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Through normal wear and tear or rough handling, saxophone corks can become damaged, rendering the instrument useless or operating at diminished quality. This guide will replace a Yamaha YAS-23 alto saxophone cork; however, the size for all alto saxophone neck-pieces is standard, so this repair is applicable to all alto saxophone neck-piece cork repairs.

For optimal performance, saxophones require a well fitting cork. Without this, tone quality will be sacrificed, or the saxophone will cease to function.

  1. The octave key is silver, while the rest of the neck-piece is gold. Locate the screw on the side of the neck-piece, connecting the octave key to the neck-piece.
    • The octave key is silver, while the rest of the neck-piece is gold.

    • Locate the screw on the side of the neck-piece, connecting the octave key to the neck-piece.

    • Use a small, 2.5 mm flat head screwdriver to remove the screw.

  2. Open a paperclip. Push the screw out with the end of the paperclip.
    • Open a paperclip.

    • Push the screw out with the end of the paperclip.

  3. Slide the octave key down off the bottom of the neck-piece. Slide the octave key down off the bottom of the neck-piece. Slide the octave key down off the bottom of the neck-piece.
    • Slide the octave key down off the bottom of the neck-piece.

  4. Put on leather gloves. Cut away from one's self. Use the utility blade to scrape off the cork.
    • Put on leather gloves.

    • Cut away from one's self.

    • Use the utility blade to scrape off the cork.

    • Start at the base of the cork on the neck-piece with the utility blade at a 10 to 20 degree angle.

    • In a controlled motion, drag the utility blade along the neck-piece, removing cork along the way.

    • Repeat until all of the cork is removed.

  5. Apply masking tape where there is no glue on the neck-piece to prevent damage to the finish. Apply masking tape where there is no glue on the neck-piece to prevent damage to the finish.
    • Apply masking tape where there is no glue on the neck-piece to prevent damage to the finish.

  6. Remove glue and resin by rotating the neck-piece against the 220 grit sand paper. Repeat until all glue is gone.
    • Remove glue and resin by rotating the neck-piece against the 220 grit sand paper.

    • Repeat until all glue is gone.

  7. New cork may not  adhere correctly without completing this step. With a damp microfiber cleaning cloth, wipe off any dust and glue particles. With a damp microfiber cleaning cloth, wipe off any dust and glue particles.
    • New cork may not adhere correctly without completing this step.

    • With a damp microfiber cleaning cloth, wipe off any dust and glue particles.

  8. Do not remove adhesive covering on the Valentino neck cork. Make sure the shorter base of the Valentino neck cork is flush with entrance. Place the Valentino neck cork flush with the entrance of the neck-piece.
    • Do not remove adhesive covering on the Valentino neck cork.

    • Make sure the shorter base of the Valentino neck cork is flush with entrance.

    • Place the Valentino neck cork flush with the entrance of the neck-piece.

    • Mark a line where the Valentino neck cork meets the masking tape.

    • Cut along the line.

  9. Wrap Valentino neck cork around the neck-piece. Make mark where the Valentino neck cork overlaps. Make sure the shorter base of Valentino neck cork is flush with entrance to neck-piece.
    • Wrap Valentino neck cork around the neck-piece.

    • Make mark where the Valentino neck cork overlaps.

    • Make sure the shorter base of Valentino neck cork is flush with entrance to neck-piece.

    • If Valentino neck cork appears to be too small on one side, rotate 180 degrees.

  10. Cut the Valentino neck cork along the line made in the previous step.
    • Cut the Valentino neck cork along the line made in the previous step.

  11. Remove the adhesive covering on the back of the Valentino neck cork. Wrap the Valentino neck cork around the top of neck-piece. Place the narrow end of the Valentino neck cork flush with the tip of the neck-piece.
    • Remove the adhesive covering on the back of the Valentino neck cork.

    • Wrap the Valentino neck cork around the top of neck-piece.

    • Place the narrow end of the Valentino neck cork flush with the tip of the neck-piece.

  12. Remove the masking tape.
    • Remove the masking tape.

  13. Sand the seam of the Valentino neck cork until it is even with the rest of the Valentino neck cork. Sand the seam of the Valentino neck cork until it is even with the rest of the Valentino neck cork.
    • Sand the seam of the Valentino neck cork until it is even with the rest of the Valentino neck cork.

  14. Apply a generous amount of cork grease on the whole Valentino neck cork.
    • Apply a generous amount of cork grease on the whole Valentino neck cork.

  15. Place the octave key on the neck-piece. Place the octave key on the neck-piece. Place the octave key on the neck-piece.
    • Place the octave key on the neck-piece.

  16. Re-insert the screw. Tighten the screw with a small, 2.5 mm flat head screwdriver. The replacement is complete.
    • Re-insert the screw.

    • Tighten the screw with a small, 2.5 mm flat head screwdriver.

    • The replacement is complete.

    • When applying a mouthpiece to the neck-piece for the first time, it will be difficult and require force. This is normal.

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