Personally I would take it to a REPUTABLE tech. I broke a spring and took it to a local chap who had all the right credentials. He initially tried to do the job in front of me, but then he started to struggle to remove the remains of the broken spring. He told me to leave it with him and he'd ring me when it was done. Well I'd only just got home when he rand to say that it was done. It only cost me £15 and I was quite pleased with the result. I had a quick look at the work at his shop and it all looked fine. Some months later I was giving the sax a thorough clean and I noticed two lumps, one on either side of the pillar where the spring had been. I realised that when he had been struggling to remove the offending spring stub, he'd actually bent the tube of the sax causing a lump on one side. when he straightened it up he caused the lump on the other side!!!!
The moral of this story is, It's all very well having a great sax manual, but some jobs need a good tech!
Good advice. I bought Stephens manual thinking I would patch up my cheap Amati alto for next to nowt. 20 minutes reading and I knew that stripping it down was one thing, mending it was a whole new set of skills which I don't have the time to achieve. The sax is now with a good repairer for a new pad and general setting up.
Kev, I think your right on the money there! The manual gives you the knowledge but not the skill to do the work. You've followed the path of many a player and bought yourself a cheep (I hope) doer upper! My Dearman cost me the princely sum of £50. It's taken me about 2 years to do so far and I haven't done that much yet (family issues got in the way) but now I'll be able to concentrate a bit more time on it. What I'm trying to say is that if I do something totally wrong and mess up the Dearman for good, what have I lost? Not a lot. However, if johnboy was to snap off a pillar,scratch the lacquer or warp a tone hole, he could be in for a very expensive repair bill.
What's realyl good about the book is that it gives you the knowledge to understand how things should be, so you can identify what's wrong when it doesn't play properly.