS project......how fun!

      Your not alone, believe me. Anyone who has been collecting/tinkering horns for any real length of time has their own POS pile to deal with. :) Chalk it up as good repair/restoration experience, and be glad you didn't spend a fortune on it.

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      1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Newest POS project......how fun!

        ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your not alone, believe me. Anyone who has been collecting/tinkering horns for any real length of time has their own POS pile to deal with. :) Chalk it up as good repair/restoration experience, and be glad you didn't spend a fortune on it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, I probably overpaid for it initially by $50 (I paid a hundred), but it hasn't taken much to get it working. Most of the pads were old, but not well used, so I adjusted a few of them, and replaced the octave, bis-C, and the upper-stack slave (which was problematic due to me ordering a pad 1mm too small). I used probably $10 in materials and parts at this point and about 8-10 hours of my life. It should be working by this weekend (I had it working before, but insisted on replacing a few more things). The lower octave key mechanism is dumb and didn't like to close itself without tilting the horn to the left or forcing it shut by releasing the G key (making A-C# octave jumps problematic). This was fixed by bending the octave mechanism to try to force it shut, but too far and the top vent wouldn't shut at the right time. I am still not happy with it and will try using perhaps teflon. The G# mechanism is quite unconventional, but I got it to work well. The upper stack (the bane of my hobbiest existence) is still in pieces awaiting final assembley and adjustments. I think I will get a decent horn out of this. Intonation is spotty, but no more so than you'd expect from another horn from a similar era. The tone is quite bright! Comparing it to my Yanagisawa, it's neck tenon is quite a bit smaller, but the bell flare is of similar size, suggesting a steeper taper of the bore. The tone is consistent throughout the range and the body thick and heavy (hurrah!). The mechanisms aren't at all clunky, neither are they particularily noisy given that there's a lot of metal hitting metal. I may become enthused to use sued on the stack-bars to minimise it further.

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