Clarinet Repair

We offer several levels of service for your clarinet, from playing condition repairs to complete overhauls.

Have an alto, bass, or contra clarinet? We repair “big” clarinets, too!

I am thrilled at the improvement in how my clarinet plays! The throat tones are so much more clear and resonant as well as much more in tune. This problem crept up on me over years, and what you did made a dramatic improvement.
Peter K. (Wellington, FL)

Adjustment

Every clarinet service includes a full adjustment of the mechanism. A finely adjusted clarinet ensures that key combinations work as they should.

All of the alternate, bridge, and trill fingerings are checked and adjusted as needed, by someone who actually plays the clarinet.

During this part of the service, pads are adjusted to seal the tone holes, key rings are aligned to the player’s preference, and key heights are set to an even, appropriate clearance.

Cleaning

Cleaning the clarinet is cosmetically attractive but is also important to prevent the buildup of dirt, tarnish, and gunk. Clean instruments look, play, and smell better.

We use environmentally safe yet effective protocols to clean your clarinet. We remove the dirt, grease, and green and white calcified “stuff.” During this procedure, tarnish is removed and parts are polished.

Pads

When we replace pads, we use pads of the correct size and thickness to ensure proper function. On playing condition jobs, new pads (if needed) are selected to complement the existing setup.

When repadding or overhauling your clarinet, we prefer to install a mix of cork and leather or bladder pads but do offer other options. Before replacing pads, we make sure that the tone holes are level for accurate pad seating.

Body Work

Tenons themselves sometimes wear, crack, or chip. Our shop can perform all kinds of tenon, tone hole, and crack repairs. Clarinets that are broken in half can usually be repaired.

Loose socket rings are dangerous and can contribute to cracking. We always repair socket rings when they are loose.

For larger clarinets, we have specialized dent equipment to remove dents from any part of your neck or bell.

We also have a full range of soldering equipment, so we can repair any keys that need silver soldering, or install a custom extension onto an existing key.

Key Fitting

As part of an overhaul, all loose play is removed. Without this, adjustments are not as accurate, and common symptoms of poor key fitting include sluggish action, noisy (metallic) action, and buzzing or other vibration during playing.

Each key is swedged tightly around its rod. Adjacent keys are lengthened and squared off to remove side-to-side play. Posts are aligned and worn post holes are shrunk as needed. Key barrels and rods are straightened and polished to ensure smooth, free action.

Each pivot screw is fitted to its post and corresponding key.

With our attention to detail and precise workmanship, your clarinet will play effortlessly throughout the full range and have the quietest, most responsive action possible.

Other Services

Some other common (and not so common) clarinet issues we fix:

  • Tenon corking.
  • Loose tenon fit.
  • Tight/stuck tenons.
  • Loose bell rings.
  • Loose post repair.
  • Noisy or sluggish pinky keys.
  • Left pinky key spatula alignment. This can be customized for the individual player.
  • Disabling unused keys to prevent unintentional opening. Typically the left hand Eb/Bb and/or the B/F# trill key, occasionally C#/G# trill keys on full Boehm instruments.
  • Preferable to that, we can sometimes lower them so they’re out of the way.
  • Poor intonation.
  • Register key pad pin installation. Typically used to improve the upper clarion (second) register on Buffet A clarinets, although other A (and even Bb) clarinets can benefit from this procedure.
  • Thumb rest repair and repositioning. Many players benefit from a higher thumb rest location. Adjustable thumb rests are useful here…
  • Upgrade to adjustable thumb rest. Buffet offers versions with and without a neck strap ring; we carry both.
  • Mouthpiece damage.
  • Spring extraction and replacement.
  • Bass clarinet register keys. Most newer basses have three separate vents and a lot of moving parts.
  • Bass clarinets with low C extensions. Again, a lot of moving parts. The goal is to maximize seal with minimum finger pressure regardless of fingering choice.
  • Metal clarinet repairs.
  • Leblanc “Paperclip” contra restorations.
  • Restorations of vintage, non-Boehm, or otherwise unusual instruments.

Contact us today to get started!