in the workshop

My individually measured resonators cover 95% of the pad's exposed surface. The edge of the resonator is approximately 1/16 inch (.015 inch or .39 mm) seperated from the rim of the tone hole. In order to achieve the maximum rigidness of the reflector, I attach its rivet firmly to the inside of the key.

No hollow space there. No semiflexible hot glues or contact adhesives. Shellac has been used since day one. At room temperature it's as stiff as glass.

When you close the keys of a saxophone that has been overhauled in that fashion you are as close to the saxophone without tone holes as you can get (as explained in "mission statement").


I am not trying to make the instrument sound brighter or darker. I want it to speak as well and even as possible; true to its own nature. Not more and not less. The reflectors are made from brass sheets approximately the same thickness as the body of the saxophone. The main reason for the choice of material is that it keeps the domed shape of the reflectors as they are pressed into the key cup when they are installed. That guarantees that the pad is pressed down evenly at the perimeter of the disc and therefore lines up perfectly with the the leveled tone hole . It creates a perfect seal. A key like that can only leak if bent in its entirety. Plastic discs are too soft the maintain their shape when pressed into the cup during the installation process.

A great 'side effect':

Since there is almost no leather exposed there is no aging of the pad, which is mainly due to exposure to moisture and saliva. In other words: It holds up for a long time!

The procedure described above I call the "Big Overhaul." The process of manufacturing the reflectors and placing them in the right spot inside the key is very time consuming. This is reflected in the price.

The "Regular Overhaul" is done with prefrabricated, nickelplated brass resonators. They are (as well as the handmade resonators) plain discs with no rivet hole in the middle. The "Regular Overhaul" is done just like the "Big Overhaul." The only difference is that the prefabricated reflectors vary in size by 4mm which means I can't match them as precisely to the tonehole size. They still cover an average of 91% of the pads' exposed surface.

Of course any overhaul includes the replacement of all pads and corks, springs (where nessessary) and dent removal.