At the Sax ProShop we offer various optional modifications to the saxophones that come in for an Uberhaul. Two of these involve universal ball joints made by the German company Minibal: The Low C# Minibal Mechanism and the Teflon Minibal Octave Mechanism.
The Low C# Minibal Mechanism greatly improves the clunky original "roller skate" connection on Buescher Aristocrats. It allows the pad cup to open further without changing the touchpiece location in the Left Hand Pinky Table. The former linkage between the C# lever and C# pad cup limited the adjustability, forcing the technician and player to make a compromise between intonation and playability. With the Low C# Minibal Mechanism in place, the action of the lever and pad cup can be adjusted independently for the ultimate set-up. You can watch Josh go through the process of modifying an Aristocrat Alto in this video here.
We also use them to transform noisy Selmer-style Octave Mechanisms by replacing the octave rocker with one that has adjustable Teflon Minibals at each end. The former octave rocker was only slightly adjustable, making it nearly impossible to eliminate the noise of the metal pieces clunking together and give the mechanism a great feel. Teflon Minibals can be slightly compressed with just a turn of a screw so that the teflon ball fits tight, smooth, and silently in the joint.
We loved the Minibal Joints so much, we decided to add them to the shop at MusicMedic.com! They can be used on woodwind and brasswind instruments at points of linkage. Each joint has a ball-shaped head that rotates in any direction, which means it can compensate for errors in alignment of the pad cups as well as issues related to expansion or shrinking of the instrument due to changes in temperature. Minibal Joints are made from durable stainless steel. They move silently without resistance and transform clunky key work into reliable and smooth action, which makes them the perfect addition to any instrument. Use Ultimax Synthetic Oil to lubricate if necessary.
This product is not on the website yet, but we already have the joints here. If you are interested, shoot us an email atQuestions@MusicMedic.com and we'll hook you up!