All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Saxophones Re-pad for £155

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
Firstly, I would like to thank ProfJames for sharing his experience with his tech, as most of us want the best price along with quality workmanship. I have been recommended the repairer, Rupert Noble to repad a vintage Conn. I would appreciate any feedback, cost etc. does Rupert do the work personally ? I am a bit confused as I googled his name and he seems to be also involved in Video Production.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,692
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
I believe when discussing prices that it is important to recognize the scope and extent of the work the technician provides. A simple "repad" where old pads are removed and new pads are installed and seated is far removed from a complete overhaul sometimes referred to as a mechanical overhaul.

In an overhaul all imperfections both large and small in the body, posts, toneholes, springs, guards, and keys are addressed and corrected. This work, especially on vintage instruments, can take several days before the first pad is even installed. My point is to not wrongly accuse one tech of overcharging or price gouging because they quote a higher price until the full scope of the service they provide is understood.

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Locality
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Rupert specialises in the repair and restoration of vintage horns and has a shop in Hove, near Brighton. He is held in high regard by owners of high value and vintage horns as he's been specialising in it for 30 years. My sax teacher and several of his professional musician contacts have him do their work and source saxes from him and wouldn't go elsewhere. As far as I know he works on jobs personally.

I haven't personally used him but if I had a valuable vintage horn I would. Like many I would love a Selmer mk VI!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,685
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Mannn If I had selmer VI............

I'd sell it buy a new car, pay of my credit card and carry on playing my G4M saxes with perhaps a new song book or two
evil_idea.gif
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Locality
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
It's lucky we don't all lust after them - they'd be even more overpriced.:) If you get a good one and would like to sell it to me I'll provide the car and take your credit card worries away. I'll just replace them with a huge balance on mine.....
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,375
Locality
Sweden
I'm glad that ProfJames found a nice Martin Imperial and can have a re-pad job done for less money. Make sure he use thin pads if the new pads are going to replace the original pads.

Thomas
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,692
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Perhaps he uses those no-name Chinese pads that go for £20 a set. I actually did my alto repad with those, and so far so good. The metal resonators looked exactly the same as those on Musicmedic.com Precision Pads (made in USA), the key difference being that the resonators on the MusicMedic.com set were sometimes a bit off center, whereas on the no-name Chinese pads they were on spot. There were a couple of pads where the stud that holds the resonator on the pad looked like it might come off at some point, but for that price you could buy 5 sets of the Chinese pads and discard the 10 pads that don't look good.

The Chinese pads with plastic resonators did not look half as nice - the plastic wasn't moulded very well, and there were uneven and sharp spots here and there. As for the leather itself - I could not really tell much difference, and I have worked a bit with leather doing concertina bellows repairs.

I am curious as to where you bought a set of inexpensive Chinese pads that fit your particular alto sax. In my experience most makes and models have different sizes of keycups. Unfortunately there is no "one size fits all" set of saxophone pads. Even the pre-selected pad sets from Music Medic generally require trading 2 or 3 pads for a different size due to the inconsistency of key dimensions.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,917
If anyone's got any other sax repairers they'd like to recommend, maybe we should have a list of the one's who provide a good service
Hmm, now let me see, do i know any i can recommend?.....on the other hand do i know any who i wouldn't recommend??
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,685
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
The old lafleurs from Czec used to come with a spare set of pads and springs when new. Very handy. I bought a second hand alto to sell, minus the spare parts of course. A small profit and a set of pads and springs felt like a result to me.

I think each and every sax player should learn to do the simple and small running repairs that are necessary to keep an instrument in tip top playing condition. I feel it's as important as any other aspect of playing.

The set up is so subjective and what suits one will not suit another. Things settle and bed in especially after a refit and a little simple adjusting and regulating can turn something unplayable into a sweetheart.

Perhaps this is why some repairers get slammed. After doing all the clever and technical work a poor adjustment frustrates the owner who is expecting their instrument to play like new on its return from the shop.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Never knew this thread would be so popular! I have had to look around for a techie because I cannot afford to start playing (again) a sax like a "Yani" or a Mauriat (pure envy!) as I have other priorities that consume my earnings! So I look around!

Will keep you all posted as I am buying and selling a few saxophones to justify the money I have spent on the ones I currently own!
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,321
Locality
London
Shops charge anything between 400€ ( same Rigotti pads) to 600€ ( Pisoni pads) of course their overhead is larger.

A Pisoni pad set for a mkVI costs €67 to €179 (to online customers). Are they overcharging for the name?
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,321
Locality
London
Firstly, I would like to thank ProfJames for sharing his experience with his tech, as most of us want the best price along with quality workmanship. I have been recommended the repairer, Rupert Noble to repad a vintage Conn. I would appreciate any feedback, cost etc. does Rupert do the work personally ? I am a bit confused as I googled his name and he seems to be also involved in Video Production.

