Steve Deutsch Music

Clarinet Repair

Each clarinet that comes through my hands is carefully inspected for cracks, warped and chipped tone holes, lost motion or play in the keys, and torn or moth eaten pads.

Once problems are accessed work begins. Keys are swaged to remove wobble which keeps the pads from seating, pivots screws are replaced if necessary and posts are seated if they move as well. Tone holes seats are checked for flatness, and cracks or striations in the edges which prevent correct pad seating.

If this is a wood clarinet, the bore is cleaned with the finest steel wool and then raw almond oil is applied and the instrument sits for a day. After this, the body and keys are buffed and assembly begins. Only the finest crosscut cork is used on the keys along with Teflon™ where appropriate to make the key action smooth and responsive.

In professional clarinets, cork pads are used in the top joint with the exception of 1on1 Bb. These pads act as resonators and also last longer. Straubinger, Valentino and other types of pads are available upon request. All pads are put in using stick shellac, seated and then everything is lightly clamped for a day. I return to play it and check combinations, especially over the break from A to B. Intonation problems are dealt with and tools are available to undercut tone holes which can open the sound to your specifications. I have a 6 month warranty on my work.

The new professional Buffet clarinets are using Gortex pads and I can install these pads at overhaul time. Their cost is $200 for a set.

Retrofit LH Lever Pins (replaces the nylon pins)
These will replace the nylon plastic pins on the left hand levers of Buffet and Selmer that are often too short, and they break often. We suggest you replace the fragile nylon pins with our stainless steel retrofit inserts, and use a traditional silencer skin material of your choice. Our replacement inserts have the teardrop shape to allow maximum travel without binding. Once the pins are changed, the problem of breakage is solved forever. In the picture on the left, the nylon pin is in the key, and the KMP retrofit pin is shown below, ready to install.
$40 for the pair

Pricing for repair:

Student Clarinet Overhaul $350
Wood Clarinet Overhaul $575
Professional Clarinet w/cork pads $775
Student Bass Clarinet $750
Professional Bass Clarinet $1200
Professional Bass Clarinet w/ Low C $1350

** Shipping, handling, insurance and sales tax are not included.


This is a 19th century, probably before 1840, clarinet that I just restored.

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