Saxophone Forum


by Tdove
(10 posts)
9 years ago

Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help me, I only have one question. I am performing a restoration on a vintage Martin C-Melody sax and I was wondering which pads I should use for replacement, with or without resonators. The pads on the sax now have no resonators and I am trying to keep the sax as close to the original specs as possible. And I've also read that older, thicker saxes don't really need resonators. Is this true? Should I replace with resonators or without? I don't believe all the pads, if any, are original. There are what appear to be burns on the laquer (perhaps) from an earlier repad, and it appears as if a few pads don't match the others. None have resonators and I don't know which ones were original if any. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

    I restored a 1922 Conn New Wonder Series I straight neck C Melody a year ago. I repadded the sax with Conn resonator pads. Resonators do make a big difference in tone quality. As for the value of the horn, I really don't think it makes much difference as long as the pads are in good shape.

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    1. by Tdove
      (10 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

      So you think I should use resonators? Do you know if the original pads in these horns had resonators? It doesn't really matter, if resonators will provide a better tone I will use them, I was just curious about the original pads. How did your restored Conn sound?

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

        I doubt the original pads had resonators. I know my Conn didn't. But unless you're only playing classical music, I would go with resonator pads. The Conn sounds great! I was lucky enough to find a modern C Melody mouthpiece made by LeBlanc. I've been told that Meyer also makes a C Melody mouthpiece but I have yet to locate one. I use a tenor Rovner ligature and bass clarinet reeds. I can't believe how easy it plays for an 83 year old horn! The intonation is pretty good too. The C Melody is nice for those gigs where you're just sitting in and the guitar player says....this song is in E!

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        1. by Tdove
          (10 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

          I guess I will probably use resonator pads, I was hoping to keep it as close to the original as possible, but not at the expense of losing tone quality. Thanks for your help.

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        2. by Dave Dix
          (421 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

          The original pads would be plain riveted pads. Martin did not use resinator pads on the early horns. Dave

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        3. by eman19
          (131 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

          I know martin didn't use resinator's on the late 30's early forties models, just the plain riveted. I had a couple of original pads left over Resinator's made a HUGE difference in how it played and sounded. Good luck

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        4. by Tdove
          (10 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

          Thanks for the input. I'll probably go with resonators. From what everyone says, they seem to make a huge difference in sound quality. Why didn't Martin use resonators on their early horns? Thanks again.

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        5. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

          Sorry, I didn't see this until today. I've ordered a couple pad sets through musicmedic.com and they were both right on the money. I just recently ordered a set of pads for another Conn 10M that I am doing for a friend of mine and they all seem to fit just fine. They seem like decent pads. I really have no complaints. Personally, I would put resonators on just about everything

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      2. by kneejerk52
        (397 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

        jim, im about to start the repad on my c mel conn, do you know if the set musicmedic sells is ok or should i measure and order seperate??

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        1. by Tdove
          (10 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

          Kneejerk52, Do not order the pre-packaged Martin C Melody pads from MusicMedic.com as many of them will probably not fit. First I must say I really like MusicMedic, good quality, good selection and great prices. For the restore of my Martin C Melody I ordered everything for the job from MusicMedic, everything was really good quality and worked great. Except.... I originally ordered the packaged set of pads from MusicMedic thinking that most of the pads would fit and I would only have to order the few that didn't, but only about half actually fit when I tried to install. I contacted Rich and he was glad to take them back and even measured the old pads I sent him for replacements. My experience has been great with MusicMedic and their products, and I knew it would be nearly impossible to find a complete pre-packaged pad set that fit 100%. It's best to measure and order individually, or maybe send them in to be measured.

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          1. by Tbone
            (120 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

            Tdove is right on here! I re-padded three Conn C-mels at the same time and the key cups were not the same size between them. From oldest to youngest these horns were less than two years apart. What probably happens is when a certain sized cup is in short supply on the day of manufacture they would simply use the next available size. In short, measure each cup and order accordingly.

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          2. by kneejerk52
            (397 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

            thanks so much, i will do the measure and order seperate. on the conn's yu did what type of pads did you use, and metal or plastic res. do you think sound best?

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          3. by Tbone
            (120 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

            I found that reso size has more affect on tone than the materials they're made of. I keep a few different types of pads on hand. (tan kidd, black goat skin, Roos and the SG black Roos.) I also have about ten different types of reso's on hand. That being said, any premium pad will work fine. Afterall, the pad is a gasket and nothing more. Pick the type of reso that you like the look of best and go with it. If you go with black pads then consider using black felts. You can get them from either www.votawtool.com or www.jlsmithco.com

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          4. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

            I used the metal resonator Conn Res-o-pads. I have had the plastic resonator pads before, and I agree with Tbone, metal or plastic doesn't make that much difference in sound. Most repair shops seem to be using the plastic Selmer style pads. I bought some white kangaroo pads for my Conn Chu Berry alto and tenor from a catalog that were way too expensive. I could have bought the same set from Music Medic for about half the price. They were Conn res-o style pads though. I wanted something that was close to original. Music medic sells some pads that were designed by Steve Goodson (Sax Gourmet) that have large silver plated Noyek resonators that look pretty interesting. The larger resonator size does make a difference.

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          5. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

            I would be a little reluctant to put use pads with extra large resonators on a horn with rolled tone holes. I think that the larger resonator size could cause some problems getting the pads to seal. Has anyone encountered a problem with this? Has anyone noticed any changes in the intonation that could be attributed partly due to the resonator size? That is another area of concern.

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          6. by Tbone
            (120 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: Martin C-Melody Pad Replacement

            The biggest I've gone is @75% of the size of the tonehole and everything was still fine. The horn was definately more ballsy than with the old stock reso pads. Now for a whole new debate, was it the new reso's or was it the superior setup that I did? Seriously, I like to put the reso's on the pads myself. It allows for more flexability in your setups. The important thing to remember is that reso's don't change the tone of your horn. They only enhance the tone that's already there!

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