I met Rupert when I shot a music video in his studio.
He never worked on my horns, but I was about to buy an alto from him: either a BA or a Cigar Cutter he had. Instruments overhauled by him, well aged. Wonderful horns perfectly set up.
Everything in his workshop was well made.

Sometimes he may get quite busy and hard to get hold of...
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Locality
Helsinki, Finland
I am curious as to where you bought a set of inexpensive Chinese pads that fit your particular alto sax. In my experience most makes and models have different sizes of keycups. Unfortunately there is no "one size fits all" set of saxophone pads. Even the pre-selected pad sets from Music Medic generally require trading 2 or 3 pads for a different size due to the inconsistency of key dimensions.

The sax was a YAS21, and I think they were advertised as "Yamaha size". I don't remember the name of the seller on Ebay off the top of my head, but I can check and PM you when I'm home. I traced the pads they sold to a factory that does wholesale through sites such as Alibaba or DHGate etc. I checked the brand of the pads, "Luxiumei" (never mentioned in the ebay listing though) through the wholesale site (don't remember which one of them, but you should be able to find it), and after some googling it turns out they're the same they used on Bauhaus Walstein saxes some time ago.

As for the people who think everything from China is junk (that is, this part of the post is not directed at jbtsax), google this: "bauhaus walstein luxiumei". Now it's changed to "Fine Grain Italian Pads" on their official product descriptions, but some pages that haven't been updated and the Google cache clearly show they advertised that they used them. And we all know how crappy and leaky the BW saxes with their inferior Chinese pads are, right?

The computer you're typing on, the iPhone in your pocket, the parts for all of them are made in China. Incredibly complicated things with millions upon millions of tiny components with manufacturing tolerances measured in micrometers (some parts even less). Why would a decent saxophone pad be beyond the skills of the people who build all the other, much more complicated things we use every day?
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,685
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
I get a little confused by terminology. "Italian Leather" in the fashion industry means imitation or synthetic leather. Good old Vinyl. So are Finest "Italian Leather" pads vinyl?
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Further information from my techie and £155 re-pad charges -

In reply to your query regarding prices, I am not surprised that people are questioning the price, but let me reassure you that my standards, the quality of my work, and my customer services are no less than those of other repairers anywhere else in the country.

What makes the difference is regional cost of living: London and the Home Counties are so much more expensive in most respects than rural Shropshire. This is reflected in the relatively low prices I am able to charge. I also work from my work-shop at home, so very little in the way of overheads.

My charges are, as with other repairers, based on time and materials: time is charged at £35.00 per hour and materials are what they are. In other words, a full set of generic parts will cost less than a full set of genuine manufacturer’s parts. Ultimately, though, the customer calls the shots i.e. you choose the quality of pad and I will tell you the price of the re-pad. On top of that, I never undertake any work without first consulting, and agreeing it with, the customer. That way, the customer is always in control of the repair and I get satisfied customers.’
 

cherrybyte

Member
Messages
108
Locality
Dulverton, Exmoor, West Somerset
Mannn If I had selmer VI............

I'd sell it buy a new car, pay of my credit card and carry on playing my G4M saxes with perhaps a new song book or two
evil_idea.gif

For mine I got a brand new Yamaha YTS CustomZ UL, a almost new Yamaha YBS32 Bari. and still had, if memory serves me(it was 9/10 yrs ago) approx. £1200 in my pocket..I paid £70.00 for my MkVI in 1977
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,725
Locality
Betelgeuse
Further information from my techie and £155 re-pad charges -

In reply to your query regarding prices, I am not surprised that people are questioning the price, but let me reassure you that my standards, the quality of my work, and my customer services are no less than those of other repairers anywhere else in the country.

What makes the difference is regional cost of living: London and the Home Counties are so much more expensive in most respects than rural Shropshire. This is reflected in the relatively low prices I am able to charge. I also work from my work-shop at home, so very little in the way of overheads.

My charges are, as with other repairers, based on time and materials: time is charged at £35.00 per hour and materials are what they are. In other words, a full set of generic parts will cost less than a full set of genuine manufacturer’s parts. Ultimately, though, the customer calls the shots i.e. you choose the quality of pad and I will tell you the price of the re-pad. On top of that, I never undertake any work without first consulting, and agreeing it with, the customer. That way, the customer is always in control of the repair and I get satisfied customers.’

Thanks for that. A well reasoned response from the guy. I'm very intrigued about the work now - I really hope it turns out to be of a good standard.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,725
Locality
Betelgeuse
The computer you're typing on, the iPhone in your pocket, the parts for all of them are made in China. Incredibly complicated things with millions upon millions of tiny components with manufacturing tolerances measured in micrometers (some parts even less). Why would a decent saxophone pad be beyond the skills of the people who build all the other, much more complicated things we use every day?

Quite. And it's the same in other areas. I'm a keen amateur astronomer, and the quality of current Chinese manufactured optics is very high. As a result, a hobby which was the preserve of the wealthy until a few years ago (and of the super wealthy until a few decades ago) can now be enjoyed by pretty much anyone.
 

Staff online

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom