P Mauriat
Antigua Winds
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Pads for Adolphe Sax

  1. #1

    Default Pads for Adolphe Sax

    Who knows what pads are better for silver Adolphe Sax (Edward)?

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss saxtek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003

    Default Pads for Adolphe Edouard Sax

    I've overhauled 2 of these horns (The ones built at the Selmer factory). The pads that worked best were thin pads .160" thick. I used Prestini pads but Ferree's Tools has pads that would work just as well. Since Selmer saxes made at the same time had metal screw-on resonators, it would be OK to use old Selmer screw-on resonators or Prestini metal resonators (the ones that are smooth - no rivet on the front). The Prestinis look almost like the Selmer resonators. I used old Selmer screw-ons and both horns play very well indeed.

    Since the Adolphe Sax horns from Selmer were less expensive than the Selmers, they may have been made with plain pads - no resonators. The .160" thick pads are still the best thickness. if the keys haven't been bent up, they drop right in. Plain pads will give a darker sound.

    If your Adolphe Edouard Sax instrument was made before Selmer bought the Sax factory, plain pads would be more authentic for a restoration. Only close inspection would tell you the proper thickness. When the pad cup is flat (not bent like a potato chip), and the tone hole is flat, pick the pad that covers evenly all around when the key is centered over the tone hole. If the pad leaks in back, the pad is too thin, if it leaks in front, it's too thick. If the key is not centered over the tone hole (front to back), bend the shank of the key (not the pad cup!) until it is centered, and check pad thickness again.

    Some of the earliest saxes used pads thinner than anything available today. I restored 2 Adolphe Sax saxophones made by the father, not the son, in the mid to late 1800s. They required very thin pads like thin bass clarinet pads. Prestini was good enough to make me some thin bass clarinet pads in the larger diameters required for saxophones in white leather, so they look like old pads. My wife stitched the centers with thread to complete the antique appearance and to keep the centers from "ballooning" years from now.

    This kind of work isn't easy or cheap. Choose your repairman by his experience, not his price.

  3. #3


    Thank you for detail answer. Now my alto (#15***) has Selmer type domed metal resonator pads. Sound - superb. But pads are very old, so I want repadded this sax.

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss saxtek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003


    Your saxophone was made by Adolphe Edouard Sax before Selmer bought the factory. I have never worked on one of these, but my best guess would be that you need thin saxophone pads. Plain pads with no resonator would be appropriate for a restoration.

    However, if you plan to play the instrument in a modern context, you should equip the saxophone to give you the sound you want. If you like the sound of the resonator pads already on the horn, then you will probably prefer resonator pads when you repad it.

    I would suggest a flatter resonator, however. Domed resonators protrude into the bore and actually change the dimensions of the instrument, which probably had no resonators originally. There are many resonators that should work well, including Prestini metal resonators, and flat rivet-on resonators. Standard plastic resonators don't bulge very much, and they should be OK if the pad is glued solidly to the key cup in the center.

  5. #5


    Now sax sound fine (with Selmer type domed metal resonator pads).
    But I want to find average between an original and beautiful sound (not modern).

    (I understand, that plastic may spoil a sound of this saxophone.
    Anybody does not put plastic resonators on Buescher! Because it already will be not Buescher).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts