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 Pad savers
Author: Simon 
Date:   2012-01-05 01:24

I have been using pad savers since day one. I had recently serviced my clarinet by a very reputable tech. and his advice was that he wasn't a great fan of pad savers. His prefernce was to swab the clarinet and let it dry and don't use the pad savers.

I have always thought that pad savers were a good thing for keeping the bore and pads dry. Or is it better to swab the clarinet and use cigarette paper for the pads that close.

What are peoples' thoughts/suggestions on this subject?


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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Trevor M 
Date:   2012-01-05 01:58

The techs I know hate pad savers. This is the spiel they always give: if you use them, at the end of the day you should open your case and take out the pad savers to let them dry. Otherwise, you basically have a perpetually moist sponge in your instrument to ruin your pads at a steady rate. Also, over time those things tend to break down and start shedding their fibers, and those little threads work their way into the mechanism (this is more of an issue with saxophones).

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: oca 
Date:   2012-01-05 02:12

I use both.
Swab first then use the pad savers to absorb the vapor from the pads that I don't dry from the swabbing.

My protip: When practicing, always leave your case open under your chair and your swab/padsavers on top of the case. The chair can block vertical drift of dust particles onto the clarinet case. The airing out of the case helps prevent anaerobic and water loving-bacteria from multiplying on your equipment.

My one complaint is that I hate the feeling of shoving a toothbrush like object down my clarinet.

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2012-01-05 02:45

Do a search here on pad savers. Pretty much universally discouraged by people who know what they're talking about - professionally. REAL pro tips.

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: TJTG 
Date:   2012-01-05 03:15

They sound completely pointless. If you swab your instrument, with a nice swab, they serve no purpose.

Your case absorbs moisture. The air around the instrument absorbs moisture. Your swab gets most of it anyways...

If your pads are in bad shape they'll get water-logged with or without the product anyways.

While the idea is good, the execution seems flawed. Its bad to keep the moisture level at a different level than the outer sides of the instrument.
Just like using a Dampit, which seems dangerous.

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: DrewSorensenMusic 
Date:   2012-01-05 03:29

Another no for pad savers.

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2012-01-05 04:36

Alright using them with plastic and metal instruments, but a definite no-no using them with wooden instruments. I've seen the state of clarinet bores where they've been used and it's not a pretty sight.

I've used them for years on all my saxes without any problems, but wouldn't ever use them on my clarinets.


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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2012-01-05 09:28

Never ran into ANYONE using a device by that name...... don't know what they are.

..................Paul Aviles

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Lelia Loban 2017
Date:   2012-01-05 12:33

For clarinets, I use a silk pull-through swab (Ann Hodges). I hang the swab from my music stand so the swab will dry outside the case, to leave the air in the case as dry as possible to circulate through the clarinet bore. No matter how well we swab, a wind instrument will always remain somewhat damp inside and a pad-saver will trap that dampness in there.

One of the worst wooden clarinets I ever saw at a flea market had a pad saver in each key section. The previous owner had put that clarinet away with damp pad savers in it. The case was full of dried black mold and it stank.

Pulling a pad saver out wasn't easy, because it had stuck to the bore as it became verminous and then gradually dried. When I eased one pad-saver halfway out, it was black with long-dried mold and it shed fibers all over the place as I pulled. Even though the inside of the clarinet had dried out, too (probably over a period of months or years when the instrument sat unused), when I began pulling the pad saver out, the stench wafting from inside the clarinet would have made a goat gag. Most of the pads had fallen out of the pad cups and the other pads were rotted. There were dead insects in the case, too. I don't know whether the wood had rotted inside the bore or not, because I never got past that one swab half-out before I decided life's too short to deal with that much of a mess. I pushed the swab back in and went off to wash my hands!

To hear the audio, click on the "Scorch Plug-In" box above the score.

Post Edited (2012-01-05 12:35)

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: DeletedUser 
Date:   2017-11-21 07:36

I think pad savers are a relatively new invention and new to the clarinet ( as an adult) I will use them. I agree that they should be clean and dry. The reason that I will use them is after my clarinet is dry and allowed to air out in the open case for a couple of hours - pad savers do provide some form climate control. I mean to say I dont want my hollowed out wooden tube to get too dry too fast. Also I will inspect the bore, barrel and bell once in a while and add a drop of bore oil to the inside making sure there are no dry patches. Just using common sense. Wet dirty pad savers =bad clean dry pad savers = good.

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2017-11-21 11:24

They've been around forever.

Flirt with them if you must, but aside from the other things wrong with them that others listed, you'll find the worst thing wrong with them when some of the fuzz migrates under a pad and causes a leak in the middle of a performance.

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2017-11-21 13:07

You want the inside of your 'hollowed out wooden tube' to dry at the same rate as the outside of it. That's how you discourage cracking. Your logic may be sound, but your assumptions less so.


Post Edited (2017-11-21 13:22)

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2017-11-21 16:35


I know nothing of your background but you have some rather unusual ideas about clarinet care and maintenance. If you are new to the clarinet, there is a lot of conventional wisdom in the earlier posts on this thread. I'd suggest reading them as IMHO, your "common sense" is not quite so common.

Just my "2 cents worth."


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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Steven Ocone 
Date:   2017-11-21 17:09

Not all "padsavers" are the same. The H.W. brand is a special material that is more absorbent and doesn't shed. I still recommend a swab (or perhaps both) for clarinets. I've given up trying to get sax players to swab, so a padsaver is helpful (until it gets dirty).

Steven Ocone

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Dibbs 
Date:   2017-11-21 21:19

bmcgar wrote:

> They've been around forever.

Only since 1975.

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 Re: Pad savers
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-11-22 00:07

My granddaughter used one for a while in her wooden Selmer Signet but when I looked inside, the bore was really dirty. I would never put anything like a "padsaver" in any of my instruments. Perhaps it should be called a "padruiner".

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