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Good Sax technicians?!

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Hi all,
Sorry I have not been on for an age,I am looking after my Mum with Cancer.

As you may remember,I am opening up a web shop selling instruments and I was hoping to have opened up 5 months ago.Unfortunately little did I realise just how long the process would take.Please tell me if I am wrong here,but I use the services of on Namir tech and he is absolutely brilliant,cost effective and always a dream of a job,every sax,clarinet or indeed brass instrument I have sent him,has always come back like a shining beautiful gift from heaven lol!

Seriously though,when you are buying lots of instruments,especially saxophones so really do look like it would be better off scrap-you all probably know this,but I just have to have them resurrected regardless.I have had some "animals" want for a better word and sent them for overhaul,every time they return,I am overwhelmed to say the least,and they play perfectly from top to bottom straight out of the box.

This is what I wanted to base my website on,quality vintage instruments,playable straight out of the box.How hard do you think this would be.Ok,i thought to myself,i can star the website with a mere 40 instruments-perhaps overzealous,but I kind of feel that they would all sell for some reason,so I would need another whatever amount to replace them also whilst having another lot in being overhauled.So I f I kept to the 40,them that is 120 instruments.

At the moment,I probably have around 50 ish-some are hanging on my walls around the house,relics of an age not to be forgotten-but shall still have the treatment one day! after all this what I wanted to ask you all is,do you know of any decent repairers.

I have to mention that I am used to paying around £250.00 for a full overhaul on any alto.That includes all premium leather pads-I don't do much else as already discussed in a previous post.Although I am more than delighted with my repairer,he is xxxx busy and he has his bread and butter work to do,mine are done as and when to get a competitive price.However,and this is a slow process,I have also tried to use the services of 7 other Namir techs which to put it bluntly,they're either crap or way to green.And everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt but one had an alto for 6 weeks and did not even open the box,and then said,he did not have the time.One whom does brasswind does soldering repairs in the manner of a first week college plumber,yet another woodwind tech advised,it is ok to come and drop of the sax but it may take me 6-10 weeks to get finished.I have just had an alto back,returned it after the overhaul once already,and the bottom keys stick due to rubbing on the keyguard,the G# is spongy as a cake,D is not closing unless you exert enough pressure to snap a finger and one keyguard needs some soldering.

I am also waiting for two others to come back and so I cannot comment upon those as of yet.

So my website is on hold for the meantime until one day I can get enough Saxophone stock overhauled in less than a while!I am used to around 6 weeks or more,brass is quick,even the clarinets and oboes come back much faster.

I am also an associate member of Namir but am finding it increasingly difficult to find cost effective overhauls,I have to say one other repaired an alto for me and the bill was £150.00 and I had to send it to my main repairer to put right! I have started to wonder just how many repairers whom are Namir members whom are really are any good!

Comments very welcome,I would like to know who you know,who can you trust to do a nice job as it is starting to cost me a small fortune on courier charges having to return them all the time,or as I have decided,not to and ask on here before I go any further.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Really sorry to hear about your Mum. Terrible thing. Hope she's not suffering too much.

The only real way to find out how good a repairer is, is by trial and error. Other people's experiences are valuable, but maay be based on lower expectations than you have. It's why guys like Griff and Stephen Howard are so highly praised here.

Maybe take a look at your business plan in the light of your experience so far. You're going to have a lot of cash tied up there, and you'll need a decent turn over to make it fly. Being dependant on one decent technician with many other commitments isn't really going to work.
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Thank you Kev,That is very kind of you.x

I agree that using just one tech will not work,so far I have two,one whom does brass and woodwind and one just brass,however,like you say,it is trial and error trying to find them,I shall have a look for Griff and Stephen or would appreciate if they could possibly pm me,I hope some others come along with whom they all use within the uk.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,950
There's Rupert Noble down in Hove - but he's always busy too.

He too sells vintage saxes so I'm not sure how that would work out.
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
Subscriber
Messages
2,362
So sorry to hear about your mum, I know from experience how difficult it is looking after a parent (my dad) with cancer. Make sure you look after yourself too.

As for repairers, I think the good ones are always busy (talk about stating the bleedin' obvious eh). You could try Gary Quintenon in Lincoln City Music Workshop or Rob Palmerone in Market Rasen, Changing Horns. They both have good local reputations. Not sure how quick they'd be though :)
 

O.C.V.

Member
Messages
113
Stuart at Woodwind Exchange in Bradford is one of the best, but he also sells vintage saxes so may not be too keen,and he also seems to be busy. Having said that, he's a nice guy and would probably do his best to help.
O.C.V.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,979
Check out Steve Shaw:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/flutefixx/

I don't know his repairs personally. I went to college with him. Nice guy and brilliant player so he should be good.

Sorry about your mum, my best wished are with you.

best of luck with the business, I would recommend you do your own repairs and overhauls, it's def the best business plan for anyone in that type of small business.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,805
I had a small saxophone business that sold American saxes. A technican came to my place for working on the saxes. He did all the critictal/diffucult moments and I did the cleaning, polishing ..... on the vintage saxes. Studentsaxes/intermediate saxes i tried to do myself. He use to stay at my place for five days and manged to get 5-10 saxes ready to sale depending on size and condition. I had the supplies (pads, cork, felts, springs, screws, locknuts ....) and the tools. I cut costs this way.

You could also consider to get a tech from Japan, Tawain or China. I know a musicshop that were lucky to get a tech that were trained and also worked at Yamaha factory. He wanted to see a new country and stayed here for some years.

Thomas
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Stuart at Woodwind Exchange in Bradford is one of the best, but he also sells vintage saxes so may not be too keen,and he also seems to be busy. Having said that, he's a nice guy and would probably do his best to help.
O.C.V.
Thank you Pete,and everyone else whom sent a link,I shall follow them up without doubt,I am very grateful to you all.x
 
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