Saxophone Forum


by johnsonfromwisconsin
(767 posts)
9 years ago

New victim.

Just picked up a YTS-21 from a nice guy over at SOTW. he determined it needed an overhaul, his repair person didn't want it so he decided to sell it. Now in my possession, I definately concur that it needs an overhaul. It's pads are mostly shot, keywork is slow with cruddy buildup, and it needs a bit of regulation. The 21's were built during the 70's, and during this thing's life it managed to escape any serious physical abuse (no big dents), but it looks like it was haphazardly maintained (pivot screws are all partially stripped, shellac and cork in odd places, poor lubrication, etc). It looks like any servicing it had was done sloppily. Well, I'm cleaning the outside of the body, will try to scrub out the inside, will polish the keywork with a damp rag, windex, and Flitz, and then repad, re-cork/felt, lube, and regulate it. What fun! :)

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  1. by Sax Mom
    (964 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: New victim.

    So, which one is the victim, the saxophone, or the lucky guy who gets to fix it?

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    1. by MarkLavelle
      (300 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: New victim.

      I'm guessing the sax is the victim - you can tell by the gleeful mad-scientist way he's talking about it... ;-) So how much did you steal it for, Johnson?

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      1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: New victim.

        Yeah, the unlucky horn is the victim. Not to worry, my repair skills are improving. A lot impresses me about this horn, like it's general build and precision, but a few things are silly. 1) The bar that presses down the G# from the lower stack. It consists of a round bar that screws into a dorsal-fin type extension to the F-key's arm. It hovers far above the G# key and the screw doesn't keep it from rotating. I'm guessing (hoping) the original piece was lost and this is a jury-rigged replacement. Either way, it's stupid. I'm guessing the original arm had a complicated mechanism with an adjustment screw. 2) The octave arm fulcrum on the neck is soldered on weakly. 3) The lower keyguard is flimsy, I noticed that it's successor the YTS 23 has a more robust guard in it's place.

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        1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Apparently, this G# assist arm is original equipment. If the screw that holds it on isn't tight, the action will rotate the cork away from the cup on which it should hit, making the whole thing not work. www.shwoodwind.co.uk has a review of the alto version illustrating this thing.

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        2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Update: Well, the horn wasn't close to playable when it arrived. Now, after doing some adjustments of bumpers and springs, it plays quite poorly (an upgrade). I'm waiting on Precision pads from MusicMedic which should be here tommorrow. After lightening the action, the feel of the instrument improved vastly. Well, I'll let you know.... ;)

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        3. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          If it plays better without having changed any of the pads yet, it's possible you'll end up with something decent!

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        4. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          I just finished dealing with the mess that was the left hand stack. I replaced all the pads with Precision pads with domed metal resos. The whole contraption was out of regulation. I think I did my best work so far on this repadding as I was able to move and adjust the pads so that they mostly sealed with just gravity weight. I might have gotten in perfect had I been able to check the toneholes, which I'm guessing aren't perfectly level. I don't yet have the tools to check or address this. The horn does sound pretty good now. It plays down to 'D' fairly well and sounds fairly centered as far as tone goes. I was able to slip some suede under the adjustment screws to get rid of the student horn 'clunk' and lightened up the action, which allong with the well sealing pads, give it a more professional feel. I think that's one think I really like about the Yamaha student horns, they aren't too mechanically off the Pro models as far as I can tell.

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        5. by Tbone
          (120 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          For a cheap and effective way to check your toneholes Go to your local cabinet shop that sells/installs solid surface countertops. (Corian, Hi-max, etc.) Ask if you can buy a couple scrap pieces and they'll probably give them to you. Just cut them into pieces small enough to cover the toneholes you want to check. With a leak light, these pieces and a couple rags to block off the surrounding toneholes you can check for any distortions quite easily!

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        6. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Well, it's taking nearly a month, and there's been a few setbacks... Binding stack keys are simply a b*tch. Basically, I now have a bunch of keys that mostly seal with gravity, but the RH stack slave is a bit out of whack. The only thing I can do is what I did: put the associated rod in the chuck of my powerdrill and spin it through the key after visually striaghtening as much as I could. I think it will do the trick. Hopefully.....

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        7. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Well, the Slave is allright, but the D key is a mess. I put the associated pivot rod on my drill, oiled it, and fed it through the hinge tube. Working it back and forth against the aparent bend helped a lot, but now it's too a point where I can't improve upon it. The key twists the pivot rod when it's used, which is no good. I'm considering getting some sort of bit that can perhaps widen (by abrasives or cutting) the middle of the barrel where the bend is, but am considering what could go wrong. This is the last thing standing between me and the easy work..... advise? heckling?

