My Musical Equipment Closet

An opinionated collecton of short reviews of saxophones and woodwinds and the accessories which they require.

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Location: Santa Cruz, California, United States

"Other cultures are not failed attempts at being us. They are all unique manifestations of the human imagination and the human heart." Wade Davis

Monday, October 30, 2006

SAXRAX: The Most Protection Against Tipping

When I'm on a ship working in the show band, I have enough to worry about without allowing equipment failure to creep into the mix.

Just try to find a qualified repair person in the Baltic. I did! in a freaky accident, a spring broke on my G# key, one of only two notes on the saxophone which is determined by a closed pad. If the pad doesn't close, in this case because its actuator spring snapped, nothing below that note comes out right. G# is in the middle of the horn, so it wipes out maybe 60% of the notes.

Once I realized that the language and cultural barriers were not going to allow me some face time with a guy who had a spring and new how to put it on the horn, I rigged up a pseudo-spring with a rubber band and a cable tie. The horn had an appendage, the vestigial cable tie, until I came home and found my way to my permanant repair hero, Kent Winking, repairman extraordinaire, in Round Rock, Texas. (His store, Sam Bass Music, is your source for Saxgourmet Saxophones in Central Texas.)

I can't prevent a spring from popping, although I plan on bringing a set of springs and spring pliers on my next ship. (In fact, I'll bring a tool kit from Curt at, which I will write about soon.)

And another good move: I'll be bringing a SaxRax saxophone stand. These babies are built like tanks, they are customizable with more good ideas attached to them than anyone's ever thought about, and they WON'T tip over, even on a cruise ship. If your horn tips, you better have your life vest on, because you're getting wet! Until now, I've only used my SaxRax on land and brought a cheap piece of junk stand onto the ship. This is wrong thinking, because in a world where one of our ships in the Caribbean went into a list of 19.5% due to a bad decision by a (former) captain, with a piano flying across the dance floor in the central lounge and half the cabin televisions breaking free of their mountings, I better have more protection, and protection is what SaxRax has, in spades. With its four point footprint, you'd be seeing water in the carpeting before there was a danger of tippage.

They are made in England by a working saxophone bloke who used to work as an engineer for Ford. Paul Coats has the franchise in the USA, and he's done a great job of setting up a dealer network. You probably live near a dealer, if I know Paul.

You're going to pay more for a SaxRax, but that horn needs some cradling, and it's worth it to know that it's not going anywhere when you turn your back. Add that to the bewildering array of customized gee-gaws available, some more useful than others, and you've got some real value here.


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