Saxophone Repair

We offer several levels of service for your saxophone, from playing condition repairs to complete overhauls. We fix what the others can’t!

Scott – the mouthpiece is very much improved…it’s now playing great. Much thanks!
Alan M. (Salt Lake City, UT)

Adjustment

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

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

Complex key interactions, such as the octave and left pinky mechanisms, are carefully addressed. During this part of the service, pads are adjusted to seal the tone holes and key heights are set to an even, appropriate clearance. Spring tension is adjusted to the player’s preference.

Cleaning

Cleaning the saxophone 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 saxophone. We remove the dirt, grease, and green and white calcified “stuff.”

Pads

When we replace pads, we use pads of the correct size and thickness to ensure proper function and “float in” the pads for a leak-free installation. On playing condition jobs, new pads (if needed) are selected to complement the existing setup.

When repadding or overhauling your saxophone, we like to use the same type of resonators the factory used, or the type currently installed in the instrument, unless the customer has a specific request.

We source our pads from several of the leading pad suppliers, based on what will work best for the specific instrument we’re repairing.

We make sure that the tone holes are level for accurate pad seating. We prefer to level each tone hole from the inside out rather than relying on excessive filing – this is especially critical on saxophones with rolled tone holes. Then, various tools are used to reface the rim of the tone hole for a perfect surface.

Body Work

Saxophones are prone to dents and other body damage. We have a broad selection of dent removal equipment and can remove dents from any location on your saxophone.

Bent body tubes and pulled-down necks are no problem for us. We can fit the neck, whether original or not, to the body of the sax for an airtight seal.

We also have a full range of soldering equipment, so we can repair anything from a loose post to a key that needs silver soldering. We can also fabricate replacement or extra keys or modify existing keys.

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 saxophone will play effortlessly throughout the full range and have the quietest, most responsive action possible.

Other Services

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

  • Neck recorking.
  • Improper neck tenon fit; we can tighten or loosen.
  • Out of round neck tenon. Many saxophones leak here.
  • Out of round neck receiver. For many older instruments with badly worn receivers, fabricating new parts is the remedy.
  • Broken neck tightening screw; extraction and replacement.
  • Nine times out of ten, that broken screw is stuck inside of a Yamaha, so we do carry the genuine Yamaha part but recommend using a non-Yamaha part with the same thread size instead.
  • Noisy tilting Bb mechanism.
  • Noisy key rollers.
  • Sluggish/frozen key rollers.
  • Maintenance (or even better, replacement!) of the ball joint mechanism some saxes use for side Bb and C.
  • Articulated G# addition, for older saxes lacking it. This can facilitate jumps from G# to low Bb, B, and C# (and vice versa).
  • Addition of adjusting screws. Stack keys and the F#/G#/Bb area are common targets for this, but other possibilities exist.
  • Absolutely proper setup and regulation of the alternate Eb mechanism on vintage American saxes. Even if you NEVER use the 123|1-3 fingering for Eb, you get improved venting of F and improved spring balance of the right hand middle finger, as your horn’s designers intended.
  • Neck micro tuner service (mostly vintage Conns). Includes complete disassembly, cleaning, repair, and reassembly. You’re supposed to push the mouthpiece in all the way and literally “dial in” the intonation. Let’s make that happen.
  • Loose/stuck bell key guard bumper adjusters.
  • Buescher snap-in pad replacement – without destroying the existing snap hardware. “Floating in” modern pads and using the original snaps are not mutually exclusive.
  • Sluggish/sticky keywork.
  • Sticky pads. Sometimes a cleaning and repad is the only way out, but we *may* have other, less costly remedies which are more effective than “Ye Olde Dollar Bill Trick.” As always, prognosis follows inspection…
  • Spring extraction and replacement.
  • Neck extensions.
  • Cracked tone hole repair.
  • Pulled down necks, including pulled down necks with cracks in the metal.
  • Neck seam cracks
  • Installation, replacement, or relocation of neck strap rings.
  • Soldered tone hole repair (usually vintage Martin saxes). Usually, but not always, preceded by dent repair near that location.
  • Octave key regulation. One of the most pervasive saxophone issues.
  • Front F key venting. Ideally this key should enable playing front E and F as well as altissimo F# and G (also G# for alto), with no lost motion in the mechanism. Specialized voicing work like this is where selecting an experienced saxophone player to service your instrument is useful.
  • Selmer Serie III alto’s additional octave/C# bridge mechanism.
  • Pinky key spatula alignment. Many players benefit from having C# set slightly higher than the B spatula. For most players, it shouldn’t be below the B. In any event, we can set the spatulas to accommodate your needs.
  • Low A mechanical improvement. This involves installing extra bridges so low A is achievable with just the left thumb (or left pinky, if you’re lucky enough to play a Conn) without “overregulating” the keys.
  • Poor intonation.
  • Bespoke side and palm key risers. Offered in epoxy or cork. This is one of the few services where in-person consultation is required, so we can discuss the player’s needs, observe the player’s hand position relative to the instrument, and craft our parts appropriately.
  • Mouthpiece damage.
  • We service modern horns like Selmer, Yamaha, and Yanagisawa. but we LOVE vintage American saxes (Conn, Buescher, Martin, King, et al).
  • All other saxophone brands are welcome, too!

Contact us today to get started!