Modification LH pinky plateau Buescher 400 bariton saxophone

  • Posted on: 25 August 2015
  • By: Mark

On customer request MRO saxophones performed a modification to the LH pinky plateau of Buescher 400 baritone saxophone. This instrument was already completely overhauled by us a few years ago, the customer came for scheduled maintenance to keep his sax in top condition.

Normally speaking the left LH pinky plateau of almost every vintage baritone saxophone causes problems because it is heavy to operate. This is caused by the long and heavy keywork and thick springs, in combination with direct transmission to the keys. Modern saxophones use another system and are smoother to operate.
The modification from MRO Saxofoons ensures that the keys of the LH pinky plateau are optimally adjusted to each other, and the friction between the keys is minimalised.

The basic principle is that the keys are adjusted optimal, without friction. Then we will optimize the tension of the Gis key mechanism. It consists of two springs that counteract each other. Of course the Gis key should open normally, but there is often to be gained by lowering these springs  actions. The spring of the Gis key should open itself if the saxophone is held horizontal with key lid up. Then the second, heavier spring on the transmission key can be adjusted accordingly. This is important because this second spring is always in action when pressing lower Cis, b, and Bb. The smoother the Gis mechanism, the lighter the entire LH pinky plateau mechanism.

Now we can adjust the individual springs of Cis, B and Bb keywork. These are thick steel springs and it takes a little more effort to adjust, but often they are more tightly tuned as needed. Optimal adjustment; the keys may not bounce or close automatically by movement of the sax.

Now that the spring tension is corrected we continue with the minimizing the friction between the keys on the actual plateau. The problem is that the amber rollers of the keys touch the bracket on the Gis transmission key. This is a design failure from Buescher, unfortunately. This can be solved in two ways: to narrow the bracket on the Gis transmission key so that the rollers no longer contact it, or to install a thin strip techcork topped with a teflon strip (see picture). To leave the saxophone in original condition the customer decided to go for the second solution. As a result all the keys of the LH plateau are at exactly the same height as well. 

The end result: the LH pinky plateau is much smoother and faster and can now be operated without any trouble.

Of course this modification can also be performed for your saxophone by MRO Saxofoons !!