Oboe Repair

Oboes and English horns are delicate instruments that require the precise alignment of all parts to play well. We offer several levels of service for your instrument, from playing condition repairs to complete overhauls.

Get your oboe repaired by someone who actually plays the oboe!

..it needs some TLC and you’re the only person I trust…
Marco N. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Adjustment

Every oboe service includes a full adjustment of the mechanism – those tiny little adjusting screws are only part of the story. As part of our overhaul service, we upgrade to nylon-tipped adjusting screws to ensure longevity of adjustments.

A finely adjusted oboe ensures that key combinations work as they should.

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

During this part of the service, pads are adjusted to seal the tone holes and key heights are set to an even, appropriate clearance.

Cleaning

Cleaning the oboe 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 oboe. 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 oboe, we prefer to install cork pads but do offer other options. Before replacing the pads, we make sure that the tone holes are level and free of imperfections for accurate pad seating.

Body Work

Tenons sometimes wear, crack, or chip. Our shop can perform all kinds of tenon, tone hole, and crack repairs. Oboes that are broken in half can usually be repaired. We also have a full range of soldering equipment, so we can repair keys that need silver soldering.

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 oboe or English horn will play effortlessly throughout the full range and have the quietest, most responsive action possible.

Other Services

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

  • Tenon corking.
  • Loose tenon fit.
  • Tight/stuck tenons.
  • Loose post repair.
  • Noisy/sluggish/misaligned pinky keys.
  • Sticky pads. This is especially common with octave key pads.
  • Spring extraction and replacement.
  • Upgrading to nylon-tipped adjusting screws for long-lasting regulation.
  • Repair and maintenance of non-standard keywork; various thumb plate systems, open ring system, left pinky C# key, etc.

Contact us today to get started!