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Thread: pads for a padless sax

  1. #1

    Default pads for a padless sax

    HI I have a Selmer paddles alto sax that I started repadding several years ago using Square sided rubber o-rings. They fit nicely into where the previous ring pad was, however they are too stiff and adjustment is not possible, so I am looking for some "real" pads. any suggestions.

    smf

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    why don't you try to get in touch with this shop in the Netherlands.......

    http://www.saxshop.nl/

    they are probably the last remaining dealer with a stock of toptone pads. Toptone produced a type of pad that was also used on a saxophone which had cupless keys


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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Back in the dark ages (1970's) I used to use thick leather shoelaces. I don't know if you can buy them anymore. Selmer Paddless Blunders were the dickens to keep in adjustment!!!!

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Technician. Oric Muso's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    As far as I'm aware the Toptone people closed down a couple of years ago. I'm told they used to chop the keys of vintage horns down to fit their pads and make them look like the picture above. When they closed a pile of vintage instruments were dumped in a scrapyard. A Dutch repairer tried to buy some but the asking price was prohibitive.

  5. #5
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Not quite. It was a lot longer than a couple of years ago, they never chopped any vintage horns (toptone pads can be installed onto normal keycups without any cup modification). Instruments and pads were not scrapped and are all sold to several buyers and the main source of both (unfortunately they only have a few altos left) is the Saxshop in Deventer the Netherlands.

  6. #6

    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    Not quite. It was a lot longer than a couple of years ago, they never chopped any vintage horns (toptone pads can be installed onto normal keycups without any cup modification). Instruments and pads were not scrapped and are all sold to several buyers and the main source of both (unfortunately they only have a few altos left) is the Saxshop in Deventer the Netherlands.
    I've just ordered one of those TopTone Vintage with titanium keys and neoprene pads...
    These were very expensive...I guess they didn't fit the market somehow because on paper appear to be excellent saxes - dunno really, I'll have to wait a few days to find out by myself.

  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    this is the Toptone top model. I have played an Alto at the Saxofoonwinkel in Deventer and it was really very impressive. I think that these horns have some similarities with the B&S Codera Model. They are rare and even after these many years don't sell too cheap. I see regularly the toptone neoprene pads installed on all sorts of horns, the last one was an Amati super classic tenor which can be great players but which value is less than the pad job that the Saxofoonwinkel charges for a re-pad.

  8. #8

    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    this is the Toptone top model. I have played an Alto at the Saxofoonwinkel in Deventer and it was really very impressive. I think that these horns have some similarities with the B&S Codera Model. They are rare and even after these many years don't sell too cheap. I see regularly the toptone neoprene pads installed on all sorts of horns, the last one was an Amati super classic tenor which can be great players but which value is less than the pad job that the Saxofoonwinkel charges for a re-pad.
    Any idea why these Toptone Vintage are out of production? Apparently they stopped a few years ago (so in the middle of the recession).

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    They stopped quite a few years ago ...... their horns never quite caught on , they were not cheap and the Market, mainly in Holland simply refused them. A lot of strange stories around on the pads too e specially by people who never tried them or even just as much as saw them. A textbook case in how difficult it is to introduce something new in rather traditionalist market.

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    back on track: you could use some sort of thin plastic or rubber derivative laminate and glue it to the underside of the "cups" (the flat discs that closes the holes) The one padless horn I've serviced I used U rings and a rubberized self adehesive sheet that was .8mm thick and covered perfectly the space needed to align the cups with the somewhat shorter than needed square U ring profile I found. Plus: it was quieter after using some sort of "cushion" on both sides (padless horns are really noisy!)
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  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    the top tone isn't

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Have you thought of silicone sealant....smoothed, when still pliable, with a wet finger.
    Worth a shot I would have thought...it could quite easily be removed if not suitable.
    Experience is an excellent school....but the fees are high.

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    you can put the silicone sealant into a syringe and use a #18G needle with the point grouded to achieve a smooth bead all around the place where the seal would go.

    As a matter of fact, you could prepare everything and cut wedges to place each key at the exact height, then smear a couple of drops of oil under each key (the flat part that will come in contact with the seal) then put the silicone bead with the syringe and then clamp the key over the bead and let it cure. The oil will prevent the silicone from sticking to the key.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    I have written about this elsewhere...