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        8. by Tbone
          (120 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Lapping compound will do the trick! Use the same setup you did earlier but also apply some fine lapping compound to the rod. The compound will polish the rod and also the inside of the hinge tube. After lapping clean thouroughly to remove all residual compound/grit. Plain old pipe cleaners will work on the tube. you cam get lapping compound from musicmedic.com

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        9. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Thanks Tbone. I did just that by ordering some fine and super-fine for good measure (but only after unsucessfully trying to find it local).

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        10. by Tbone
          (120 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Just remember this rule of thumb. A lot of oil and a little compound. (use it sparingly) Too much compound and the rod can bind up in the tube tighter than a bull's backside in a blizzard! One usually has too much on the rod when they're thinking that they don't have enough! Life's funny that way. Good luck and be safe. I don't want to hear that you broke a key and cut your hand all to he11! Peace tbone

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        11. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Update: The horn is playable now. Thanks to Tbone I was able to get the lower stack working. I had to straighten the rod some (unfortunately it probably needs to be redone. Looks like the rod reverted to it's old shape slightly and the low E key is turning the rod slightly.) It plays okay, though hopefully I'll be able to find the leaks that remain. After that, I just need to replace pads on the peripheral keys and it will be done. Also, I used suede to silence the stacks adequately, and replaced some corks. Should be completely done by Monday.

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        12. by Tbone
          (120 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          How did you straighten the rod? I use a 6" X 6" X 1" block of polished granite and a small two headed hammer (one rubber, one plastic). I roll the rod on the block to find the bent spots and tap them out on the block until straight. Here's a trick I use in this procedure. We all know that when you bend something it will "spring back" slightly so you have to "overextend a little. With that theory in mind I put two layers of masking tape on two parallel edges of my block. Laying the rod across the block over the tape edges to hammer the high spots allows me to "overextend" the bend for straightening. Take your time and tap lightly and one can get a rod back to straight again. tbone

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        13. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          To straighten the rod, I didn't do anything that complicated. I put it in the chuck, oiled it up good, then bent it by hand along it's whole shaft while it was spinning. I was hoping that the constant pressure while it was spinning would alleviate the bend. It seemed to do so as the wobbling head started rotating tighter and tighter, but I think after a day the rod reverted a little back to it's former misshapen self.

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        14. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          I restraightened the rod once again, and it's held without any sort of binding for half a day. I think (hope) that will do it.

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        15. by jessica
          (13 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          Hey, johnsonfromwisconsin....this is Jessica from Wisconsin :) You are on the right track with the way you straightened your hinge rod. Everyone has their preferred style, and yours is on the same track as mine. One suggestion I have is that if you dont want to use your hand to apply the pressure to the rod while it is spinning (always potentially dangerous), if you have a rawhide mallet (which I am sure you must), drill a hold toward the end of the handle....all the way through....a little bigger than the size of the biggest hinge rods you are dealing with, and then use that as your brace point to apply pressure to the hinge rod. Another thing you can do for more simplistic bends is to put the rod back into the hingetube on the key and tap on the hinge tube with your rawhide or canvas mallet. Be careful, though! If you hit too hard you will ding the hingetube and make the hinge rod more stuck. Then you are back to lapping! This method seems to be the preferred method of Francois Klock (the head guy at Buffet). I spent countless frustrating hours at Red Wing tapping on hingetubes, but, like with everything else, you will learn your tapping "sweet spot" :) An FYI on your YTS-21....we actually just finished repadding one in the shop. You are right about the G# mechanism...it is original and it is a piece of $*!@. Another thing to be aware of, is that Allied carries a very limited amount of repair parts for this horn. Yamaha carries none. So, if you do end up needing a part in the future, depending on what it is, you may have a tough time. Go Badgers!

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        16. by Stiles B
          (101 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          That's the same way I was taught to straighten out a rod. One must always be careful, though, as the rod, if it comes out while spinning, can do a lot of damage to your hand. I got to learn that one myself.

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        17. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: New victim.

          making a rod straight... here is what I learned at school in the metals lab, and this should work on sax rods. Take a really hard flat surface, one that you can roll the rod freely, then use a board to do the rolling. Just think of the rod as being a "wheel or bearing" under the board... this will take out any kinks and also harden the rod to some extent. =) I like it better than using a hammer, since I don't really have to pay attention as to where the high or low spots are.

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