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 Feather keys opening D#
Author: Jim22 
Date:   2017-10-27 05:30

I have an adjustment issue on my Yamaha 441 oboe. For anyone familiar with Reg Thorp's book, it's adjustment item 21. I have the adjustment screw at the back of the D# key backed out all the way, and the barrel the screw screws into is pushing on the leaf spring under the key and opening the D# key slightly. I think I need to create a little more space between the barrel and the spring. My options are:

1. Bend the leaf spring so the last little section is more parallel to the bottom of the barrel. It currently angles up a bit.
2. Change the corks under the B and Bb bumpers to be thicker.
3. Add a cork spacer so the D# key pushes the leaf spring down a little further. There's an extension of the key there that seems a bit short.

Am I approaching this the right way?


Jim C.

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 Re: Feather keys opening D#
Author: oboeyogi 
Date:   2017-10-28 16:21

Hi Jim

Yes you are right, I like mine to just have just a slight play so the arm between the d# and the b can move very slightly with out moving any pads.

I had the same problem and I fixed it with your option 1. I did remove the b/b flat rod, the removed the d# pad arm then got out small needle nose plies and bent only the last section of the spring ever so slightly.

Put it back together and has worked perfectly for the last 2 or so years.

I was getting in consistent low notes be for this adjustment.

Good luck with it.


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 Re: Feather keys opening D#
Author: Jim22 
Date:   2017-11-05 04:17

Thanks, Nicholas,
I'm not going to mess with it until after my concert in a couple weeks. Then I may give it a go. Actually, I'm seriously thinking it's time to upgrade. My teacher was excited about Howarth oboes, so maybe I'll see if I can get one to trial.

Jim C.

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 Re: Feather keys opening D#
Author: jhoyla 
Date:   2017-11-05 18:34

Check to see if the bumper-cork beneath the low Bb connector is missing? The cork that goes to the body of the instrument, not to its opposite number.

If this is your problem, a sliver of cardboard with some contact adhesive could resolve the issue, and it is easy to reverse should it prove too thick. Don't bend the spring as a method of first resort.


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 Re: Feather keys opening D#
Author: Jim22 
Date:   2017-11-05 23:42

Actually, it looks like there are two bumpers involved, the one under the Bb bridge, which is there, but quite thin, and the one under the linkage from the Bb to the B, which is very thick. I would have to add a little thickness to both. Its not worth messing with before my concert. You are right, however, about the spring. I would hate to break it. It looks to me like all the lower pad bumpers could stand to be thoughtfully redone. A little out of my league. I would need to practiice on a flea market oboe for a while first.

Are there any good books about oboe repair that go into venting and setting linkages? Oboes are complicated!

Jim C.

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 Re: Feather keys opening D#
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-11-06 01:59

To be honest Jim, you would be better going to a good technician who specialises on oboes. You will save time and angst, and a good one will show you exactly what he does, so you can learn for next time, if there is an emergency. I used to try and do little things myself, with varying success, but have found that fixing one thing, may create other problems, and now rely on those with the knowledge and skills.

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 Re: Feather keys opening D#
Author: Jim22 
Date:   2017-11-06 02:47

You'll notice it's not an emergency, and I haven't actually tried a repair yet. What you don't know is that I have experience repairing flutes and clarinet, so I'm most of the way there. I have supplies, tools, and experience, but this is a complex part of the oboe. The repair person I use is far enough away that I would need to ship the instrument and would be without it for a week or more. I was really just looking for second opinions. I do appreciate the suggestions.

Jim C.

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