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Strings You think saxes are expensive to run?

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Try cello!

I've taken my c.1900 German cello to a well-known luthier/maker to have some work done on it. He's going to make and fit a bridge and sound-post and adjust and set-up accordingly. He's going to make a new end-pin assembly and end-pin (yes, he makes them) from hardened steel with a sharp point. He will also clean and polish it.

It will be with him for 2 weeks...

Whilst I was there, I tried some of his instruments which he makes... A very unusual looking one made from Italian poplar, and a more conventional looking Strad model. One is £8k and the other £10k...

And he suggested I go for Larsen strings when it's done: they're about £220 a set...
 

jbtsax

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Thank you for putting things in perspective for saxophone players.
 

kevgermany

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I was in Mittenwald a couple of weeks ago, the central town for good stringed instruments. My friend wanted some souvenirs and we ended up in a souvenir shop which turned out to be a luthier's. He was selling music related souvenirs to keep going. Subject got on to instruments, and prices. He said he couldn't make a cello for less than €10000. Now factor in a mark-up for a music shop in Munich to sell them....

It's no wonder that we're mostly buying instruments from cheaper places - like Romania, Korea, China.

Was a similar story when we bought my wife's guitar. The luthier's had moved out of Munich, had a workshop out in the countryside, only sold direct - wouldn't sell through shops because their mark up priced his instruments into the unsaleable area. And by the time a few careless 'players' had mistreated them, he was faced with continual repairs, which the shops wouldn't pay for.
 

aldevis

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We can still buy a clarinet
http://www.schwenk-und-seggelke.de/englisch/klarinetten_3000.php
Some of these German companies require a 50% deposit before they start making your instrument.
After one year, if you are lucky, you get it.

He's going to make a new end-pin assembly and end-pin (yes, he makes them) from hardened steel with a sharp point.
Wouldn't it hurt your neck?
And he suggested I go for Larsen strings when it's done: they're about £220 a set...
Berg Larsen...
 

Ads

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Sax repairs are a bargain - try getting a squeezebox fixed (hence why I learned to do it myself) , all the repairers charge a mint, a tuneup on a simple 2 row melodeon starts at about £150 + I`d hate to get a full tune on a 4 voice 120 bass accordion , it`d probably cost more than a full rebuild and re-laquer on a 50s MkVI from a top tech !

The great thing is that it`s not rocket science to learn to fix squeezeboxes, even basic tuning whereas pulling dents and setting up a sax, changing pads etc is a lot more so , so I`m glad tech prices are the way they are ! .
 

Colin the Bear

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I don't find woodwind expensive or particularly demanding to repair or set up. A set of pads for an alto for less than a tenner, a couple of sheets of cork for a quid, a tube of glue and some simple tools. A large portion of patience is needed and a bit of common sense. I find metal far easier to work with than wood. I used to run Reliants, work in aerospace and have maintained my own motorcycles. Regulating a clarinet or saxophone is far less complicated than setting up the 16 nut and bolt tappets on a V4, after removing the tank and fairing. I never skinned a knuckle on a saxophone and no swarfega required. Wood baffles me.
 

Ads

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Long time no see QWales - hows things going, did you sell the MkVI ?
 

Ads

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They are that price Nick - so long as you`re happy with generic Chinese stuff of suspect quality .. Also from reading the Sax repair book and postst from John JBT , changing the things isn`t exactly a dab of EVO stick & stuff`em on either , hence why I`d rather leave it to those better equipped ...

I`d rather setup the tappets on a V4 personally - unless it was the original Honda VF750 where the whole cam system was made of worse metal than Jollysun make saxes from and the design as bad as they got.....
 

QWales

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Long time no see QWales - hows things going, did you sell the MkVI ?

Hi Ads, still about, just with a little less time on my hands atm. I sold it to the women who takes my music class for pretty much what it cost me.
 

kernewegor

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I don't find woodwind expensive or particularly demanding to repair or set up. A set of pads for an alto for less than a tenner, a couple of sheets of cork for a quid, a tube of glue and some simple tools. A large portion of patience is needed and a bit of common sense. I find metal far easier to work with than wood. I used to run Reliants, work in aerospace and have maintained my own motorcycles. Regulating a clarinet or saxophone is far less complicated than setting up the 16 nut and bolt tappets on a V4, after removing the tank and fairing. I never skinned a knuckle on a saxophone and no swarfega required. Wood baffles me.
Indeed.

The human species doesn't have an opposeable thumb for nothing, and didn't advance technologically and create art by giving the job to someone else...

I need to overhaul my clarinet and alto sax, Colin - could I ask who you have found to be a good supplier for pads and springs, please? I don't mind waiting for delivery and I'm not afraid of Chinese products...
 

Ads

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Hi Ads, still about, just with a little less time on my hands atm. I sold it to the women who takes my music class for pretty much what it cost me.

Good to see you and fantastic that you didn`t lose much if anything - no point in keeping something of you don`t get on with it , however classic it may be.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
We can still buy a clarinet
http://www.schwenk-und-seggelke.de/englisch/klarinetten_3000.php
Some of these German companies require a 50% deposit before they start making your instrument.
After one year, if you are lucky, you get it.


Wouldn't it hurt your neck?

Berg Larsen...
My mistake, it's Larsen... http://www.stringsexpress.co.uk/acatalog/Larsen_Magnacore_cello.html

@JBT I suppose a new bridge and full set-up at £150 is about the same as a full service on a sax. Depending on type, the upper strings may need replacing every 12 months or so and low strings by about 36 months. Decent strings are around £140 - £260 a set, but with variable durability, especially of top strings.

@KevG. Prices for a commissioned cello are in the £10k - £15k range, but it's not unusual for a dealer to add 100%. There are some big 'name' luthiers who charge much more. As you say, it's better to go direct.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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Ilkley West Yorkshire
I was in Mittenwald a couple of weeks ago, the central town for good stringed instruments. My friend wanted some souvenirs and we ended up in a souvenir shop which turned out to be a luthier's. He was selling music related souvenirs to keep going. Subject got on to instruments, and prices. He said he couldn't make a cello for less than €10000. Now factor in a mark-up for a music shop in Munich to sell them....

It's no wonder that we're mostly buying instruments from cheaper places - like Romania, Korea, China.

Was a similar story when we bought my wife's guitar. The luthier's had moved out of Munich, had a workshop out in the countryside, only sold direct - wouldn't sell through shops because their mark up priced his instruments into the unsaleable area. And by the time a few careless 'players' had mistreated them, he was faced with continual repairs, which the shops wouldn't pay for.

Mittenwald is a wonderful town. Sue and I walked through a steep sided gorge from Austria to get there.
Unfortunately we only had a few hours there, but I'm sure we shall return.
Is that near to your home Kev?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Couple of hours, we're not far from Munich's airport, about 40km north of the city centre. Drop in if you're in the area.
 

Colin the Bear

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Stick clarinet pads in ebay search. I was quite pleased with the first set, which fit perfectly. The second set were a little big. I measured them and they were as advertised 10mm. Turns out the first set were 9.5mm but advertised as 10mm but at £2.99 a set inc postage they can sit in the spares tin.
 

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