YAS-21 Overhaul

Discussion in 'Saxophones' started by jbtsax, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    My 16 year old grandson worked as an apprentice with me in my saxophone repair shop this summer. His main assignment was to overhaul a "junk" YAS-21 I picked up on Ebay for about $60. It had body damage, missing keys, bent keys, no neck, etc. It was a long process but by the time he finished he had learned basic dent work, body straightening, post straightening, key straightening, key fitting, rod making, key fabricating, silver soldering, soft soldering, tonehole raising, tonehole leveling, spring installation, pad installation, regulation, setting key heights, neck fitting, and neck cork installation. Since he plays clarinet and percussion in his high school bands, I did the last 5% which requires being able to play the instrument and make the fine adjustments to key heights, touchpiece positions, etc.

    If I had it to do all over again, I would have picked an easier instrument for him to start on, but he must have my "determination" gene because through all the frustration he stuck with it to the end. The pic below shows how it turned out. It is a really nice playing alto. It has a "brushed finish" and a coating of Renaissance Wax.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    cool!

    Now there is a good use for "junkster" instruments, after all. Low risk, learn a lot from repairing it, and be rewarded with a high contrast before/after...

    (got a "before" pic?)
     
  3. Stephen

    Stephen

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    That's some apprenticeship. :) I've always said that it's the quality of your experience (and not the length of it) that produces the skill.

    I would also welcome a "before" shot if you have one.
     
  4. SuperAction80

    SuperAction80

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    Sorry for bumping an old Thread, but I caught your overhaul through Google. Very gorgeous looking sax, and I personally love how they play. By any chance, is that a YAS-52 keyguard? I'm currently having work done to an old VITO YAS-21, and was also considering the possibility of modding the keyguards to something with adjustment screws. I was also under the impression that the guards of the 21, 23, 51, 52, 61, and the Mark I 62 were all interchangeable. Once again, your grandson did a very nice job!
     
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I did a quick check for you. The 23 and 52 altos have different part numbers: N2243721 for the 52 and N1143721 for the 23. The guards look slightly different and you can see the 52 has the provision for the adjustable bumpers. I've gotta say that they look to be about the same size. I'd want to do measurements, tho, before ordering anything.

    I've mentioned it before, but Yamaha has their parts online HERE. It's a kewl website in and of itself.
     
  6. SuperAction80

    SuperAction80

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    Thanks for the link Pete. Yeah, the 52 key guards have a different cutaway design, and the adjustable bumpers, but the mounting looks about the same. I've come across the guards for about $30, so I may just bite the bullet. Looks like this 21 also had proper adjustment screws added to the G# key, which was another little mod that I was looking to make. Overall, these horns are fantastic when they're in good playing condition. They're also cheap, and common, enough to do these little mods without having to worry about things like "resale".
     
  7. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    One of the problems that I have had with my Yamaha baritone over the years was that a key bumper (the little red cylinder of felt poked into the center of the adjustment screw "ring") fell out, and I could not find a replacement. (If I recall it correctly without pulling the bari out of its storage space in the closet, they were much smaller in diameter than run of the mill bumpers - they were also a different color than others that I had seen.) This was pre-internet days, and I was living in a small town in Southern IL, so I was not close to the shop of my repairman in Saint Louis - for a month, I used a baritone with a noisy low C key, bumping against a small piece of wood that I plugged into it as a substitute.

    While over in Evansville IN on a shopping and dining trip, we drove by a large music shop. On a whim, I walked in and asked their repair department if they had any of the Yamaha bumpers. The tech produced a small drawer with a pile of them - I bought ten on the spot.

    Of course, I haven't needed one since...
     
  8. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    That is actually the original keyguard with threaded bumper sockets pirated from other keyguards soldered in place. None of the keyguards I tried lined up well enough to be an adequate substitution. Sorry I can't give you an easier solution.
     
  9. SuperAction80

    SuperAction80

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    No problem. Nothing that new felts and some sandpaper can't fix.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  10. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    You are correct, sir! The mounting "feet" have the same part number. Of course, that doesn't mean they're in the same place on the horn ...
     
  11. SuperAction80

    SuperAction80

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    Yeah, that's why "eyeballing" things doesn't work out in the mechanical world. From pictures of the 21 and 52, it looks like they're positioned in nearly the same place. Reality dictates otherwise. I really dig the solution here. Drill out the stock metal domes, and solder spare felt adjusters in place. Not necessarily the easiest modification to pull off, but it will most certainly make the next overhaul go more smoothly.
     

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