    If an elastomer (rubber-like) material is used as a pad substitute, and the meeting of the material with the tone hole is highly accurate, probably to better than 0.01 mm (0.0004") right around the tone hole, and the pad ideally closing from directly above the tone hole rather than hinged from the side, and the polymer does not have that sticky feel that the silicone rubbers tend to have, It would be great!

    However that is a lot of ifs. Such mechanical perfections does not really exist in a sax, partly because it has to be flimsy to keep the weight down. There is slop in pivots. Tone holes are not perfectly level, and most unavoidable of all, there is flex in the entire mechanism.

    Felt-based pads accommodate these things extraordinarily well, so that is a lot to sacrifice when heading for an elastomer.

    Discerning players know and like the feel of a well-adjusted sax with felt pads. One presses the key closed, and then with tiny additional pressure, achieves a total seal.

    With the mechanical imperfections of a sax, and elastomer pads, it is highly likely that the normally-open pads will need quite a lot more of that "additional" finger pressure in order to get a good seal. Elastomers do not "adjust" to the imperfections. Many (but not all) discerning players do not like that, especially when they have had a taste of the light finger action that can be used when felt-based pads are really well adjusted.

    I wonder if this is why this sax did not take off.

    IMO it is a fundamental problem relating to the use of any rubber-like materials, either as pads, or as linkage materials. Several pad makers have tried to deal with it, with some success, when they make foamed polmer pads that have some of the properties of felt, with the elastomeric properties minimised. This is seen in Valentino pads, and the superior Omni pads. Note that in closed cell foams, the air pockets still behave elastomerically.

    Previously when I have explained this, respondents have shot the messenger. I hope that this time, any discussion can focus on the content of what I have explained, hopefully better this time.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Have you ever seen a padless? your technical excerpt on polymer and elastomer pads and material replacement on saxophones is great but somehow I get the idea of you having absolutely no clue about a padless saxophone. No offense intended, just asking.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    I am happy to accept that what I wrote does not apply to your "padless", providing you give me full details of how what I wrote does not apply to the sealing method of such keys. Is an elastomer used or not? What exactly is the sealing material? Sorry if I incorrectly assumed it is an elastomer.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  17. #17
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon (NZ) View Post
    I am happy to accept that what I wrote does not apply to your "padless", providing you give me full details of how what I wrote does not apply to the sealing method of such keys. Is an elastomer used or not? What exactly is the sealing material? Sorry if I incorrectly assumed it is an elastomer.
    Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I don't share your comment on elastomers replacing some materials in the sax industry. I agree with your comment, I don't think that all that technical rant has anything to do with a selmer padless. You see, this horn is the key having a flat surface where the pad should be, and the tone holes have a thicker part that's machined to take a seal, sqaure section rubber U ring seal. Even with the period correct rubber seals (way less technology there than nowadays in the elastomer and rubber industries) it's noisy and clunky. Actually a softer seal with some elastomeric properties would be a plus in this case.
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  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeonum Randall's Avatar
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    As to the original post, get some neoprene, a compass, and cut yourself some rings. There you have it.
    Soprano: Martin Handcraft stencil- American Professional Altos: Yanagisawa A-pattern 9937 sterling, Saxgourmet Model 6, Cannonball 98, JK SX90 straight, Viking M21 Swing Sonic, TJ Prototype Sterling Silver, Vintage King C-mels: Aquila Sax matte black nickle Tenors: King Super 20 Silversonic, B&S Sterling Medusa, Ref 54, Buescher 400 TH&C Bari: JK SX90R satin silver, Maxtone flat matte laq. I am not a paid endorser for ANYTHING!

  19. #19

    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Randall, I was thinking about glueing soft foam, it comes in 8"x11"sheets, onto thin leather and thin cutting out rings, or thick leather shoe strings glued in the ring slot. Neither seems right yet so I haven't done anything so far.

    smf

  20. #20
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    Default Re: pads for a padless sax

    Jicaino, I don't understand . You seem to be agreeing with what I wrote about elastomers, but then saying that the elastomer materials used are OK. Where did I misunderstand you?
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

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