Today we finished a job for a player in Florida named Martin. This work was done by Matt Scott here at the MusicMedic.com saxophone repair shop. Martin's saxophone (who's name is Ed) is a Buescher "New Aristocrat." Ed is a saxophone that we overhauled years ago. One problem with Ed, that most Bueschers suffer from, is an uncomfortable octave mechanism. The octave pearl on a Buescher Alto is located directly above the rest and it pivots in the opposite direction from a modern saxophone octave mechanism.
Although I didn't take a before picture, there is a similar saxophone on Saxpics here
Due to some hand problems, Martin took his saxophone with him to a doctors visit. After looking at the configuration of the octave mechanism on this saxophone the doctor explained to Martin that his octave mechanism may be adding to the problems with his hand. Martin decided to take the plunge and have a Selmer style octave mechanism put on Ed. Since Ed already had a C-bar (which is a simple version of Clyde the Glyde) we decided to add Clyde the Glyde to the mechanism to improve on the C-bar and remove lost motion.
Most Buescher Altos also have lost motion in the G key where it hits the octave pad. This has always been a problem on these instruments, so Matt decided to address that problem as well.
As this modification is intended to ease the players hand position and motion, we also wanted to make the amount of movement in the LH thumb variable, without varying the amount of movement in the octave pad. This is something I have seen on any saxophone in production but it is very handy.
All of these adjustments were made by allowing the relationship between the various opposing fulcrums to be completely adjustable. Although the intention was to make and install a Selmer type octave mechanism, the result is a greatly improved hand-made Selmer style octave mechanism.
Here is the whole mechanism before polishing and plating. It's not pretty yet but it works very well.
Here you can see Clyde the Glyde in his naked form before clean up.
This is the adjustment screw that allows the thumb lever's movement to be adjusted without changing the amount of movement in the octave pads.
This adjustment lever allows the technician to change the height of the G pad without adding lost motion to the mechanism. Again, this is done by changing the contact point between the two opposing fulcrums.
Here's Ed back to being beautiful. All polished and plated. The new octave mechanism works like a charm!
Another shot of Ed, this time from the back.
This mechanism works perfectly on the Buescher without adding any lost motion and even removes lost motion present on so many Bueschers. Martin tells me that the mechanism allows him to go over the break more easily and the new, more natural, thumb motion will certainly help technique avoid problems in the Left thumb.
Great job Matt!
Thanks for looking!