Saxophone Repair and Service
The Clarification of Musical Expression Through Repair
Before the work begins, each horn is thoroughly inspected and the following questions are asked:
- Has the horn been dropped and if so where,
- Has the bell been bent from the body?
- Is the horn straight?
- Is there damage to the tone holes, are they caved in or out of round?
- Has the neck been bent and does it fit smoothly?
Dents are removed, tone holes are examined and made level and round if necessary, stack rods and posts must be in a straight line and if the horn is old the rods are examined for rust. Springs are checked for rust and resiliency of tension. If these qualities are found lacking they are replaced. All solder joints are checked and fixed if need be.
Once this work is completed, the saxophone is given a bath in a biodegradable cleaning agent and then assembly begins. The pad cups are leveled, correct size pads are chosen, your choice of resonators installed, and a firm bed of stick shellac used for the installation of the pad in the key cup. The finest sheet cork, felts and teflon are glued on the keys along with a variety of other substances found to decrease key noise and metallic sounding clicks. Using heat the pads are floated into place, key arms are bent if nessesary so that from a side view pad and key cups are parallel, and when each pad seats perfectly the key combinations are balanced. The entire instrument is reassembled with attention to every detail. Upon completion it sits for a day, then checked again. Finally the saxophone is played by a professional musician, intonation problems dealt with, and action set. The fit of the neck is of utmost importance, when done correctly your horn will sing. It is the opinion of this technician that the same tension and resiliency should be felt through out the horn under your fingertips, and the result will be the minimum of effort to create the clarity of musical thought.
Please note: I am finding that old vintage saxophones that have been played a lot need a great deal of extra work. Post bushings are installed in posts to keep key wobble from occurring, new rods have to be made and key tubes need to be reamed out to a precise fit. These are all things I did not have to do 50 years ago. To do this kind of precise repair takes more tools to buy and takes more time to do. I will bill this extra time at my hourly rate of $110 per hour.
Pricing for repair:
** Shipping, handling, insurance and sales tax are not included.
“Steve, Thank you once again for saving the day. The work you did on my Tenor was great! You took the slop out of the keys in question and adjusted it perfectly. You always seem to find the time in an emergency. Thanks again.”
— Skip Mesquite (original member of Tower of Power, Cold Blood, Lenny Williams, Deniece Williams, Merle Saunders )
“If you’re ever in the Bay Area or live in and about, Steve Deutsch is your man for repairs, as you know the Vintage Selmer Horns need a lot of Wind to keep them going, Especially in that Lower Register. I was Having Problems getting my MKVII to respond in the Lower Register until Steve got ahold of it and Brought it back to Life, Voila no more Problems Deep Bass Bb sounds like a Fog Horn now and it comes in with minimum resistance, Not to mention the entire horn sounds real Strong and in Tune, Top To Bottom. Thanks Steve.”
— Jim… in San Francisco