Accent Music

Keeping you playing easy

Overhaul SAXFIX Sax Overhaul Page

The overhaul example instrument is this Italian Borgani Macerata alto. (Note the extra-flared bell rim).

It suffers from the following symptoms: all the pads are in bad condition, corks are dry and crumbly, or missing, some springs are corroded, and some are broken, three posts have parted from the body, unlevel tone-holes and pad-cups, several dings and bends, missing screws, some swedging, and countless alignments needed. It qualifies for an Overhaul. Here we go!

First, your sax is completely stripped down, the only exceptions being any springs deemed fit are left in the posts, and pearl buttons which are still good are left in place on the keys. All pads, felt and cork components, nylon or Teflon sleeves, weak or corroded springs, worn pearl buttons, are removed to make way for new ones. All pivot rods and screws and guards are taken off. Here is a very stubborn rod, which needs some hot persuasion!

All the components are then inspected, to locate any possible problems. Notes are taken to ensure nothing is missed. Here is a common site, a pushed-in Eb guard. Two screws are also missing from the low C guard.

Then all the parts are cleaned, including pivot rods and screws, and inside hinge tubing. Pad cups are cleaned out, and any old stubborn adhesive is scraped out.

Appropriate cleaning products and methods are used, depending on whether your instrument is lacquered, nickel or silver or gold plated, or a combination.

Next, the new pads are chosen and carefully installed, along with the corks to be adhered in place. This customer has chosen plastic dome resonator pads, in order to avoid corrosion, which occurs with metal resonators.

Corks are trimmed at an angle.

Now that the basics are done, the notes from the beginning are referred to, and repairs are made. Here, the dented Eb guard and flanges are straightened out. (See sax damage to view other types of dents and methods of removal).

As with all overhaul instruments, there are countless small repairs to be carried out; below is a shot of one of three posts which had previously been glued on. It is amazing what lengths are gone to, to avoid a service bill! Trust me, this method will never work! (Photo was taken before cleaning). The glue must be removed and the posts correctly soldered in place. (Note, this will be "soft-soldered", but to see "silver soldering" taking place, click here and scroll down that page about half way).

The neck is adjusted to fit the receiver properly.

The neck is spun on the bench-motor’s expanding mandril, to sand the neck cork down to suit the customer’s mouthpiece.

All the flat spring screws are loosened and oiled, and retightened. Every single pivot screw and rod, and adjustment screw, is turned, (to make sure it is not ceased, or that is might become ceased), and oiled, and retightened/adjusted. Spring tension corrections, all adjustments and general service procedures are included in the cost of your overhaul. Note: extreme repairs, major or many parts and large or many dents may attract an extra charge. Pads are then seated. Your sax is then reassembled, and the pads are seated.

Then your sax is regulated. Regulating takes care of all remaining adjustments to make the sax play correctly, and makes sure that there is no free-play in any of the action. The movement height is also carefully adjusted. Some customers have a preference for stiff or light action, or high or low, or anything in between. It is then tested, your case is vacuumed, and your instrument is returned.


Like to get your sax overhauled ? Click Here !