Gah, I had a nice reply typed up but got logged out and lossst it!
Thank you SO much for replying!! I've mulled over what you said for a week now and the possibilities you've listed. I backed the screw out a bit and checked the condition of it. It's a black screw...coated to prevent rustiness? At any rate, it looks good, so probably not that.
How would I diagnose a bent hinge if that's the culprit?
I'm not sure about a loose or turned post. To my untrained eye, they look ok, and my picc has never had a traumatic even that I could pin a turned post on...HOWEVER, I did once send it out to a repair company to get oiled. I'll leave them unnamed; suffice it to say, it's a well known company that all of the schools in my area use. They bent all the keys on it putting it back together. RAGE AND FURY. I bring it elsewhere now and the new technician is amazing! He repaired the damage caused by the company. He hasn't mentioned any other damage caused by that company, so I think I can push this possibility down toward the bottom of the list.
I'm hoping it's just that it needs a COA. I noticed the number 1 trill key is a little sluggish, but I don't know if that's caused by that screw being a little too tight or a dirty rod. I adjusted it slightly and it's in a position that allows the notes to ring out clearly without the rod flexing. When that screw backs out, the sound gets terribly muffled (from the number 1 trill key leaking, I presume?) and the rod flexes. I don't need that number 1 trill key for the concert, so I didn't play with the positioning to try to determine if a sweet spot exists where the tone isn't muffled and the trill key moves quickly. I'm no technician, nor do I have any delusions of being one, lol. I don't want to cause more damage, so I didn't meddle too much. Will I be able to tell if that screw is, in fact, too tight and will I cause damage playing if it is?