I received my first soprano saxophone, an almost new P. Mauriat soprano sax from the Ebay seller, and was pretty happy. But of course I also obsessively looked it over for signs of damage or build problems.
I had a leak light, so I took it into the bathroom, turned the lights out, and ran the light through the horn. Sure enough, there was a leak in the low C.
I also thought the octave key mechanism had a lot of play in it, and didn’t feel smooth.
And my friend Rusty suggested I replace the lower roller on the right side pinky palette with a bigger one, to make that an easier key transition.
I made a trip to a highly recommended wind tech an hour away in Albuquerque, and all of the above got handled in an hour’s time. She fixed the leak, and added a nylon sheath to a pin in the octave mechanism. That smoothed things out considerably for the octave key. I still think it’s a poor design, but it functions as it’s supposed to. She also raised the octave key up in relation to the left thumb rest, and that helped a lot. However, the thumb rest has a flat edge around it that would be more comfortable if it was rounded.
Thumb Comfort on My First Soprano Sax
The P. Mauriat soprano has a fixed thumb hook, and while it was generally comfortable at first, I was still getting a sore thumb. So I made myself a neoprene cushion fashioned from a piece of mouse pad. I stuck it on with double-stick tape. Very comfy!
The finish on this horn is an antique look, which I happen to like a lot. I think it’s beautifully done. It has the advantage of looking like a horn I’ve had for decades. But it doesn’t have that look of lacquer flaking off everywhere. Since it’s a mat finish, I expect the appearance will remain fairly consistent over years of use. For my first soprano saxophone, the P. Mauriat was a solid choice. For the story of my upgrade to my next soprano, skip to this post.